When does representation by an attorney end? Is it when there is friction between client and attorney? Is it when the attorney unilaterally withdraws? Is it when the attorney is granted a withdrawal by the Court? Courts are all over the place on this issue.
Courtney v McDonald 2019 NY Slip Op 07856 Decided on October 31, 2019 Appellate Division, First Department is clear on its point. But: look at Farage v. Ehrenberg, 124 AD3d 159 (2d Dept, 2014)
“Order, Supreme Court, New York County (David B. Cohen, J.), entered May 8, 2018, which, to extent appealed from as limited by the briefs, denied defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, unanimously modified, on the law, to grant the motion
as to the first cause of action insofar as it is based on defendants’ representation of plaintiffs in the matter concerning 304 W 18th and to grant the motion as to the second and third causes of action in their entirety, and otherwise affirmed, without costs.
The first cause of action in plaintiffs’ complaint alleges legal malpractice with respect to defendants representation of plaintiffs in two underlying actions – the 304 W 18th Street matter and the 175 W 12th Street matter. Contrary to defendants’ argument, the malpractice cause of action with respect to the 175 W 12th Street matter is not time-barred by the three-year statute of limitations applicable to legal malpractice claims (CPLR 214). Defendants failed to demonstrate that the attorney-client relationship ceased to exist within three years of August 28, 2017, the date plaintiffs filed this action. Although defendants sent a letter, dated August 7, 2014, unilaterally terminating their representation of plaintiffs, they failed to move to withdraw from representation in the foreclosure action (see CPLR 321[b]) until more than a year after sending the subject letter. Accordingly, to the extent plaintiffs’ first cause of action concerns alleged legal malpractice by defendants in their representation of plaintiffs in the matter concerning 175 W 12th Street, the motion to dismiss that cause of action was properly denied.”