In Mid-City Electrical Corporation v. Peckar & Abramson, 2023 NY Slip Op 1085, the New York Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the dismissal of legal malpractice claims against company attorneys.
First, the court ruled that the owners of Mid-City were not clients of Peckar & Abramson because they were not mentioned as clients in the engagement letter.
Second, the court held that Mid-City’s claim for legal malpractice did not state a claim because Mid-City was unable to allege that the outcome would have been different had the lawyers acted correctly. The lawyers allegedly failed to file an appeal from an adverse regulatory determination that Mid-City was not a disadvantaged business enterprise. The legal malpractice claim was dismissed because Mid-City did not allege that it would have won the appeal had the appeal been filed. Because there was no reason to believe the outcome would be different, there is no allegation of proximate causation and the case was dismissed. Proximate causation often rises up to defeat legal malpractice claims where the lawyer may have been negligent.
Ed Clinton, Jr.