Krinick, Contino, Belous and Biscone Prevail in Famous Fashion Icon Estate Appeal

August 23, 2017

Evan Krinick, Peter Contino, Todd Belous and Merril Biscone were successful in convincing the Appellate Division, Second Department that the pre-answer motion to dismiss the complaint made on behalf of our clients, the attorneys for the estate of a famous fashion icon, was properly granted.

This case stemmed from the fashion icon’s contractual promise from a divorce of his first wife to leave a portion of his estate to two of his daughters from that marriage.  When this promise wasn’t fulfilled, one of the daughters filed a claim asserting her entitlement to a portion of the hefty net estate.  The second wife of the fashion icon, the executor and beneficiary under his will, objected to the claim on numerous grounds.

A judgment was eventually granted in the daughter’s favor in the underlying Surrogate’s Court litigation.  The executor of the estate thereafter commenced a legal malpractice action against the estate’s former attorneys based on, among other things, their purported failure to raise as a defense that the daughter’s claim was barred by a one-year California statute of limitations.

The Appellate Division agreed with our arguments that the California statute had no application in New York Courts because it was procedural in nature and was neither substantive nor a “statute of repose” as argued by the daughter.  Because the California statute would not have applied to the daughter’s claim against the decedent’s estate in New York, the Estate was unable to prevail on its claim of legal malpractice.

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