New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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Aren’t You Working on that Appeal?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Further analysis of Sitomer v Goldweber Epstein, LLP  2015 NY Slip Op 31541(U)  August 14, 2015  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 158325/13  Judge: Barbara Jaffe continues today on the issue of whether it is legal malpractice not to take an appeal for the client.  The retainer agreement tends to serve as the deciding factor… Continue Reading

A Host of Legal Malpractice Issues in a Divorce Setting

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Plaintiff was a well-0ff husband facing an upcoming divorce.  He retained attorneys well in advance of the proceedings and was girded for war.  Then, things fell apart.  How did this happen, and are the attorneys to blame? Sitomer v Goldweber Epstein, LLP  2015 NY Slip Op 31541(U)  August 14, 2015  Supreme Court, New York County… Continue Reading

A Lot of Legal Malpractice Activity over $ 15,000

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The oft-repeated statement that legal fee actions invite counterclaims is amply demonstrated in Law Offs. of Ira H. Leibowitz v Landmark Ventures, Inc.  2015 NY Slip Op 06575 Decided on August 19, 2015  Appellate Division, Second Department where a lot of litigation, and an appeal has gone on regarding what appears to be a claim for $… Continue Reading

Judiciary Law 487 and File Churning

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Totally unexpected players in an attorney-fee-legal-malpractice case have led to a very interesting decision by Justice Kern that touches on a number of legal malpractice issues.  Today, we will discuss the Judiciary Law § 487 claim for file churning in Kagan Lubic Lepper Findelstein & Gold LLP v 325  Fifth Ave. Condominium 2015 NY Slip Op 31470(U)… Continue Reading

Getting Weary? Sue the Attorney

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Mr. Karp and Mr. Cangemi made an arrangement to purchase and fund some investment real estate.  Cangemi v Karp  2015 NY Slip Op 51185(U)  Decided on August 6, 2015  Supreme Court, Queens County  McDonald, J.  After a while Mr. Karp grew “weary” of the arrangement and sought to shake things up.  He sued not only… Continue Reading

The Statute of Limitations and Relation Back to an Earlier Pleading

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Saviano v Corniccelo  2015 NY Slip Op 31447(U)  August 3, 2015  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 153168/2014  Judge: Kelly A. O’Neill Levy discusses how an individual commencing an action might toll the statute of limitations for an LLC which then joins in. “Plaintiffs allege in their complaint that in or around September 2010,… Continue Reading

The Couplet of Account Stated and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It is often said (one sees this in legal malpractice insurance applications and literature) that law suits for attorney fees will invariably trigger a legal malpractice counterclaim.  This perception tarnishes the legal malpractice field in general, yet it has merit.  Godosky & Gentile, P.C. v Brown 2015 NY Slip Op 31462(U)  August 4, 2015  Supreme… Continue Reading

If It’s Old, It’s Cold, Especially in Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Hahn v Dewey & Leboeuf Liquidation Trust  2015 NY Slip Op 31481(U)  August 3, 2015  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 650817/2014  Judge: Eileen Bransten is an example of how high-flying plaintiffs can lose a legal malpractice case through the passage of time.  The statute of limitations in legal malpractice highly favors the attorney,… Continue Reading

Death on the Construction Site (2)

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
On Friday we started to talk about a case in which a construction worker suffered electrical shock and fell 150″ to his death.  The professionals in the case won dismissal, leaving the land owner and others to defend their actions.  Today, we look at the land owner in Mulhall v Archdiocese of N.Y.  2015 NY Slip Op… Continue Reading

Was This The Beginning Of The End For a Mass Torts Firm?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
When one looks back in retrospect, certain patterns might become clear.  Napoli Bern, a hugely successful mass torts firm has imploded.   Christine Simmons of the NYLJ writes:  “The feuding equity partners of Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik have engaged Mark Zauderer, a partner at Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer, to mediate their partnership dispute and adjourned a… Continue Reading

Can an Exaggeration Support a Judiciary Law 487 Claim

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Judiciary Law § 487 is a unique common law claim reserved solely for attorneys.  In general, real deceit, and lots of it, is required in order to succeed. Brady v Friedlander  2014 NYSlipOp 06677 October 2, 2014  Appellate Division, First Department  is an example of a claim that was not robust enough to survive a motion… Continue Reading

Accounting Malpractice Even When the Work was Limited

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
CPA firm is hired to do taxes for a medical corporation.  Medical corporation’s bookkeeper is stealing large amounts of money, and is eventually discovered.  Was the CPA firm, which was not hired to investigate, nor to monitor the bookkeeper potentially liable? JAG Orthopedics, P.C. v AJC Advisory Corp.  2015 NY Slip Op 51111(U)  Decided on… Continue Reading

Privity as the Main Gatekeeper in Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Who may sue an attorney for legal malpractice?  In most cases (and that means almost all the time) only the party that hired and contracted with the attorney.  East 51st St. Dev. Co., LLC v Lincoln Gen. Ins. Co.  2015 NY Slip Op 31245(U)  July 17, 2015 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 150063/2010 Judge: Carol R.… Continue Reading

“Effectively Compelled” and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Plaintiff settles a case handled by her attorney and is dissatisfied.  Dissatisfaction is normal after a settlement, goes the saying, because everyone has compromised and no one is happy.  However, what if the settlement was required because legal malpractice had changed the landscape?  What if the attorneys’ mistakes had required that the plaintiff salvage something… Continue Reading

Wrongful Death Statutes of Limitation and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Anyone can get it wrong, but it appears that all the litigants and Supreme Court all got this lawschool question of statutes of limitation wrong in Stein v Chiera  2015 NY Slip Op 06234 Decided on July 22, 2015  Appellate Division, Second Department.  The AD Panel gives us a lesson in medical malpractice statutes of limitation and… Continue Reading

A Church is Twice Sold…Is It The Attorney’s Fault?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
We’re scratching our heads on this one.  A Brooklyn Church decides to sell its real estate after 50+ years.  It finds a developer who offers a couple of million dollars for the Bedford Avenue property, and the church has its longtime attorney draft up the contracts of sale.  Downpayments are exchanged and then nothing happens.… Continue Reading

Is It Legal Malpractice or Is It Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The difference between legal malpractice and Breach of Fiduciary Duty can be important. In Ferrara v Amritt-Hall  2015 NY Slip Op 31228(U)  July 13, 2015  Supreme Court, Queens County  Docket Number: 22203/11  Judge: Allan B. Weiss the difference is whether an attorney’s conduct is subject to a 3 or a 6-year statute of limitations. The case… Continue Reading

A $97,000 Mystery in Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In the Surrogates’ Court, cases move slowly, in keeping with the universal understanding that the main character in the drama is dead.  Steffan v Wilensky   2015 NY Slip Op 31194(U)  July 8, 2015  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 150020/11  Judge: Cynthia S. Kern may well be an extreme example.  Decedent died in 1993,… Continue Reading

The Ponzi Scheme and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Ponzi schemes, named for Charles Ponzi is a recurring situation for attorneys, especially those who meet with monied clients in transactional settings.  Biberaj v Acocella  2014 NY Slip Op 06165 [120 AD3d 1285]  September 17, 2014  Appellate Division, Second Department describes how an attorney-client relationship wandered into these storm tossed waters. “The plaintiff and the… Continue Reading

Charting A Course to Dismissal

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
There are dismissals on the merits and there are dismissals which are not on the merits.  What difference, one might ask?  The major difference is whether the case may be brought again within 6 months under CPLR 205. The next question is whether a dismissal under CPLR 3211, a common event, is on the merits… Continue Reading
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