In one of the more confusing fact recitations we have come across, where Plaintiff in action 1 is Defendant in action 2 and where both parties are female, pronouns and party-designation does not help. Whatever. In Verkowitz v Ursprung 2017 NY Slip Op 06675 Decided on September 27, 2017 Appellate Division, Second Department the attorney represented the client in a divorce, and then later in litigation over her husband’s estate, where the divorce proceedings were material. In the end legal malpractice claims about the divorce are too late, but claims about the second case are still timely.
“The Supreme Court properly denied that branch of the defendant’s motion which was for leave to renew her opposition to that branch of the plaintiff’s prior motion pursuant to CPLR 3211(a) which was to dismiss the defendant’s counterclaim alleging that the plaintiff committed legal malpractice while representing her in a divorce action which ended with the entry of a judgment of divorce on February 27, 2004. The court properly determined, in an order entered June 16, 2011, granting that branch of the plaintiff’s motion, that the continuous representation doctrine was not applicable to toll the statute of limitations, and the new facts relied upon in support of the defendant’s motion would not have changed that determination (see CPLR 2221[e]). There was no evidence that the parties contemplated further representation of the defendant by the plaintiff after the entry of the judgment of divorce in the divorce action (see McCoy v Feinman, 99 NY2d 295, 306). The fact that the defendant again retained the plaintiff in May 2007, to represent her in subsequent litigation with her former husband’s estate which involved, inter alia, the interpretation of the divorce settlement agreement drafted by the plaintiff, did not render the representation continuous for the purpose of tolling the statute of limitations (see Matter of Lawrence, 24 NY3d 320, 341-342; Byron Chem. Co., Inc. v Groman, 61 AD3d 909, 911).