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New York Legal Malpractice Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: When is a personal injury attorney required to disclose his costs in putting on the case?

Following a negotiated settlement, when the plaintiff's attorney disburses the funds to lien holders and themselves, shouldn't they provide a detailed breakdown of expenses and payments with the check to their client? If the settlement was negotiated in August and the disbursement check... View More

Joel Gary Selik
Joel Gary Selik
answered on Mar 27, 2024

Yes attorneys need to provide their clients a disbursal statement.

The settlement can take time to disburse once payment is received. For example to negotiate medical liens and no interest would be paid to the client. Otherwise, disbursal should occur immediately.

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2 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: When is a personal injury attorney required to disclose his costs in putting on the case?

Following a negotiated settlement, when the plaintiff's attorney disburses the funds to lien holders and themselves, shouldn't they provide a detailed breakdown of expenses and payments with the check to their client? If the settlement was negotiated in August and the disbursement check... View More

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Mar 27, 2024

If the attorney held the funds in escrow, that interest doesn't usually go to the attorney or client. Law firms generally use IOLA accounts, where the interest would go to an IOLA Fund, used for public legal programs. Good luck

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1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice and Medical Malpractice for New York on
Q: A malpractice claim was filed for allegedly negligence and malpractice against a provider.

The provider is covered by the company's malpractice insurance who will provide the attorney and cover the claim. However, a malpractice incident report must first be completed with the option of using a private attorney. If an attorney was not hired and listed before submitting the report and... View More

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Mar 13, 2024

In general in any claim investigation, one is usually free to retain an attorney after the process has begun. It isn't possible to say if that would mean being given liberty to amend a statement/report, now having the benefit of an attorney. It's possible there could be conditions imposed... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Personal Injury, Civil Litigation and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: A settlement Agreement was prepared by a party with adequate Attorneys 2 days to it's trial. That same day Pro Se party

A settlement Agreement was prepared by a party with adequate Attorneys 2 days to it's trial. That same day Pro Se party rescind.

A settlement Agreement was made under pressure by attorneys on a Friday the trial was set to begin the following Monday: Party A was unrepresented vs a Party... View More

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
answered on Feb 9, 2024

So, if I understand you correctly, you entered into a settlement agreement, the terms of which were changed after you signed the agreement. Under those circumstances, you might have a valid basis on which to say that there was never an agreement in the first place since you never agreed to these... View More

3 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice and Medical Malpractice for New York on
Q: I am a plaintiff in a med mal case, my attorney is being sued & hired the defense attorney in my case to represent her.

Is that a conflict of interest? The initial firm I hired on 8-15-19, (with a retainer), emails me saying he doesn't know me, and would never sue the defense, although I have phone records, emails, etc.

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
answered on Nov 3, 2023

Your attorney is being sued by whom, by you or by someone else? If someone else, then there's arguably no conflict. There are many firms that represents doctors and hospitals in medical malpractice lawsuits and attorneys in legal malpractice lawsuits. As long as the two lawsuits do not... View More

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3 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice and Medical Malpractice for New York on
Q: I am a plaintiff in a med mal case, my attorney is being sued & hired the defense attorney in my case to represent her.

Is that a conflict of interest? The initial firm I hired on 8-15-19, (with a retainer), emails me saying he doesn't know me, and would never sue the defense, although I have phone records, emails, etc.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 5, 2023

Yes, what you're describing could potentially represent a conflict of interest. In legal practice, an attorney generally must avoid representation in a case where their interests are materially adverse to those of a client, or where their professional judgment may be unduly influenced by their... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Employment Law, Appeals / Appellate Law, Legal Malpractice and Sexual Harassment for New York on
Q: If you have already agreed to a settlement agreement on a NYS DHR case, How do you appeal? What is the process?

I would like the case reopened. I was under duress. Attorneys and Judge failed to inform me that I had time to amend. Settled for lesser amount.

Attorney was on vacation during the entire time we had to prepare for the case, she'd informed me that it was very unfortunate.... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 4, 2023

If you've agreed to a settlement in a New York State Division of Human Rights (NYS DHR) case and wish to appeal, you should be aware that typically, a settlement agreement is final and binding once signed.

However, if you believe you were under duress or there were other improprieties...
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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Real Estate Closing, NY Is it legal for my lawyer to hire a lawyer to represent me at closing, without my permission?

I was charged for the outside lawyer to represent me at the closing.

Peter Klose
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answered on Sep 1, 2023

It has been my experience that if you have a "retainer" agreement with the attorney, such agreement often includes language that says that the attorney might associate themselves with others to help you complete your matter. Often real estate closings occur without retainer agreements... View More

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4 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Real Estate Closing, NY Is it legal for my lawyer to hire a lawyer to represent me at closing, without my permission?

I was charged for the outside lawyer to represent me at the closing.

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Aug 31, 2023

If your lawyer hired another lawyer to represent you at a real estate closing without your permission and you were charged for their services, it's important to consider the legality and appropriateness of this situation. In many cases, lawyers are expected to obtain their clients'... View More

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Q: I don't think this lawyer who represented me Signed as my Lawyer, is this a legal representation, to not be signed
Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
answered on Jul 7, 2023

You can certainly have an attorney-client relationship without a written retainer agreement. The better practice, however, is to have a written retainer agreement which sets forth the duties and responsibilities of both the attorney and the client. That said, if you are unhappy with your current... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law, Legal Malpractice and Family Law for New York on
Q: Which Law Codes specify about Roster List of Gaurdian Ad Litems be shown to public or not?

If it is kept secret from the public, is it so all over New York? Thank you.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Mar 19, 2023

Access to court records and proceedings is often subject to specific state laws and regulations. Some states may require disclosure of GALs' roster lists to the public, while others may not.

To find information specific to your location and circumstances, I suggest consulting a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Appeals / Appellate Law and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: went to a closing 12/4/2007, began signing mtg docs, seller would not sell house. rec'd atty letter no funding

funds could not be released. Chevy Chase Bank was assumed by Capital One bank 2009.

Completed takeover 2010. November 10, 2012 Chevy Chase a (DEFUNCT) bank filed a lien on the property (incorrectly - wrong block and lot number), Chevy Chase (DEFUNCT) bank assigned the purported mortgage... View More

Daniel Michael Luisi
Daniel Michael Luisi
answered on Nov 8, 2022

When is the foreclosure auction scheduled? If there was a defect in the assignment, you may be able to file an Order to Show Cause to stay the sale, but only before the auction is completed. After that you would have a very hard time undoing the sale.

1 Answer | Asked in Constitutional Law, Employment Discrimination and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is it ethical for members of the supreme court to be in the Federalist Society?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on May 1, 2024

When considering the ethics of Supreme Court justices participating in the Federalist Society or any similar organization, it's essential to weigh the principles of judicial independence and impartiality against the benefits of intellectual engagement and education that such memberships might... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: who can remove tattoos compliantly and legally in the state of new york
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Feb 8, 2024

Attorneys might not be the most knowledgeable in this area. Medical professionals, such as dermatologists, would probably know more about this. Good luck

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights, Legal Malpractice, Landlord - Tenant and Gov & Administrative Law for New York on
Q: What do I do when I have proof of fraud by NYS court employees and Attorneys against me?

Judge, Court Clerk and Attorneys/Landlords NYS

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
answered on Oct 11, 2023

You can try reporting the matter to the Office of the Attorney General, https://ag.ny.gov/i-want/use-whistleblower-portal Keep in mind that if your complaint arises out of litigation or a proceeding to which you are a party, it's unlikely that the AG's office will take any action.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Cannabis & Marijuana Law, Federal Crimes and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: What steps to take filing for new public defender and getting something done about misrepresentation by one?

My soon to be husband has been almost a year awaiting outcome of a federal arrest that I have found out more about online than he has from his public defender. When asked to meet with him she has still a year later never met him in person. She has filed notices and discussed pleas without his... View More

Marco Caviglia
Marco Caviglia
answered on Sep 19, 2023

One may complain to either or both the Federal Defender's Office of NYS and the presiding judge in the case, but had better have all the details correct and back up the allegations.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: I fired my attorney then 3 months later we we in a settlement conference he signed legal documents Is he allowed to do t

I fired my attorney in a malpractice case 3 months later We were at a settlement conference and he signed legal documents Is settlement valid I was forced to sign by my attorney and judge even though I did not want to

Marco Caviglia
Marco Caviglia
answered on Sep 19, 2023

Your facts do not ring true or correctly and are contrary to established requirements of an on record settlement. I suggest you take your matter up with your attorney to obtain a clear understanding of what happened.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice and Criminal Law for New York on
Q: Something I got arrested for is now legal. Do I have a case?

I got arrested for having a taser in my purse during a car searched. It was $12 and ordered online from china. It made its way through customs to my front door. I had to pay a lawyer since I couldn’t get a public defender cause I was under 21 at the time and they made my mom pay. I also had to... View More

Peter J. Weinman
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answered on Apr 27, 2023

Even assuming it's now legal to carry a taser in NY (which I could not confirm), since it was not legal at the time you committed the (former) "crime," you cannot be compensated now, unfortunately.

Q: Is it legal for a company to not hire me because I tested positive for marijuana?

If it's not, what do I do about it?

Daniel A. Johnston
Daniel A. Johnston
answered on Mar 11, 2023

While there are some exceptions, it is typically illegal for a company to not hire you in New York based solely on a positive drug test for THC. If that's what they did, and why they did it, and no exceptions apply, you can sue them.

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law, Domestic Violence and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Why would I use an attorney provided by this judge ?

I'm not comfortable using an attorney in Herkimer county especially one provided by this judge! Especially if my brothers mother in law who could have possibly plaid a hand in his decision to put me and my family on the street in the middle of winter when I was the assaulted party ?

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich
answered on Jan 16, 2023

The appointed lawyer is an independent attorney who is on a panel with no connection to the judge. Of course, you are always free to hire your own lawyer if you have the means to do so.

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