In this case, the claim was that the attorney should have inquired about insurance that Plaintiff had, rather than taking the case and charging the client for representation that the insurance company would have provided.
The jury found otherwise. in Cohen v Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C., 2020 NY Slip Op 06050 [187 AD3d 634] October 27, 2020 the Appellate Division, First Department affirmed.
“The jury’s verdict that defendant did not commit legal malpractice rested on a fair interpretation of the evidence (see KBL, LLP v Community Counseling & Mediation Servs., 123 AD3d 488, 489 [1st Dept 2014]; Barbara King Family Trust v Voluto Ventures LLC, 46 AD3d 423, 424 [1st Dept 2007]). The jury heard significant evidence about the standard of care an attorney owes to a client, including the information and explanations that an attorney should give to clients about submitting claims to their insurer. There was a sufficient basis for the jury’s crediting the testimony of defendant’s expert witnesses about the standard of care and placing less weight on plaintiffs’ expert’s testimony. The jury also heard evidence about the scope of defendant’s representation, as well as evidence that, shortly after it was retained, defendant advised plaintiffs to submit a claim to their insurer and that plaintiffs rejected that advice. There was also expert testimony that certain rights that defendant allegedly failed to explain to plaintiffs either belonged to plaintiffs’ insurer or otherwise would not have applied in this case.
The jury’s conclusion that defendant did not breach the standard of care by failing to advise plaintiffs that their insurer might have a duty to provide a defense also rests on a fair interpretation of the evidence. The jury heard expert testimony that the claim against plaintiffs would not be covered by the policy and that plaintiffs’ insurer would not have provided a defense.”