Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, Capacity and Near Privity

Filing a petition in bankruptcy falls into three well-settled paths, Chapters 7,11 and 13.  The rules and the effects of such a filing vary strongly between them.  In a legal malpractice case, the debtor loses its capacity to sue and damages which might go to the litigant now go to the trustee.   View Full Post
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Court Says: Top Five Reasons This is Not a Judiciary 487 Case

Doscher v Mannatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP  2017 NY Slip Op 01973 Decided on March 16, 2017 Appellate Division, First Department is a case with Judiciary Law § 487 claims.  Supreme Court dismissed and the Appellate Division affirmed for these reasons:  Collateral estoppel:  Plaintiff had two chances in the arbitration and both were denied; The arbitration award is a valid final judgment; JL § 487 does not apply to anything but court proceedings; not arbitrations or administrative proceedings; JL § 487 does not apply to proceedings outside of NYS; This misconduct is neither “egregious” enough nor a “chronic and extreme pattern of behavior”. View Full Post
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A Very Old Case Ends

Daniel R. Wotman & Assoc., PLLC v Chang   2017 NY Slip Op 02141  Decided on March 23, 2017  Appellate Division, First Department is a 2010 case which has finally reached its final resting place.  What started as a fee collection case ends as a fee collection case, with the legal malpractice issues dismissed and affirmed on appeal. View Full Post
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Please Explain Plaintiff’s Choices to Me?

Pro-se legal malpractice cases often unearth interesting descriptions of human behavior.  Sometimes they are baffling.  This is an example. Checksfield v Berg  2017 NY Slip Op 01924  Decided on March 16, 2017  Appellate Division, Third Department. “Plaintiff commenced this legal malpractice action in March 2002, alleging that defendant failed in his responsibility to commence an action on plaintiff’s behalf against his former employer. View Full Post
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No Fatico Hearing, No Malpractice

Ziming Shen v Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Silverberg, P.C. 2017 NY Slip Op 30500(U)  March 8, 2017  Supreme Court, County of New York  Docket Number: 150808/2016 Judge: Erika M. Edwards is a rare example of a criminal defense attorney legal malpractice case which is not dismissed on the typical grounds that plaintiff cannot show actual innocence.   View Full Post
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Not an Account Stated, but Successful Claim, Nevertheless

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP v Amira  Nature Foods, Ltd.  2017 NY Slip Op 30488(U) March 13, 2017 Supreme Court, New York County  Docket Number: 158126/2016 Judge: Carol R. Edmead is a fine example of the attorney fee claim-legal malpractice counterclaim paradigm.   View Full Post
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This Classic Case Was Dismissed…Why?”

There can be no more classic case in legal malpractice than that of a passenger who is injured in a car accident, whose attorney fails to start the case.  Nevertheless, Atiencia v Pinczewski2017 NY Slip Op 01839  Decided on March 15, 2017  Appellate Division, Second Department was dismissed in Kings County. View Full Post
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Did This Pro-Se Plaintiff Go Too Far?

Sometimes, people get a tad too worked up over the small things.  Ruffalo v Iannace 2017 NY Slip Op 50296(U)  Decided on March 9, 2017  Supreme Court, Westchester County Marx, J. might be an example. “Plaintiff moves for an order permitting him to proceed as a poor person and for assignment of counsel in this action in which he claims to have been the victim of “Legal Malpractice, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, and Unethical Misconduct.” The claims arise from the alleged negligent representation by defendant, an attorney, of plaintiff in connection with a traffic summons issued to plaintiff for alleged excessively tinted windows, which was heard in the Town of Greenburgh traffic court on March 2, 2016. View Full Post
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