Big Big Money Claims in Real Estate Legal Malpractice Case
The claims in this case (and the related cases) cannot be harmonized with the defenses. This series of huge real estate transactions either reveals corruption and theft, or plaintiff is totally wrong. There does not seem to be any middle ground.
Silver v Newman 2012 NY Slip Op 32572(U) October 2, 2012 Supreme Court, Suffolk County
Docket Number: 22581/2010 Judge: Emily Pines is a case which involves the sale of real property, and a coop in the Sherry Netherland and a missing $ 38,000,000.
"The complaint in Action 1 alleges two causes of action. In the first cause of action the complaint alleges that the Rittberg defendants, who represented the plaintiffs in the sale of the Townhouse to Lowes’ Home Centers, Inc. for the purchase price of $38,500,000, negligently disbursed the proceeds of the sale to themselves, individuals, corporations and other business entities, other than the plaintiffs, without the knowledge, advice and consent of the plaintiffs. The complaint alleges in the second cause of action that the Rittberg defendants breached a fiduciary duty to the plaintiffs by misappropriating the proceeds of the sale of the Townhouse for their own benefit and for the benefit of others.
The complaint in the instant action, Action 2, alleges in the first cause of action hilt the plaintiffs are entitled to an accounting by all defendants. The complaint alleges in the second cause of action that defendant Barry Newman breached a contract with the plaintiffs, and in the third cause of action that Newman breached his fiduciary duties to the plaintiffs."
"With regard to the branch of the Rittberg defendants’ motion to dismiss the ninth cause of action, their submissions demonstrate that the plaintiff acknowledged that she was not seeking legal advice from Rittberg in regard to the Sherry-Netherland coop apartment and was aware of a conflict of interest for Rittberg to attempt to represent both herself and Newman. Therefore, since Rittberg and his law firm did not represent the plaintiffs in this transaction, no malpractice could have resulted from the transaction. Thus, that portion of the cause of action alleging legal malpractice against the Rittberg defendants for the transaction surrounding the Sherry-Netherland coop apartment is dismissed. The remaining portion of the sixth cause of action relates to the Rittberg defendants’ alleged malpractice in the Townhouse transaction, this allegation has also been asserted in Action 1. The Rittberg defendants also contend that the fourth cause of action alleging
unjust enrichment was also asserted in Action 1. The Court is aware that the plaintiffs are
represented by separate attorneys in each action, and in consideration of these circumstances,
counsel for the plaintiffs are directed to determine in which action these claims shall Bel litigated and stipulate to same at the next court conference. Accordingly, only the portion of the ninth cause of action which alleges malpractice in the Sherry-Netherland transaction is dismissed at this time.
Accordingly, motion by the Rittberg defendants is granted to the extent that the sixth ND the portion of the ninth causes of action alleging legal malpractice in the Sherry- Netherland transaction are dismissed."