Legal Malpractice Cases this Week 11-14-05
DANIEL H. WILLIAMS, III, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT-APPELLANT, v DOUGLAS S. COPPOLA, MARK C. RODGERS, RODGERS & COPPOLA, LLP, DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS-RESPONDENTS
SUPREME COURT OF NEW YORK, APPELLATE DIVISION, FOURTH DEPARTMENT
2005 NY Slip Op 8379
Cause of action for Fraud dismissed: "It is well settled that a cause of action for fraud does not arise where the only fraud alleged merely relates to a party's alleged intent to breach a contractual obligation" (767 Third Ave. v Greble & Finger, 8 AD3d 75, 76, 778 N.Y.S.2d 157; see Modell's N.Y. v Noodle Kidoodle, 242 A.D.2d 248, 249, 662 N.Y.S.2d 24).
Cause of action for Punitive Damages dismissed: The causes of action for breach of the contingent fee agreement and legal malpractice do not allege conduct that was directed to the general public or that evinced the [*2] requisite "high degree of moral turpitude" or "wanton dishonesty" to support a claim for punitive damages (Walker v Sheldon, 10 N.Y.2d 401, 405, 179 N.E.2d 497, 223 N.Y.S.2d 488; see Rocanova v Equitable Life Assur. Soc'y., 83 N.Y.2d 603, 613, 634 N.E.2d 940, 612 N.Y.S.2d 339; Robbins v Harris Beach & Wilcox, 291 A.D.2d 797, 799, 737 N.Y.S.2d 486).