New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Basics

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A Lot of Really Unhappy Clients Left Behind

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
Attorney licensed in NY and California forms a partnership with a non-attorney to represent home owners under water across the country.  Around 2011 the attorney goes to Hawaii to change his name from Sean Alan Rutledge to Alan Frank.  During this period of time his legal practice in California is unraveling. "Respondent’s disciplinary proceedings in… Continue Reading

Strong Suspicion But No Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
Wo Yee Hing Realty, Corp. v Stern  ;  2012 NY Slip Op 05792   Decided on July 31, 2012 Appellate Division, First Department   is an example of just how minutely the AD will examine an "underlying case" when deciding a case of legal malpractice.  Here, plaintiffs hired an attorney to do the closing on a commercial… Continue Reading

An Overly Generous Decision is Pruned Back, Plaintiff Still Loses in Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
Relentlessly applying analysis to the "but for" portion of a legal malpractice claim, the 2d Department modified a CPLR 3211 decision by Supreme Court.  Here, it reversed dismissal under CPLR 3211(a)(1) yet the case remains dismissed under CPLR 3211(a)(7) because the client could not pay the mortgage. in Cervini v Zanoni ;  2012 NY Slip… Continue Reading

Its a Digital World, but Uncertainty Remains

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
Today, litigants are able to access so much more than in the past.  When we started out, one read the NYLJ small print decisions from the AD, and there was no more modern way to get the news.  Later, digital reporting has taken over.  Yet, Supreme Courts do not regularly scan and publish decisions.  This… Continue Reading

A Divorce Legal Malpractice Case in the 4th Department

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
Malachowski v Daly ; 2011 NY Slip Op 06720 ; Decided on September 30, 2011 ; Appellate Division, Fourth Department  is a divorce legal malpractice case from Utica, and it demonstrates two things.  Plaintiff must, early on, set the tone and state the claims in bills of particular and during early discovery, and once having… Continue Reading

Retired Attorneys, Legal Malpractice and Professional Responsibility

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
Anthony E. Davis of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLPm is a well known practitioner in the Professional Responsibility field. He is the past president of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, a columnist in the New York Law Journal and an expert witness. He writes today on the question of retired attorneys in New York who… Continue Reading

60 Day Motion Rule

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
OCA issued this rule over the new years vacation, but no one should miss the significance of movant’s obligation to comply. New York Civil Law Blog reports it, and includes an OCA press release. It is also mentioned in Sui Generis… Continue Reading

Unexpected Circumstances

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
In a recent successful case, plaintiff was a large real estate management company. Plaintiff was involved in a 500 million dollar financing involving 3 NYC downtown buildings. The general counsel asked one of the multiple large firms whether “mortgage spreading” could be used to avoid payment of new mortgage tax. When told “no”, the financing… Continue Reading

Charging and Retaining Liens

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
A common law retaining lien entitles the outgoing attorney to retain all papers, securities, or money belonging to the client that came into the attorney’s possession in the course of representation, as security for payment of attorney’s fees. Arising from Judiciary Law 475, it is enforceable only by retention of the items themselves and is… Continue Reading

Liens in New York

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics
A common law retaining lien, known also as a “general possessory lien” entitles the outgoing attorney to “retain all papers, securities, or money belonging to the client” that came into the attorney’s possession in the course of representation, as security for payment of attorney’s fees”… Continue Reading
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