Documents establishing conclusion of attorney-client relationship show Complaint is time-barred; defendants proved they “aggressively pursued plaintiff’s claims”

Supreme Court, New York County, July 1, 2010

A motion for summary judgment was granted in favor of AGF&J’s client, dismissing plaintiff’s legal malpractice complaint in its entirety. Barry Jacobs and associate Shari Sckolnick showed that correspondence between the defendant law firm and plaintiff in the fall of 2003 flatly contradicted plaintiff’s argument that he continued to be represented by the law firm afterward. Since the plaintiff did not file his legal malpractice complaint until more than three years later, Justice Judith Gische found the Complaint to be time-barred. Completion of ministerial tasks on the file by the defendant firm did not extend the accrual date for statute of limitations purposes. Justice Gische also held that the defendants had shifted the burden on their motion for summary judgment to the plaintiff to come forward with triable issues of fact, which plaintiff failed to do. “Defendants have proved that they aggressively pursued plaintiff’s claims," Justice Gische wrote. Claims for punitive damages were accordingly dismissed, as were plaintiff’s baseless claims brought under Partnership Law §§ 68 and 69, and for the permanent disruption of his “professional activities."