Oct 4th, 2023

FKB’s Spencer A. Richards And Joshua E. Lahijani Win Appellate Division Appeal Affirming Pre-answer Dismissal Of Legal Malpractice

FKB’s Spencer A. Richards and Joshua E. Lahijani successfully obtained an order on appeal before the Appellate Division, First Department, affirming pre-answer dismissal of a legal malpractice complaint on behalf of a real estate law firm, which represented and advised a co-op in an underlying co-op litigation.

The plaintiff asserted that FKB’s client committed legal malpractice by advising the co-op to withdraw a cross-claim for attorneys’ fees the co-op had asserted in the underlying action. The lower court granted FKB’s pre-answer motion to dismiss the complaint based upon the plaintiff’s failure to establish that FKB’s client’s actions were negligent, failure to establish that FKB’s client’s alleged acts or omissions were the proximate cause of the plaintiff’s injuries, and failure to establish that the plaintiff suffered ascertainable damages. The plaintiff appealed the lower court’s decision.

The First Department upheld the dismissal of the plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim based upon the plaintiff’s failure to allege with sufficient specificity the alleged negligent legal advice. In addition, the First Department agreed with FKB’s argument that the plaintiff failed to plead proximate cause for legal malpractice and that the complaint contained only conclusory allegations.

If you have any questions about this decision, or the defense of lawyers in general, please contact Spencer A. Richards or Joshua E. Lahijani.