New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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So Often It’s Real Estate in Legal Malpractice Settings

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Tai v Broche  2016 NY Slip Op 31586(U)  August 18, 2016  Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 652769/2011  Judge: Joan M. Kenney is the story of some high-stakes Manhattan real estate, and the legal malpractice claims that accompany it.  The attorneys say that they warned their client not to close, but close it did.  Lots… Continue Reading

Accounting malpractice and Levels of Investigation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In the accounting malpractice world, defendants often try to distinguish between a “look-see” and a thorough audit.  The audit examines bank records, backup, bills, invoices, tax returns, etc.  Anything else is merely a “compilation” based upon provided records, and the usual disclaimer is that the client was unwilling to pay for the full audit.  Unwilling… Continue Reading

Manhattan Real Estate Transactions Go Bad and Only the Notary Is Left

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Ever since the founding of the Colony, Manhattan real estate has been a widely discussed and studied subject.  The sale of  549 Manhattan Avenue is no exception.  Was there fraud, duress, misconduct? Jennings-Purnell v Donner  2016 NY Slip Op 31517(U)  August 10, 2016  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 110344/2006  Judge: Robert D. Kalish… Continue Reading

That All Important Notice to the Insurance Carrier

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Whether the issue arises in an insurance coverage case for personal injury or in a legal malpractice coverage case, notice to the carrier is all important, and the failure to notify can gut coverage.  Cohen Bros. Realty Corp. v RLI Ins. Co.  2016 NY Slip Op 31493(U)  August 3, 2016 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 652037/2011… Continue Reading

Positioning the Legal Malpractice Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Sometimes a legal malpractice case is brought and an answer is filed, and sometimes an attorney fee claim is made and a legal malpractice counterclaim is filed.  Litigants have varying feelings on whether playing defense puts them at a disadvantage.  Here in Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP v Barbera  2016 NY Slip Op 00919 [136… Continue Reading

Tolling the Statute of Limitations

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
For almost every professional endeavor, save medicine, the statute of limitations is 3 years.  For medicine because of “tort reform” intervention, it is 2.5 years.  But the mere length from the date of the mistake is only the first part of the calculation.  The statute of limitations is tolled while continuing representation goes on. Bronstein… Continue Reading

It’s said to be a “Modification” But …Wow!

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Bison Capital Corp. v Hunton & Williams LLP  2016 NY Slip Op 31467(U)  July 28, 2016 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 153793/15  Judge: Saliann Scarpulla starts out as a $ 116 Million  legal malpractice case, brought by two uber law firms in the NY area, and ends as a breach of contract for the… Continue Reading

Guessing at What A Court Might Do in Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In all legal malpractice cases one compares the hypothetical better outcome to that of the actual.  Where there is a significant difference, it can be said that there is a proximately caused outcome.  That, however, is different from the “but for” causation which is unique to legal malpractice.  Here, one must show that there is… Continue Reading

Was It Yearly Work or Monthly Work?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In this case, for the statute of limitations it makes a great deal of difference whether the work being performed by professionals (accountants) was by the month or by the tax year.  Calculation of the statute of limitations is strongly affected by this determination. Lobel Chem. Corp. v Petitto   2016 NY Slip Op 30273(U)  February… Continue Reading

Mistakes Happen…

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Clients hired attorneys to set up and oversee a trust.  The funding for the trust was from life insurance policies.  The attorneys were tasked with making sure the insurance policies stayed in effect.  Then… Ianiro v Bachman  2015 NY Slip Op 06709 [131 AD3d 925]  September 2, 2015  Appellate Division, Second Department tells us that… Continue Reading

A Small Case II

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Sometimes short and concisely written opinions contain much information. Today, we continue with  Jefferson Apts., Inc. v Mauceri  2016 NY Slip Op 26230  Decided on July 25, 2016  Supreme Court, Queens County  Ritholtz, J. are simple.  An accounting firm is hired to oversee the basic accounting needs of a corporation.  Lots of money is missing.… Continue Reading

A Sad Tale of Brothers, A Trust and Legal Malpractice Claims

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
If one reads enough litigation cases, the frequency of intra-family discord over money is striking.  If one speaks with potential clients, the frequency is even more striking.  Brother against brother, sibling against sibling and parents against children are more the norm than the exception.  Kaplan v Valley Natl. Bank  2016 NY Slip Op 51108(U)  Decided… Continue Reading

What Was Pled, What Was Not Pled

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Plaintiff pled a Judiciary Law § 487 claim, but it did not survive a motion to dismiss.  The Appellate Division reviews.  What did it have before it, and how does it proceed? Gumarova v Law Offs. of Paul A. Boronow, P.C.  2015 NY Slip Op 05155 [129 AD3d 911] June 17, 2015  Appellate Division, Second Department… Continue Reading

A Seizure, A Coffee Burn, A New Trial

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The setting for this case is a medical malpractice case in Saratoga County.  The lesson of this case is that jury instructions are very, very important, and attorneys must do everything necessary to preserve objections to what they consider incorrect instructions. Vallone v Saratoga Hosp.  2016 NY Slip Op 05526  Decided on July 14, 2016… Continue Reading

The Opinion Letter and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
One of the unique elements of legal malpractice is the requirement of privity.  Privity of contract (or representation) is an ancient concept, which states that only those in direct contract may be held responsible for harm.  It is the opposite of generalized tort liability.  Familiar to law students, privity giving way to generalized tort liability… Continue Reading

Down But Not Out, Continued

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Last week we looked at the statute of limitations in legal malpractice and how that interacted with CPLR 203 which allowed a counterclaim as an offset.  Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP v Law Firm of Howard Mann  2016 NY Slip Op 05487  Decided on July 13, 2016 Appellate Division, Second Department also has a… Continue Reading

Down But Not Out in a Legal Malpractice Counterclaim

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Law firms traditionally wait three years and a day before suing for unpaid legal fees, and fall into the gap between the three year statute for a feared legal malpractice counterclaim and the six year statute for contract claims.  So was the case in Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard & Smith, LLP v Law Firm of Howard Mann… Continue Reading

Much Brush Cast Aside; Legal Malpractice Case Remains in Play

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Board of Mgrs. of 325 Fifth Ave. Condominium v Continental Residential Holdings LLC 2016 NY Slip Op 31230(U)  June 27, 2016  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 154764/12  Judge: Kelly A. O’Neill Levy is a very dense luxury high rise construction case arising from a building on 5th Avenue in Manhattan.  Justice O’Neill Levy briskly takes… Continue Reading

Many Causes of Action, Mostly Time-Barred

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Loans were given and mortgages taken.  The mortgages were no properly recorded after closing. Some time passed, and the borrowers stopped paying.  An easy solution, no?  In this case, not an easy solution.  All of the claims discussed in this appeal are time barred. Yarbro v Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  2016 NY Slip Op 05236… Continue Reading

Your Lawyers are More or Less Free To Talk About You

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In a dense (actually very dense) opinion, the First Department has determined that under certain circumstances, your attorneys are fee to discuss your case amongst themselves, and may do so in an air of confidentiality…they need not tell you what they discussed. Stock v Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP   2016 NY Slip Op 05247… Continue Reading
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