All Independent Grounds

Attorney Robert Collins was sued by his client, Chris Green, for professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.  Green claimed that Collins had failed to serve the defendant in the underlying lawsuit, thereby allowing that case to be dismissed for want of prosecution.  As a result, Green’s claims became time-barred.  Collins filed an answer to Green’s lawsuit, but failed to appear at trial. Green testified in support of his claim, and the trial court granted a default judgment for $31,500.  The trial court subsequently denied Collins’ motion for new trial, and Collins appealed.

On appeal, Collins argued that the judgment had to be reversed because Green had failed to prove that he could have collected on any judgment in the underlying lawsuit.  But while that complaint may have been accurate, the court of appeals saw no need to reach it because Collins had failed to brief anything about Green’s breach of fiduciary duty claim.  That meant that he had failed to attack all independent grounds supporting the judgment, resulting in affirmance of the case.

Collins v. Green, No. 05-11-00893-CV

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