Failures to Appear and Legal Malpractice

Reading the background information or the caption of some legal malpractice cases often reveals issues about the case itself.  In Stuart v Robert L. Folks & Assoc., LLP   2013 NY Slip Op 03319
Decided on May 8, 2013   Appellate Division, Second Department , we saw that the defense counsel's name was all alone in the appearance section of the appeal.  Plaintiff appealed from the dismissal of his case, yet his name did not appear at the top, implying that plaintiff was pro-se and did not participate in oral argument.  Sometimes that's a great decision, other times, not so great.
 

We read on to see that the Appellate Division decided the case on a somewhat related issue.  From the decision:  "Applying these standards to the instant case, the Supreme Court properly directed the dismissal of the legal malpractice cause of action. The plaintiff alleged that the defendants negligently advised him to prosecute an underlying action despite the fact that it was time-barred. However, the documentary evidence submitted by the defendants established that they specifically advised the plaintiff about probable statute-of-limitations problems, and that they reasonably commenced the underlying action despite such concern. Moreover, the documentary evidence also established that the underlying action was dismissed solely because the plaintiff failed to appear pro se with new counsel in that action within the time specified by the court, after the court had granted the motion of Robert L. Folks & Associates, LLP, a defendant in this action, to be relieved as counsel for the plaintiff in the underlying action. "

 

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