The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined the legal malpractice and Judiciary Law 487 causes of action against one of two groups of attorney-defendants should not have been dismissed. The first group of attorneys (the Schneider defendants) failed to file a timely notice of claim against the New York Transit Authority (NYTA) in this slip and fall case. Then plaintiff retained the second group of attorneys (the Kletzkin defendants) and the action was dismissed with prejudice. Then plaintiff sued both groups of attorneys for legal malpractice and for violations of Judiciary Law 487. Supreme Court granted the Kletzkin defendants motion to dismiss and denied the Schneider defendants’ motion to dismiss. The facts were not discussed, but the court noted the difference between a legal malpractice and a Judiciary Law 487 cause of action:
… [T]he plaintiff adequately pleaded the cause of action alleging legal malpractice against the Kletzkin defendants and the Schneider defendants. Contrary to the contentions of those defendants, neither conclusively established that an application for leave to serve a late notice of claim or to deem the late notice of claim timely served upon the NYCTA nunc pro tunc would have been futile … .
Contrary to the Kletzkin defendants’ contention, the complaint adequately states a cause of action to recover damages for violation of Judiciary Law § 487. Contrary to the Schneider defendants’ contention, the cause of action alleging violation of Judiciary Law § 487 is not duplicative of the cause of action alleging legal malpractice. “A violation of Judiciary Law § 487 requires an intent to deceive (see Judiciary Law § 487), whereas a legal malpractice claim is based on negligent conduct” … . Bianco v Law Offs. of Yuri Prakhin, 2020 NY Slip Op 07849, Second Dept 12-23-20