New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Category Archives: Legal Malpractice Cases

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The Limited Engagement Letter and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
One hires an attorney to handle a case and expects that the attorney will handle the entire case at a level of good practice to which a competent attorney should adhere.  No?  Well not necessarily, as Attallah v Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP  2019 NY Slip Op 00583 [168 AD3d 1026]  January 30, 2019 Appellate Division, Second Department… Continue Reading

New Legal Malpractice Claim Permitted; Breach of Contract Out

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
It is rare that Courts leave legal malpractice counterclaims in a case which starts out as an attorney fee claim; it is more rare that a late amended claim is permitted.  However, in Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP v Parada  2019 NY Slip Op 31121(U) April 22, 2019  Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 152533/2016 Judge Paul A. Goetz permitted… Continue Reading

From Outlier to Center Stage

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Continuous representation was once determined almost solely by the date of transfer of representation.  Either a consent to change attorney or a court order determined the last day of representation and hence the end of continuous representation.  Then came Aaron v. Roemer  which held that communications showing a total breakdown of the attorney-client relationship marked the… Continue Reading

Near Privity in an Accounting Malpractice Setting

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
In Mamoon v Dot Net Inc.   2019 NY Slip Op 31053(U)  April 5, 2019 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 652902/2013,  Judge Lucy Billings describes the intersection of privity and near privity in an accounting malpractice setting. “Since accountants owe no duty to the public at large, “privity,” a contractual relationship or similar connection with a mutuality of interest between… Continue Reading

Huge Numbers But Still Speculative in the Hudson Yards Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Hudson Yards LLC v Segal  2019 NY Slip Op 30996(U)  April 5, 2019  Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 158606/2014 Judge: Andrea Masley describes the unraveling of the initial Hudson Yards real estate deal and the loss of $ 50M.  Even in NY these are big real estate numbers.  Legal Malpractice?  Supreme Court says it’s all too speculative. “Hudson… Continue Reading

Excessive Claims Weeded Out for Plaintiff

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Cascardo v Dratel  2019 NY Slip Op 02957 Decided on April 18, 2019 Appellate Division, First Department is a combination legal malpractice, excessive billing, fraud breach of fiduciary duty case which had several claims weeded out for this plaintiff. “Plaintiff’s fraud claim should have been dismissed because the complaint did not sufficiently plead justifiable reliance upon defendant’s claim… Continue Reading

Multitudo Imperitorum Perdit Curiam

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
This lovely 1500 year old phrase starts the case of Long Island Real Props., Ltd. v US Bank N.A.  2019 NY Slip Op 30954(U)  April 2, 2019  Supreme Court, Suffolk County  Docket Number: 621122/2017.   Judge James Hudson quotes the medieval writer Tribonian to the effect that “A great number of unskilled practitioners ruins a Court. (2 Inst. 219)  He then… Continue Reading

A Limited Retainer That Worked

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Professionals take on work, and more specifically responsibilities.  Some come from the general tort requirement to act reasonably towards the public, some arise from contract.  Lam v 933 60th St. Realty Inc.    2019 NY Slip Op 30707(U) March 20, 2019 Supreme Court, Kings County Docket Number: 514453/2018 Judge: Debra Silber is an example of how a carefully drafted retainer agreement/contract… Continue Reading

Strategic Choices and Legal Malpractice

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Big cases and little cases alike are subject to the unique legal malpractice “strategic choice” doctrine as well as a speculation analysis.  Bison Capital Corporation v. Hunton & Williams, Supreme Court, New York County, Scarpulla, J. is today’s example.  “Bison and its president, Edwin E. Wells, Jr. (“Wells”) entered into a contract with nonparty ATP Oil and… Continue Reading

As Written or As Interpreted?

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Cortland Apts., LLC v Simbari Design Architecture, PLLC  2019 NY Slip Op 50331(U) Decided on March 19, 2019 Supreme Court, Cortland County Guy, J. is a companion case to Universe Ave. LLC v. Simbari Design Architecture PLLC and raises an interesting question:  When a professional opines that work conforms to a statute is it negligence when the governmental authority charged… Continue Reading

Limited Retainers Are Permissible; Multiple Representations, Too.

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The primary lesson to be learned from Salans LLP v VBH Props. S.R.L.  2019 NY Slip Op 02611 Decided on April 4, 2019 Appellate Division, First Department is that courts will deem a studied prediction on what would have happened if counsel had actually gone to court and made certain arguments is that they will almost always call it… Continue Reading

Gone Like That!

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Gengo v Storms   2019 NY Slip Op 02504  Decided on April 3, 2019 Appellate Division, Second Department displays the importance of the nuts and bolts of litigation.  Commencing the action and serving the defendant is the base of any litigation, and here, it went south very quickly. “On October 23, 2016, the plaintiff commenced this action sounding… Continue Reading

Architect Contracts and the Scope of Work

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Scope of work is a term of art used by architects; it is similarly a term of art applied to architect contracts and the potential for professional malpractice claims against them.  University Ave., LLC v Simbari Design Architecture, PLLC  2019 NY Slip Op 50330(U)  Decided on March 19, 2019  Supreme Court, Cortland County  Guy, J. is a fine example.  What… Continue Reading

Privity and Near Privity in a Professional Malpractice Setting

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
On Lam v Arnold Montag Architect  2019 NY Slip Op 30712(U)  March 13, 2019 Supreme Court, Kings County Docket Number: 522413/2017 Judge: Pamela L. Fisher discusses the relationship between plaintiffs and sub-contractors of their architects and other professionals, and the requirement of privity in a breach of contract case. “On March 4, 2013, BTE entered into a contract with nonparty… Continue Reading

The All-mighty Account Stated Rule

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Attorney billing is the center of the attorney world, and the greatest part of attorney-client litigation arises from or concerns attorney billing.  Ledyard v Bical  2019 NY Slip Op 30739(U)  March 20, 2019 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 150470/2018  Judge: Arthur F. Engoron is an excellent example.  Arrested, indicted and shown the evidence by the EDNY, plaintiff pled guilty. … Continue Reading

No Continuous Representation, Not Much Explanation

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Continuous representation tolls the statute of limitations, and requires actual work, a mutual understanding between client and attorney of the need for the actual work along with a mutual relationship of trust and confidence.  In RJR Mech. Inc. v Ruvoldt  2019 NY Slip Op 01844 Decided on March 14, 2019 Appellate Division, First Department some of that… Continue Reading

The Satisfaction Question

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Is the client satisfied with the settlement is different from whether the client is “satisfied with the representation” which, in the past few years has taken on a totemic power to kill legal malpractice cases.  Clients, when/if asked at the settlement allocution whether they are satisfied with their attorney’s representation and required to answer.  If… Continue Reading

The Attorney Client Privilege in a Litigation Setting

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
The attorney client privilege is sacrosanct, no?  Well, not really.  Heth v Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP  2019 NY Slip Op 30555(U)  March 5, 2019  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 650379/2015  Judge: Andrew Borrok demonstrates what happens when the client possibly  discusses how attorney 1 is handling the case with attorney 2. “As more fully set forth on… Continue Reading

Attorney Disqualification in a Legal Malpractice Setting

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases
Akin to a pro-se situation, when law firms defend themselves in a legal malpractice setting they run the risk of attorney disqualification on the attorney-witness rule. Quadrozzi v Castro  2019 NY Slip Op 30550(U)  March 5, 2019  Supreme Court, New York  County Docket Number: 151675/2018 Judge: Frank P. Nervo is a good example. “Plaintiffs seek to disqualify defense counsel on… Continue Reading
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