On July 26, 2018, the appellate court for Bronx Supreme Court actions agreed that the dismissal of a claim for a violation of Judiciary Law 487 was proper. This section of the law allows client's to recover treble damages against attorney's (in limited circumstances) who engage in intentional deceit which directly causes the client a financial loss. The matter involved a legal malpractice action against a law firm arising out of a medical malpractice action that had been dismissed because the lawyer failed to comply with three discovery orders. There was no ruling on the client's negligence or legal malpractice claim--only the claim for intentional misconduct by an attorney, based on Judiciary Law 487.
The client's claim was allegedly founded on "email communications from defendants to plaintiff falsely assuring him that his medical malpractice case was still active when, in fact, it had been dismissed", due to the attorney's failure to comply with multiple court orders requiring disclosure of medical record authorizations and medical reports. The Judiciary Law claim was dismissed as speculative because even if the client knew his case had been dismissed in a timely manner there is insufficient proof he would have been able to vacate the dismissal and restore his case to be heard on the merits. Jean v Chinitz, 2018 WL 3578719