Torts I, Pages 434–436

Clagett v. Dacy

Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, 1980

Facts:

Plaintiffs were the high bidders twice at a foreclosure sale, but the sales were set aside because the attorneys conducting the sale failed to follow the proper procedure. Finally, the debtor discharged the loan, giving the land back to the mortgagors. This caused plaintiffs to lose the opportunity to purchase and resell the land. Plaintiffs sued the attorneys to recover their loss, alleging that they owed them a duty to use care and diligence and to conduct the sale properly.

Procedural History:

The circuit court sustained defendants' demurrer.

Issue:

Are attorneys liable to third parties harmed by their negligence?

Reasoning:

Attorneys are limited as to whom they can represent. Their duties do not extend to third parties, especially when those parties' interests conflict with their clients', as it would here.

Rule/Holding:

Attorneys are not liable to third parties.

Judgment:

Affirmed with costs.


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