This is a legal malpractice case being heard in the Supreme Court of the state of New York located in New York County. The plaintiff, SH, is seeking to recover damages against the defendant, LG, for breach of fiduciary duty and legal malpractice. The defendant has moved for an order to dismiss the complaints that have been made by the plaintiff. A New York Family Lawyer said the defendant argues that the issues are time-barred and that the complaint does not state a cause of action and a complete defense is available through documentary evidence. In response the move made by the defendant, the plaintiff has made a cross motion to amend her complaint.
The plaintiff alleges in her complaint that the defendant represented her from 2004 through the spring of 2007. The representation was in regard to her divorce from her husband, CH. The plaintiff states that while handling the divorce proceedings the defendant failed to conduct an adequate discovery of the assets of CH and failed to adequately analyze the entire estate of the marriage. The plaintiff alleges that this failure caused the marital estate to be undervalued and resulted in the plaintiff settling the divorce on unfavorable terms. She further states that the child support payments that are made by LG are inadequate as a result.
In addition, the plaintiff alleges that the defendant took large sums of money for legal fees and failed to complete the legal work that was agreed upon.
The defendant argues that the claim made by the plaintiff for legal malpractice is time-barred under the statute of limitations under CPLR section 214, which allows three years for these allegations to be made. The defendant states that the relationship with the client ended on the 26th of October, 2005, when the divorce was settled in open court. This action was filed more than three years after this date.
A Brooklyn Family Lawyer said the defendant also argues that the plaintiff cannot prove that his conduct was the cause of any losses that she allegedly sustained in respect to the divorce settlement. The divorce settlement papers clearly show that the plaintiff understood the terms of the settlement and was made fully aware that this settlement would be full and final. In addition, the plaintiff was notified that she was eligible for a trial, but elected for the settlement instead.
Court Discussion and Decision
The court has reviewed the facts of this case and finds that the plaintiff was made fully aware of the settlement and what it entailed. The plaintiff cannot allege that the conduct of the defendant was the reason that she agreed with the divorce settlement that she now finds insufficient.
For this reason, the court finds in favor of the defendant. A Brooklyn Custody Lawyer said the complaint made by the plaintiff, SH, against the defendant LG will be dismissed. The cross motion by the plaintiff to amend her complaint is denied.
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