Cohen v Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C. Decided on June 14, 2018 Appellate Division, First Department discusses the question of whether it can be legal malpractice not to search for and attempt to apply insurance for the client. While it may take the case away from counsel, it is of course more beneficial to the client to have a free defense.
“Defendant argues that its failure to advise plaintiffs of the condition in their insurance policy requiring them to provide the insurance company with prompt notice of their claim was not the proximate cause of plaintiffs’ damages. Defendant contends that, by the time plaintiffs retained it as counsel, more than a month had passed since they had learned of the damage implicating the policy, and thus the insurance company would have declined coverage anyway, based on plaintiffs’ unreasonably delayed notice (see Young Israel Co-Op City v Guideone Mut. Ins. Co., 52 AD3d 245 [1st Dept 2008]; Pandora Indus. v St. Paul Surplus Lines Ins. Co., 188 AD2d 277 [1st Dept 1992]). However, the record does not conclusively demonstrate a delay of that length; issues of fact exist as to when the notification obligation was triggered.
Defendant’s contention that the legal malpractice claim should be dismissed as speculative is without merit.”