Schlam Stone & Dolan v. Poch

Legal Profession

, New York Law Journal


Justice Shlomo Hagler

Law firm Schlam Stone & Dolan (SS&D), as assignee, moved for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability in this legal malpractice action against attorney Poch. SS&D obtained an assignment of malpractice claims held by Arfa and Shpigel against Poch. Poch previously represented various entities controlled by Arfa and Shpigel in Housing Court proceedings. He entered into various stipulations on behalf of the entities, and on behalf of Arfa and Shpigel in certain litigations. Arfa and Shpigel contended Poch did not have authority to enter into those consent orders settling the proceedings on their behalf. After the entities defaulted under several agreements, they, and Arfa and Shpigel, personally, became liable for the judgments. The court found Arfa and Shpigel delegated all communications with Poch to designated agents, who confirmed Poch could enter into consent orders. It also stated Arfa and Shpigel ratified Poch's authority to enter into those orders by receiving the benefit of their terms, and failing to raise any objections for more than one year from their date. The court further found even if SS&D met its prima facie case, its motion for summary judgment was premature, denying its motion for partial summary judgment.

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