New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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No Harm, No Foul in a Legal Malpractice Setting

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Here is a good example of a “no-damage” claim against an attorney.  The claim fails in this case for two reasons.  The first reason is that plaintiff has not been harmed.  No damages can be pled.  The second reason is that plaintiff cannot really say what the attorney might have done wrong. Miami Capital, LLC… Continue Reading

A Primer on Fraud, Discovery and the Statute of Limitations

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In a fact pattern that could have come from a bar exam, Justice Bannon dissects the fraud-discovery-statute of limitations issues arising from a real-estate fraud scheme which is said to have involved attorneys, lenders, borrowers and developers. D. Penguin Bros., Ltd. v City Natl. Bank  2017 NY Slip Op 31926(U)  September 8, 2017 Supreme Court, New York… Continue Reading

One Difference Between Tort and Contract

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Professionals are often sued in both tort and contract.  So what is the difference?  One is a general wrong to the public and one is a specific wrong to a contracting party.  Judge Scarpulla discusses the issue in City of New York v Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Inc. 2017 NY Slip Op 31906(U)  September 7, 2017  Supreme Court, New… Continue Reading

A Judiciary Law 487 Claim Not Dismissed

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Kimbrook Rte. 31, L.L.C. v Bass  2017 NY Slip Op 01083 [147 AD3d 1508]  February 10, 2017 is the Appellate Division, Fourth Department’s latest JL §487 case.  It reversed Supreme Court’s dismissal of the complaint. It has two significant lessons. “Plaintiffs commenced this Judiciary Law § 487 action against defendant based on her conduct when representing plaintiffs’ adversary… Continue Reading

The Relation-Back Principle

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The statute of limitations has a haunting presence in legal malpractice. It both generates and limits legal malpractice cases.  It is a source of many cases, i.e. where the underlying case was not started on time.  The Statute also plays a limiting role in legal malpractice when clients do not understand or learn of the effects… Continue Reading

Some Lessons from Medical Malpractice Cases

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Medical Malpractice preceeded legal malpractice (the ancient joke being that you could not have medical malpractice until a lawyer was around to harass a doctor) and continuous treatment begat continuous representation.  Here, in Lewis v Rutkovsky  2017 NY Slip Op 06342  Decided on August 29, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department we see both an well-written discussion… Continue Reading

Architects Are Somehow Different

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases, Uncategorized
Sometimes flamboyant, often visionary, architects are different from the general masses.  Celebrity architects often have unique personal style, including unusual eyeglasses.  That all aside, architects are granted a higher standard of proof against them in negligence actions, as is described in New York Mar. & Gen. Ins. Co. v Perotto Assoc. Eng’g, P.C., 2017 NY Slip Op… Continue Reading

A New Hotel, A New Construction Method, An Old Problem

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
New York is full of real estate stories, and has been since Dutch times.  Whether it was acquisitions in Old Breuckelen, or in the narrow streets of the lower east side, real estate and development has always been a New York sort of activity. 180 Ludlow Dev. LLC v Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP   2017 NY Slip… Continue Reading

Money, Fashion, Greed and Cruelty

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases, Uncategorized
Legal malpractice cases encapsulate the entire world.  In this short story, money, fashion, greed and cruelty combine into a fairy tail of tragedy.  Oleg Cassini was wildly successful.  He died in 2006 with an estate of about $ 60 Million.  He had a child from an earlier marriage with actress Gene Tierney, which ended in… Continue Reading

No Expert, No Win.

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Sure, you avoided motions to dismiss.  Sure, you avoided a motion for summary judgment.  Sure, you got a jury verdict.  Enough already?  Nope.  In Michael v He Gin Lee Architect Planner, PLLC  2017 NY Slip Op 06177  Decided on August 16, 2017, the  Appellate Division, Second Department looks at plaintiff’s jury verdict and reverses, then dismissing… Continue Reading

School Has Good Claims, but Late, Too Late

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
New York has no applicable statute of limitations longer than 6 years, and this case was brought too late.  That is the holding in Epiphany Community Nursery Sch. v Levey  August 7, 2017 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 654655/2016  Judge: Shirley Werner Kornreich.  This shocking story of monies siphoned off by an unfaithful husband from… Continue Reading

No Judiciary Law 487 Claim Here…But Why?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Dec v BFM Realty, LLC  2017 NY Slip Op 05936  Decided on August 2, 2017 Appellate Division, Second Department.  Summary judgment is granted below, and the AD affirms.  In a short opinion, little light is shed. “The plaintiff commenced this action alleging two causes of action. The first cause of action, alleging fraud, was asserted… Continue Reading

Many, Many Years Later, the Judiciary Law 487 Claim is Lost At Trial

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Judiciary Law § 487 claims do not generally get to a jury.  In Dupree v Voorhees  2017 NY Slip Op 06062  Decided on August 9, 2017  Appellate Division, Second Department a 12 year old case, which long ago raised new issues in Judiciary Law § 487 ended with a non-jury verdict. In Dupree,  the 487 claims were dismissed, then… Continue Reading

Such A Long Time!

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
World wide investor signs contracts for a number of Trump condos, and then loses it all. How could this happen?  The answer is that 10 years went by while the pre-case issues simmered.  In the end, none of the attorneys will be held responsible. Soloway v Kane Kessler, PC  2017 NY Slip Op 50992(U) Decided on… Continue Reading

Legal Malpractice and Patent Law

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
There are certain areas of the law which are reserved to the federal courts.  These areas of law arise because the relevant law is found in federal statutes, or because the area which was previously spread across both state and federal statute or common law has become preempted by later federal statutes or case law.… Continue Reading

A Second Bite of the Apple is Permitted…But not a Third

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Yesterday, we reviewed the first go-round in Mrs. Weinberg’s litigation to undo the sale of two buildings, one of which was her family home for the past 50 years.  Today, in Weinberg v Kaminsky 2017 NY Slip Op 31628(U)  August 4, 2017  Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 150869/2017 Judge: Manuel J. Mendez, we see that this… Continue Reading

Duped or Not? Legal Malpractice or Not?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Looking back at Weinberg v Sultan  2016 NY Slip Op 05939 [142 AD3d 767]  September 1, 2016 the question before the Appellate Division, First Department seems to have been was whether plaintiff was duped or not, and whether her former son-in-law took a large “consulting fee” and did so to her detriment.  Whether former sons-in-law can be… Continue Reading

Moral Victories and Practical Advice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Matter of Ginsburg  2016 NY Slip Op 07733 [144 AD3d 1357]  November 17, 2016  Appellate Division, Third Department is a sad story of despair overlaid with a sordid story of attorney fee grasping.  In the end, not a lot was accomplice.  The decision gives some practical advice on settlements and attorney retention. “On February 17,… Continue Reading

A Fee Sharing Agreement that Worked…Or Did It?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
A personal injury takes place, and is litigated.  It goes to verdict which exceeds the insurance coverage.  What is a defendant to do?  Well, one solution is a bad faith litigation against the carrier, and an assignment to the plaintiff.  Plaintiff gets the chance to obtain the balance (over the policy limits) from the insurer,… Continue Reading

The Slimmest of Legal Malpractice Allegations

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In legal malpractice there are transactional representations and there are litigation representation.  It’s easier to show privity when the attorney has signed on as attorney of record.  It’s more difficult when the attorney may/may not be involved in a transactional setting.  Breslin v Raich, Ende, Malter & Co., LLP  2016 NY Slip Op 32015(U)  July… Continue Reading

Plaintiff Skates Over Summary Judgment; Finds the Perfect Snow Storm Explanation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Snow and ice cases are difficult.  Fall too soon and the landowner gets the benefit of the “strorm-in-progress” defense.  Fall at the right time, and you have to prove that the landowner created the situation.  Hire the wrong attorney, and your legal malpractice case difficulty rises to the Nth degree.  So, Balan v Rooney  2017 NY… Continue Reading

The Outcome Was Correct; The Process Was Flawed

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
When you tease out the underlying process of the summary judgment motion practice in Burbige v Siben & Ferber  2017 NY Slip Op 05704  Decided on July 19, 2017  Appellate Division, Second Department it becomes apparent that the Appellate Division saw less in the underlying motions than did Supreme Court.  Both, however, came to the… Continue Reading

Death, Malpractice and Surrogate’s Court

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
One does not often see legal malpractice cases reported out of Surrogate’s Court. Matter of Schleifer  2017 NY Slip Op 31501(U)  July 14, 2017  Surrogate’s Court, New York County Docket Number: 2010-3599/A  Judge: Rita M. Mella is a big-number, multi-defendant real estate and commercial estate-fraud-legal malpractice case.  It discusses a number of fraud-rescission-release-pleading issues which… Continue Reading
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