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CG&P Obtains Another Appellate Victory: Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Claim is Affirmed

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CG&P Obtains Another Appellate Victory: Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Claim is Affirmed

In a case of first impression in the New York State courts, the Appellate Division, Second Department, has affirmed the dismissal of a legal malpractice contribution claim against CG&P’s client. In Specialized Industrial v. Carter, attorney Benjamin Carter (represented by another firm) was accused of violating Judiciary Law Section 487 by obtaining a default judgment against Specialized Industrial based on false invoices. Carter, through his attorneys, brought a contribution claim against CG&P’s client, claiming that his malpractice contributed to the plaintiff’s damages. CG&P moved to dismiss the claim, arguing that damages under Judiciary Law Section 487 are punitive in nature and not subject to contribution. The trial court agreed and dismissed the contribution claim. In so doing, the court declined to follow a federal court decision which reached a contrary conclusion. In a decision issued on October 3, 2012 and reported at 2012 WL 4513145, the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal.

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