Legal Malpractice Claim Dismissed As Premature & Lack of Damages

On July 2, 2019, the appellate court covering Manhattan upheld the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim alleging that the attorney representing the purchaser of a property for $1.4M was negligent for failing to secure court approval for the sale. The property was being sold by a not-for-profit corporation located in Manhattan and the sale was closed without incident. However, after the sale the buyer was sued by a local community organization in an attempt to rescind the sale alleging that as a not-for-profit corporation the seller failed to obtain approval for the sale from the Court or the NYS Attorney General's Office as required by state law.

The attorney for the purchaser (now the legal malpractice defendant) successfully argued that he did nothing wrong as the seller's attorney provided him with a letter representing that it did not require court approval because the sale of the property was not "substantially all of our assets". In that event prior approval for the sale is not required. As such the Court dismissed the legal malpractice claim as: 1) it was speculative to assume that the purchaser would suffer actual damages as the sale gad not been aside and the suit against it for rescission had been discontinued; 2) the buyer's attorney had properly relied on the sellers attorney's written representation that no prior approval was necessary (how would the buyer's attorney determine the extent of the seller's assets) ; and, 3) there was no proof that the sale of the property constituted substantially all of the assets of the not-for-profit seller. This suit was premature (no damages to date), speculative (unlikely to suffer damages in the future) and assumed the buyer's attorney had a greater duty than required by law or standard in the legal industry.

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 " and "Top New York Settlements." 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 was 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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