PATTERSON BELKNAP WEBB TYLER LLP v. BOND STREET ASSOCIATES LTD

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

PATTERSON, BELKNAP, WEBB & TYLER LLP, Plaintiff, v. BOND STREET ASSOCIATES, LTD., Defendant.

Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler LLP, Third-Party Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Robert Cinque, et al., Third-Party Defendants-Appellants, Stephen Helman, Third-Party Defendant.

Decided: November 23, 1999

SULLIVAN J.P., WALLACH, RUBIN, SAXE and FRIEDMAN, JJ. John D. Winter, for Third-Party Plaintiff-Respondent. James P. Cinque, for Third-Party Defendants-Appellants.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Edward Lehner, J.), entered October 23, 1998, which denied third-party defendants' motion to dismiss the third-party complaint pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7), unanimously affirmed, without costs.

The motion court properly determined that the third-party complaint, alleging, inter alia, that third-party defendant attorneys directed the legal handling of matters in which third-party plaintiff law firm represented defendants, and, accordingly, shared responsibility for any loss defendants may have incurred in those matters by reason of legal malpractice, sufficiently stated a cause of action for contribution (see, Schauer v. Joyce, 54 N.Y.2d 1, 444 N.Y.S.2d 564, 429 N.E.2d 83;  see also, Raquet v. Braun, 90 N.Y.2d 177, 183, 659 N.Y.S.2d 237, 681 N.E.2d 404).   Third-party defendants' argument, that they were acting as agents for a disclosed principal, and not as co-counsel for plaintiff, does not warrant a different conclusion in the circumstances presented on this CPLR 3211(a)(7) motion (see, Rovello v. Orofino Realty Co., 40 N.Y.2d 633, 635, 389 N.Y.S.2d 314, 357 N.E.2d 970).

We have considered third-party defendants-appellants' other arguments and find them unavailing.

MEMORANDUM DECISION.