Garcia v. BallAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff retained Defendant, a criminal defense attorney, to represent him in a probation revocation proceeding. The district court eventually accepted Plaintiff’s stipulation to violating probation, revoked his probation, and ordered him to serve his originally imposed prison term. An error in the journal entry of sentencing, however, led to Plaintiff serving more time in prison than his original sentence. Plaintiff filed a petition for legal malpractice against Defendant. Plaintiff obtained a default judgment, but the district court set aside the default judgment and dismissed the lawsuit because Plaintiff had not established his innocence under the exoneration rule. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the district court erred in setting aside the default judgment for excusable neglect. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the district court (1) did not abuse its discretion in setting aside the default judgment pursuant to Kan. Stat. Ann. 60-260(b)(6) ; but (2) erred in dismissing the lawsuit based on the Court’s holding in Mashaney v. Board of Indigents’ Defense Services with respect to the exoneration rule and the running of the statute of limitations.