New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

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A Summer of Golden Oldie Judicary Law 487 Cases

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Last week we reported on the reappearance of Dupree v. Vorhees  in the Judiciary Law § 487 pantheon.  Today, we see that Melcher v Greenberg Traurig LLP   2017 NY Slip Op 31727(U) August 15, 2017 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 650188/2007  Judge: O. Peter Sherwood has similarly bobbed up. Melcher has a fascinating backstory, with documents disappearing  and… Continue Reading

BEST LAWYERS IN AMERICA

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We are extremely proud to report that Andrew Lavoott Bluestone has again been selected for inclusion in this years edition of The Best Lawyers in America (24th Edition).  He has been included since 2012.    … Continue Reading

No Judiciary Law 487 Claim; No Explanation

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Dec v BFM Realty, LLC  2017 NY Slip Op 05936  Decided on August 2, 2017  Appellate Division, Second Department is a legal malpractice and fraud case dismissed (after a number of years of litigation) in Kings County.  It alleged fraud and judiciary law § 487 violation.  Summary judgment was granted against Plaintiff.  Trying to glean more details… Continue Reading

Who’s In Charge and May The Attorney Rely on Authority?

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Plaintiff was working in the movie industry.  He and the movie company came to a parting, and a separation agreement was produced between him and the company, negotiated by the company’s CEO.  Later Plaintiff was not paid his equity investments and did not get certain credits.  Board is unhappy with the deal itself, and blames… Continue Reading

Voluntary Payment v. Overbilling in a Legal Malpractice Case

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There is a long history of doctor-lawyer litigations.  Often there seems to be a disconnect between the world-views of the protagonists.  Lawyers may seem avaricious and doctors naive and pedantic.  In Dubrow v Herman & Beinin  2017 NY Slip Op 31545(U) July 21, 2017 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 651605/2016  Judge: Ellen M. Coin  a… Continue Reading

Maintenance or Repair? It Really Makes A Difference in this Legal Malpractice Case

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Under Labor Law §240(1) a person may prevail in litigation if injured “during the “erection, demolition, repairing, altering, painting, cleaning or pointing of a building or structure” (Labor Law § 240[1]; see Moreira v Ponzo, 131 AD3d 1025, 1026; Enos v Werlatone, Inc., 68 AD3d 713, 714). In determining whether a particular activity constitutes “repairing,” courts are careful to… Continue Reading

Pump and Dump All The Way to Prison…Legal Malpractice Too?

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Wimbledon Fin. Master Fund, Ltd. v Weston Capital Mgt. LLC  2017 NY Slip Op 31515(U) July 17, 2017  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 653468/2015 as explained by  Judge Shirley Werner Kornreich is the material of a movie.  Here it is in a nutshell: “This action involves approximately 30 defendants and has already, in the… Continue Reading

Judiciary Law 487 is Not For Everyone, Nor Everything

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The statute, which has been with us in one form or another for more than 800 years does not mention “egregious” nor “chronic” nor a “pattern of delinquent behavior.”  487 is handled differently in the First Department, and in the other Departments, there appears to be a lower threshold for its application.  Here in Gelwan… Continue Reading

Today in the Court of Appeals

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We are pleased to say that the Court of Appeals answered a certified question in our favor in Gevorkyan v Judelson   2017 NY Slip Op 05176  Decided on June 27, 2017  Court of Appeals DiFiore, Ch. J. a case we have labored on over the past several years.  In this novel question of law, the… Continue Reading

Did They Actually Withdraw?

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Attorneys and client have a number of related cases arising out of a real estate transaction.  They are in and out of some of the transactions, and other eventually go sour.  How does the continuous representation doctrine play out in this setting? In RJR Mech. Inc. v Ruvoldt 2017 NY Slip Op 31232(U)  June 8, 2017 Supreme Court,… Continue Reading

A Huge Investment Loss, Much Litigation Follows

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After a multi-million dollar investment suffered some unexpected tax issues, litigation between some legal giants started.  Bloostein v Morrison Cohen LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 31238(U)  June 7, 2017  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 651242/2012  Judge: Anil C. Singh involves a state supreme court case and at least one arbitration.  The players include… Continue Reading

Win at Trial, Lose on Appeal

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Gall v Colon-Sylvain  2017 NY Slip Op 04424  Decided on June 7, 2017  Appellate Division, Second Department is the story of a real estate case gone bad, a non-jury trial ending in success for plaintiff and a complete reversal at trial.  How can Supreme Court and the Appellate Division differ so, on the same set of… Continue Reading

First Chapter in the Big Queens Legal Malpractice Saga

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It’s a common enough scenario.  Home buyer (not a professional) wants to buy what looks like a bargain.  Home buyer goes to an attorney and the closing takes place.  Problem?  ECB as judgments against the property which don’t get taken care of, the neighbor has a right to use the driveway and there are structural… Continue Reading

“A” Proximate Cause v. Sole Proximate Cause

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What, exactly, is the standard by which legal malpractice proximate cause is measured?  Remember, legal malpractice is the sole area of the law in which an additional burden is placed upon the plaintiff:  the “but for” requirement.  New York State Workers’ Compensation Bd. v Program Risk Mgt., Inc.  2017 NY Slip Op 04184  Decided on May… Continue Reading

A Huge Tax Deduction Loss and Third-Party Claims

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Really, the numbers boggle.  Clients collectively lost a $3 Million tax deduction when one of the trustees, without telling anyone else, waived the claim.  A professional malpractice claim followed in 1993 Trust of Joan Cohen v Baum    2017 NY Slip Op 30894(U)  May 2, 2017  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 150058/2015  Judge: Shirley… Continue Reading

How Egregious Must The Act Be?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases, Uncategorized
Judiciary Law § 487 is a harsh, almost medieval law, with treble damages and a potential criminal conviction lurking.  The Appellate Division has said that it is not lightly granted, and in Brookwood Cos., Inc. v Alston & Bird LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 00535 [146 AD3d 662]  January 26, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department looks at… Continue Reading

Does “The Plaintiff’s then husband” Explain This Case?

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It seems that when the husband was injured, the defendant law firm sued for both him and the wife (in loss of consortium).  Years later it was said that the plaintiff signed a release for her “loss of services” claim.  She denies settling her portion of the case.  What happened?  Were they now divorced and… Continue Reading

Just How Immediate Was That Benefit?

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In big financial transactions, big law firm 1 may often interact with big law firm 2 in the generation of loan documents, opinion letters and the such.  Their interaction, viz-a-viz the clients (on both sides) may yield significant risk the law firms. Bloostein v Morrison Cohen LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 30833(U)  April 21, 2017  Supreme… Continue Reading

How Will this Conviction Thing Shake Out?

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Last week we reported a cataclysmic event in Judiciary Law 487.  It was Magistrate Scott’s report and recommendation  in Bounkhoun v. Barnes, 15-cv-631A. District Judge Richard Arcara is presiding over the case.  He wrote:  “Where does all of the above analysis leave plaintiff? Plaintiff has pled that defendants ignored her desire to settle her case,… Continue Reading

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We wrote about this case last week.  Today the NYLJ writes an article.  What is this all about, and is it an earthquake in the Judiciary Law § 487 world?  Joel Stashenko writes:  “A client dissatisfied with her attorneys’ work in a personal injury case cannot bring a legal misconduct claim under state Judiciary Law because… Continue Reading

This Classic Case Was Dismissed…Why?”

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There can be no more classic case in legal malpractice than that of a passenger who is injured in a car accident, whose attorney fails to start the case.  Nevertheless, Atiencia v Pinczewski, 2017 NY Slip Op 01839  Decided on March 15, 2017  Appellate Division, Second Department was dismissed in Kings County. The Appellate Division could hardly… Continue Reading

Did This Pro-Se Plaintiff Go Too Far?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases, Uncategorized
Sometimes, people get a tad too worked up over the small things.  Ruffalo v Iannace 2017 NY Slip Op 50296(U)  Decided on March 9, 2017  Supreme Court, Westchester County Marx, J. might be an example. “Plaintiff moves for an order permitting him to proceed as a poor person and for assignment of counsel in this… Continue Reading

A Federal Take on Judiciary Law 487

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Sometimes it takes a federal court decision to clarify the current state of the law in a discrete area. CANON U.S.A., INC., et al, Plaintiffs, v. DIVINIUM TECHNOLOGIES, INC., et al., Defendants. No. 15 Civ. 1804 (PAC). United States District Court, S.D. New York.February 21, 2017. Judge Crotty neatly sets forth the application of Judiciary Law § 487, whether it… Continue Reading
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