McCormick International USA, Inc. v. ShoreAnnotate this Case
Defendant Roberta Shore retained attorney third-party Defendant Nicholas Bokides to represent her in her divorce from William Shore. Pursuant to the divorce decree, William took all interest in the couple's business, Bear River Equipment, Inc., a farm equipment dealership. Roberta had instructed Bokides to provide notice to McCormick International USA, Inc, a Bear River creditor, that she would no longer personally guarantee its advances. Bokides never provided the notice, and McCormick sued Roberta to enforce the guarantee. Roberta brought a third party complaint against Bokides for malpractice. Bokides did not deny the malpractice claim, but alleged that Roberta failed to mitigate her damages because she did not seek to enforce the divorce decree’s mandate that William hold her harmless from all Bear River debts. Bokides appealed the trial court's judgment in Roberta's favor. Roberta cross-appealed the district court's determination that her damages were limited to advances made after entry of the divorce decree. Upon review of the matter, the Supreme Court affirmed: "substantial and competent evidence in the record supports the district court's finding that Roberta reasonably concluded that William was judgment proof and that it would therefore be futile to enforce the divorce decree against him. An implicit corollary of that finding is the finding that McCormick could not successfully seek compensation from William. Thus substantial, competent evidence supports the district court’s determination of the extent of Roberta's damages."