New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

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Courts Simply Do Not Like Judiciary Law 487

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There are very few successful Judiciary Law § 487 cases.  Courts stretch and bend to find a way around what appears to be actual deceit by attorneys.  Take Matneja v Zito  2018 NY Slip Op 05298  Decided on July 18, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department as an example.  Here it is alleged that a law firm knew that its client… Continue Reading

It’s Really Hard to Undo a Divorce Settlement

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It is even harder to bring a successful legal malpractice case against the divorce attorney when the matter was settled.  Holtzman v Griffith  2018 NY Slip Op 04540  Decided on June 20, 2018 Appellate Division, Second Department, aside from its lesson on “account stated” tells us that a legal malpractice claim from a settled divorce action has many… Continue Reading

The Statute of Limitations is 3 Years, And Not A Day More

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King Tower Realty Corp. v G & G Funding Corp.  2018 NY Slip Op 05027  Decided on July 5, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department illustrates the power of the statute of limitations.  While plaintiff may succeed in Supreme Court, many such decisions are reversed in the AD.  This is one. “The plaintiff commenced this action on February 27,… Continue Reading

Speculative v. Intervening Causation in a Legal Malpractice Case

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Client is injured and several municipality defendants may be liable.  Attorneys fail to file a Notice of Claim within the requisite 90 days.  Attorneys are fired and new attorneys hired.  One year and 90 days pass.  Is there legal malpractice and if so, who might be responsible? Liporace v Neimark & Neimark, LLP  2018 NY Slip… Continue Reading

It All Ends In Dismissal

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases, Uncategorized
BUFFALO:    After much litigation, this case ends with all causes of action and all counterclaims dismissed. Fee Claims as well as Legal Malpractice Claims are all out and the matter is over. “Memorandum: Plaintiff commenced this action for legal malpractice alleging that defendants acted negligently while representing it in an action involving a construction… Continue Reading

All The Way to An Affirmance

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The Court of Appeals rarely takes cases. Here, in Mid-Hudson Val. Fed. Credit Union v Quartararo & Lois, PLLC  2018 NY Slip Op 04034  Decided on June 7, 2018  the Court of Appeals had to hear the case, as there was a two-judge dissent in the Appellate Division.  What was the case about?  You would not know from… Continue Reading

How Far Must The Attorney Go?

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Client is injured.  Attorney is hired.  Attorney negotiates a rate of pay.  Must the attorney look to see whether the client has insurance, and if so, how hard does the attorney have to look?  Remember, if there is insurance there may be an insurance lawyer lurking and about to take over from the inquiring attorney.… Continue Reading

Professional Malpractice and Duplicity

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ALBANY      The Court of Appeals addressed professional malpractice and duplicity.  Here we are discussing duplicitive causes of action, not deceit in the meaning of Judiciary Law § 487. “The two questions on this appeal are whether plaintiff City of New York is an intended third-party beneficiary of the architectural services contract between plaintiff Dormitory Authority… Continue Reading

Here is One Variety of Legal Malpractice

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In the super-heated world of Manhattan real estate, $9.8 Million apartments are the middle children.  Not the biggest, not the smallest.  However, Riviera Prop. Holdings, LLC v Ferber Chan Essner & Coller, LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 27424 [58 Misc 3d 708]  July 31, 2017  Billings, J. Supreme Court, New York County is an exceptional case.  Plaintiffs were induced… Continue Reading

Could This Be The First Judiciary Law 487 Jury Verdict?

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Matter of Aris  2018 NY Slip Op 03633  Decided on May 10, 2018  Appellate Division, First Department  Per Curiam is definitely not a jury case.  However, it speaks of a trial of Joran Jehudah Aris, with a successful jury verdict on Judiciary Law § 487.  We did not know of any jury verdicts for a JL § 487 claim.  The verdict… Continue Reading

It’s a Three-Way Circus in This Real Estate Deal

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics, Uncategorized
Plaintiffs hired an attorney in order to purchase a condominium.  Unfortunately, the condo was subject to mold and water damage.  Razdolskaya v Lyubarsky  2018 NY Slip Op 02817 Decided on April 25, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department starts out with an analysis of why there is a fraud claim.  It ends with an analysis of why the attorney… Continue Reading

A Pro-Se Case Withers

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Attorneys irritate people all the time, and irritated people act.  Dawson v Adam Leitman Bailey P.C.  2018 NY Slip Op 30224(U)  February 8, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 152112/2017 Judge: Robert D. Kalish  is an example of how irritation can lead to litigation which fails. “Dawson alleges that he resided from August 29, 2015, to ·August 28,… Continue Reading

The Common-Interest Privilege and Legal Malpractice

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A recurring theme in legal malpractice litigation is discovery of communications between the client and attorneys.  While the attorney-client privilege is waived in a legal malpractice setting between plaintiff-client and defendant-attorney, the question still comes up with subsequent attorneys.  Different from the attorney-client privilege is the common-interest privilege.  Saint Annes Dev. Co. v Russ  2018 NY Slip… Continue Reading

Notice and an Opportunity to be Heard in a Sanctions Case

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases, Uncategorized
Plaintiff sued under Judiciary Law § 487 and was promptly the subject of sanctions and dismissal.  Supreme Court granted both, and an appeal ensued.  In Liang v Wei Ji  2017 NY Slip Op 08361 Decided on November 29, 2017  Appellate Division, Second Department,  the Court affirmed because plaintiff had previously been enjoined from starting any actions without prior permission. … Continue Reading

The Appellate Term Says: Not So Quickly!

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Weintraub v Petervary  2017 NY Slip Op 51595(U)  Decided on November 16, 2017 Appellate Term, Second Department is an example of how lower courts over-determine cases in favor of the attorney and to the detriment of the client.  Legal malpractice cases, we have argued in the past, are dismissed at a greater rate than in the general inventory… Continue Reading

Judiciary Law 487 Differences from the Other Side

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics, Uncategorized
Last week we discussed how the First Department differs in its handling of Judiciary Law § 487 cases.  Here in Gorbatov v Tsirelman  2017 NY Slip Op 07979  Decided on November 15, 2017 Appellate Division, Second Department  is a further lesson, this time from the Second Department.  Conspicuously missing here is any language of delinquency.  The Second Department… Continue Reading

Several Straightforward Lessons from the First Department

Posted in Legal Malpractice Cases, Uncategorized
O’Neal v Muchnick Golieb & Golieb, P.C.  2017 NY Slip Op 03125 [149 AD3d 636]  April 25, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department is notable for several terse lessons.  They were set forth in bullet fashion in the opinion: “The allegation that, while representing plaintiff in the assignment-of-lease negotiations, counsel secretly represented the counterparty so as to obtain favorable… Continue Reading

Not Judiciary Law 487, Not GBL 349, Not Dismissible

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Legal malpractice cases traditionally hew to the Legal Malpractice – Breach of Contract – Breach of Fiduciary axis.  Outlier cases add in some exotic causes of action. Gleyzerman v Law Offs. of Arthur Gershfeld & Assoc., PLLC 2017 NY Slip Op 07200  Decided on October 12, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department is a overbilling case, with multiple causes of… Continue Reading

How Did They Get This Wrong?

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Either Volvo owned the car and leased it to the auto accident defendant or it did not.  Simple issue, no?  How did this simple issue morph into an auto accident trial where Jacoby & Meyers represented plaintiff and the proofs were not in place before the jury.  More puzzling, how did this proof elude the… Continue Reading

Out Of State Rules Kill A New York Legal Malpractice Case

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Centre Lane Partners, LLC v Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 07221  Decided on October 17, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department illustrates two rules.  One of the rules is the borrowing statute, and the second is one that is both out-of-state and foreign to NY jurisprudence. The borrowing statute, in appropriate circumstances, applies… Continue Reading

Some Interesting Points on Continuous Representation

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An elderly couple sells some real estate and want to insulate the proceeds for estate planning purposes, specifically Medicare planning.  They have to make the transaction such that they keep the proceeds and shield them from a 5 year look-back review by Medicare.  As a reader of this blog, you surmise that something goes wrong. … Continue Reading

Problems Serving the Defendant? Look at “Good Cause” and “Interests of Justice”

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Wright v Kok-Min Kyan  2017 NY Slip Op 32057(U) September 28, 2017 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 805475/2016 Judge: Eileen A. Rakower is a medical malpractice case that explains what to do when service of the summons and complaint has gone awry. “Plaintiffs served the Summons with Notice upon Lenox Hill Hospital by service of process upon Ryann… Continue Reading

A Clever Tactic Turns Sour

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It looks like Plaintiff came to dislike Supreme Court, New York County.  It wanted out, even after the Court dismissed on summary judgment, without prejudice.  They had the chance to re-file there, but instead took the case to Westchester County.  Forum shopping?  We don’t know. But EB Brands Holdings, Inc. v McGladrey, LLP  2017 NY Slip Op… Continue Reading

Judiciary Law 487 Article in the New York Law Journal

Posted in Legal Malpractice Basics, Uncategorized
We’re proud to present our “Judiciary Law § 487 Suffers an Earthquake” article from today’s New York Law Journal.  It discusses the recent sweep of JL § 487 law, including Bounkhoun v. Barnes et al., Case No. 15-cv-631A,  which now awaits a decision by District Judge Joseph Arcara whether to accept the recommendation. A recent Judiciary Law §487 case… Continue Reading
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