Lest we forget the snow and ice of winter, here on a lovely August morning, Bianco v Law Offs. of Yuri Prakhin 2020 NY Slip Op 07849 [189 AD3d 1326] December 23, 2020 Appellate Division, Second Department brings back the slippery chilly days of January.
“The plaintiff allegedly slipped and fell on ice on a subway staircase in Brooklyn on January 21, 2014. Shortly thereafter, she retained the defendants Law Office of Yuriy Prahkin and Yuriy Prahkin (hereinafter together the Prahkin defendants) to represent her in a personal injury action relating to the fall. The Prahkin defendants served a timely notice of claim on the City of New York, but failed to do so with respect to the New York City Transit Authority (hereinafter NYCTA). In July 2014, the plaintiff retained the defendants Schneider Law Group and William Z. Schneider (hereinafter together the Schneider defendants) as successor counsel to the Prahkin defendants. The Schneider defendants, in turn, retained the defendants Steven C. Kletzkin, PLLC, and Steven C. Kletzkin (hereinafter together the Kletzkin defendants) as trial counsel representing the plaintiff in an action against the NYCTA.
[*2] In February 2015, the Schneider defendants served an untimely notice of claim upon NYCTA. In March 2015, the Kletzkin defendants commenced an action on the plaintiff’s behalf against the NYCTA to recover damages for the personal injuries she allegedly sustained as a result of the slip and fall. In an order dated April 15, 2016, the Supreme Court granted the NYCTA’s motion to dismiss the complaint in the personal injury action against the NYCTA “with prejudice, and no opposition submitted thereto.”
The plaintiff then commenced this action against the Prahkin defendants, the Schneider defendants, and the Kletzkin defendants, seeking to recover damages for legal malpractice and violations of Judiciary Law § 487. After issue was joined, the Kletzkin defendants and the Schneider defendants separately moved pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a) (1) and (7) to dismiss the complaint insofar as asserted against each of them. In an order dated March 31, 2017, the Supreme Court, inter alia, granted the Kletzkin defendants’ motion and denied the Schneider defendants’ motion. The plaintiff appeals, and the Schneider defendants cross-appeal.”
“Here, the plaintiff adequately pleaded the cause of action alleging legal malpractice against the Kletzkin defendants and the Schneider defendants. Contrary to the contentions of those defendants, neither conclusively established that an application for leave to serve a late notice of [*3]claim or to deem the late notice of claim timely served upon the NYCTA nunc pro tunc would have been futile (see generally Matter of Newcomb v Middle Country Cent. Sch. Dist., 28 NY3d 455, 465 ; Davis v Isaacson, Robustelli, Fox, Fine, Greco & Fogelgaren, 284 AD2d 104, 105 ).
Contrary to the Kletzkin defendants’ contention, the complaint adequately states a cause of action to recover damages for violation of Judiciary Law § 487. Contrary to the Schneider defendants’ contention, the cause of action alleging violation of Judiciary Law § 487 is not duplicative of the cause of action alleging legal malpractice. “A violation of Judiciary Law § 487 requires an intent to deceive (see Judiciary Law § 487), whereas a legal malpractice claim is based on negligent conduct” (Moormann v Perini & Hoerger, 65 AD3d 1106, 1108 ; see Bill Birds, Inc. v Stein Law Firm, P.C., 164 AD3d 635, 637 , affd 35 NY3d 173 ).”