Saybolt North America (Saybolt) (plaintiff), a subsidiary of Saybolt International, pleaded guilty to a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) for arranging payment from Saybolt Panama to a Panamanian official so that it could acquire a lease for land in Panama for a new laboratory. Saybolt’s attorney, Philippe Schreiber (defendant), advised Saybolt’s officers that it would not be a violation of the FCPA if, at the direction of a Saybolt employee, an affiliate not based in the United States made the payment. Schreiber’s advice was incorrect, and the shareholders were liable for criminal penalties. Saybolt brought a malpractice suit against Schreiber in district court, arguing that Schreiber caused Saybolt to unknowingly violate the FCPA. The court granted Schriber’s motion for summary judgment on the grounds of collateral estoppel, because Saybolt’s guilty plea was an admission that Saybolt knew it was violating the FCPA. Saybolt appealed.