Last week an Appellate Court agreed with a Westchester County Supreme Court Justice who allowed an attorney sued in a legal malpractice case to serve a late Answer to a Complaint. When you neglect to answer a Summons and Complaint the consequences can be severe including, a finding or declaration that you automatically lose the case. The defendant attorney ignored a Summons and Complaint and a default judgment was entered against the attorney. The only issue left was how much did the attorney have to pay his former client.
The client claimed the attorney carelessly represented her in a real estate purchase and failed to warn her that the property she was purchasing was landlocked. The attorney successfully argued a motion to set aside his default in answering the complaint. The attorney established thru the affidavit of his psychologist that his default was due to a psychiatric condition for which he was under active treatment. Secondly, the attorney proved that he had a meritorious defense by submitting evidence that the subject property was not presently and had not ever been--landlocked. 2017 WL 4531864