In Flusser v. Bikel, 2019 NY Slip Op 32847(U), the plaintiff was involved in a contentious divorce. She discharged one firm and then hired the Defendant law firm (Bikel v. Mandarano) to represent her. At the conclusion of the divorce case, Plaintiff filed a legal malpractice claim against the Defendant law firm. In her complaint Plaintiff alleged that the Defendants had failed to sue prior counsel for alleged malpractice by those lawyers during the divorce case.
The Defendants responded that they had entered into an engagement agreement with Plaintiff under which Defendants representation would be limited to two areas: “(i) “the prosecution or defense of a divorce action;” and (ii) “the prosecution or defense of a Family Court proceeding concerning custody, visitation and support proceedings, including the attempt to negotiate a resolution of the matter.'”
The trial court dismissed the legal malpractice action on the ground that the Defendants were not retained to investigate or prosecute a legal malpractice claim: The reasoning: