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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 a third person for pecuniary  loss arising from the negligent representations of a professional with whom he or she has no contractual…
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 negligent in their due diligence work in connection with plaintiffs’ purchase of a condominium unit in Manhattan. The closing took…
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 States since 1998, pled guilty in 2014 to certain violations of federal election laws and was sentenced to…
Yesterday, we discussed privity in a real estate setting 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 determined that one of the two plaintiffs lacked privity because it was formed after the representation was commenced, and the retainer agreement specifically ruled out representation of any related entities.  While the second plaintiff in the action has a…
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 can (for now) state a cause of action. “In 2014, NP, a real estate development company, identified two adjacent…
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 06590  Decided on October 3, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department does fall into this small crack.  However, even so, plaintiff…
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 interest in a property in Southampton, New York, as a gift to The Aaron Richard Golub 2012 Qualified Personal Residence Trust…
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 in an attempt to avoid, minimize or reduce the damage caused by the attorney’s wrongful conduct. “To prevail on…
It only comes up once in a while, but 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 applies an alternative “commencement” of the statute of limitations found in McCoy v. Feinman, 99 NY2d 295,301(2002).  In McCoy the Court of Appeals wrote: “An action to recover damages arising from an attorney’s malpractice must be commenced within three years from accrual (see CPLR 214 [6] ).   A…
Surely the longest running Judiciary Law§ 487 case known to man, Melcher v Greenberg Traurig LLP  2018 NY Slip Op 06310  Decided on September 27, 2018  Appellate Division, First Department has been modified and sent back to Supreme Court for trial.  Previously it had been severely clipped and stripped of most of the damage claims by Supreme Court. “In the present action, Melcher seeks to recover treble damages against Corwin on the theory that Corwin, by propounding…