Attorneys are expected zealously to represent clients, all within the cannons of ethics, of course. However, “that wasn’t my job” or “I wasn’t retained to do that” is a frequent defense in legal malpractice cases. Exeter Law Group LLP v Immortalana Inc. 2018 NY Slip Op 01269 [158 AD3d 576] February 22, 2018 Appellate Division, First Department spends little time rejecting that defense.
“Defendants/third-party plaintiffs (hereinafter referred to as the clients) sufficiently stated a claim for legal malpractice against the firm. In particular, the clients alleged an attorney-client relationship; the firm’s failure to exercise ordinary and reasonable skill and knowledge; and damages flowing from additional costs in retaining substitute counsel to restructure the client entities so as to avoid taxes, and the cost of taxes occasioned by the improper corporate structure (see generally AmBase Corp. v Davis Polk & Wardwell, 8 NY3d 428, 434 ). The engagement letter does not conclusively establish that the services rendered by the firm were outside the scope of the engagement (CPLR 3211 [a] ). Concur—Friedman, J.P., Sweeny, Kahn, Singh, Moulton, JJ. “