FKB’s Rachel Aghassi and Aaron M. Barham secured pre-answer discontinuances of two legal malpractice actions related to the same underlying representation.
The first action involved three underlying foreclosure cases, Plaintiff, a court-appointed property guardian, alleged that FKB’s clients were responsible for selling the at-issue properties at an undervalued sum. After FKB successfully convinced Plaintiff that FKB’s client was not involved in the negotiation of the property sale and decision to sell the properties, Plaintiff released and stipulated to discontinue his claims against FKB’s clients with prejudice in March 2017.
Plaintiff then filed a separate action against another law firm involving a different property owned by the same former client, now subject to guardianship. In March 2018, the defendant law firm filed a third-party action against FKB’s clients alleging that they were responsible for the failure to pay a lien on the property. FKB moved to dismiss the third-party complaint on the bases that (1) the claims raised in the third-party complaint were outside of the scope of FKB’s clients’ representation; and (2) the contribution claims were barred by the prior release and General Obligations Law 15-108(b). On June 20, 2018 (the day after filing its motion to dismiss), FKB appeared for a discovery compliance conference before Justice Thomas Feinman, who agreed that the third-party claims were meritless and pressured counsel to discontinue the third-party claims. Counsel agreed, executing a “so-ordered” stipulation discontinuing all third-party claims against FKB’s clients with prejudice.