C. Chase Senk


This Note surveys the development of the strict-privity rule in Ohio and other jurisdictions and will argue that the Ohio Supreme Court missed yet another opportunity to modify its outmoded strict-privity rule. This Note only suggests that the Ohio Supreme Court should again reevaluate its strict-privity rule to at least provide relief to intended beneficiaries of negligently prepared wills. Part II provides a brief overview of the development of the strict-privity rule in legal malpractice cases in Anglo-American law, particularly Ohio, as well as a few of the arguments for and against the strict-privity rule. Part III provides the statement of facts, the procedural history, and the Ohio Supreme Court’s decision in Shoemaker. Finally, Part IV examines the decision in Shoemaker and argues that the Ohio Supreme Court missed a valuable opportunity to overrule the misstated holding of Simon and bring attorneys and other professionals under the same standard of liability. It further discusses why a relaxing of strict privity is the accepted standard among the majority of jurisdictions. It concludes with why Shoemaker was the ideal case in which to overrule Simon and discusses a federal estate tax issue in the Shoemaker opinion.