New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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No Legal Malpractice in the Unauthorized Practice of Law

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Spiegel v Ahearn  2018 NY Slip Op 32472(U)  October 1, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 101251/2016  Judge: Melissa A. Crane is a very unusual case. “Between 2006 and 2012, plaintiff pro se Michael Spiegel and defendants Thomas Ahearn, Liridona Kastrat, Kristopher Kennington, and David Ortiz were employed by the Hotel Edison (“Hotel”), located on West 47th Street in… Continue Reading

Duplication but no Duplicity in this Professional Malpractice Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The development of an apartment building in Manhattan is a mega-big thing.  Not only does it cost a lot, but there are a large number of difficult rules. W 106 Dev. LLC v Pilla  2018 NY Slip Op 32596(U)  October 10, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 654801/2016 Judge: Debra A. James  makes it clear that even… Continue Reading

Professional Malpractice v. Negligent Misrepresentation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In Sutton Animal Hosp. PLLC v D&D Dev., Inc.  2018 NY Slip Op 32425(U)  September 24, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 652781/2016  Judge Debra A. James discusses the difference between negligence of a professional to one in privity and to one only in quasi-privity.  The difference is enormous. “Moving defendants are correct that “‘recovery will not be granted to… Continue Reading

No Summary Judgment Here – For Either Side

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Millian v Hafif & Assoc., PLLC   2018 NY Slip Op 51421(U)  Decided on October 9, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  St. George, J. is the story of a condo purchase gone wrong.  Many of the construction legal malpractice cases arise from water damages, as does this one. “In this legal malpractice case, plaintiffs allege that defendants were… Continue Reading

A Rare Split the Baby Decision

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It is our experience that Courts more often dismiss an entire legal malpractice case rather then dissect the various claims and keep some while jettisoning the balance. Here, in Sehgal v DiRaimondo  2018 NY Slip Op 06619  Decided on October 4, 2018  the Appellate Division, First Department does just that. “Plaintiff, a lawful permanent resident of the United… Continue Reading

Privity and Near Privity in a Real Estate Setting

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It was a $22 Million real estate purchase, and it was built on faulty foundations.  In 71 Park Ave. S., LLC v Fox Rothschild LLP  2018 NY Slip Op 32451(U)  October 1, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 158900/2017  Judge Saliann Scarpulla determines that one of the entities has no privity (and therefore no case) while the other… Continue Reading

Narrow Exception to Privity? Yes. Continuous Representation? No.

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It is the rare legal malpractice case that falls into the privity exception.  As a matter of social policy and definitely to limit legal malpractice cases, Courts impose a very strict privity requirement.  No attorney-client relationship, no legal malpractice case, with a small exception for fraud or malice. Webster v Sherman  2018 NY Slip Op… Continue Reading

A Tangled Accountant Malpractice Timeline

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Golub v Shalik, Morris & Co., LLP  2018 NY Slip Op 32358(U)  September 21, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 158055/2017  Judge: Barbara Jaffe presents a difficult analysis of the statute of limitations. When it commences and whether continuing representation tolls the statute are the cornerstones of this opinion. “On August 16, 2012, ARG transferred his 50 percent… Continue Reading

Litigation Costs and Damages in Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Jonns v Fischbarg  2018 NY Slip Op 32353(U)  September 18, 2018  Supreme Court, New York  County  Docket Number: 150729/2017 Judge: Kathryn E. Freed which we discussed yesterday for its lesson on the statute of limitations is also worthwhile to read for how litigation costs can be part of legal malpractice damages.  In short, those damages can include litigation expenses incurred… Continue Reading

Who is a “Professional” in Negligence Law?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases, Uncategorized
Plaintiffs often allege “professional negligence” in claims against brokers, insurance agents, financial planners, architects and others.  The question of who can be sued for “professional negligence” is not decided merely by an allegation.  Judd v Madison Advisory Servs., Inc. 2018 NY Slip Op 32298(U)  September 6, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 152895/2017  Judge: Frank P. Nervo explains:… Continue Reading

A Rare Adherence to CPLR 3211

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It has been our observation that in legal malpractice cases Courts tend to dismiss more than in other settings, and that the probable reason for this higher-than-expected rate of dismissals is that Courts tend to favor attorneys over clients in a legal malpractice setting.  Chu v Legere    2018 NY Slip Op 32269(U)  September 14, 2018  Supreme Court, New York… Continue Reading

So, What Exactly Was the Preferred Alternative?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Kaplan v Conway & Conway   September 4, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 158060/17  Judge: Frank P. Nervo runs into a familiar problem in legal malpractice settings.  Clients were the subject of an internal investigation at their brokerage and hired the attorneys.  Their claim is that the response to the investigation by the attorneys was negligent. … Continue Reading

Not All Documents Are Equal in Their Power

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Did the attorneys represent the clients or not?  This is the central question in First Choice Plumbing Corp. v Miller Law Offs., PLLC  2018 NY Slip Op 05825  Decided on August 22, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department.  The answer is not yet known.  What the AD did reaffirm is that only certain kind of “documents” may be used on… Continue Reading

No Legal Malpractice, No Contribution, No Indemnity

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Billiard Balls Mgt. LLC v Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris  Ledva & Meyers, LLP  2018 NY Slip Op 32019(U)  August 17, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number:  153477/2016   Judge: Carol R. Edmead is an interesting twist on the privity question. “This is a legal malpractice action arising out of an automobile accident. Defendant Mintzer, Sarowitz, Zeris, Ledva & Meyers, LLP (Mintzer)… Continue Reading

They Did Not File A WC Claim…Is That Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The question of limited retainers v. handling the entire action for a client comes up in Provenzano v Cellino & Barnes, P.C.  2018 NY Slip Op 32063(U)  August 16, 2018  Supreme Court, Suffolk County  Docket Number: 14-18725  Judge: Joseph C. Pastoressa.  Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident which Cellino & Barnes took.  They did not file a WC claim… Continue Reading

Snow and Ice Cases Are Hard; Legal Malpractice Cases Are Even More Difficult

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In general, a legal malpractice case based upon a problemed medical malpractice case may be the most difficult litigation case known;  it requires competence in two different spheres, and a lot of experts.  A snow and ice case is difficult for plaintiff, since there are so many defenses.  A legal malpractice case based upon a… Continue Reading

In this Case It Does Not Matter Who Started the Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In the end, it only matters that the law firm was given notice of the claims. D’Angelo v Kujawski   2018 NY Slip Op 05750  Decided on August 15, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department stands for the proposition that once the law firm had notice of the claims, then substitution of the proper party as plaintiff did not prejudice… Continue Reading

A Novel Question of Law in a Legal Malpractice Setting?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It’s rare, very rare, to come across what the Court thinks might be a novel question of law, especially in a legal malpractice setting.  Generally, the triumvirate of claims found in a legal malpractice setting are legal malpractice, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty,  In FTI Consulting, Inc. v CT Miami, LLC  2018 NY Slip… Continue Reading

A Terrible Injury, But Which Law Firm May Be Accountable?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
We discussed Gilbo v Horowitz  2018 NY Slip Op 31844(U)  July 31, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 158727/2017  Judge: Margaret A. Chan last week in the context of ripeness in a multiple -attorney setting.  Beyond whether the case is ripe against prior attorneys while the underlying case is pending, is the question of how to break out (or apportion)… Continue Reading

Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Overbilling

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
One of the most common reflexive decisions by courts is to dismiss a breach of contract as well as a breach of fiduciary duty as duplicitive of the cause of action for legal malpractice.  If the claims of breach arise from the same facts and damages are similar then they are duplicitive.  However, when there is… Continue Reading

A Terrible Injury, Lots of Litigation Problems and It’s Still Too Early

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Time tick by, constantly and rapidly.  Gilbo v Horowitz  2018 NY Slip Op 31844(U)  July 31, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 158727/2017  Judge: Margaret A. Chan is an example of how there can be a terrible injury, yet no clear legal malpractice landscape.  Besides the confusion over which attorney might be responsible, there is the question of… Continue Reading

Not A Huge Amount; Not Many Good Choices

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Marder’s Antique Jewelry, Inc. v Bolton  2018 NY Slip Op 31828(U)  July 31, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 152926/2012  Judge: Arlene P. Bluth is an excellent example of how a “legal malpractice” case becomes an unsuccessful legal malpractice case.  Practitioners and the general public are quick (and often accurate) in pointing out a departure from good… Continue Reading

Judicial and Quasi-Judicial Immunity in Professional Malpractice Cases

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Litigants often want to sue a court-appointed official, whether it be a guardian ad litem, an attorney for the child, an accounting expert or another kind of expert practitioner who is inserted into the case.  When those practitioners are attorneys, the question of privity arises; when they are not, the question of whether they are immune… Continue Reading

Even This Is Not A Good Judiciary Law 487 Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Judiciary Law § 487 is an ancient part of the common law.  It was enacted only 30 years after the Magna Carta.  That’s as old as it gets in Anglo-American law.  It is sparsely uphold and sparingly applied. Jean v. Chinitz 2018 NY Slip Op 05521  Decided on July 26, 2018 Appellate Division, First Department is an example of how… Continue Reading
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