Q. When do you lose even when you win?
A. When you don't timely enter.
Plaintiffs did not move within one year, as required by CPLR 3215(c), for leave to enter a default judgment after the defendant had failed to answer the complaint. To defeat a motion to dismiss as to that defendant, they had to demonstrate a reasonable excuse for the delay and a meritorious cause of action. In Costello v. Reilly, decided on January 9, 2007, the Second Department found that plaintiffs had demonstrated neither: after a delay of more than four years, their excuse of law office failure was unsubstantiated, and the verified complaint alone could not establish a meritorious cause of action since it was verified by plaintiffs' attorney and not by plaintiffs themselves.