Can You Sue Somebody for Forcing You to Go to Law School?

It does look a little forbidding, but still


[D]uncan contends that his decision to resign his employment was based on the [allegedly bad legal] advice he received from Klein, and as a result of his resignation, he had to enroll in law school, which caused him to incur substantial costs….

It could be argued that, but for the alleged malpractice, Duncan would not have resigned his job with NGK, decided to enroll in law school, incurred debts to support his family and pay for law school, or suffered a separation from his family while he pursued his studies in New England. Nevertheless, it is highly questionable whether attending law school is a legally cognizable injury, notwithstanding that the rigors of law school are well known and undoubtedly unpleasant to some extent….

The alleged malpractice might well be a cause of Duncan leaving his job with NGK, but it is not the proximate cause of his free choice to remake his life and enter into the practice of law. The “intervening decisions by [Duncan] render [the alleged] negligence [of Klein and the firm] too remote to satisfy the proximate cause requirement for a legal malpractice claim.”

Emphasis added. The court’s memory of law school has clearly faded, as most would agree it is indeed unpleasant at least “to some extent.” But pretty much all would agree you can’t sue because the defendant allegedly left you no choice but law school, unpleasant as that may be.

Also, it’s usually not a good sign if the court’s summary of your argument begins with, “it could be argued that….” Because you did argue that. This phrase usually translates to something like, “scientists may one day make contact with an alternate universe in which dinosaurs wear pants and this argument wins, but in this world you lose.”

From Duncan v. Klein (Ga. App. Nov. 29, 2011), via The Volokh Conspiracy.