In re Marriage of Egedi
California Court of Appeal
88 Cal. App. 4th 17, 105 Cal. Rptr. 2d 518 (2001)
Angela Egedi and Paul Egedi jointly filed for summary dissolution of their marriage. To keep the matter on relatively amicable terms, they asked an attorney of their mutual acquaintance to draft and formalize a marital settlement agreement. The attorney had previously represented both Angela and Paul on unrelated cases. Because the attorney wished to avoid a conflict of interest, he advised the couple to seek independent counsel. However, the couple insisted on using the attorney’s services. The couple signed a waiver of any conflict of interest, and the attorney provided his services as a scrivener—not technically as an attorney—in executing the settlement agreement. The agreement set forth financial-support obligations owed by Paul to Angela. Later, Paul elected not to make payments. Angela sought to enforce the agreement in court. Paul argued that the agreement should be set aside on various grounds, including fraud, duress, and undue influence. The trial court ruled that the agreement was unenforceable on the ground of inadequate disclosures of a potential conflict of interest by the attorney. Angela appealed. The California Court of Appeal granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Yegan, J.)
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