Legal Malpractice Basics

In a recent successful case, plaintiff was a large real estate management company. Plaintiff was involved in a 500 million dollar financing involving 3 NYC downtown buildings. The general counsel asked one of the multiple large firms whether “mortgage spreading” could be used to avoid payment of new mortgage tax. When told “no”, the financing continued to closing. At closing it was determined that $1.7 million in mortgage tax could have been legally avoided, contrary to the advice. Prior to jury selection this case settled for $ 900,000.
Continue Reading Unexpected Circumstances

A common law retaining lien entitles the outgoing attorney to retain all papers, securities, or money belonging to the client that came into the attorney’s possession in the course of representation, as security for payment of attorney’s fees. Arising from Judiciary Law 475, it is enforceable only by retention of the items themselves and is lost if the file or documents are no longer in the attorney’s possession.
Continue Reading Charging and Retaining Liens