Legal Malpractice Suit Deemed Timely But Dismissed Based On Documentary Evidence
On May 11, 2023, a NYS appeals court dismissed a legal malpractice claim arguing that plaintiff (client) unnecessarily spent tens of thousands of dollars on attorney fees to litigate and thereafter, arbitrate a real estate partnership dispute "because of the attorney's bad advice to advance certain claims that simply could not have been won." The lower court had dismissed the legal malpractice suit for two reasons: one of which was found wrong and the other correct.
The appeals court stated that the lower court erred in finding the malpractice suit untimely, as the statute of limitations was tolled during the course of the arbitration proceeding despite the alleged malpractice which occurred upon filing the (meritless) lawsuit arising out of the real estate partnership dispute. However, the appeals court stated that the documentary evidence "established that plaintiff opted to pursue arbitration despite the attorney's advice regarding the weaknesses of his claims, refuting plaintiff's contention that, but for defendant's inadequate advice, he would not have incurred the associated legal fees costs." Kralik v Marai, 2023 N.Y. Slip Op. 02588
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