Legal Malpractice Basics

The Second Department rarely reverses summary judgment in a legal malpractice setting.  Of that subset of rare reversals, matrimonial legal malpractice is a very small portion.  Nevertheless, in Lauder v Goldhamer
2020 NY Slip Op 01152 Decided on February 19, 2020 Appellate Division, Second Department appellant won all around.

“The plaintiff commenced this action alleging,

In the legal malpractice setting, continuous representation is well understood.  In the medical setting, continuous treatment is well understood.  The rationale is that it is better for a client/patient to stay with the professional and try to fix the mistakes/problems rather than litigate.  So it is with professionals such as architects.

Jeffrey Berman Architect v

The dreaded thin letter is no different from the short appellate decision.  It bodes poorly for the applicant.  Bautista v Hach & Rose, LLP  2019 NY Slip Op 07528 Decided on October 22, 2019 Appellate Division, First Department.  Here is the entire decision (no edits):

“Order, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Lucindo Suarez, J.), entered October

Jean v Chinitz  2018 NY Slip Op 05521 [163 AD3d 497] July 26, 2018
Appellate Division, First Department holds that merely hiding one’s malpractice is not deceit.  Attorneys allowed three discovery demands to go unanswered and suffered dismissal.  There were not exactly forthright with the client.  However, some non-legal malpractice were dismissed.

“In its February

Garr Silpe, P.C. v Gorman  2019 NY Slip Op 32248(U)  July 26, 2019  Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 650247/2017 Judge: Kathryn E. Freed illustrates the uneasy fit between matrimonial cases and legal malpractice.  Almost overwhelmingly, the legal malpractice comes up as a counterclaim in an attorney-fee case, rather than as a claim.  Often,

An attorney departs from good practice and an immigrant is jailed for a year.  The attorney is sued and (presumably) is not insured.  He gets a childhood friend to defend the legal malpractice case.  The childhood friend departs from good practice and the immigrant wins a large verdict.  Attorney cannot pay the judgment and files