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Anisman v. Nissman

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
May 7, 2014
117 A.D.3d 657 (N.Y. App. Div. 2014)

Opinion

2014-05-7

Antony M. ANISMAN, respondent, v. Peter M. NISSMAN, appellant, et al., defendants.

McDonough Law, LLP, New Rochelle, N.Y. (Eli S. Cohn of counsel), for appellant. Antony M. Anisman, Briarcliff, N.Y., respondent pro se.



McDonough Law, LLP, New Rochelle, N.Y. (Eli S. Cohn of counsel), for appellant. Antony M. Anisman, Briarcliff, N.Y., respondent pro se.
REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., JOHN M. LEVENTHAL, SYLVIA O. HINDS–RADIX, and JOSEPH J. MALTESE, JJ.

In an action to recover damages for legal malpractice, the defendant Peter N. Nissman appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County (O.Bellantoni, J.), entered January 16, 2013, which denied his motion for summary judgment dismissing the amended complaint insofar as asserted against him.

ORDERED that the order is affirmed, with costs.

In this action to recover damages for legal malpractice, the defendant Peter N. Nissman contends that the Supreme Court erred in denying his motion for summary judgment dismissing the amended complaint insofar as asserted against him.

The elements of a cause of action sounding in legal malpractice are that the attorney failed to exercise the ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge commonly possessed by a member of the legal profession and that the attorney's breach of that duty proximately caused the plaintiff to sustain actual and ascertainable damages ( see Rudolf v. Shayne, Dachs, Stanisci, Corker & Sauer, 8 N.Y.3d 438, 442, 835 N.Y.S.2d 534, 867 N.E.2d 385;Stuart v. Robert L. Folks & Assoc., LLP, 106 A.D.3d 808, 809–809, 965 N.Y.S.2d 149;Bells v. Foster, 83 A.D.3d 876, 922 N.Y.S.2d 124;Mueller v. Fruchter, 71 A.D.3d 650, 894 N.Y.S.2d 915). To succeed on a motion for summary judgment, the defendant in an action to recover damages for legal malpractice must present evidence in admissible form establishing that the plaintiff is unable to prove at least one of the essential elements of the cause of action ( see Barnave v. Davis, 108 A.D.3d 582, 969 N.Y.S.2d 139;Bells v. Foster, 83 A.D.3d at 877, 922 N.Y.S.2d 124;Mueller v. Fruchter, 71 A.D.3d at 650, 894 N.Y.S.2d 915;Dupree v. Voorhees, 68 A.D.3d 810, 891 N.Y.S.2d 422).

The Supreme Court properly denied Nissman's motion for summary judgment dismissing the amended complaint insofar as asserted against him. Nissman failed to show, prima facie, that the plaintiff was unable to prove at least one of the essential elements of his legal malpractice cause of action ( see Bells v. Foster, 83 A.D.3d at 877, 922 N.Y.S.2d 124; Mueller v. Fruchter, 71 A.D.3d at 651, 894 N.Y.S.2d 915;Pedro v. Walker, 46 A.D.3d 789, 790, 847 N.Y.S.2d 666). Contrary to Nissman's contention, he did not establish that successor counsel had a sufficient opportunity to protect the plaintiff's rights such that Nissman's conduct could not have proximately caused the plaintiff's alleged damages ( see Gelobter v. Fox, 90 A.D.3d 829, 832, 935 N.Y.S.2d 59). Nissman's failure to make such a showing required denial of the motion, regardless of the sufficiency of the opposing papers ( see Winegrad v. New York Univ. Med. Ctr., 64 N.Y.2d 851, 853, 487 N.Y.S.2d 316, 476 N.E.2d 642).


Summaries of

Anisman v. Nissman

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.
May 7, 2014
117 A.D.3d 657 (N.Y. App. Div. 2014)
Case details for

Anisman v. Nissman

Case Details

Full title:Antony M. ANISMAN, respondent, v. Peter M. NISSMAN, appellant, et al.…

Court:Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Date published: May 7, 2014

Citations

117 A.D.3d 657 (N.Y. App. Div. 2014)
117 A.D.3d 657
2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 3218

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