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Attorney Loses Argument That Legal Malpractice Claim Is Time Barred

On October 31, 2019, an appellate court covering Manhattan refused to dismiss a legal malpractice claim against a law firm that litigated a client's foreclosure action involving a property on West 12th Street. The law firm moved to dismiss the client's claim arguing that it was filed four years after they terminated their representation in the foreclosure action.The statute of limitations or deadline for filing legal malpractice claims in New York is three years (subject to certain exceptions not relevant here). The Court agreed that the client's malpractice claim was timely.

Despite presenting proof of a termination of legal services letter sent to the client four years prior to the filing of the legal malpractice suit, the Court pointed out there are only two ways an attorney can terminate or withdraw from representing a client in an action or lawsuit. Under CPLR Section 321(b) an attorney representing a client in any action (lawsuit), who wishes to withdraw, must either:1) file with the Court a document entitled "Consent To Change Attorney", signed by both the client and attorney; or, 2) obtain an Order of the Court authorizing the withdrawal, by filing a motion to be relieved as attorney. Had the defendant attorney followed proper procedure in withdrawing from the foreclosure action (four years earlier) the motion to dismiss the legal malpractice action would have been granted. Courtney v McDonald, 2019 WL 5606691

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts of 2011" and "Top New York Settlements of 2012." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He is a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!

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