Jun 26th, 2024

FKB’s Spencer A. Richards and Lisa Burns Obtain a Pre-Answer Dismissal of a Complaint Seeking Legal Malpractice and Fraud Claims

FKB’s Spencer A. Richards and Lisa Burns obtain a pre-answer dismissal of a complaint seeking legal malpractice and fraud claims against an attorney where FKB’s client prepared a deed altering the grantees of a property.

In a CPLR 3211(a)(1) and (7) motion to dismiss, FKB successfully argued that the plaintiffs’ legal malpractice claim is barred by the three-year statute of limitations. The Court agreed that the plaintiffs’ legal malpractice claim was untimely because the three-year statute of limitations accrued in 2017. The Court also agreed that the continuous  representation doctrine did not apply because there was no continuous relationship between FKB’s client and the plaintiff occurring after 2020. The Court further adopted FKB’s argument that no attorney-client relationship existed between the plaintiff and FKB’s client because FKB’s client did not represent the plaintiffs and because beneficiaries are barred from asserting malpractice claims against estate planning attorneys. The Court also agreed with FKB’s argument that the plaintiffs did not incur damages as a result of the conduct of FKB’s client.  As to the fraud claim, the Court determined that the plaintiffs failed to allege that FKB’s client knowingly misrepresented any material fact. 

If you have any questions about this decision, or the defense of legal malpractice actions in general, please contact Spencer A. Richards or Lisa Burns.