This is a case being heard in the Supreme Court of the State of New York located in New York County. The case involves three separate motions that have been consolidated for disposition. In the motion sequence numbered 002, the plaintiff is moving for summary judgment on the claims for an account stated against defendants in the amounts of $354,463.82 and $100,000 plus interest and dismissing the counterclaims of defendants.
In the motion sequence 003, the third party defendant has moved to dismiss the third party complaint on the ground that the court lacks jurisdiction over their firm or in the alternative that the third party action be stayed on the ground of a valid agreement to arbitrate. The third party defendants have also moved to dismiss the first, second and fifth causes of action in the complaint for failing to state a claim for relief.
In the motion sequence 004 the other third party defendant of the case has moved to dismiss the third party complaint against them and for sanctions against the defendant and third party plaintiffs.
The overall action is to recover legal fees. The defendants are the former clients of the plaintiffs and the third party defendant law firms. Claims of legal malpractice and other tortious conduct on the part of the formal counsel have been asserted.
Court Discussion and Decision
The plaintiff in the case has established prima facie against the third party defendant for an account stated. The plaintiff has shown that the defendant provided in writing that it had received the bills and owed $254,035.76 for services that had been provided to them. There was also provided in writing that the defendant owed an additional $100,000 for services that were rendered to date. Between January and August of 2004, eight additional bills were received. The defendants retained these bills and made partial payments.
The court is granting a partial summary judgment in the amount of $354,463.82 plus interest as written on the final invoice.
The counterclaims by the defendant alleging malpractice have been reviewed. In order for a claim of malpractice to be properly pleaded the plaintiff must show that the attorney was negligent, that the negligent was a proximate cause of the plaintiff’s losses, and proof of actual damages.
After reviewing all of the facts in this case the court has ordered the following:
The plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment will be granted in part and denied in part. The partial summary judgment for the plaintiff in its third cause of action for an account stated against the defendant an immediate judgment in favor of the plaintiff will be granted. The first counterclaim against the plaintiff for legal malpractice is dismissed. The third party complaint is dismissed. The portion of the third party defendant for costs and sanctions against the defendants is granted.
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