In Katsoris v. Bodnar & Milone, LLP, MMP&S prevailed on a pre-answer motion to dismiss this legal malpractice action. In his 99-paragraph Complaint, the pro se plaintiff, a former litigator at a large multi-national law firm, alleged that our clients, his divorce attorneys, committed legal malpractice and breached its fiduciary duties to him. Included in his claims was that the Firm overbilled him, failed to disclose material information during the divorce action, failed to properly advise him, and missed discovery dates. He sought damages for, among other things, excessive attorney’s fees, lost income and marital property, lost child support and equitable distribution of marital assets. He sought $2,000,000.00 in damages.
MMP&S successfully argued to the Westchester Supreme Court that the Complaint failed to state a cause of action for legal malpractice because the plaintiff, after dismissing the divorce attorneys, retained new counsel and entered into a settlement agreement with his ex-wife. The Court further held that the plaintiff failed to plead specific factual allegations demonstrating that, but for the defendants’ alleged negligence, there would have been a more favorable outcome in the underlying action or that the plaintiff would not have incurred any damages. The breach of fiduciary duty cause of action was dismissed, as it was based on the same facts as the legal malpractice cause of action and did not allege distinct damages.