Smith Sovik Successfully Defends Attorneys Sued for Legal Malpractice in Case Venued in US District Court, NDNY

Kevin E. Hulslander, Esq., and Phillip D. Dysert, Esq., secured summary judgment in the US District Court for the Northern District of New York in a legal malpractice action. Therein, plaintiffs alleged defendants negligently breached their professional duty to competently perform certain real estate transactions. In their motion for summary judgment, defendants argued and the Court agreed, there was no attorney-client relationship for several of the transactions at issue. For the other transactions in dispute (said transactions occurring in 2007), defendants argued there was no retainer agreement, the defendants’ representation of plaintiff had concluded after the August 2006 closing and defendants specifically advised plaintiff to secure independent counsel relative to the 2007 transactions. In opposition to defendants’ arguments, plaintiff proffered only a self-serving affidavit. The Court observed plaintiff’s affidavit failed to create a genuine issue of material fact thereby entitling defendants to summary judgment with respect to the 2007 transactions as well. Accordingly, all claims were dismissed.