New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Latest from New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Plaintiff was involved in several problematical joint real estate deals, each of which disappointed him as a participant.  Was the law firm negligent in the transactions and was plaintiff damaged thereby?  In Hobbick v Zegans  2018 NY Slip Op 32180(U)  September 5, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 159172/2017  Judge: Barbara Jaffe the answer is no. “In April 2013, plaintiff and nonparty Calvin P. Hall jointly retained defendants to represent them in purchasing real property in Brooklyn. The…
Kaplan v Conway & Conway   September 4, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 158060/17  Judge: Frank P. Nervo runs into a familiar problem in legal malpractice settings.  Clients were the subject of an internal investigation at their brokerage and hired the attorneys.  Their claim is that the response to the investigation by the attorneys was negligent.  The familiar problem is that they cannot prove how the brokerage firm would have acted had the attorneys changed their…
Did the attorneys represent the clients or not?  This is the central question in First Choice Plumbing Corp. v Miller Law Offs., PLLC  2018 NY Slip Op 05825  Decided on August 22, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department.  The answer is not yet known.  What the AD did reaffirm is that only certain kind of “documents” may be used on a CPLR 3211 (a)(1) motion seeking to dismiss on “documentary evidence.” “ORDERED that the order is reversed insofar…
Yesterday we discussed the legal malpractice aspect of Billiard Balls Mgt. LLC v Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris  Ledva & Meyers, LLP  2018 NY Slip Op 32019(U)  August 17, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 153477/2016  Judge: Carol R. Edmead.  It was dismissed, mostly on the basis of lack of privity, backed up by lack of evidence of departure. Here is the decision on contribution and indemnity: “Pillinger argues that the common-law indemnification claim must be dismissed as Mintzer cannot…
Billiard Balls Mgt. LLC v Mintzer Sarowitz Zeris  Ledva & Meyers, LLP  2018 NY Slip Op 32019(U)  August 17, 2018  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number:  153477/2016   Judge: Carol R. Edmead is an interesting twist on the privity question. “This is a legal malpractice action arising out of an automobile accident. Defendant Mintzer, Sarowitz, Zeris, Ledva & Meyers, LLP (Mintzer) briefly represented the plaintiff Billiard Balls Management (Billiard Balls) in an underlying action in Kings County, Gershman v Ahmad (index No.…
The question of limited retainers v. handling the entire action for a client comes up in Provenzano v Cellino & Barnes, P.C.  2018 NY Slip Op 32063(U)  August 16, 2018  Supreme Court, Suffolk County  Docket Number: 14-18725  Judge: Joseph C. Pastoressa.  Plaintiff was injured in a motor vehicle accident which Cellino & Barnes took.  They did not file a WC claim for the client who alleged she was injured in a work-related accident.  Malpractice? “Capetola testified that he did…
Judiciary Law § 487 is an ancient part of the common law, recently elevated from a mere statute by the Court of Appeals.  That being said, the First and the Second Departments have a major difference in an agreed upon definition.  Here, in Bill Birds, Inc. v Stein Law Firm, P.C. 2018 NY Slip Op 05743  Decided on August 15, 2018  the Appellate Division, Second Department reminds us that “deceit” is the operative word and “chronic, extreme…
In general, a legal malpractice case based upon a problemed medical malpractice case may be the most difficult litigation case known;  it requires competence in two different spheres, and a lot of experts.  A snow and ice case is difficult for plaintiff, since there are so many defenses.  A legal malpractice case based upon a lost snow and ice case is downright depressing. Blair v Loduca  2018 NY Slip Op 05744  Decided on August 15, 2018  Appellate…
In the end, it only matters that the law firm was given notice of the claims. D’Angelo v Kujawski   2018 NY Slip Op 05750  Decided on August 15, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department stands for the proposition that once the law firm had notice of the claims, then substitution of the proper party as plaintiff did not prejudice the law firm. “In November 2011, the Surrogate’s Court issued letters of limited administration to the plaintiff for the…
This entire episode could have been prevented.  The most likely reason for the problem is that the landlord purchased the building at a foreclosure sale and never became aware that the prior owner had entered into a stunning stipulation.  Beyond that mere fact, it is true that ancient SRO regulations on the UWS created a morass. JMW 75 LLC v Belkin Burden Wenig & Goldman, LLP   2018 NY Slip Op 31945(U)  August 10, 2018 Supreme Court, New…