Bruno and Schleifer Secure Dismissal of Fraud and Civil Conspiracy Claims

May 15, 2024 | Professional Liability | Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use | Commercial Litigation

Jonathan Bruno and William Schleifer secured a pre-answer dismissal of claims for fraud and civil conspiracy against Rivkin Radler’s client, a real estate attorney. The plaintiff/seller alleged that their client was fraudulently caused to sell his property based upon false statements and a fraudulent appraisal. Rivkin represented the plaintiff/seller’s attorney at the closing. The plaintiff alleged that the firm’s client failed to advise him that he would be forced to leave the property after it was sold or that he was losing all equity he had in the property.

John and Will used documentary evidence, including affidavits that the plaintiff had submitted in a related eviction proceeding, to show that the plaintiff did not rely on anything that the client stated and that any alleged omissions/failure to speak were insufficient to state a cause of action for fraud in the present circumstances. Additionally, the court found that the allegations of fraud were duplicative of a legal malpractice cause of action which would have been barred by the statute of limitations. The court further agreed with the firm’s argument that the plaintiff’s conclusory allegations were insufficient to state a claim for civil conspiracy to commit fraud.

Therefore, the court granted Rivkin Radler’s motion to dismiss in its entirety.

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