FKB obtained a favorable ruling from the Appellate Division, First Department affirming the dismissal of fourteen (14) counterclaims pursuant to CPLR 3211 (a)(7).
FKB’s client is a solo practitioner with decades of experience in complex commercial litigation who successfully obtained a judgment in excess of $1M for his former clients, who ultimately refused to pay their attorney. FKB’s client commenced a fee action to recover his contingent fee arising from the successful judgment. In response, claimants asserted several counterclaims alleging egregious violations of Judiciary Law §487, the Professional Rules of Conduct, fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and various other intentional torts.
After FKB obtained pre-answer dismissal of all counterclaims as untimely and deficiently pled, claimants appealed, arguing, inter alia, that despite their counterclaims potentially being untimely, CPLR 203(d) applied and the counterclaims nevertheless served as a “setoff” to any potential recovery in FKB represented attorney’s fee action. FKB successfully argued that CPLR 203(d) does not reinstate time-barred counterclaims, which are also insufficiently pled as a matter of law and the trial court also dismissed the various counterclaims on grounds that they failed to state cognizable causes of action per 3211(a)(7)).