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Posted: February 2, 2017

Strategic Decisions, Even Flawed Ones, Generally Do Not Support a Malpractice Claim

On January 26, 2017, the First Department issued a decision in Brookwood Companies, Inc. v Alston & Bird LLP, 2017 NY Slip Op. 00535, affirming the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim, explaining:

Decisions regarding the evidentiary support for a motion or the legal theory of a case are commonly strategic decisions and a client’s disagreement with its attorney’s strategy does not support a malpractice claim, even if the strategy had its flaws. An attorney is not held to the rule of infallibility and is not liable for an honest mistake of judgment where the proper course is open to reasonable doubt. Moreover, an attorney’s selection of one among several reasonable courses of action does not constitute malpractice. Brookwood has not alleged facts supporting its claim that A & B’s evidentiary decision, to rely on Nextec’s expert, rather than compromise the merits of Brookwood’s position on other arguments, was an unreasonable course of action.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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