Sometimes a little explanation goes a long way in guidance to the bar. Aqua-Trol Corp. v Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, P.A. 2021 NY Slip Op 04652 Decided on August 11, 2021 Appellate Division, Second Department reverses a grant of summary judgment, but gives only the blackletter description of what was missing in defendant’s motion.
“In an action to recover damages for legal malpractice, the plaintiff appeals from a judgment of the Supreme Court, Nassau County (Stephen A. Bucaria, J.), dated July 16, 2019. The judgment, upon an order of the same court dated July 11, 2019, granting the defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint and denying the plaintiff’s cross motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability, is in favor of the defendant and against the plaintiff dismissing the complaint.
ORDERED that the judgment is reversed, on the law, with costs, the defendant’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint is denied, the complaint is reinstated, and the order dated July 11, 2019, is modified accordingly.”
“Here, the judgment must be reversed, as the Supreme Court should have denied Wilentz’s motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint. Wilentz failed to submit evidence establishing, prima facie, the absence of at least one essential element of the legal malpractice cause of action (see Bells v Foster, 83 AD3d at 877; see also Biberaj v Acocella, 120 AD3d 1285, 1287). Since Wilentz failed to make its prima facie showing, we do not need to consider the sufficiency of Aqua-Trol’s opposition papers (see Winegrad v New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 NY2d 851, 853).”