A Son in Jail, New York Parents and a Legal Malpractice Case

On occasion, the bitterness and melancholy aspects of a case are cognizable merely from reading a motion decision.  In Bloomgarden v Lanza  2013 NY Slip Op 31221(U)  June 5, 2013
Supr Ct, Suffolk County  Docket Number: 8587-12  Judge: Daniel Martin  two parents, both doctors, sue California attorneys over representation of their son, convicted of crimes and facing death penalty proceedings in California.  Is there jurisdiction over the attorneys in NY? 

The short answer is no.  The longer answer is found in an analysis of the NY long-arm jurisdiction law.  "Plaintiffs commenced this action seeking to recover damages for legal malpractice [any other claims] which allegedly resulted from the defendants' representation of plaintiffs and their son, Howard Bloomgarden, in a suit against another attorney in the State of Florida relating to her retention by the plaintiffs to handle two matters relating to Howard Bloomgarden's plea/conviction on various criminal counts and the return of fees paid.  The Florida action, under the title: BLOOMGARDEN v. ROBERTA MANDEL, et al, sought to recover from the attorney for breach of contract [and other claims], all concerning Ms. Mandel's efforts to relieve Howard Bloomgarden of the consequences of a federal criminal court plea allocution, based on lack of effective counsel by yet another attorney, for which he was, and is, serving 33 and 3/4 years sentence and upon which he potentially would fact two capital murder prosecutions in the State of California."

After a long [and not reproducible discussion] of the NY  long arm statute , CPLR 302, the court decides that there is insufficient nexus to New York.  In fact, other than the residence of the plaintiffs, and the fact that a contract was mailed into NY, there is no connection at all. Supreme Court decides that it is without personal jurisdiction over the defendants, and dismisses.

 

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