A Huge Tax Deduction Loss and Third-Party Claims

Really, the numbers boggle.  Clients collectively lost a $3 Million tax deduction when one of the trustees, without telling anyone else, waived the claim.  A professional malpractice claim followed in 1993 Trust of Joan Cohen v Baum    2017 NY Slip Op 30894(U)  May 2, 2017  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 150058/2015  Judge: Shirley Werner Kornreich .   View Full Post
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The Successor Counsel Principle, Illustrated

Common to legal malpractice litigations are changes to attorney representation during the underlying case.  These changes of attorneys raise not only the statute of limitations, but also the successor counsel principle.  Hufstader v Friedman & Molinsek, P.C. 2017 NY Slip Op 03996 Decided on May 18, 2017 Appellate Division, Third Department is an excellent example. View Full Post
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How Egregious Must the Act Be?

Judiciary Law § 487 is a harsh, almost medieval law, with treble damages and a potential criminal conviction lurking.  The Appellate Division has said that it is not lightly granted, and in Brookwood Cos., Inc. v Alston & Bird LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 00535 [146 AD3d 662]  January 26, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department looks at a claim of churning for large fees.   View Full Post
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Claim of Attorney Mistake is Utterly Refuted

Did the defendants wait too long to seek attorney fees as prevailing parties?  If they did wait too long, it could be malpractice.  In Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP v Telecommunication Sys., Inc.  2017 NY Slip Op 30951(U)  May 5, 2017  Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 653476/2016  Judge: Anil C. View Full Post
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A Dead Client, a Dead Case

Estate cases sometimes run into the dead man’s statute, and even if not, there are unique difficulties in providing proofs of intent, which are sometimes very, very important.  In Steffan v Wilensky   2017 NY Slip Op 03602  Decided on May 4, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department plaintiff can no longer prove that the bank account was a “convenience” and not a “joint” account.   View Full Post
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The Witness Was Not Reminded; The Case Was Lost

Courts often take claims of attorney mistakes short of the outright failure to start a case not so seriously.  Many the act, which plaintiff claims is a departure, is said to be a failing but permitted strategic decision.  Not so in Caso v Miranda Sambursky Sloane Sklarin Ver Veniotis LLP 2017 NY Slip Op 03607   Decided on May 4, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department. View Full Post
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