Korman, Bodoff, Wilck and Isaacson Obtain Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Action

December 6, 2023 | Professional Liability | Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use | Appeals

Cheryl Korman, Stuart Bodoff, David Wilck and Debbie Isaacson secured a dismissal from the Appellate Division, Second Department of a complaint asserting legal malpractice against their attorney clients, with the Appellate Division reversing the trial court’s partial denial of their motion to dismiss.

Our clients represented the plaintiff in its application to subdivide its property into multiple lots. Due to strong neighbor opposition, requests from the Planning Board, and additional and changing requirements from the building inspector and engineer, coupled with the Covid pandemic, the subdivision approval took longer than anticipated. Plaintiff sought to blame our attorney clients for the delay and for a lawsuit filed by plaintiff’s neighbors related to the use of an easement on the property.

The Appellate Division agreed with our arguments that plaintiff failed to state a claim for legal malpractice and that the documentary evidence provided a complete to defense to the claim. The Appellate Division found that plaintiff’s allegations that it could not use the easement for two of the lots because of our clients’ alleged malpractice were conclusory and speculative. The Appellate Division also agreed that the documentary evidence established that a typographical error in an assignment related to the easement was not a basis for the neighbors’ lawsuit against plaintiff. The Appellate Division also agreed that the documentary evidence established that plaintiff chose to submit a proposal to subdivide the property into three lots instead of four at the Planning Board’s request and, as such, that we demonstrated that the material facts alleged in the amended complaint, that our clients proximately caused plaintiff to only be able to subdivide the property into three lots, were not facts.  Finally, the Appellate Division agreed that plaintiff failed to allege facts sufficient to demonstrate that our clients’ representation proximately caused plaintiff to incur expenses associated with delays in the approval of the subdivision application.

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