In New York there is case law which holds the attorney liabile for errors by a process server. Here is a similar case and analysis from Arizona

"Like most states, Arizona recognizes an exception to this rule, generally referred to as the "nondelegable duty exception." Id. "The policy reasons justifying such a departure are that the employer is the one who primarily benefits from the contractor’s work, the employer is free to select the contractor and may insist on one that is financially responsible and competent, and the employer has the ability to internalize the cost of insurance necessary to distribute the risk as a cost of doing business." Miller v. Westcor Ltd. Partnership, 171 Ariz. 387, 391, 831 P.2d 386, 390 (App.1991).

As the Arizona Supreme Court held in Ft. Lowell, the nondelegable duty exception arises in situations involving a "special relationship between persons," such as "persons who engage in relationships that are ‘protective by nature’ (e.g., the common carrier, innkeeper, employer) [who] are often held to possess an affirmative duty to guard the safety of their respective charges." Ft. Lowell, 101, 800 P.2d at 967. The Court explained:

The nondelegable duty exception is somewhat of a misnomer because it refers to duties for which the employer must retain responsibility, despite proper delegation to another. Such situations exist where the employer is under a higher duty to some class of persons. This duty may be imposed by statute, by contract, by franchise or charter, or by the common law. If the employer delegates performance of a special duty to an independent contractor and the latter is negligent, the employer will remain liable for any resulting injury to the protected class of persons, as if the negligence had been his own. The exception is premised on the principle that certain duties of an employer are of such importance that he may not escape liability merely by delegating performance to another.
The type of situation — i.e., negligence of a process server — was addressed in Kleeman v. Rheingold, 614 N.E.2d 712 (1993), where a client brought a legal malpractice action against a law firm based upon negligence of process server in failing to serve medical malpractice defendant within statute of limitations. The sole issue addressed by the Court was "whether an attorney may be held vicariously liable to his or her client for the negligence of a process server whom the attorney has hired on behalf of that client." Id. at 714. "

Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Andrew Lavoott Bluestone

Andrew Lavoott Bluestone has been an attorney for 40 years, with a career that spans criminal prosecution, civil litigation and appellate litigation. Mr. Bluestone became an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County in 1978, entered private practice in 1984 and in 1989 opened…

Andrew Lavoott Bluestone has been an attorney for 40 years, with a career that spans criminal prosecution, civil litigation and appellate litigation. Mr. Bluestone became an Assistant District Attorney in Kings County in 1978, entered private practice in 1984 and in 1989 opened his private law office and took his first legal malpractice case.

Since 1989, Bluestone has become a leader in the New York Plaintiff’s Legal Malpractice bar, handling a wide array of plaintiff’s legal malpractice cases arising from catastrophic personal injury, contracts, patents, commercial litigation, securities, matrimonial and custody issues, medical malpractice, insurance, product liability, real estate, landlord-tenant, foreclosures and has defended attorneys in a limited number of legal malpractice cases.

Bluestone also took an academic role in field, publishing the New York Attorney Malpractice Report from 2002-2004.  He started the “New York Attorney Malpractice Blog” in 2004, where he has published more than 4500 entries.

Mr. Bluestone has written 38 scholarly peer-reviewed articles concerning legal malpractice, many in the Outside Counsel column of the New York Law Journal. He has appeared as an Expert witness in multiple legal malpractice litigations.

Mr. Bluestone is an adjunct professor of law at St. John’s University College of Law, teaching Legal Malpractice.  Mr. Bluestone has argued legal malpractice cases in the Second Circuit, in the New York State Court of Appeals, each of the four New York Appellate Divisions, in all four of  the U.S. District Courts of New York and in Supreme Courts all over the state.  He has also been admitted pro haec vice in the states of Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida and was formally admitted to the US District Court of Connecticut and to its Bankruptcy Court all for legal malpractice matters. He has been retained by U.S. Trustees in legal malpractice cases from Bankruptcy Courts, and has represented municipalities, insurance companies, hedge funds, communications companies and international manufacturing firms. Mr. Bluestone regularly lectures in CLEs on legal malpractice.

Based upon his professional experience Bluestone was named a Diplomate and was Board Certified by the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys in 2008 in Legal Malpractice. He remains Board Certified.  He was admitted to The Best Lawyers in America from 2012-2019.  He has been featured in Who’s Who in Law since 1993.

In the last years, Mr. Bluestone has been featured for two particularly noteworthy legal malpractice cases.  The first was a settlement of an $11.9 million dollar default legal malpractice case of Yeo v. Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman which was reported in the NYLJ on August 15, 2016. Most recently, Mr. Bluestone obtained a rare plaintiff’s verdict in a legal malpractice case on behalf of the City of White Plains v. Joseph Maria, reported in the NYLJ on February 14, 2017. It was the sole legal malpractice jury verdict in the State of New York for 2017.

Bluestone has been at the forefront of the development of legal malpractice principles and has contributed case law decisions, writing and lecturing which have been recognized by his peers.  He is regularly mentioned in academic writing, and his past cases are often cited in current legal malpractice decisions. He is recognized for his ample writings on Judiciary Law § 487, a 850 year old statute deriving from England which relates to attorney deceit.