…plaintiff must show that he or she would have prevailed…

In 126 Main St., LLC v Kriegsman, 2023 NY Slip Op 03758 [2d Dept July 12, 2023], the court reversed the lower court’s order and dismissed the client’s action. The court held:

“ ‘To state a cause of action to recover damages for legal malpractice, a plaintiff must allege: (1) that the attorney failed to exercise the ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge commonly possessed by a member of the legal profession; and (2) that the attorney’s breach of the duty proximately caused the plaintiff actual and ascertainable damages’ ” (Katsoris v. Bodnar & Milone, LLP, 186 A.D.3d 1504, 1505, 131 N.Y.S.3d 89, quoting Dempster v. Liotti, 86 A.D.3d 169, 176, 924 N.Y.S.2d 484; see Silverman v. Eccleston Law, LLC, 208 A.D.3d 705, 706, 173 N.Y.S.3d 78). “To establish causation in a legal malpractice action, ‘a plaintiff must show that he or she would have prevailed in the underlying action or would not have incurred any damages, but for the lawyer’s negligence’ ” (Katsoris v. Bodnar & Milone, LLP, 186 A.D.3d at 1505, 131 N.Y.S.3d 89, quoting Rudolf v. Shayne, Dachs, Stanisci, Corker & Sauer, 8 N.Y.3d 438, 442, 835 N.Y.S.2d 534, 867 N.E.2d 385). “ ‘Conclusory allegations of damages or injuries predicated on speculation cannot suffice for a malpractice action, and dismissal is warranted where the allegations in the complaint are merely conclusory and speculative’ ” (Denisco v. Uysal, 195 A.D.3d 989, 991, 146 N.Y.S.3d 813, quoting Bua v. Purcell & Ingrao, P.C., 99 A.D.3d 843, 848, 952 N.Y.S.2d 592; see York v. Frank, 209 A.D.3d 804, 807, 176 N.Y.S.3d 133). Here, the plaintiff failed to state a cause of action to recover damages for legal malpractice because the plaintiff’s allegation that the restaurant would have had increased profits but for the defendants’ alleged malpractice is conclusory and speculative (see York v. Frank, 209 A.D.3d at 807, 176 N.Y.S.3d 133; Denisco v. Uysal, 195 A.D.3d at 991, 146 N.Y.S.3d 813).

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