New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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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

Is There Any Vitality to Matrimonial Legal Malpractice?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
One unique aspect of matrimonial litigation is that a very large percentage of the cases are settled in court, typically on the day of trial.  This leads to in court settlement allocutions.  Settlement in court with a time deadline looming leads to hastily constructed settlement agreements.  While millions of dollars might be at stake, the… Continue Reading

Much Is Whittled Away From This Matrimonial Legal Malpractice Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Gross v Aronson, Mayefsky & Sloan, LLP    2018 NY Slip Op 31590(U)  July 10, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 153274/2017  Judge: Anthony Cannataro demonstrates how hard it is to link up bad outcomes with a cognizable legal malpractice claim.  It’s a matrimonial case in which the father guaranteed legal fee payments for his daughter, who wanted… Continue Reading

This Story Goes From Bad To Much Much Worse

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
A medical malpractice case is almost always a tragedy.  Someone has been unnecessarily hurt, someone has unnecessarily died.  How can it get worse? Marinelli v Sullivan Papain Block McGrath &  Cannavo, P.C.  2018 NY Slip Op 31610(U) July 10, 2018  Supreme Court, Kings County  Docket Number: 519958/2016  Judge: Marsha L. Steinhardt is one example of how the situation can get… Continue Reading

A Second Pro-Se Bite Yields Nothing Tasty

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Plaintiff hired attorney to represent him in a mediation with Morgan Stanley in 2014.  Plaintiff settled on a $ 267K package, and then several years later sued his attorney.  Reches v Sack & Sack, LLP  2018 NY Slip Op 31643(U)  June 28, 2018  Supreme Court, Kings County  Docket Number: 511057/2017  Judge: Dawn M. Jimenez-Salta is the story of how that claim… Continue Reading

Pro-Se Litigation Ends in an Appellate Brawl

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Some of the most unusual and unstable law arises from chance litigation between pro-se plaintiffs and professional defendants. Borges v Placeres  2018 NY Slip Op 28224  Decided on June 27, 2018  Civil Court Of The City Of New York, New York County  Ramseur, J. is a wonderful example.  Immigration plaintiff sues immigration attorney for his unnecessary deportation and wins a… Continue Reading

A Vet and a Jumping Horse

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It’s a question of professional malpractice and it involves horses.  Tichner v Goldens Bridge Inc.  2018 NY Slip Op 31488(U)  July 2, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 651517/13  Judge: Nancy M. Bannon is about a girl who gets her pony.  She rides the pony, competes with the pony, and then sues the farm who sold her the pony. … Continue Reading

Defalcation and Negligence

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It’s an age-old story.  Trusted assistant embezzles money to pay for private life style, while trusting principal serenely depends on accountants, banks and others to protect him.  Naturally, it all goes wrong.  Weiser v Citigroup, Inc.     2018 NY Slip Op 31381(U)  June 25, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 655851/16  Judge: Nancy M. Bannon is the story of who… Continue Reading

The Complaint Was Good Enough, The Proof Not

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Plaintiff naturally thought that when the AD reversed dismissal of the complaint under CPLR 3211 it would have some effect on a later motion for summary judgment.  This was incorrect.  In Harris v Barbera  2018 NY Slip Op 05023  Decided on July 5, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department (without much explanation) held that while the complaint stated… Continue Reading

A Lot of Litigation, All For Naught

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Plaintiff is injured on a Greyhound Bus, and sues.  Case is litigated to note of issue, and then “deemed abandoned.”  A new law firm is hired but they do not move to restore within the year.  After several years, a motion is made to restore, which is denied.  A legal malpractice case follows, and after… Continue Reading

Who’s Responsible For What in a Condo Flood?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
A new luxury condo is built on the Bowery and on a cold night, pipes freeze.  80,000 gallons of water pour through the building, and when workers start to fix the problem, more and more problems are found.  Who is responsible?  The Sponsor ? The contractors? Board of Mgrs. of 250 Bowery Condominium v 250  VE… Continue Reading

This Time It’s Only Contract, Not Professional Negligence

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The trinity of claims in legal malpractice is “Legal Malpractice”, “Breach of Contract” and “Breach of Fiduciary Duty.”  Often, the breach of contact is dismissed as duplicitive of the LM, and the Breach of Fiduciary Duty is similarly treated.  Here, in an about-face, the First Department takes a differing view in City of New York… Continue Reading

Contract v. Tort and How it Affects Professionals

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
MINEOLA:  Millet v Kamen  2018 NY Slip Op 28181  Decided on May 31, 2018  Supreme Court, Nassau County Marber, J. is a case that discusses the balance in obligation and remedy between Professionals and others.  Sometimes professionals, such as defendant-architect do business with non-professionals, but do not render professional services.  In this case Defendant sold a renovated home to non-professionals,… Continue Reading

A Veteran Legal Malpractice Pro-Se Litigant and Service Problems

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Debra Cascardo is a pro-se litigant in Cascardo v Macklowitz  2018 NY Slip Op 31231(U) June 8, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 101528/2017 Judge: Frank P. Nervo. One of her earlier legal malpractice cases, in her married name,  added to the Harvey line of cases in which a legal malpractice case is dismissed on the basis that  “Plaintiff acknowledged that… Continue Reading

It’s Not a Bilateral Situation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Central Amusement Intl. LLC v Lexington Ins. Co.  2018 NY Slip Op 04095  Decided on June 7, 2018 Appellate Division, First Department demonstrates that while permission to amend a pleading should be freely given, its not the same standard for the complaint as it is for the answer. “The motion court did not abuse its discretion in granting… Continue Reading

Matrimonial Settlements and Attorney Fees

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
NEW CITY:     A recurring strain of legal malpractice cases come from matrimonial settlements.  More than any other sector of litigation, matrimonial settlements tempt the Courts to avoid a “effectively compelled to settle” analysis in favor of a “I’m satisfied with my attorney” analysis.  Imagine if medical malpractice law allowed a surgical patient to be… Continue Reading
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