In Cohen Tauber Spievack & Wagner P.C. v Mehulol Publs., LLC
2022 NY Slip Op 30401(U) February 1, 2022 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: Index No. 652426/2021 Judge Bluth determined the merits of a case alleging that the attorneys failed in both the Supreme Court case as well as in a Rabbinical court and never obtained “forgiveness” for the client.
“This attorneys’ fees case arises out of plaintiff’s representation of defendants. Plaintiff alleges that in February 2018, defendants hired plaintiff to represent them in a trademark infringement case in the Eastern District of New York. This case eventually settled on June 27, 2018. The parties offer wildly divergent views on the nature of the representation and the
Defendants claim that plaintiff was hired for two cases, the EDNY case and a rabbinical proceeding. Both involved the use and ownership of the name and logo “Biz Tank.” Although
the counterclaim does not provide much detail about the nature of the alleged counterclaim, defendants submit the affidavit of defendant Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter who asserts that
plaintiff informed him it could settle both disputes quickly. Rabbi Frankfurter complains about Here, the Court finds that defendants’ numerous complaints about plaintiff’s representation fails to state a counterclaim for legal malpractice. As an initial matter, it is unclear exactly how plaintiff erred in its representation of defendants sufficient to state a
counterclaim for legal malpractice.”
“Defendants detail how they are upset with plaintiff’s representation but do not allege that they have suffered any actual damages as a result. The undisputed factual contentions are that plaintiff secured a settlement on defendants’ behalf and defendants received a $2,500 payment. It seems that defendants were understandably upset with the statement from Mr. Klein demanding $1.5 million in order to effectuate forgiveness. But that statement did not invalidate the EDNY settlement. Plus, defendants do not claim they did anything in the EDNY case to vacate the settlement (such as hiring a new lawyer to bring such a motion). They apparently moved on after expressing their frustration with the Kleins’ statement.
Defendants do not allege that the Kleins refused to pay or that anything happened in the rabbinical proceeding. That the Kleins may do something in the future is not sufficient to state actual damages nor does it show that plaintiff was negligent (Kahan Jewelry Corp. v Rosenfeld, 295 AD2d 261, 261, 744 NYS2d 664 (Mem) [1st Dept 2002] [finding that pending foreclosure actions meant plaintiffs had not yet sustained any actual damages]). Clearly, there was (and might still be) animosity between defendants and the Kleins. But, as plaintiff observes, there has not been any adverse action against defendants in the three years since the settlement relating to the Biz Tank litigation.”