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Cicone v. URS Corporation

183 Cal. App. 3d 194 (1986)

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Cicone v. URS Corporation

California Court of Appeal

183 Cal. App. 3d 194 (1986)

Facts

The Lucases (plaintiffs) retained attorney Frank Cicone (defendant) to negotiate the sale of Advanced Production Service, Inc. (Advanced). Attorney Richard Canady represented the buyer, URS Corporation, and its president, Arthur Stromberg (defendants). At closing with the parties, Canady presented an agreement stating the Lucases warranted the accuracy of Advanced’s unaudited balance sheet and that Advanced had no other liabilities. Cicone said the Lucases could not guarantee the balance sheet’s accuracy. Canady said the buyer understood and would deem the Lucases as guaranteeing the balance-sheet information only to the best of their knowledge. Cicone advised the Lucases to sign the agreement. Shortly afterward, URS discovered $200,000 of deferred tax liabilities not on the balance sheet. The Lucases were unaware of the liabilities but settled with URS for $125,000 and sued Cicone for malpractice. Cicone cross-claimed against URS, Stromberg, and Canady for fraud, deceit, and negligent misrepresentation. Cicone alleged Canady knew his statement about accepting the balance sheet was false and that he made it intentionally to induce Cicone to advise the sellers to accept and close the transaction. The trial court dismissed the crossclaims, reasoning Canady owed no duty to Cicone. Cicone appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Martin, J.)

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