Even if a lawyer admits he made a mistake by failing to file a post-trial motion for nonsuit, his client has no valid malpractice claim if he cannot show that the trial judge would have granted the motion, a Pennsylvania federal judge has ruled.

In his 25-page opinion in Scaramuzza v. Sciolla, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson found that since the $477,000 verdict in the underlying suit was the result of a nonjury trial, and since the plaintiff’s claim hinged on a decision that would have been made by the same trial judge, the malpractice claim, too, should be decided by a judge and not a jury.

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