New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Judiciary Law 487 Claim Dismissed in 7 Words or Less

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics

A slight exaggeration, but in 195 Hawthorne Partners, LLC. v Thompson  2018 NY Slip Op 32804(U)  October 30, 2018  Supreme Court, Kings County  Docket Number: 506136/18
Judge: Leon Ruchelsman there are pages and pages of discussion of a back-and-forth transfer, deeds, mortgages, foreclosures of what must be a valuable property.  The attorneys are third-partied and claims for malpractice and violation of Judiciary Law § 487 are dealt with:

“The next two causes of action concern malpract and a claim pursuant to Judiciary Law §487. Those causes action do not concern Atkins and Breskin LLC or Jerry Atkins at all and are consequently
dismissed. “

Outside Counsel Column in Today’s New York Law Journal

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics

We’re proud to announce that our “It’s Over, Now What” can be found in today’s NYLJ.

From the article:

“The attorney-client relationship has a limited lifespan. Generally, it is a project-based temporary business relationship, albeit a fiduciary one.

Whether the representation is short or long, transactional or litigation based, it must someday end. It may end with settlement or a verdict in litigation, it may end at the completion of a transaction, or it may end in the middle.

It is sadly not the end of a relationship which usually results in tension, negotiation or litigation, it’s a question of attorney fees. Depending on the format of those fees, whether hourly, contingent, flat or hybrid, the question of fees either presages or creates the end of the attorney-client relationship. Even when the relationship ends because the work is truly finished, there may be a dispute over fees. Disputes over fees consistently occupy a large amount of attorney time and are governed by some well understood principals.

We will examine discharge of the attorney by the client first. Later we’ll look at attorneys who wish to end the relationship and must do so with permission of the court. Discharge of an attorney by a client is binary. It is either for cause or not for cause.”

 

 

Much Vexation But No Pleaded Damages

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases

Gur v Nadel & Clarlo, P.C.     2018 NY Slip Op 32779(U)  October 29, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 650275/2018 Judge: Arthur F. Engoron is an example of a legal malpractice case pled without regard to how one connects the complained of conduct with a bad economic outcome, or loss of a claim.  In the end, there is still an overbilling case, but no legal malpractice case.

“On May 1, 2015, Gur executed a retainer agreement (the “Retainer Agreement”) and paid a
$10,000 retainer fee thereby engaging Nadel & Ciarlo, P.C. (“N&C”) to commence legal action
against Gur’s condominium board (the “Underlying Litigation”). The individual defendants,
Lorraine Nadel (“Nadel”) and Michael Ciarlo (“Ciarlo”), are partners of defendant law firm
N&C. On May 22, 2015, N&C commenced the Underlying Litigation by filing a summons and
complaint in the Supreme Court, Queens County under the caption Abraham Gur v Vere
Condominium, Board of Managers of the Vere Condominium and NNC Property Management,
LLC d./b/a KW Property_ Management, Index Number 705348/2015. ”

“Sometime in December 2016, Gur fired N&C from representing him in the Underlying
Litigation. Since that time Gur has been representing himself in the Underlying Litigation as a
prose plaintiff. By December 2016, N&C’s legal fees to Gur totaled $51,332.67 after applying
the credits of $2,141.50 and $425. By December 2016 Gur had paid a total of$49,144.67 in
legal fees, even after applying the credits.
On February 6, 2018, Nadel emailed Gur offering, as a courtesy, a return of $7,500 in legal fees
and a waiver of Gur’s outstanding balance of $2, 188, provided the parties exchange releases and
sign an agreement. After continued email correspondence between Gur and Nadel, on February
8, 2016, Nadel agreed to accept Gur’s counter-offer, which was for a return of $8,750 in legal
fees and the waiver of Gur’s outstanding balance. However, Nadel failed to deliver the
contemplated release and agreement and therefore the return of $8,750 and waiver of the
outstanding balance of $2, 188 never came to fruition. As a result, Gur commenced the instant
action against defendants, asserting theories of breach of contract and legal malpractice. ”

“These allegations do not establish proximate cause as they do not establish how Gur was harmed
in the Underlying Litigation. In fact, the complaint is devoid of allegations specifying how the
Underlying Litigation was harmed as a result of defendants alleged negligence. Speculative
allegations such as that Gur has been able to get more done while representing himself pro se in
the Underlying Litigation than the defendants did when they were acting as his legal counsel are
conclusory and speculative. Fleisher v Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler, PC, 2015 NYMisc LEXIS
3625, *7 (2015) (“Proximate causation is a requisite element of a legal malpractice claim and it
must be based on more than ‘mere speculation’.”). Likewise, the complaint’s allegation that
Hanan’s change in legal strategies “was confusing and did not make [Gur’s] case strong in the
eyes of the Defendants [in the Underlying Litigation]” is, without more, speculative and
conclusory.
Additionally, the complaint fails to plead any facts illustrating actual cognizable damages
suffered by Gur. The allegations pertaining to damages in the complaint are merely speculative
and conclusory, and therefore do not establish the requisite element of damages. “Conclusory
allegations of damages or injuries predicated on speculation cannot suffice for a malpractice
action, and dismissal is warranted where the allegations in the complaint are merely conclusory
and speculative.” Bua v Purcell & Ingrao, P.C., 99 AD3d 843, 848 (2nd Dept 2012). Gur’s
allegation that he has been able to get more done on the Underlying Litigation representing
himself prose, as opposed to N&C’s representation, is speculative and conclusory. See
Pellegrino v File, 291 AD2d 60, 63-64 (1st Dept 2002). Actual damages cannot be inferred from
the pleadings because Gur has failed to allege specifically how his representation in the
Underlying Litigation was harmed outside of paying defendants for their legal work. However,
claims of excessive billing do not establish legal malpractice if the complaint does not allege that
the excessive billing affected Gur’s position in the Underlying Litigation. Chowaiki & Co. Fine Art Ltd. v Lacher, 115 AD3d 600, 601 (1st Dept 2014) (“Plaintiffs’ claims of excessive billing
and related conduct, which actions are not alleged to have adversely affected their [sic] claims or
defenses in the underlying action, do not state a claim for legal malpractice.”).
Accordingly, the second cause of action is subject to dismissal.”

Total Confusion in a Real Estate Situation But No Deceit

Posted in Uncategorized

Wang v Hon  2018 NY Slip Op 32686(U)  October 23, 2018  Supreme Court, Queens County
Docket Number: 12353/17 Judge: Allan B. Weiss is the story of a million law suits over two side-by-side houses in Queens where the litigation is never-ending.  Defendant has a judgment lien which has attached to the neighbor’s house, and Plaintiff has done everything in its power to shake off the judgment.  Nothing, including a claim of Judiciary Law § 487 has worked.  The JL claim failed because it did not arise in a litigation setting.

““ On April 1, 2003, Roug Kang Wang and Stella Wang (collectively the Wangs or the Wang plaintiffs), as purchasers, entered into a contract for the purchase of property known as 132-05 41 Road, Flushing, New York (the subject property) from Prince Development Co. LLC at a price
of $2,000,000. In 2005, the Wangs began the instant action in the New York State Supreme Court, County of Queens, for, inter alia the specific performance of the contract of sale (Wang v.Chien-Tsang Lin, Index No. 11000/05), and pursuant to an order dated April 10, 2013, the Wangs were
granted specific performance against Prince. The subject property was conveyed to the Wangs by a sheriff’s deed dated May 3, 2013. John Hon, Julie Hon, and John Hon, D.O., PC., (collectively the
Hons), who own real property known as 135-07 41 Road, Flushing, New  York, adjacent to the subject property, are judgment creditors who have a judgment lien on the subject property . The Hons obtained their judgment in the New York State Supreme Court, New York County, in an action captioned Hon v. Prince Development Company, LLC., Index No. 602236/04. The Hons filed their judgment in Queens County on January 30, 2009, and the filing of the judgment created a lien on real property owned by any judgment debtor in Queens County as of that date. Prince Development Co., LLC (Prince) still owned the subject property at the time of the filing of the lien in Queens County on January 30, 2009. Pursuant to a deed dated May 3, 2013, the sheriff conveyed the subject
property to the Wangs, the plaintiffs in the instant action, The Wang plaintiffs transferred the subject property to Wang Real Property LLC (Wang Property), the current owner, by deed dated June 17, 2013.

In or about December, 2014, the Wangs and Wang Property began a special proceeding in the New York State Supreme Court, County of Queens, against the Hons, among others, pursuant to CPLR 5239 for a judgment declaring that the Hons did not have a judgment lien against the subject property (Wang Real Property LLC v; Prince Development Company LLC, Index No. 18415/14) ( the adverse claims proceeding).. Pursuant to a decision and order dated July 8, 2015, the Honorable Diccia T.Pineda Kirwan found, inter alia, that “ upon conveyance of the subject property pursuant to the Sheriff’s deed, the Wangs took title to it subject to the Hon’s judgment lien.”

The court dismissed the petition brought by the Wangs. Neither the Wangs nor Wang Property appealed the order. In 2014, the Emigrant Bank began an action to foreclose on a mortgage on the subject property, and in or about June, 2015, 41 Road Properties LLC purchased the mortgage. The Wangs and Wang Property successfully offered money toward the payment of the debt, and they obtained and recorded a satisfaction of mortgage.
After the satisfaction of the mortgage, the Hons pressed the sale of the subject property to obtain the payment of their judgment lien, and the Sheriff noticed a sale for October 11, 2017. The Wangs and Wang Property made a motion in the New York County action for an “order of protection”  prohibiting the Sheriff’s sale, but by order dated October 6, 2017, the court denied the motion, relying on the decision and order rendered by Justice Pineda-Kirwan.”

“The plaintiffs brought the fourth cause of action pursuant to Judiciary Law § 487 which makes an attorney liable when he is “ guilty of any deceit or collusion, or consents to any deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party.” ( See, Jean v. Chinitz, 163 AD3d 497 [ 1 Dept.. 2018].) The Wangs allege that attorney Aronauer advised the Hons to form 41 Road to conceal the fact that the purchaser of the mortgage was not a judgment creditor and to “ circumvent the preclusive laws applicable to mortgagees,” However, Justice Dufficy rejected the arguments raised by the Wangs concerning the propriety of the assignment of the mortgage, and the doctrine of collateral estoppel precludes the Wangs from attempting to relitigate decided issues here. Because the allegations
concerning the propriety of the assignment have been found to be without, the Wangs’ cause of action based on Judiciary Law § 487 is not viable. (See, Stone v. Curran, 245 AD2d 285.) Moreover, insofar as the fourth cause of action also alleges that attorney Aronauer violated Judiciary Law §48 7 by waiting to execute on the Hons’ judgment until after the Wangs paid the mortgage, “ the alleged deceit forming the basis of such a cause of action, if it is not directed at a court, must occur during the course of a ‘pending judicial proceeding’.” (Costalas v. Amalfitano, 305 AD2d 202, 204 [ 1 Dept. 2003].) The complaint does not contain sufficient allegations in that regard.”

 

How Did the Law Firm Miss This

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases

Perhaps the better question is how did the underwriter not see subsequent new stories that the coal mine was a fiction?

“According to the February 2016 complaint, plaintiff was co-lead underwriter of a public offering of stock by Puda Coal, Inc., whose principal asset was its 90% interest in Shanxi Coal. Defendant was retained as counsel for the underwriters to conduct due diligence, but allegedly failed to detect and inform plaintiff that Puda no longer possessed that 90% interest.

The malpractice claim was properly dismissed as time-barred (see CPLR 214[6]), and the doctrine of equitable estoppel “will not toll a limitations statute where plaintiffs possessed timely knowledge sufficient to have placed them under a duty to make inquiry and ascertain all the relevant facts prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations” (Rite Aid Corp. v Grass, 48 AD3d 363, 364-365 [1st Dept 2008]). Here, the alleged malpractice occurred in December 2010 when defendant issued its opinion letter that “nothing has come to our attention that leads us to believe” that the registration statement “contained an untrue statement of a material fact or omitted to state a material fact required to be stated therein or necessary to make the statements therein not misleading.” Thereafter, a public report which broke the news of Puda’s fraud on April 8, 2011 confirmed that the fraudulent transfers of ownership of Shanxi Coal were documented in government filings. There was nothing preventing plaintiff from accusing defendant of substandard care in April 2011, based on defendant’s opinion letter, when compared to statements made in the public report and the securities litigation that followed in April 2011.”

“Plaintiff’s contention that it relied on defendant because it was a large, international law firm with alleged expertise in China-based companies, and because it trusted that defendant would comply with professional standards and its fiduciary duty to advise plaintiff if its work product was deficient, is misplaced. Plaintiff maintains that defendant’s withdrawal as counsel did not exempt it from such standards, as the decision to terminate the relationship constituted an act of concealment that “left [plaintiff] in the dark regarding the extent of [defendant’s] potential liability.” Even if plaintiff’s allegations of concealment were true, “plaintiff [has] failed to demonstrate [its] due diligence, for [it was] on inquiry notice by at least [2011] and failed to make a reasonable investigation” (MBI Intl. Holdings Inc. v Barclays Bank PLC, 151 AD3d 108, 117 [1st Dept 2017], lv denied 29 NY3d 919 [2017]).”

An Unnecessary Legal Malpractice Case With A Kicker

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics

How often is it that a judge gives legal advice?  Rarely does the Court set forth what whould have been the correct cause of action and then advise that there is still time.  Ferousis v Santamarina
2018 NY Slip Op 32725(U)  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 154418/2018
Judge: Arlene P. Bluth  is interesting, as well as for the final paragraph.

“This legal malpractice action arises out oft~e sale of a building owned by plaintiff. In September 2006, plaintiff entered into an exclusive real estate listing for the sale of his property located at 180 Borinquen Place in Brooklyn with D.J. Real Estate, Inc. (“DJ”). In January 2007, another real estate broker, Itzhaki Properties (NY) Inc. (“Itzhaki”), got involved. Itzhaki and DJ agreed to split any commission from a sale of the property.
Plaintiff received an offer for the building in February 2007 for $4.2 million but plaintiff declined. In October 2007, plaintiff entered into a contract to sell the building for $4 million with the same buyer that made the offer in February 2007. However, by that time DJ was purportedly no longer the exclusive broker and Itzhaki received the entire broker’s commission. DJ then commenced an action in Queens against both plaintiff and ltzhaki to recover its share of the commission. After trial, DJ was awarded a judgment for $60,000 against both plaintiff and ltzhaki. With interest, the judgment totaled over $100,000 and plaintiff paid the full amount of the judgment.”

“Plaintiff asserts legal malpractice claims against his first attorney (defendant Ruhman) and the Moving Defendants. Plaintiff claims that the Moving Defendants, who took over the representation of both Itzhaki and plaintiff in the Queens case in 2010, should not have agreed to represent both parties. Plaintiff observes that there was an ind<;!mnification agreement between plaintiff and Itzhaki dated October 9, 2007 that required ltzhaki to hold plaintiff harmless if another broker made a claim for a commission. Plaintiff insists that this constituted a clear conflict of interest that should have compelled the Moving Defendants to decline to represent both Itzhaki and plaintiff. ”

“Plaintiff also contends that the Moving Defendants failed to employ a proper legal strategy because a third-party complaint was never filed against ltzhaki and other parties, including the buyer and plaintiffs real estate attorney for the sale. Plaintiff maintains it would not have paid a judgment ifthe Moving Defendants had not committed legal malpractice .”

“Here, the Court grants the Moving Defendant’s motion to dismiss because plaintiff failed to state a cause of action. Plaintiff cannot demonstrate that he suffered damages because of the Moving Defendant’s negligence. ”

“Both plaintiff and Itzhaki were found liable for not paying DJ the commission and the instant legal malpractice case does not argue that the Moving Defendants’ alleged negligence caused plaintiff to be held liable. Instead, plaintiff complains about who paid the damages awarded to DJ. But that does not state a cause of action for legal malpractice because plaintiff can still commence an action for indemnification against Itzhaki. “Indemnification claims generally do not accrue for the purpose of the Statute of Limitations until the party seeking indemnification has made payment to the injured person” (McDermott v City of New York, 50 NY2d 211, 216, 428 NYS2d 643 [1980]). Plaintiff still has time to bring an indemnification claim against Itzhaki (see CPLR 213[2] [six-year statute of limitations for indemnity claims]).”

“If plaintiff got a free ride in the Queens litigation by having ltzhaki pay the legal bills and joining in the defense — that the original listing expired — and plaintiff never waived his right to indemnification from Itzhaki, then where is the legal malpractice? Even if he did not get a free ride, the fact is that he can still pursue indemnification, as the statute oflimitations has not yet run on the indemnification claim. Clearly, ltzhaki did not step up to pay the judgment, so plaintiff would have had to pay DJ and then chase ltzhaki.
On NYSCEF, only defendants Santamarina and Santamarina & Associates were served and there is no affidavit of service for defendant Ruhman. As more than 120 days has passed and no motion to extend the time to serve has been made, the case is dismissed in its entirety. It is dismissed against the moving defendants with prejudice and against Ruhman without prejudice. “:

The Insurance Broker and Negligent Misrepresentation

Posted in Uncategorized

Superstorm Sandy caused a lot of damage, and exposed quite a few problems.  These latent problems only came to light as the water receded. Glazier Group, Inc. v Nova Cas. Co. 2018 NY Slip Op 32576(U)  October 5, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 159101/2014 Judge: Melissa A. Crane is an example of a problem at the South Street Seaport.

After the storm hit, plaintiff found out that it did not have flood insurance.  What to do?  Litigation against the carrier failed, but continues against the broker.

“For their fourth cause of action, plaintiffs allege that HUB had a special relationship with plaintiffs, who relied on HUB’ s advice and counsel in insurance matters. Plaintiffs further allege that they relied on Fiorito’s statements that HUB had procured all of the necessary insurance for Bridgewaters, and did not obtain additional coverage. HUB argues that there was no such
special relationship between the parties. In opposition, plaintiffs argue that their course of dealing with HUB establishes such a relationship.
Negligent misrepresentation requires proof “(l) [of] the existence of a special or privitylike  relationship imposing a duty on [Plaintiffs and Third-Party Defendants] to impart correct  information to [Defendants/Third-Party Plaintiffs]; (2) that the information was incorrect; and (3)
reasonable reliance on the information” (JA. 0. Acquisition Corp. v. Stavitsky, 8 NY3d 144, 148 [2007]). In the context of insurance brokers and insureds, a special relationship may arise when
“(I) the agent receives compensation for consultation apart from payment of the premiums; (2) there was some interaction regarding a question of coverage, with the insured relying on the expertise of the agent; or (3) there is a course of dealing over an extended period ohime which would have put objectively reasonable insurance agents on notice that their advice was being sought and specially relied on” (Voss v Netherlands Ins. Co., 22 NY3d 728, 735 [2014] [internal citation omitted]). “[T]he issue of whether such additional responsibilities should be recognized and given legal effect is governed by the particular relationship between the parties and is best determined on a case-by-case basis” (Murphy v Kuhn, 90 NY2d 266, 272 [1997]).

Here, plaintiffs successfully allege that they reasonably relied on Fiorito’s incorrect statement that HUB had procured flood insurance. Further, while the complaint does not allege that TGG paid HUB for consultation in addition to premium payments, plaintiffs do claim that that TGG came to HUB with coverage questions, and that HUB was TGG’s exclusive insurance broker (F AC, ~~ 113-115). On a motion to dismiss, these allegations are sufficient to show a special relationship (Voss, 22 NY3d at 735).
Nevertheless, this claim must be dismissed as duplicative. The core allegation underlying this claim is that HUB failed to procure flood insurance for TGG, the same allegation giving rise to plaintiffs’ claims for negligence and breach of contract. Moreover, plaintiff seeks the same damages on each of those three claims, as well as additional consequential damages on the breach of contract claim “

Tort v. Contract in Professional Negligence

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases

Cathedral Gardens Condo Assn. v 110th St.  Equities, LLC.  2018 NY Slip Op 32618(U)
October 15, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 600175/2009
Judge: William Franc Perry stands for the principle that there can be either direct liability for a failure to provide professional services (tort) which brings “loss of asset” style damages, or there can be liability in contract with economic damages arising from the payments to the professional.

“Here, plaintiffs breach of contract claim against RKTB was dismissed with leave to replead, specifically because the court found that plaintiff did not sufficiently plead the element of third-party beneficiary to sustain its contract cause of action against RKTB.  The court however, did not dismiss the Sixth cause of action against RKTB which was for architectural malpractice, noting that the record was insufficient to determine the end date for completion of construction in order to ascertain the accrual date of the alleged professional malpractice. Specifically, the court held, “[t]here has been no discovery here, and plaintiff should have the opportunity to make a document request and depose Bafitis on the issue of when the work was completed.” (NYSCEF Doc. No. 169, p.18).

As such, the only cause of action that remains against RKTB is one for malpractice which led this court to conclude that RKTB “may be subject to tort liability for failure to exercise reasonable care, irrespective of [its] contractual duties” (Sommer v. Federal Signal Corp., 79 N.Y.2d 540, 551, 583 N.Y.S.2d 957, 593 N.E.Zd 1365 [1992] ), and the damages sought by plaintiffs here are not limited to the benefit of the bargain (see Tower Bldg. Restoration v. 20 E. 9th St. Apt. Corp., 295 A.D.2d 229, 229, 744 N.Y.S.2d 319 [2002] ).” (NYSCEF Doc. No. 255). Upon review of the papers and caselaw cited in support of Sideris’ motion to reargue, the Court finds it did not overlook any relevant facts or misapply controlling principles of law. “

It was Not Deceit Because Plaintiff Already Knew

Posted in Uncategorized

Aristakesian v Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler, P.C.  2018 NY Slip Op 07084  Decided on October 24, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department stands for the proposition that Courts really, really shy away from allowing Judiciary Law § 487 cases to go forward.  Here, the logic is that while the attorneys may have been deceitful, plaintiff already knew about it, so no harm!

“However, the Supreme Court should have directed dismissal of the second and third causes of action, alleging violations of Judiciary Law § 487. Under Judiciary Law § 487, an attorney who “[i]s guilty of any deceit or collusion, or consents to any deceit or collusion, with intent to deceive the court or any party” is liable to the injured party for treble damages. “[V]iolation of Judiciary Law § 487 requires an intent to deceive, whereas a legal malpractice claim is based on negligent conduct” (Moormann v Perini & Hoerger, 65 AD3d 1106, 1108 [citation omitted]; see Gorbatov v Tsirelman, 155 AD3d 836, 838).

Here, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant violated Judiciary Law § 487 by representing the plaintiff in the prior action after having formerly represented Zakar in that action, and by failing to discuss this potential conflict of interest with the plaintiff. However, since the plaintiff’s complaint reveals that he was fully aware, at the time he retained the defendant, that the defendant had previously represented Zakar, his allegations do not set forth any facts from which an intent to deceive him could be inferred (see Zambito v Ryan, 125 AD2d 462; cf. Izko Sportswear Co., Inc. v Flaum, 25 AD3d 534). Accordingly, the complaint failed to state a cause of action for violations of Judiciary Law § 487 (see Ehrenkranz v 58 MHR, LLC, 159 AD3d 872, 872; Shaffer v Gilberg, 125 AD3d 632, 636; Schiller v Bender, Burrows & Rosenthal, LLP, 116 AD3d 756, 759).”

A Judgment Can Last 20 Years, But Not A Legal Malpractice Claim

Posted in Uncategorized

It seems that Plaintiff waited too long to sue his attorney when a judgment was not correctly renewed a judgment.  It could have lasted 20 years, but not so here.

“The defendants represented the plaintiff in an action against a nonparty to recover on loans that the plaintiff made to the nonparty. In 1995, the plaintiff obtained a judgment in that action. In 2009, the defendants attempted unsuccessfully to obtain a renewal judgment (see CPLR 5014). Thereafter, in 2014, the plaintiff commenced the instant action against the defendants, alleging, inter alia, legal malpractice, fraudulent misrepresentation, and a violation of Judiciary Law § 487. The plaintiff moved to disqualify the defendant Joseph O. Giaimo from representing the defendant Giaimo Associates, LLP, and from appearing pro se. The defendants cross-moved, inter alia, for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. In the order and judgment appealed from, the Supreme Court, inter alia, denied the motion, granted those branches of the cross motion which were for summary judgment dismissing the first, second, third, and fifth causes of action, and thereupon, dismissed those causes of action.

The statute of limitations for causes of action alleging legal malpractice is three years (see CPLR 214[6]; Alizio v Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C., 126 AD3d 733, 735). A cause of action to recover damages for legal malpractice accrues when the malpractice is committed (see Shumsky v Eisenstein, 96 NY2d 164, 166). However, pursuant to the doctrine of continuous representation, the limitations period is tolled until the attorney’s continuing representation of the client with regard to the particular matter terminates (see Shumsky v Eisenstein, 96 NY2d at 167-168; Aqua-Trol Corp. [*2]v Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A., 144 AD3d 956, 957). For the continuous representation doctrine to apply, “there must be clear indicia of an ongoing, continuous, developing, and dependant relationship between the client and the attorney which often includes an attempt by the attorney to rectify an alleged act of malpractice” (Luk Lamellen U. Kupplungbau GmbH v Lerner, 166 AD2d 505, 506-507).

Here, the defendants satisfied their initial burden by demonstrating, prima facie, that the alleged legal malpractice occurred more than three years before this action was commenced in 2014. In opposition, the plaintiff failed to raise a triable issue of fact as to whether the applicable statute of limitations was tolled by the continuous representation doctrine. Accordingly, we agree with the Supreme Court’s determination dismissing the plaintiff’s legal malpractice causes of action as untimely.”

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