Practice point: To recover damages for legal malpractice, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant attorney failed to exercise the ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge commonly possessed by a member of the legal profession, and that the breach of this duty proximately caused the plaintiff to sustain actual and ascertainable damages. In order to establish causation, a plaintiff must show that, but for the lawyer's negligence, he or she would have prevailed in the underlying action or would not have incurred any damages.
Student note: In order to prevail on a summary judgment motion, the defendant must present evidence in admissible form establishing that the plaintiff is unable to prove at least one of these essential elements.
Case: Silverman v. Potruch & Daab, LLC, NY Slip Op 05857 (2d Dep't August 24, 2016)
Here is the decision.
Tomorrow's issue: Judicial review under the New York Human Rights Law.