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New York Legal Malpractice Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: How can I get contents of my complete settled and disposed file from my attorney in my tort case?

established attorney - client relationship in 2012, he began the case in 2014 settled in 2019 the case?documents the judge's decision of the settlement, mediation, signing the settlement agreement for opposing side, and copy of the settlement check with his signature. he didnotprovide my file... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Aug 6, 2019

You are entitled to it. Write the lawyer and ask.

2 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice and Probate for New York on
Q: Can an attorney refuse to draw up a will if he/she does not agree with some of the terms?

e.g. A person wishes to make an animal shelter a beneficiary and the attorney feels that human charities should have priority.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 8, 2019

Attorneys are not obligated to accept any client or any work. However, if it is shown that their refusal is illegal discrimination they are subject to all potential civil and administrative penalties. In this case, there does not appear to be such discrimination. If the attorney has taken your... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is it illegal for someone to send demand letters posing as an attorney?
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jan 24, 2019

Yes, it is illegal to pretend to be an attorney. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about me, my credentials, awards, honors, testimonials, and media... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: My attorney made a mistake with my case filing but I think it was just a minor oversight that won't affect the outcome

of my case. Does that still qualify as legal malpractice? It did inconvenience me.

Edward X. Clinton, Jr
Edward X. Clinton, Jr answered on Nov 5, 2018

Nope. To be malpractice the error must be significant enough to affect the outcome. Usually, you have to prove that you lost the case as a result of the error. If the error is tiny and can be corrected, there was no malpractice.

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1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Someone posts untrue reviews about me on Yelp. Can this affect my malpractice insurance rates or standing with the bar?
Edward X. Clinton, Jr
Edward X. Clinton, Jr answered on Nov 5, 2018

No. A negative yelp review won't have anything to do with insurance or your standing with the Bar.

I'm sorry to say that there is little you can do about a Yelp review. Suing Yelp won't work and it should not work because of the first amendment.

I have earned several nasty reviews....
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Land Use & Zoning and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Can a mortgage be discharged if there are still liens/Judgments on it?

We are in the process of buying a home and the process has been dragging out. we are now a full month passed our scheduled closing date. We have multiple stories coming from the lawyers stating there are judgments on the home. We waited 3 weeks for the lawyer to tell us the seller agreed to pay 3x... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 11, 2018

Do you have a lawyer? Do you have a title company? These are issues that you as a layman do not handle.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is my first step always to talk to the state bar if I suspect my attorney is violating attorney-client privilege?
Michael Bersani
Michael Bersani answered on Sep 1, 2018

Not necessarily. You can talk to another lawyer. Or you can contact your county bar association grievance committee in New York. But of course you can also call the New York State Bar association.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: What recourse do you have if your attorney misses a filing deadline?
Michael Bersani
Michael Bersani answered on Aug 10, 2018

You need to consider suing your lawyer. You should carefully watch your filing deadline for that case! It is three years from the date of the missed filing, unless your lawyer continued to represent you on the same matter after that happened, in which case the filing deadline is three years from... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Lawyer stating his clients are person 1 & 2 but attempting to discuss on behalf of person 3.

if a lawyer states person 1 & 2 are his clients, while including them in the communications with me, but also starts arguing on behalf of person 3 who is person 2's spouse and refuses to answer whether he has permission from person 3 to represent her, can I complain to some NY State authority about... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 1, 2018

It is not your issue. It is person 3's issue. You are the adversary. Representation is between attorney and client.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: is there a time frame for a law office to reimburse me for the cost of urn and cremation? (long Island, N.Y.)

I laid out almost $4,000.00 for the urn and cremation fees for a friend of mine who died in June 2016. The estate was settled in September 2017. I have called at least 5 times (once a month since January?) to find out if there is an issue, whatever. I have been told by a very friendly secretary:... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 17, 2018

Make sure you saved your written inquiries. You are supposed to send the Executor a formal Notice of Claim within 7 months of appointment. What you did might qualify. You can make a motion to be paid.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is there a statute of limitations on legal malpractice?
Edward X. Clinton, Jr
Edward X. Clinton, Jr answered on May 11, 2018

Yes, there is a statute of limitations on legal malpractice in every state. Depending on where the client is located and where the lawyer is located, the statute of limitations will vary. For example, Illinois has a two-year statute of limitations while Ohio has a one-year statute of limitations.

3 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: I think my attorney's paralegal drafted my will - is that okay?
Michael Bersani
Michael Bersani answered on Apr 20, 2018

Yes, as long as the lawyer reviewed and approved it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, DUI / DWI and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is my lawyer really representing the cop because he is friends with the department ?

I’m not a lawyer, I feel my family is being taken advantage of , and I have no where to turn. My wife was arrested for a dwi. When she was pulled over the officer noticed she has a PBA card and asked her about it. She told him it was an old card , it was her ex brother in law , who hates her for... Read more »

Susan Chana Lask
Susan Chana Lask answered on Apr 14, 2018

Police Officers can call the officer who is listed on the PBA card. So I do not see anything wrong with the officer who stopped your wife with calling the brother in law.

Next, it cannot be said whether or not the lawyer is representing the other side just because he is friends with the...
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2 Answers | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: If a person was sanctioned by their state bar, do they have to tell their clients?
Susan Chana Lask
Susan Chana Lask answered on Apr 14, 2018

You do not have to voluntarily tell your clients that you were sanctioned.

However, if a client asks you if you had any sanctions then you have to be honest and tell them you did.

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1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is it allowed under New York bar rules to date the attorney representing you in a personal injury lawsuit?
Michael Bersani
Michael Bersani answered on Apr 4, 2018

Yes, it is allowable, but not advisable. However, it is not allowed at all if the lawyer is representing the client in a domestic relations matter. Rule 8(j)(1). And it is never permissible to make sexual relations a condition for representation.

1 Answer | Asked in Child Custody and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: i want to hire a NY family court lawyer, but he is employed as the court attorney. Is this a conflict or problem?

He is listed as "assistant county attorney/family court" on the county webpage. I am finding lots of family attorneys work in the family court itself, or are judges in other courts, or work in other govt offices... My goal is to Not be confronted with the issue later by my ex, as he is very... Read more »

Kevin M. Colwell
Kevin M. Colwell answered on Mar 3, 2018

It is unclear from your question whether or not the attorney you wish to hire would have a conflict of interest problem. The best thing to do would be to ask the attorney directly if he or she would have a conflict of interest in the event he or she took your case.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice, Medical Malpractice and Business Law for New York on
Q: what can i do legally against a dental office which lied to me about being in network and actually not being

I made an appointment to see a Dentist through the website Zocdoc. On this Website the dental office lists my speific plan and dental insurance as being "in network", if the office is in-network I know that my dental insurance would pay for the cleaning and check up x rays in full. I go for... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Feb 11, 2018

Why don't you call your insurance company and ask if the dentist is in network? It really comes down to that issue.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: My divorce attorney said he was a family law specialist, which I guess requires certification. I later found out he

wasn't and I'm worried this is why I didn't get the amount of child support my kids were entitled to. How do I proceed?

Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jul 10, 2017

You can file a fee dispute, potentially sue for malpractice, and report him to the NY office of disciplinary counsel. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney such as myself. You can read more about... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: I feel that my lawyer picked the wrong strategy to deal with a claim I had - is that malpractice?
Ali Shahrestani, Esq.
Ali Shahrestani, Esq. answered on Jun 25, 2017

More facts are needed. It depends on whether the strategy was a reasonable one, and it depends on whether you were damaged as a result. More details are necessary to provide a professional analysis of your issue. The best first step is an Initial Consultation with an Attorney. You can read more... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Where can I find bar discipline records?
Peter Klose
Peter Klose answered on Jun 2, 2017

Pretty much only in reported cases from the Appellate Division.

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