New York Team Secures Appellate Victory For Law Firm In Malpractice Case

New York, N.Y. (October 2023)  - New York Partner Peter Shapiro and Associate Abaigeal Franson prevailed on an appeal in the New York Appellate Division First Department. The client is an immigration law firm which was retained by a corporate client to assist with visa issues for an executive.

After the client fired the executive some time later, he asserted a wrongful termination claim in arbitration against the client, in which he prevailed, and then sued the law firm for malpractice and conspiracy to defraud, alleging without any facts that the law firm orchestrated the termination. The lower court granted our motion to dismiss based on the collateral estoppel effect of the arbitration ruling without reaching our other dispositive grounds for dismissal.

The appellate court held that the lower court erred in finding collateral estoppel applicable, but it affirmed on the alternative bases we advanced; viz, that the malpractice claim was barred by the three-year statute of limitations and the fraud claim was barred because it was not pled with the requisite specificity, noting that plaintiff had not plead any facts indicating that the employer consulted the law firm about the termination decision or that it orchestrated the scheme; and as such plaintiff’s bare legal conclusions were insufficient.

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