This is an opinion affirming the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim against divorce attorneys. Plaintiff alleged that her former attorneys did not “ascertain the full extent of her former husband’s income, and failed to make an adequate record before the matrimonial court regarding her former husband’s level of adherence to the tenets of Orthodox Judaism and the needs of their children not to have visitation with the former husband on the Jewish Sabbath and holidays.” The lawyers moved for summary judgment and the plaintiff, also a lawyer, filed a response in opposition to that motion. The court held that the client’s affidavit was insufficient to rebut the lawyer’s prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. The court does not state why the affidavit was deficient but one may guess that the affidavit by the former client did not explain how the work done by the lawyers failed to meet the standard of care for a divorce lawyer involved in the divorce of an Orthodox couple.
Plaintiff may have been able to avoid this problem by hiring a divorce lawyer to act as her expert witness. She apparently chose not to go down that path and the result was unfavorable to her.
Edward X. Clinton, Jr.
The case discussed above is Louzoun v. Kroll Moss & Kroll, LLP, 2016 NY Slip Op 03476. The opinion can be found on Google Scholar.