Last month an Appellate Court upheld the dismissal of a legal malpractice case in Nassau County. The client retained a divorce lawyer to represent him in a matrimonial matter. After 18 months the client terminated lawyer #1, retained lawyer #2 and thereafter entered into a separation agreement settling the divorce and financial issues. Two years later the client sued lawyer #1 alleging negligent legal representation and that it caused him "emotional distress and to enter into a less favorable settlement."
The well settled rule in legal malpractice actions is that you cannot collect damages for any emotional distress caused by what you believe to be an unfair settlement. Moreover, it is not enough to simply make a conclusory allegation that you had to settle for less than what is fair. You have to allege "specific factual details that but for...the (defendant) attorney's negligence, there would have been a more favorable outcome." 2017 WL 4018912