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Fickett v. Superior Court of Pima County

Arizona Court of Appeals
558 P.2d 988 (1976)


Facts

Fred Fickett (defendant), an attorney in the law firm of Robertson & Fickett (defendant), assisted investment advisor Herbert Schwager to be appointed the guardian of the $1.3 million estate of Lillian Styer, an elderly woman who could no longer manage her finances. Within three years, Schwager had converted the majority of Styer’s assets to his own use. Thereafter, Schwager was removed as guardian by the Superior Court of Pima County (plaintiff) and replaced with Dean Christoffel (plaintiff). Christoffel filed suit against Fickett and the law firm for negligently failing to discover Schwager’s misappropriation and conversion of Styer’s estate funds. Fickett filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that because there was no fraud or collusion between he and Schwager, Fickett should not be liable for Schwager’s misappropriation or conversion of the funds. The trial court denied Fickett’s motion. Fickett appealed. 

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Howard, C.J.)

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