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Hastings Law Journal

Abstract

When a settlement agreement is breached in California, the parties are generally solely liable for the breach. Occasionally, however, settlement agreements can create duties running between attorneys and adverse parties. In these situations, when a settlement agreement fails through no or negligible fault of the opposing party, the opposing party may be able to seek remedy through civil liability against the attorney. This Note provides an overview of the general duty that attorneys owe to third parties. It examines various causes of action available to plaintiffs and the various factors influencing liability. Lastly, this Note details a proposed virtual per se rule against liability based upon the standards set forth in Biakanja v. Irving.

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