Maroulis v Sari M. Friedman, P.C. 2017 NY Slip Op 06437 Decided on September 13, 2017
Appellate Division, Second Department is a textbook example of why approximately 40% of Judiciary Law § 487 cases are dismissed. The Courts don’t really like them, and lack of damages proximately caused by the violation is the stated reason. Here, the legal malpractice claims were dismissed on the theory after settlement, one must show that the attorneys effectively compelled that settlement.
“The defendants were also entitled to dismissal of the cause of action alleging a violation of Judiciary Law § 487, albeit on a ground different from that articulated by the Supreme Court. “[A]n injury to the plaintiff resulting from the alleged deceitful conduct of the defendant attorney is an essential element of a cause of action based on a violation” of Judiciary Law § 487 (Rozen v Russ & Russ, P.C., 76 AD3d 965, 968). Thus, to state a cause of action alleging a violation of Judiciary Law § 487 , the plaintiff must “plead allegations from which damages attributable to the defendants’ conduct might be reasonably inferred” (Mizuno v Nunberg, 122 AD3d 594, 595 [internal quotation marks and brackets omitted]; see Gumarova v Law Offs. of Paul A. Bornow, P.C., 129 AD3d 911, 912; Mizuno v Barak, 113 AD3d 825, 827). Here, the plaintiff failed to plead that he suffered any damages as a result of Friedman’s alleged misconduct.”