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Boyd v. Brett-Major

449 So.2d 952 (1984)

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Boyd v. Brett-Major

Florida District Court of Appeals

449 So.2d 952 (1984)

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Facts

The Boyds (plaintiffs) mortgaged their home to secure a $100,000 criminal-appearance bond for their son. The bonding company did not file an affidavit required by state law, creating an absolute defense to foreclosure of the mortgage. The bonding company nonetheless brought a foreclosure action after the Boyds’ son failed to appear in court. The Boyds hired attorney Lin Brett-Major (defendant) to represent them. Brett-Major filed an answer but did not adequately plead the bonding company’s failure to file the affidavit as an affirmative defense. After the bonding company obtained summary judgment, the Boyds brought a legal malpractice action against Brett-Major and her insurer (defendants). The Boyds claimed they wanted to win the foreclosure action. Brett-Major claimed that the Boyds wanted merely to delay the action while they raised funds to repay the bond. At trial, the evidence showed that the Boyds hired Brett-Major not to win, but merely to delay the action, because the Boyds intended to repay the bond in order to maintain an ongoing relationship with the bondsmen. The court directed the jury that its verdict should be for Brett-Major if the jury found that she was carrying out the Boyds’ specific instructions. The jury entered a verdict for Brett-Major and her insurer, and the Boyds appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Ferguson, J.)

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