Erik M. Jensen


This note argues that the use of a but for standard of causation in legal malpractice cases - i.e., that the plaintiff must show that but for the malpractice he or she would have prevailed in the underlying action - is too stringent, making recovery unreasonably difficult. The note therefore argues for implementation of a lost substantial possibility of recovery standard. This is just a student note, and an old one at that, but a lot of courts and commentators have cited it. In any event, modesty and self-restraint seem to play little role when authors are deciding what to post on SSRN.


But for Standard of Causation, Legal Malpractice, Lost Substantial Possibility of Recovery Standard

Publication Date


Document Type


Place of Original Publication

Cornell Law Review

Publication Information

63 Cornell Law Review 666 (1978)


COinS Erik M. Jensen Faculty Bio