Reynolds v. Schrock
Oregon Supreme Court
341 Or. 338, 142 P.3d 1062 (2006)
Donna Schrock (defendant) sued Clyde Reynolds (plaintiff) in connection with their jointly owned lodge and timber properties. Charles Markley (defendant) represented Schrock. The settlement agreement required that Reynolds transfer his share of the lodge property to Schrock; Reynolds receive the proceeds of the timber-property sale; and if the timber-property sale proceeds were under $500,000, Schrock pay Reynolds the difference and give Reynolds a security interest in the lodge property. Reynolds transferred his interest in the lodge property, and Schrock sold the property based on Markley’s advice that the agreement did not require her to retain it. Markley asked the escrow officer to keep the sale confidential. On Markley’s advice, Schrock revoked her consent to the sale of the timber property. Reynolds sued Schrock and Markley, alleging that Schrock breached her fiduciary duty to Reynolds and converted Reynolds’s interest in the lodge property and that Markley was jointly liable because he had aided and abetted Schrock’s torts. The court granted summary judgment to Markley, finding that Markley owed no duty to Reynolds and did nothing but advise Schrock on what the agreement permitted. Reversing on the fiduciary-duty claim, the court of appeals held that a lawyer may be liable for assisting in a client’s fiduciary-duty breach. Markley sought review by the Oregon Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Balmer, J.)
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