Wednesday, May 29, 2013

SHIN v. KONG (2000)

I successfully represented the defendant physician in this appeal back in 2000.  One of the interesting things that happens when an appellate decision becomes reported, as this appeal was, is that other attorneys and courts can cite it as legal precedent, and which has occurred several times with this case in subsequent decisions.  The case stands for the legal proposition that a physician owes a duty of care to his patient, and not to the patient's spouse whom he is not treating.  It is also significant for its reinforcement of the "anti-heart" balm statute as embodied in Civil Code section 43.5 as first enacted in 1939, and which prohibits civil damage actions for alienation of affection, seduction of an adult or "criminal conversation" (aka committing adultery with another person's spouse).  The practice of law was probably more exciting before this code section was enacted.

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