Legal Malpractice Claim Dismissed As Premature-Despite Entry of Default Judgment

In March 2021, a Staten Island Judge dismissed a legal malpractice suit brought against a law firm that allegedly allowed a default judgment to be taken against the client for $865,000. The issue before the Court was whether the legal malpractice suit was premature since the defendant law firm had successfully filed a motion to stay the default judgment pending a hearing on their motion to vacate the default which was scheduled to be heard the following week. It has long been the rule that when the underlying law suit may still be heard on the merits - any damages claimed are speculative until the litigation complained of has been resolved.

The plaintiff argued that if the defendant law firm succeeded in resurrecting the defense to the underlying litigation he would discontinue or drop the legal malpractice suit. The Court held that since the issue of causation and damages in the legal malpractice suit are dependent on the outcome of the pending hearing in the underlying litigation, the suit was premature and must be dismissed with leave to replead. In other words, this law suit lacked two of the material elements of a legal malpractice claim-causation and damages.  Aydiner v Karasik Law Group, PC, 2021 NY Slip Op 30781

As a side note the hearing on the underlying default has been adjourned to September 2021.

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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