Judiciary Law § 487

Bill Birds, Inc. v Stein Law Firm, P.C., 2018 NY Slip Op 05743 [2d Dept 2018]

Contrary to the defendants' contention, the cause of action alleging a violation of Judiciary Law § 487 was not duplicative of the cause of action alleging legal malpractice. "A violation of Judiciary Law § 487 requires an intent to deceive, whereas a legal malpractice claim is based on negligent conduct" (Moormann v Perini & Hoerger, 65 AD3d 1106, 1108; see Lauder v Goldhamer, 122 AD3d 908, 911; Sabalza v Salgado, 85 AD3d 436, 438).

Nevertheless, the Supreme Court should have granted that branch of the defendants' motion which was for summary judgment dismissing the cause of action alleging a violation of Judiciary Law § 487. A chronic extreme pattern of legal delinquency is not a basis for liability pursuant to Judiciary Law § 487 (see Dupree v Voorhees, 102 AD3d 912, 913). Further, the plaintiffs failed to allege sufficient facts demonstrating that the defendant attorneys had the "intent to deceive the court or any party" (Judiciary Law § 487; see Schiller v Bender, Burrow, & Rosenthal, LLP, 116 AD3d 756, 759; Agostini v Sobol, 304 AD2d 395, 396). Allegations regarding an act of deceit or intent to deceive must be stated with particularity (see CPLR 3016[b]; Facebook, Inc. v DLA Piper LLP [US], 134 AD3d 610, 615; Armstrong v Blank Rome LLP, 126 AD3d 427Putnam County Temple & Jewish Ctr., Inc. v Rhinebeck Sav. Bank, 87 AD3d 1118, 1120). That the defendants commenced the underlying action on behalf of the plaintiffs and the plaintiffs failed to prevail in that action does not provide a basis for a cause of action alleging a violation of Judiciary Law § 487 to recover the legal fees incurred.

Not an attorney

Lanzuter Benevolent Assn. v Altman, 2018 NY Slip Op 02880 [1st Dept. 2018]

Defendant Neil Ross, who is not an attorney, purports to represent Gertrude Ross, his mother, and at various times in this proceeding, all other defendants as well. This representation violates Judiciary Law § 478. Whether or not the issue was raised before the motion court, it cannot be waived (Salt Aire Trading LLC v Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, LLP, 93 AD3d 452, 453 [1st Dept 2012]). Neil Ross's submissions on his mother's behalf, as well as his submissions on behalf of all other defendants, must be stricken, without prejudice to the filing of answers by all defendants, properly represented (id.).

CPLR § 3012; Judiciary Law § 470

 CPLR § 3012 Service of pleadings and demand for complaint
(d) Extension of time to appear or plead

Judiciary Law § 470

Empire Healthchoice Assur., Inc. v Lester, 2011 NY Slip Op 01412 (App. Div., 1st 2011)

Judiciary Law § 470 requires an attorney admitted to practice in New York who is not a New York resident to maintain an office in this state for the practice of law (see Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, LP v Ace Am. Ins. Co., 51 AD3d 580 [2008]; Lichtenstein v Emerson, 251 AD2d 64 [1998]). Failure of counsel to maintain a local office requires striking of a pleading served by such attorney, without prejudice (see Kinder Morgan, 51 AD3d at 580; Neal v Energy Transp. Group, 296 AD2d 339 [2002]). Thus the court was correct in striking defendants' answer.

The court also properly granted defendants' cross motion pursuant to CPLR 3012(d) for an extension of time to answer (Nason v Fisher, 309 AD2d 526 [2003]). Plaintiff's contention that Judiciary Law § 470 barred the motion court from extending defendant's time to answer is incorrect, since the striking of a pleading under that statute is without prejudice (see Kinder Morgan, 51 AD3d at 580; Neal v Energy Transp. Group, 296 AD2d at 339). Defendants' delay in serving a proper answer was short and the defect in the original answer was attributable to law office failure by defendants' original attorney. Plaintiff was not prejudiced by any delay because the original defective answer was timely served (see Gazes v Bennett, 70 AD3d 579 [2010]). Defendants were not required to demonstrate a meritorious defense in order to be granted relief under CPLR 3012(d) (see Nason, 309 AD2d at 526; DeMarco v Wyndham Intl., 299 AD2d 209 [2002]; Mufalli v Ford Motor Co., 105 AD2d 642 [1984]).