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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In this legal malpractice case, the issue is whether the jury needed expert testimony to determine whether the client would have prevailed in an underlying trial but for its attorneys’ alleged negligence in preparing and trying the case. The trial court concluded that the jury needed such guidance to determine causation. There being none, the court disregarded the jury’s findings on causation and rendered judgment that the client take nothing. Concluding that expert testimony was not needed because the connection between the attorneys’ alleged negligence and the client’s loss was obvious, the court of appeals reversed and remanded. HOLDING:Affirmed in part, reversed and remanded in part. When the plaintiff’s allegation is that some failure on the attorney’s part caused an adverse result in prior litigation, the plaintiff must produce evidence from which a jury may reasonably infer that the attorney’s conduct caused the damages alleged. Haynes & Boone v. Bowser Bouldin Ltd., 896 S.W.2d 179 (Tex. 1995). To prevail on a claim under the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, a plaintiff must prove that a violation of the statute was a producing cause of the injury. While different, both producing cause and proximate cause require proof of causation in fact. Union Pump Co. v. Allbritton, 898 S.W.2d 773 (Tex. 1995). In this court, Alexander and his firm contest only the jury’s findings of causation and damages. The court of appeals held that the evidence of causation was legally sufficient, parsing through these facts to establish that, but for the alleged negligence of Alexander and his firm, the result in the adversary proceeding would have been more favorable to Turtur Inc. Breach of the standard of care and causation are separate inquiries, however, and an abundance of evidence as to one cannot substitute for a deficiency of evidence as to the other. Thus, even when negligence is admitted, causation is not presumed. Moreover, the trier of fact must have some basis for understanding the causal link between the attorney’s negligence and the client’s harm. In some cases the client’s testimony may provide this link, but in others the connection may be beyond the jury’s common understanding and require expert testimony. The court concludes that the court of appeals erred in holding that the jury was competent to determine causation in either negligence or violation of the DTPA without expert guidance in this case. OPINION:: Phillips, C.J.; Hecht, J., filed a concurring opinion in which Wainwright, J., joins. Owen and Schneider, JJ., did not participate in the decision.

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