Legal Malpractice Defense: We Had No Case, Plaintiffs Lawyers Now Say
Posted Oct 30, 2007 5:03 PM CST
By Martha Neil
Named as defendants in a legal malpractice claim, a group of personal injury lawyers in New York has responded with an unusual defense.
The medical malpractice suit they filed on behalf of their now-former client was meritless, they essentially contend. Thus, a legal malpractice case brought over the allegedly botched lawsuit can't proceed because there are no damages due in the underlying med-mal case. However, the judge in the legal malpractice action brought against Morelli Ratner and Schapiro & Reich over an alleged breast cancer misdiagnosis took a different view of the situation, reports New York Lawyer (reg. req.), in a reprint of a New York Law Journal article.
Such contentions "fly in the face of the fact that defendants represented plaintiffs for almost three years, presumably because they believed that the lawsuit had merit," says Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Emily Goodman in an opinion (PDF provided by New York Lawyer).
She denied the Morelli firm's motion to dismiss.