The Court of Appeals decided two interesting legal malpractice cases today. AmBase v. Davis Polk is one and Rudolph v. Shayne Dachs is the second. Rudolph is interesting on at least two counts.
In this case plaintiff was injured as a pedestrian. Defendant law firm asked for the wrong jury instruction, and as a result plaintiff won, but was seriously hit with comparative liability. He hired new counsel, got a new trial on the basis of the wrong jury instruction, and settled the case for about 15X the amount.
He sued in legal malpractice asking for two things: the attorney fees to fix the first trial, with the repeat costs of the second trial [experts, etc]. On this he won. The second thing he asked for was interest on the difference between the first recovery and the second recovery from the date of trial 1. On this he lost.
The decision is interesting for two items: The Court of Appeals fleshed out what expenses may be recoverable "in an attempt to avoid, minimizev or reduce the damage caused by attorney wrongful conduct", citing DePinto v. Rosenthal & Curry and Baker v. Dorfman.
The court also left open what and whether predecision interest may be recoverable in legal malpractice in its last footnote.