Arbor Realty Funding v. Herrick, Feinstein LLP
NEW YORK COUNTY
Justice Carol Robinson Edmead
In a legal malpractice action, defendant law firm, Herrick, Feinstein LLP, and defendant architect, moved to consolidate for joint discovery and trial three actions pending before the court. The three cases at issue arose from zoning questions concerning the construction and financing of a residential tower in Manhattan. The defendants argued that the three actions should be consolidated because they all share common questions of law and fact arising from malpractice relating to the same zoning issues at the same project. The court found that there are material questions of law and fact common to all three actions, such that judicial economy would be served in consolidating these actions without resulting in significant prejudice to the parties. The court also found that common questions of fact exist concerning the accuracy of the same zoning opinion allegedly rendered and/or endorsed by each of the defendants, for example that the "tower" could be built, as proposed, on the lots in question. The court therefore granted the defendants' motion to consolidate and join the three cases for discovery and trial.