New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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Continuous Representation Still Exists, But Not In This Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The statute of limitations for legal malpractice is three years under CPLR 214(6).  That statute may be tolled during the period of continuous representation.  Continuous representation, for social policy reasons, tolls the running of the statute so that a client is not required to sue the attorney while the representation continues on, allowing for the… Continue Reading

An Obscure Reference to Judiciary Law 487 in the Withdrawal of an Attorney

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Hudson v Hahn Kook Ctr. (USA), Inc.  2016 NY Slip Op 00882  Decided on February 9, 2016 Appellate Division, First Department presents us with an unusual setting for a Judiciary Law 487 claim.  This claim came up within the underlying case, and took place during the withdrawal of the attorney and his claim under Judiciary… Continue Reading

Unexplained and Unusual Collateral Estoppel in a Legal Malpractice Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Generally speaking, there is no collateral estoppel defense available to defendant attorneys in a legal malpractice case.  They often say, for example, that because a case was dismissed, it’s your fault, not theirs, and hence you should not be able to sue them for the bad outcome.  Their legal argument is that you are collaterally estopped… Continue Reading

If You See Something Say Something Does Not Apply to Legal Malpractice Cases

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The confluence of First Amendment rights, the overarching current need for celebrity and self-promotion appear to have collided in a case where plaintiff retained attorneys to represent him, then resolved the case, and decided to speak to the Wall Street Journal in violation of a non-disparagement provision of the underlying contract.  Result: bad for the… Continue Reading

Legal Malpractice Gone; Other Claims Still Here

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Skarla v NPSFT LLC   2016 NY Slip Op 30152(U)  January 27, 2016  Supreme Court, Queens   County  Docket Number: 90/14  Judge: Allan B. Weiss  takes a long time to explain, but its all about real estate, and the desire to take over some juicy properties.  Did the attorney wrongfully help out?   That’s still to… Continue Reading

A Judiciary Law 487 Claim Survives

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Kagan Lubic Lepper Findelstein & Gold LLP v 325 Fifth Ave. Condominium  2015 NY Slip Op 31470(U) August 6, 2015   Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 151878/15  Judge: Cynthia S. Kern is an example which will likely be cited in this years Legal Malpractice continuing legal education seminars as a reason not to sue clients over fees.… Continue Reading

Mostly Duplicitive, But Legal Malpractice Claim Survives

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Mamoon v Dot Net Inc.  2016 NY Slip Op 00600  Decided on January 28, 2016  Appellate Division, First Department  is a casually written yet decisive decision from the Appellate Division, which basically keeps the legal malpractice cause of action and jettisons everything else as inappropriate (civil conspiracy) or  duplicitive.  Note the short sentence about the… Continue Reading

What A Mess Follows a Withdrawn Affirmation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Klein v Rieff  2016 NY Slip Op 00482  Decided on January 27, 2016  Appellate Division, Second Department is a fascinating story, and could well serve as a bar exam all by itself.  It deals with the owners of nursing homes and the fallout from their breakup.  The gist of the story is the loser in the… Continue Reading

Legal Malpractice Case Illustrates Many Unique Principles

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Legal malpractice litigation is unique, and has a set of principles and doctrines that are applicable only when suing an attorney.  Janker v Silver, Forrester & Lesser, P.C.  2016 NY Slip Op 00481  Decided on January 27, 2016  Appellate Division, Second Department is a primer for review. “The plaintiff’s former husband commenced an action for a… Continue Reading

This Case Decision Illustrates the Public Policy behind Limits to Judiciary Law 487

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Bad cases make bad law is a mantra in the world of litigating attorneys.  An otherwise vibrant doctrine may be undermined by decisions arising from less than optimal cases.  One such example is a textbook example of why JL 487 claims are “disfavored” and applied so stringently. Hersh v Weg  2015 NY Slip Op 30698(U)… Continue Reading

Judiciary Law 487 Claims Against a Bankrupt

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Judiciary Law 487 claims are difficult.  They are disfavored, as our discussions over the past three weeks has shown.  Appellate Courts appear (but do not explicitly state) to require a higher standard of proof, and have used the word “clear” in their descriptions of the standard of JL 487 proofs, bringing to mind a “clear… Continue Reading

Two Distinctly Unrelated But Similar Themes

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Two items caught our notice this morning, and though unrelated, sound a similar theme.  Fraud on the Court in one and feigned issues of fact in the other compliment the idea of how the truth divining process happens in litigation. Somehow, even creakily, the process of cross-examination and discovery seem to work. In Scheuer v. General… Continue Reading

A Legal Malpractice Case Full of Errors

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Reem Contr. v Altschul & Altschul  2016 NY Slip Op 30059(U)  January 12, 2016  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 104202/2011  Judge: Kelly O’Neill Levy  is an example of the odd situation in which a legal malpractice case is a catalog of procedural errors.  Defendants do not answer, then obtain an extension and then… Continue Reading

The First Department Explains Some Fundamentals in Judiciary Law 487

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
There have been lingering questions about procedural aspects of Judiciary Law 487 that have never been completely explained.  One earlier question, answered in 2014 was the length of the statute of limitations, 3 years or 6 years. That question was answered by the Court of Appeals  and is 6 years. Melcher v Greenberg Traurig LLP  2016 NY… Continue Reading

No Injury Is Stated and None Can Be Inferred

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In a continuing review of last years Judiciary Law 487 cases, we see the Second Department refusing to consider a JL 487 case where the proximate damages are unclear, or cannot be reasonably inferred.  Gumarova v Law Offs. of Paul A. Boronow, P.C.  2015 NY Slip Op 05155 [129 AD3d   911]  June 17, 2015… Continue Reading

Judiciary Law 487 and Patent Litigation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Kallista, S.A. v White & Williams LLP   2016 NY Slip Op 2609  Decided on January 7, 2016  Supreme Court, Westchester County  Scheinkman, J. discusses legal malpractice and Judiciary Law 487.  Last week we discussed the legal malpractice aspect of the case. “This action arises out of claims that the Law Firm committed legal malpractice, and… Continue Reading

Trademark Errors and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Patent and Trademark registrations are a very, very big part of the legal world, and even more important in the commercial sphere.  What happens when a fledgling cosmetics company hires a law firm to file a trademark, protect the product, and allow for the cosmetic company to start selling skin-care products, and it all goes… Continue Reading

They Did Not Complain About the Bills, Now They Cannot Complain About the Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
As many defense attorneys in legal malpractice settings argue, the legal malpractice claim often arises in response to an attorney’s action for fees, that is, as a counterclaim.  The attorneys always say that the legal malpractice counterclaim is a reflex, and a poorly disguised one, and is there merely to try to avoid paying fees.… Continue Reading

When A Judiciary Law 487 Claim is Vitiated by Later Events

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Attorneys file a complaint and represent clients.  Opposing parties are unhappy and eventually claim JL 487 violations.  Events continue in two cases at once.  The original case goes to trial and appeal.  The Court finds for plaintiffs, which undercuts defendants JL 487 claims.  What is the effect? Ehrenkranz v 58 MHR, LLC  2015 NY Slip Op… Continue Reading

No Damages Alleged, Judiciary Law 487 Claim Dismissed

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
We’re continuing to review last years JL 487 cases.  Del-Star Jewelry Corp. v Davidov   2015 NY Slip Op 31106(U)   June 25, 2015  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 160690/2013  Judge: Ellen M. Coin is next.  Here, third-party defendant attorneys represented opposing parties and deceitfully told the bankruptcy trustee that “any judgment against [Davidoff]… Continue Reading

What is the Statute of Limitations for Judiciary Law 487?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It seems to be a simple question.  What is the statute of limitations for legal malpractice?  After all, the Court of Appeals decided the issue squarely in Melcher v Greenberg Traurig, LLP  2014 NY Slip Op 02213 [23 NY3d 10]  April 1, 2014 Read, J. Court of Appeals.  “Thus, even if a claim for attorney deceit originated in… Continue Reading

Judiciary Law 487 Cases from 2015

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Judiciary Law 487, which is “not lightly” applied to attorneys resulted in a finite set of cases during 2015.  Over the next month we will review all of the cases, and try to determine the trends.  Today, we look at  Armstrong v Blank Rome LLP;  2015 NY Slip Op 01755 [126 AD3d 427] Decided on… Continue Reading

How Is Accounting Malpractice Like Legal Malpractice?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
On the macro level, both areas concern professionals doing a less than maximal job.  On a micro level, the rules are similar.  A relationship, a departure and damages.  How and when to apply the rules differs, as is seen in Alksom Realty LLC v Baranik  2015 NY Slip Op 50869(U) [47 Misc 3d 1227(A)]  Decided on June… Continue Reading

Facebook and Judiciary Law 487

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
We predict that Facebook, Inc. v DLA Piper LLP (US)  2015 NY Slip Op 09602  Decided on December 29, 2015  Appellate Division, First Department   will turn out to be a highly cited and influential case in 2016.  The general sentiment, even in the face of conduct strongly suggesting deceit is basically to look the other way.… Continue Reading
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