Smith v. Lewis
California Supreme Court
530 P.2d 589 (1975)
Attorney Jerome Lewis (defendant) provided legal representation to Rosemary Smith (plaintiff) to secure a divorce from Smith’s husband, Clarence, a General in the California National Guard. In the course of the representation, Lewis advised Smith that the retirement benefits earned by Clarence during the marriage were not community property and that no claim could be made for them. After the divorce decree was issued Lewis filed a motion to amend the judgment to assert a claim for Clarence’s retirement benefits. Lewis’ motion was denied. Thereafter, Smith filed a legal malpractice action against Smith alleging that he should have known that state and federal retirement pensions accumulated during the course of a marriage were community property and subject to division between the spouses. A jury held for Smith and awarded her $100,000 in damages. Lewis appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Mosk, J.)
Dissent (Clark, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.