COSTELLO AND MCCORMACK, P.C.
September 10, 2019
to recover damages for, inter alia, breach of contract, and
for other relief, brought to the Superior Court in the
judicial district of Fairfield and transferred to the
judicial district of Stamford-Norwalk; thereafter, the court,
Hon. A. William Mottolese, judge trial referee,
granted the defendant's motion to implead Arik B.
Fetscher et al. as third-party defendants; subsequently, Arik
B. Fetscher filed a cross claim against the plaintiff et al.;
thereafter, the court granted the motions to preclude expert
testimony filed by plaintiff et al.; subsequently, the court,
Genuario, J., granted the motions for summary
judgment filed by the plaintiff et al., denied the motion to
reargue filed by Arik B. Fetscher and rendered judgment
thereon, from which Arik B. Fetscher appealed to this court.
B. Fetscher, self-represented, the appellant (cross claim
C. E. Laney, with whom was Karen L. Allison, for the appellee
(cross claim defendant Costello and McCormack, P.C.).
Pare, for the appellees (cross claim defen- dant William
Westcott et al.).
Lavine, Elgo and Moll, Js.
cross claim plaintiff, Arik B. Fetscher, appeals from the
summary judgment rendered by the trial court in favor of the
cross claim defendants, Costello and McCormack, P.C.
(Costello), Attorney William Westcott, and Maya Murphy, P.C.
(Maya). On appeal, Fetscher claims that the court
improperly (1) construed his cross claim as one sounding in
legal malpractice and (2) concluded that no genuine issue of
material fact existed with respect to that claim. We disagree
and, accordingly, affirm the judgment of the trial court.
2012, Fetscher commenced a civil action against his then
stepfather, Nicholas Manero, Jr., and a business known as
Nick Manero's II, Inc. In response, Nick Man-ero's
II, Inc., brought a countersuit against Fetscher alleging
breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, and
conversion. The cases were consolidated and, prior to
trial, Fetscher retained the services of the Maya
defendants. Following a trial, the court found that
Fetscher ‘‘breached his fiduciary obligations to
defendant Nick Manero's II, Inc. . . . through a long
series of misappropriations of corporate funds, ''
that he ‘‘knowingly and wrongfully converted
[corporate assets] to his own use, '' and that he
‘‘was unjustly enriched at the corporation's
expense . . . .'' Fetscher v.
Manero, Superior Court, judicial district of
Stamford-Norwalk, Docket No. CV-12-6012822-S (May 21, 2014).
The court thus rendered judgment in favor of Nick
Manero's II, Inc. Id. No appeal was taken from
January, 2015, Costello commenced an unrelated action
sounding in breach of contract and unjust enrichment against
Constance Manero to collect unpaid fees for legal services
rendered on her behalf in a dissolution of marriage
proceeding. Appearing in a self-represented capacity, Manero
filed a handwritten response to that complaint and Costello
filed a certificate of closed pleadings on March 25, 2015. On
April 8, 2016, a hearing was held before an attorney fact
finder pursuant to General Statutes §
16, 2016, Manero filed a motion to implead Fetscher,
Westcott, and Maya as third-party defendants. In granting
that motion on May 31, 2016, the court noted that Manero had
set forth ‘‘assertions of harm caused by specific
acts and/or omissions committed by the proposed third
parties.'' Manero then filed a ‘‘Third
Party Plaintiff/Defendant Complaint'' on June 29,
2016, which named Fetscher, Westcott, and Maya as third-party
August 1, 2016, the attorney fact finder filed a report on
Costello's breach of contract action, in which he
concluded that Costello had proven its entitlement to $45,
438.05 in unpaid legal fees from Manero. When Manero filed no
objection thereto, the court rendered judgment in favor of
Costello ‘‘in accordance with the fact
August 2, 2016, Fetscher filed what he titled an
‘‘Answer Defenses and Cross Claim'' in
response to his mother's third-party complaint. Costello
filed an answer and three special defenses to Fetscher's
cross claim on November 4, 2016. Those special defenses
alleged that (1) Fetscher ‘‘lacks standing to
make any claims against [Costello] as [Fetscher] has never
been represented by [Costello]''; (2) Fetscher's
cross claim ‘‘fails to state a claim for which
relief can be granted''; and (3) Costello
‘‘owed no duty'' to
Fetscher. On February 7, 2017, the Maya defendants
filed an answer and a special defense, in which they alleged
that ‘‘it is not possible for Fetscher to prevail
on his claims, as he was cocounsel in the [Fetscher
v. Manero, supra, Superior Court, Docket No.
CV-12-6012822-S] case that he claims was mishandled and as
cocounsel Fetscher was jointly and severally responsible for
the decisions that were made in his case, which he fully
considered and agreed to at the time.''
January 25, 2017, the court ordered that the pretrial
discovery period on Fetscher's cross claim would conclude
on February 7, 2017, at which time all expert witnesses were
to be disclosed. A certificate of closed pleadings was filed
on February 7, 2017. On that date, Fetscher filed an expert
witness disclosure, in which he disclosed four experts:
Attorney Daniel F. McGuire, Attorney Daniel M. Young,
Attorney Salvatore Meli, and Walter McKeever, a certified
response, the Maya defendants filed a motion to preclude that
expert testimony due to Fetscher's failure to comply with
the strictures of Practice Book § 13-4. They further
averred that McGuire, Young, and Meli were unaware of
Fetscher's disclosure and hadnointen-tion of acting as
experts on his behalf. Appended to that pleading were copies
of correspondence from McGuire, Young, and Meli, in which all
three individuals disclaimed any interest in serving as an
expert witness for Fetscher. Costello filed a separate motion
to preclude a day later, in which it alleged that Fetscher
had failed to comply with the requirements of § 13-4 and
had ‘‘knowingly and intentionally made material
misrepresentations in his disclosure of expert witnesses, and
essentially committed a fraud upon this court.'' By
order dated April 3, 2017, the court ruled that
Fetscher's February 7, ...