1.99 See Answer

Question: Smith was represented by Lewis, an attorney,

Smith was represented by Lewis, an attorney, in a divorce action against her husband, General Smith. General Smith was employed by the California National Guard and, as a state employee, belonged to the State Employees’ Retirement System. Lewis advised Smith that her husband’s retirement benefits were not community property and thus would not be considered in the divorce litigation or distributed by the trial court. Six months after the divorce was final, Lewis petitioned the court to amend the decree because of his mistake in not including the retirement benefits as community property in the divorce action. It was pointed out that major authoritative reference works, which attorneys routinely consult for a brief and reliable discussion of the law, provided that vested retirement benefits were generally subject to community property treatment. The court refused Lewis, and Smith brought suit against her attorney for malpractice. Will Lewis be found to be liable for malpractice? [Smith v. Lewis, 530 P.2d 589 (California)]
Principle of Law:


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