New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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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

The Continuing Continuous Representation Problem

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Law Firm A starts to represent Plaintiff.  At some time afterwards, Law Firm B comes in.  Legal malpractice ensues.  Time goes by.  Can Law Firm A be held responsible for Plaintiff’s losses?  The answer depends on a number of salient issues, and the statute of limitations is one of them.  When does the statute of… Continue Reading

Fictitious Profits and Accounting Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
What are fictitious profits, and how do they affect damages in accounting malpractice.  Accounting malpractice is akin to legal malpractice, especially in that economic damages are paramount.  Fictitious profits cannot serve as the source of actual damages.  So, in Delollis v Margolin, Winer & Evens, LLP  2014 NYSlipOp 06935  October 15, 2014  Appellate Division, Second Department… Continue Reading

Some Really Good Real Estate, Death and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
What could be more Manhattanite than the combination of a Central Park South double apartment, a real estate legal proceeding, lots of money and legal malpractice?  Nothing that we can conjure. Russo v Rozenholc  2015 NY Slip Op 06029  Decided on July 9, 2015  Appellate Division, First Department is about tenants who had a lovely… Continue Reading

Disqualification and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Lawfirm signs on to represent plaintiffs and a “liaison for plaintiffs” in an ongoing legal malpractice and fee dispute action, and do so for about 6 months until they are disqualified due to a “conflict of interest in representing both the plaintiffs” and the liaison.  Plaintiffs then go on to sue Lawfirm for legal malpractice and… Continue Reading

Big Law Firms and the Continuous Representation Rule

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
This legal malpractice case, which is based upon tax advice may eventually lead to the largest legal malpractice settlement of the year, and perhaps, of the decade.  Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. v Proskauer Rose, LLP  2015 NY Slip Op 05772  Decided on July 2, 2015  Appellate Division, First Department deals with damages not in the… Continue Reading

A Prisioner’s Dilemma in the Legal Malpractice Sphere

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Plaintiff is an inmate and commenced a legal malpractice action in connection with the attorneys’ handling of a federal civil rights trial.  In New York service of process is mired in ancient practice, and few really understand how to serve a summons and complaint.  Plaintiff appears not to have understood that service upon a defendant… Continue Reading

The Statute of Limitations and the Cost of Waiting

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Leonard Global Macro Fund LLC v North Am. Globex Fund, L.P.  2014 NY Slip Op 32393(U)  August 29, 2014  Sup Ct, New York County Docket Number: 150346/13  Judge: Nancy M. Bannon illustrates the principal that standing by and waiting to sue may lead to a successful statute of limitations defense.  For the most part actions against… Continue Reading

Several Ways to Lose a Legal Malpractice Trial

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Borges v Placeres  2014 NY Slip Op 08910 [123 AD3d 611]  December 23, 2014  Appellate Division, First Department is a description of how a legal malpractice trial was lost by the defendant attorney.  There are some rules unique to the legal malpractice sphere, and failure to utilize them can have substantial consequences. “Defendant’s motions to… Continue Reading

How Could This Case Go To Trial?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
A quick reading of KBL, LLP v Community Counseling & Mediation Servs.  2014 NY Slip Op 08581 [123 AD3d 488]  December 9, 2014 Appellate Division, First Department leads one to ask, what did plaintiffs intend to prove, and had they considered the question of “proximate cause?” “Defendant is a not-for-profit organization that provides services funded in… Continue Reading

A Weak Shot at a Legal Malpractice Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The social policy behind limitations on legal malpractice undoubtedly arises from the fear that after every litigation, whether commercial, personal injury, matrimonial or patent, there might be a legal malpractice case.  Only strict rules (goes the fear) will keep this epidemic in rein.  So, Courts routinely scrutinize legal malpractice cases more rigorously than they do… Continue Reading

What is Really Going On Here?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Alksom Realty LLC v Baranik   2015 NY Slip Op 50869(U)  Decided on June 9, 2015  Supreme Court, Kings County  Demarest, J. is a case that touches two of the most relevant issues to a New Yorker, especially a Manhattanite, real estate and taxes.  Looking at this story, one asks, how could this happen? Plaintiff has… Continue Reading
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