A word search for “professional malpractice” brought up this story. While not a legal malpractice report, this disciplinary proceeding explains why some legal malpractice cases are brought. Matter of Bloom 2019 NY Slip Op 09000 Decided on December 18, 2019
Appellate Division, Second Department Per Curiam is a curious mix of inappropriate conduct and a sense that aggression in litigation might solve all woes.
“Charge one alleges that the respondent engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on [*2]his fitness as a lawyer, in violation of rule 8.4(h) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0), as follows: On or about July 25, 2016, the respondent was present in the County Court, Nassau County, in connection with his representation of a criminal defendant in a pending proceeding before the Honorable Meryl J. Berkowitz. Two female Nassau County Assistant District Attorneys (hereinafter together the ADAs) were prosecuting the case on behalf of the People. During a recess prior to opening statements, the ADAs were standing in a public area of the courthourse outside the courtroom and were engaged in conversation with another attorney, a former Assistant District Attorney, Mary Murray. While the ADAs and Murray were speaking, the respondent approached them and initiated a conversation with Murray. In response to Murray’s inquiry regarding what the respondent was doing in court that day, the respondent stated, in sum and substance, “nothing, just doing a trial with these two sluts,” indicating the ADAs. One of the ADAs immediately admonished the respondent for making this statement, to which the respondent stated “stop being so sensitive, this is how I speak to ADAs.” Thereafter, the parties returned to the courtroom, where the ADA who admonished the respondent gave her opening statement.
Charge two alleged that the respondent neglected a legal matter entrusted to him, in violation of rule 1.3(b) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0), as follows: Beginning in or about 2009, the respondent represented Louis Wenger (hereinafter Wenger) in two related judicial dissolution proceedings commenced by Wenger’s son, David Wenger (hereinafter David), entitled David Wenger v L.A. Wenger Contracting, Co. and Louis Wenger, commenced in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, under Index No. 31701-2008 (hereinafter Action No. 1), and David Wenger v Railroad Realty Group, Inc., ECS Realty Inc., GDS Realty Group, Inc., Woodglen Realty LLC, and Louis Wenger, commenced in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, under Index No. 2149-2009 (hereinafter Action No. 2), respectively. David alleged that he was a 31% shareholder of five closely held corporations and that Wenger, the 69% shareholder of the corporations, was guilty of oppressive actions toward David and had looted, wasted, or diverted corporate assets for noncorporate purposes. After a nonjury trial before the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Emily Pines, J.), the Supreme Court found that David was a 31% shareholder of each of the corporations and that Wenger had engaged in “oppressive conduct” toward him. In lieu of dissolution, the court appointed Robert P. Lynn, as temporary receiver, to, among other things, determine the net values of the real properties at issue and select properties worth 31% of the total assets to be transferred to David. The court’s decision was reduced to a judgment dated October 24, 2011.”
Read the balance of the decision for further acts leading to a final determinant of suspension.