New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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They Consulted an Expert Yet Missed the Deadline

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
ITHACA:  This story is right out of the news, and is not yet a court decision.  Seneca County is at war with the Cayuga Indian Nation, and it’s over money, no surprise.  Even less surprising, its over real estate and taxes.  So, the question is whether the county may foreclose on certain property for the… Continue Reading

Sometimes It’s The Little Things

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The name is arresting and the crusade is notable.  The entire case falls, once again, on a technicality.  What happens when a complaint but no summons starts the case off?  Dealy-Doe-Eyes Maddux v Schur  2016 NY Slip Op 03931  Decided on May 19, 2016  Appellate Division, Third Department tells us that: “For more than a decade,… Continue Reading

If You Don’t Have a Viable Case, Mistakes Really Don’t Matter

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In a stark example of the “but for” element of legal malpractice, Hoffman v Colleluori 2016 NY Slip Op 03850 Decided on May 18, 2016 Appellate Division, Second Department stands for the principal of “no-harm, no-foul.”  Put another way, if plaintiff could not have won the underlying case, mistakes matter not. “In 2006, the plaintiff retained the defendants… Continue Reading

It Would Be Wrong To Bring the Suit; Attorney Then Sued for Not Starting the Suit

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In a startling and ironic turn, a legal malpractice law firm sues an attorney for not doing something wrong.  Wait, that sounds convoluted.  Here is the story.   Baer v Law Offs. of Moran & Gottlieb  2016 NY Slip Op 03799  Decided on May 12, 2016  Appellate Division, Third Department is about how an attorney took… Continue Reading

A Settlement Unravels and Confidentiality is Forever Lost

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Catsiapis v Giano   2016 NY Slip Op 30863(U)   May 11, 2016   Supreme Court,   Queens County Docket Number: 21642/2012   Judge: Denis J. Butler is an example of overreach and how it can eventually undermine the entire project.  Defendant attorneys almost always want a confidentiality clause, and will sometimes stretch out the negotiation… Continue Reading

A Familiar and Sad Story

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Anderson v Armentano  2016 NY Slip Op 03690  Decided on May 11, 2016  Appellate Division, Second Department is another telling of a sad but familiar story in which a Workers’ Compensation attorney allows the client to think that it is handling all aspects of the personal injury case, but is only handling the WC portion.  Here,… Continue Reading

Failures in Pleading, Failures in Proofs

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
What happens when you have good claims, but fail to enunciate them in the original pleading?  One might guess that you simply file another pleading and include them?  Not that easy.  As Hustedt Chevrolet, Inc. v Jones, Little & Co.  2015 NY Slip Op 04611 [129 AD3d 669]  June 3, 2015 Appellate Division, Second Department demonstrates… Continue Reading

In the Beginning of the Grace v. Law Doctrine

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Rochester: Harvey v Handelman, Witkowicz & Levitsky, LLP  2015 NY Slip Op 05794 [130 AD3d 1439]  July 2, 2015  Appellate Division, Fourth Department  is one of the first cases decided after Grace v. Law in which the question of a “likely to succeed” appeal is discussed. “We note at this juncture that plaintiff has abandoned any… Continue Reading

The Retaining Lien and How It Affects Litigation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Yesterday, we looked at Burbacki v Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman,  Eisman, Formatto, Ferrara & Wolf, LLP  2016 NY Slip Op 30749(U)  April 15, 2016  Supreme Court, Kings County Docket Number: 509725/2015  Judge: David B. Vaughan and how bankruptcy affected plaintiff’s ability to litigate legal malpractice claims. The situation was set off, in part, because of a retaining lien.  A common… Continue Reading

Interrelated Or Separate? It Matters for the Statute of Limitations

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Genesis Merchant Partners, LP v Gilbride, Tusa, Last & Spellane LLC   2015 NY Slip Op 31080(U)  June 16, 2015  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 653145/2014 Judge: Nancy M. Bannon  is a textbook example of how the statute of limitations is applied to a legal malpractice transactional case.  Defendant represented Plaintiff in series of loan… Continue Reading

Help or Walk Away? It has Vast Implications

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Architect malpractice follows many of the same rules, especially in the calculation of statutes of limitation as does legal malpractice.  What happens when an architect (or an attorney) handles a limited task and finishes.  Later there are some problems, and the professional looks at the situation and works on a solution.  How does that change… Continue Reading

Knowing, Material Misrepresentations and Judiciary Law 487

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Klein v Rieff  2016 NY Slip Op 00482 [135 AD3d 910]  January 27, 2016  Appellate Division, Second Department is an interesting case in which all the lawyers, whether representing plaintiff or against him, were sued for legal malpractice and Judiciary Law § 487 claims.  The claims against plaintiff’s attorney survived but those against opposing counsel were… Continue Reading

The Statute of Limitations is a High Hurdle

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Mineola, NY:   In an appeal from the decision and order of Supreme Court, Nassau County, the Second Department reminds all that the statute of limitations is an unforgiving obstacle. Quinn v McCabe, Collins, McGeough & Fowler, LLP  2016 NY Slip Op 03153  Decided on April 27, 2016  Appellate Division, Second Department discusses the statute,… Continue Reading

The Reflexive Legal Malpractice Counterclaim

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It is often and disparagingly said that legal malpractice cases exist solely to get out of obligations to pay attorney fees.  Sometimes that appears to be true.   Popkin v Kopoulos  Decided on April 22, 2016  District Court Of Nassau County, First District  Fairgrieve, J. is the story of an attorney who prepared a retainer agreement… Continue Reading

Vague Allegations of Damages Fail for Plaintiff

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Plaintiff pled an adequate cause of action for himself, but could not plead adequately for his corporation.  This outcome is generally the opposite of what one might expect in a legal malpractice case in which the individual is often not in privity with the attorney while the corporation is.  Brion v Moreira  2016 NY Slip Op… Continue Reading

No One Gets Summary Judgment Here

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Client is a big-time hedge fund earner, getting $5 and $6 million in bonuses over the years.  Suddently, the bottom falls out, and he is offered severeness of only $ 1.6 million.  He consults with defendants who tell him that they can help.  However, defendants divert from the contractually set-up appeal procedure and plaintiff ends… Continue Reading

Clearing the Brush Away from the Statute of Limitations in an Accounting Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Weight v Day  2015 NY Slip Op 09093 [134 AD3d 806]  December 9, 2015  Appellate Division, Second Department is an accounting malpractice case with implications for the legal malpractice field.  The statute of limitations begins to run, the Second Department tells us, when there is a verifiable and concrete end to the representation.  The basics are… Continue Reading

The Retainer Agreement and Legal Malpractice Litigation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Sure, there is a requirement that attorneys provide a retainer agreement or a letter setting forth the work to be performed and the costs.  However, the Appellate Division has ruled that an attorney can collect fees even in the absence of a retainer agreement in Seth Rubenstein v. Ganea.   So, what does it matter anyway?… Continue Reading

Summary Judgment Denied in a Short Affirmance

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Sometimes the Appellate Division will opine and give its full reasoning, sometimes not.  In Soubbotin v Joseph Potashnik & Assoc., PLLC  2016 NY Slip Op 02800  Decided on April 13, 2016  Appellate Division, Second Department the AD merely said that an argument put forward by  the attorneys did not even make it to the prima facie stage. “The… Continue Reading

It was the Court, Not the Attorney

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Bad result suggests that a bad choice was made by the attorneys.  The bad result/choice suggests that a legal malpractice case might be indicated.  This is fair reasoning, but Courts often fail to join in the analysis, and point to a different cause of the bad result.  Put another way, lots of legal malpractice cases… Continue Reading

Suing a Non-Attorney for Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
While the non-attorney was but a small part of this case and non-disclosure was a larger part of the case, this case was dismissed mostly because it is very difficult to succeed on a legal malpractice matrimonial case unless one can show that the monied spouse hid significant assets. Schiff v Sallah Law Firm, P.C.… Continue Reading
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