With limited exceptions, party seeking to sue an attorney for legal malpractice must prove he was a client.

With very limited exceptions, a party seeking to sue an attorney for legal malpractice must prove that he was the client of the attorney.

In Barrett v Goldstein, 161 AD3d 472, 473 [1st Dept 2018], the court dismissed the case, finding that the attorney-defendant was not the plaintiff’s attorney concerning drafting an agreement. The court specifically held:

“ The documentary evidence conclusively establishes that she was not acting as plaintiff’s attorney. Rather, the terms of the post-nuptial agreement which plaintiff now challenges, as well as numerous emails between plaintiff, his former wife, and Goldstein, reflect the parties’ understanding and agreement that Goldstein would draft the post-nuptial agreement, and the spouses’ separate counsel would review it before execution. Accordingly, plaintiff has not sufficiently alleged an attorney-client relationship between him and Goldstein, or that she was negligent and that her negligence was the “but for” cause of his alleged injuries. ”

R. A. Klass
Your Court Street Lawyer

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