Karen M. Lager and Anna Mandel of Marks, O’Neill, O’Brien, Doherty & Kelly, P.C.’s New York City office secured dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint in its entirety in a legal malpractice matter venued in New York State Supreme Court, New York County. Plaintiff, a former client of the insured law firm, commenced an action for legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty against the insured and individually-named attorneys in connection with the insured’s representation of plaintiff in an underlying housing court proceeding and underlying Supreme Court action related to the transfer of shares appurtenant to a cooperative apartment in Manhattan. Following Marks, O’Neill’s CPLR § 3211 motion to dismiss the complaint based upon documentary evidence and for failure to state a claim, and after oral argument, Hon. Anthony Cannataro dismissed the complaint in its entirety on the grounds that plaintiff failed to plead a plausible cause of action for legal malpractice as but-for causation was lacking in that, among other things, the evidence adduced at the underlying trial demonstrated that plaintiff acquired shares by fraud, and plaintiff’s breach of fiduciary duty claim was duplicative of plaintiff’s legal malpractice claim. Therefore, the defendants’ failure to secure a favorable verdict was not actionable.
January 8, 2020