It is an almost ironclad requirement that experts be used in legal malpractice settings, either to state the standard of ordinary rasonable skill and knowledge commonl possessed by an attorney. In Lieberman v Green 2021 NY Slip Op 00163 Decided on January 13, 2021 Appellate Division, Second Department the client (acting pro se) didn’t hava an expert. The result was fatal.
“The plaintiffs moved for summary judgment dismissing the counterclaim alleging legal malpractice, and the defendant opposed. In an order dated July 16, 2018, the Supreme Court, granted the plaintiffs’ motion. The defendant appeals. We affirm.
“‘In moving for summary judgment dismissing a [cause of action] alleging legal malpractice, [movant] must present evidence establishing, prima facie, that it did not breach the duty [*2]to exercise the ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge commonly possessed by a member of the legal profession, or that the plaintiff did not sustain actual and ascertainable damages as a result of such deviation'” (Dominguez v Mirman, Markovitz & Landau, P.C., 180 AD3d 646, 647, quoting Mazzurco v Gordon, 173 AD3d 1003, 1003). Here, the plaintiffs submitted evidence, including an expert affirmation, demonstrating, prima facie, that, given the totality of circumstances under which the parties made their agreement on March 9, 2012, the plaintiffs did not breach their duty to exercise the ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge commonly possessed by an attorney by having the terms of the stipulation transcribed by the stenographer, and agreeing to later present such stipulation to the court to be so-ordered.
In opposition, the defendant, who did not submit an expert affidavit, failed to raise a triable issue of fact. His opposition consisted entirely of speculative and conclusory assertions (see Sang Seok NA v Schietroma, 163 AD3d 597, 599; Harris v Barbera, 163 AD3d 534, 535; Schadoff v Russ, 278 AD2d 222, 223). Accordingly, we agree with the Supreme Court’s determination granting the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment dismissing the defendant’s counterclaim alleging legal malpractice.”