Michael S. Pascazi, Esq., recently argued an appeal before the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division First Department in Manhattan.
The key issue in the case, which has never been raised before, was: Did a lawyer’s failure to secure a consent to change attorney from his client, or an order of withdrawal from the court in which he was appearing, both pursuant to CPLR 321(b), toll the running of the three year statute of limitations barring a suit for attorney malpractice? The trial court held that if the attorney/client relationship was not developing and evolving over time, then the legal representation ended, and the statute of limitations began to run; ultimately barring the client’s malpractice suit against the former attorney. Attorney Pascazi argued that absent compliance with the formalities of CPLR 321(B), by the attorney, then the legal representation did not terminate, and the statute of limitations did not begin to run. Ergo, the client’s suit should have been declared as timely. It must be noted that Attorney Pascazi was not involved in the underlying case which formed the basis of the allegation that the former attorney abandoned the client on the eve of trial.
Should you, a loved one or a friend become involved with a dispute involving an attorney or law firm, seek competent legal advice as soon as possible. Moreover, Attorney Pascazi would like to hear about it. Pascazi Law Offices PLLC represents plaintiffs in both attorney fee disputes and attorney malpractice actions.