New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Latest from New York Attorney Malpractice Blog

Attorney fees collections are frequently said to be the major cause of legal malpractice litigation.  Some lawyers have resorted to starting litigation lending setups which lend money to their clients, thereby arranging for the attorney to be paid and the client to be the subject of a high-interest litigation loan. Justicebacker Inc. v Abeles  2019 NY Slip Op 30294(U)  February 7, 2019 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 650374/2017 Judge: David Benjamin Cohen  is an example of how this…
We’re proud to present an article in today’s Outside Counsel Column in the New York Law Journal about legal malpractice. When we speak of legal malpractice, generally the discussion is rooted on a “departure” from good practice.  The missed deadline, the rejected brief, the failure to appear in court, the missed argument.  However, departure is only the first of four elements of legal malpractice.  The real battle is in the “but for” arena, where little…
Legal malpractice in child custody / child support settings is notoriously difficult to prove. To begin, there is often a privity problem.  If that issue is solved, then the speculation question of “what would the judge have done if…” comes up.  It seems that this was the shortcoming in Chaudhuri v Kilmer 2018 NY Slip Op 00964 [158 AD3d 1276]  February 9, 2018 Appellate Division, Fourth Department.  The question of how a judge would have ruled if…
Attorneys are expected zealously to represent clients, all within the cannons of ethics, of course.  However, “that wasn’t my job” or “I wasn’t retained to do that” is a frequent defense in legal malpractice cases.  Exeter Law Group LLP v Immortalana Inc.  2018 NY Slip Op 01269 [158 AD3d 576]  February 22, 2018  Appellate Division, First Department spends little time rejecting that defense. “Defendants/third-party plaintiffs (hereinafter referred to as the clients) sufficiently stated a claim for legal…
The Second Department gives a black-letter lecture on the common interest privilege, in a legal malpractice setting.  Saint Annes Dev. Co. v Russ  2018 NY Slip Op 00451 [157 AD3d 919] January 24, 2018  Appellate Division, Second Department holds that: “The common-interest privilege is an exception to the traditional rule that the presence of a third party waives the attorney-client privilege (see Hyatt v State of Cal. Franchise Tax Bd., 105 AD3d 186, 205…
In Bakcheva v Law Offs. of Stein & Assoc.  2019 NY Slip Op 00844  Decided on February 6, 2019  the Second Department gives an example of what must be demonstrated by plaintiff to avoid summary judgment on a claim of legal malpractice. “In January 2012, the plaintiff purchased a penthouse apartment on the seventh floor of a condominium located at 390 Kings Highway in Brooklyn. The plaintiff was represented in that transaction by the defendants Law…
Epiphany Community Nursery Sch. v Levey  2019 NY Slip Op 00842  Decided on February 5, 2019  Appellate Division, First Department  Singh, J., J. is not primarily about accounting malpractice.  That nugget is merely part of a much larger fraud which seemed to swamp a NYC private school.  The intra-familial fraud is stunning. “In 1973 Wendy Levey (Wendy) married defendant Hugh Levey (Hugh). Two years later Wendy founded Epiphany, a not-for-profit corporation that operates a kindergarten and nursery school…
It’s the oldest law in anglo-american jurisprudence; it’s rarely applied and even more rarely applied successfully.  Here is a swing and miss in Matter of B. (Anonymous), also known as L. (Anonymous)  Motion No: 2016-10028  Slip Opinion No: 2019 NY Slip Op 62045(U)  Decided on February 1, 2019 Appellate Division, Second Department, Motion Decision. “Motion by Sebastian B. for leave to intervene on an appeal from an order of the Supreme Court, Richmond County, dated August 29, 2016,…
Board of Mgrs. of Manhattan Place Condominium v  616 First Ave., LLC  2019 NY Slip Op 30216(U) January 25, 2019  Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 652240/17 Judge: Frank P. Nervo is an excellent primer on the law of contribution and indemnity.  In this property construction setting, there is none available. “The underlying action herein concerns a building (the building) which is owned by the plaintiff Manhattan Place Condominium (the condominium), and located at 630 First Avenue in the…
Clients rightfully expect the retainer lawyer to engage zealously on their behalf.  What are the limits of such representation?  How does the lawfirm correctly limit its obligations to the client.  It starts by following the rules for a retainer agreement or a letter of engagement set forth in 22 NYCRR § 1215. Attallah v Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP  2019 NY Slip Op 00583  Decided on January 30, 2019 Appellate Division, Second Department describes how the letter…