Acts outside the scope of retention

In Kohler v Polsky, 219 AD3d 821 [2d Dept 2023], the court held that the law firm could not be held responsible for acts outside the scope of their retention, holding:

Rule 1.2(c) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) provides, in relevant part, that “[a] lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if the limitation is reasonable under the circumstances [and] the client gives informed consent.” “An attorney may not be held liable for failing to act outside the scope of the retainer” (Genesis Merchant Partners, L.P. v. Gilbride, Tusa, Last & Spellane, LLC, 157 A.D.3d 479, 482, 69 N.Y.S.3d 30; see AmBase Corp. v. Davis Polk & Wardwell, 8 N.Y.3d 428, 834 N.Y.S.2d 705, 866 N.E.2d 1033).

Here, the defendants demonstrated, prima facie, that the acts that they allegedly failed to perform were beyond the scope of the engagement letter, which was prepared by the defendants and signed by the plaintiff (see AmBase Corp. v. Davis Polk & Wardwell, 8 N.Y.3d at 435, 834 N.Y.S.2d 705, 866 N.E.2d 1033; DeNatale v. Santangelo, 65 A.D.3d 1006, 1007, 884 N.Y.S.2d 868; Turner v. Irving Finkelstein & Meirowitz, LLP, 61 A.D.3d 849, 850, 879 N.Y.S.2d 145).

Richard A. Klass, Esq.
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Richard A. Klass, Esq., maintains a law firm engaged in civil litigation at 16 Court Street, 28th Floor, Brooklyn, New York. He may be reached at (718) COURT●ST or RichKlass@courtstreetlaw.comcreate new email with any questions.

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