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New York Legal Malpractice Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: What can I do?My NY buyers attorney drew up sales paperwork stating that my buyer made an Ernest deposit when he didn’t.

My attorney says there is nothing I can do. I can’t believe I can be provided with real estate sales paperwork to sign stating that the attorney collected the money when he didn’t. Should I have been informed and what can I do. My buyer backed out of the deal with proven false reasons and my... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 6, 2022

Something is fishy. However, you do not have to return money you do not have. If the lawyer said money was in escrow and it was not, he can be disbarred. Escrow accounting is a big deal.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice, Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on
Q: Can a lawyer be held accountable for NOT providing legal service to his client?

Elderly client moved in with daughter who had coerced her to change her will and make her power of attorney. Elderly client asked lawyer to revise will without involving this daughter. She told him she was in fear of daughter, her finding out and taking it out on her because she found out... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 5, 2022

If an attorney was simply approached out of the blue, the general rule is that the attorney is free to accept or decline a matter. Same goes for the prospective client, who is free to retain or not retain an attorney. There are instances where an attorney may not easily withdraw, such as in an... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: What is the purpose of a Referee's report in a NY State divorce? Is Property Settlement based on referee's report?

In my NY State divorce there are 3 sentences that are in “Verified Complaint” signed by my ex-wife the plaintiff, The “Affidavit in lieu of testimony” “Action for Divorce” signed by my ex wife the plaintiff, and The “Referee’s report” findings of fact and conclusions of law,... Read more »

Peter Christopher Lomtevas
Peter Christopher Lomtevas answered on May 2, 2022

As is usual for a question to come from a convoluted proceeding like a New York divorce, there is a confusion taking place here that only a visit to a law office can unravel. We’ll try our best with what we have.

An uncontested divorce means both sides do not contest a distribution of...
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1 Answer | Asked in Personal Injury and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: My attorney stated he could not mail me my case file from NY to PA because it's a HIPAA violation. Is that true.?

I have a case that's been going on since 1991 against the city of NY. I don't believe my attorney is handling it accordingly. He refuses to send me

my case file. There hasn't been any progress on my case and keeps trying to assure me everything's OK. He's sent me... Read more »

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik answered on Apr 20, 2022

Sorry to hear your attorney is refusing to turn over your file. You have an absolute right to get a copy of it.

HIPAA does NOT prevent your attorney from mailing you a copy of your own file; HIPAA governs the disclosure of protected / confidential medical information to unauthorized third...
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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Federal Crimes and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is it legal to accept money from a sale of a home if a notary falsified witnessing a signature on a deed?
Roy Warner
Roy Warner answered on Jan 25, 2022

Depends on the law in each state. However, accepting cash is legal. The problem is whether the deed can be filed, which serves as notice to the world that the person who paid cash for the property is the true owner. The deed should be corrected pursuant to the terms of the written contract of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Civil Rights, Employment Discrimination and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Do I have a case for false arrest & maliceous Prosecution?I was accused of commiting a crime and it got dimissed on 3030

I was accused of stealing a phone on my job on 9/11/2021.I got arrested for a felony Grand theft. When I went to count it got downgraded to mismenandor two counts(one for Petit Larceny and Criminal Possession of stolen property). I was offered a restitution to dismissal at the Arrangement and the... Read more »

Roy Warner
Roy Warner answered on Jan 15, 2022

Depends on who made the criminal complaint, and whether it was false and done with malice. Any lawyer you consult will need far more facts that you have provided.

Q: Misrepresentation

I got ran over by a garbage truck on December 11 2019 while working. I hired a worker’s compensation lawyer. I had to quit my job because of my living condition. I had no family members where I was living at so I moved. Workers compensation felt like I wasn’t entitled to any financial benefits... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Nov 4, 2021

In terms of the funding for the second necessary surgery, one option could be to look into public health agency coverage. In terms of the declaration of a permanent disability by your orthopedic surgery, that could be something to explore further with an attorney who handles disability claims. In... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Legal Malpractice and Probate for New York on
Q: I’m looking to have a revival or waiver of a statue of limitation and I have some questions. Hope you can help.
Roy Warner
Roy Warner answered on Oct 27, 2021

There is no question to answer.

Revivals of causes of action are by statute. They are few and far between in NY; they are remedial legislation.

The waiver of a statute of limitations is rare, but does happen. These waivers are based upon an equitable principle whereby the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: can you sue for malpractice when your were wrongly diagnosed 8 years ago
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Oct 13, 2021

It could depend on a number of factors. The statute of limitations for medical malpractice in New York does have provisions that extend time based on a certain attributes, such as infancy, discovery of a condition, and others. Your question is framed concisely and doesn't outline many facts to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is it customary for a lawyer to keep the refunded Federal Court filing fee which the client paid?

When a client pays the Federal Court filing fee to her attorney for a case--but--the Court remands the case (with the client's approval) to a lower authority to decide the case---and--the Court refunds the filing fee to the attorney--is it customary that the lawyer keeps the refunded filing... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Sep 3, 2021

I can't speak for other law firms, but I advance filing fees and treat them as disbursements at the close of the case. I do not request filing fees from clients (index nos, RJIs, appeals, etc. - I pay those up front out of my own funds). If for some reason a client HAS ALREADY PAID a filing... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Civil Rights and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Is it illegal for my grandma to keep my mom away from me wen I did not do nuffin I have no stay away no nuffin

Yes my grandma is 83 years I’m 28 my mom is 57

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Apr 5, 2021

Since you are over the age of 21 you can see your mom unless there is some sort of court order that prohibits that.

3 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Do my lawyer have the right to give me my documents on my case with index # etc?? Do They the right to hold my money

How do I find out how much my settlement was? How much a lawyer to suppose to charge? Do I pay for filing and paper work out my money? Why my lawyer Got more of the money then I did. 33.3% I thought was of fee. She had it in her savings for 1yrs b4 I received anything, also he lean me a few... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Apr 3, 2021

It's difficult to comment on the award and fees without knowing what your arrangements were. As a general matter, if there were claims from public agencies such as Medicaid/Medicare that demanded reimbursement on payments they made on your medical treatment related to an accident, that could... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Health Care Law and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Father when to hospital for leg pain free no covid stayed in hospital a week had covid
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Feb 28, 2021

I'm sorry for your father's ordeal. As a starting point, you could reach out to medical malpractice attorneys to discuss in more meaningful detail. If a law firm believed there could be a potential basis for a case, they could request hospital records for the stay and review them with a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: The Lawyer settled without my knowledge and or consent.

Have not signed papers, did he or she violate their fiduciary responsibility to me, and how would they be disciplined. Do I have to submit a complaint to the Grievance committee before or after I sign the petition? Please give me an answer to submitting the complaint to the Grievance Committee,... Read more »

Michael Bersani
Michael Bersani answered on Dec 24, 2020

Well, in New York, the case is not "settled" until you sign a release. So don't sign! Then the case is not settled. If your lawyer will not ask for what you really want in settlement, then get another lawyer to take over. You can go to trial on the case instead of settling.

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: So if I have to pee. But the teacher won’t let me go. Can I legally just go? Nobody gives me a clear answer on this
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Dec 1, 2020

Speak with your parents about the situation; they could look into whether a medical visit and doctor's note might be applicable here. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: A lawyer fiduciary responsibility to his client.

accepted a settlement without my consent.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Dec 1, 2020

Lawyers may sometimes tentatively agree to settlement terms, based on discussions with client as to what client would accept. But the common practice is for client to be presented with release to sign that memorializes formal acceptance of settlement terms and conditions. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: What can I do if I am afraid of the attorneys representing me? If they are verbally abusive and threatening and coercing
Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik answered on Oct 19, 2020

Sorry to hear that you do not have a good relationship with your attorney. Fortunately you have the right to discharge your attorney at any time, for any reason. You can find a new lawyer using the Find a Lawyer tab on the JUSTIA homepage. Here's an article I found online through the NYC... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Employment Discrimination, Employment Law and Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Can a lawyer represent employer in two separate cases from same individual while one is under investigation is it legal

It's a open case for division of human rights/eeoc charge and a seperate unemployment hearing where same lawyer during ui hearing asked about reasonable accommodation and other questions pertaining to opposite case

Jacob David Verchereau
Jacob David Verchereau answered on Jul 15, 2020

The question you are asking is whether it is a conflict of interest for the Employer's attorney to represent the Employer in two separate proceedings, both of which involve the same Employee. This is relatively common in my experience. Without more, it would seem to me that this would not be a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice for New York on
Q: Can you get in legal trouble for signing someone up for a church with their email and phone number?

The context is that they are angry.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on May 26, 2020

It all depends on circumstances, context, and how the other person reacts to it - whether it was done in a way that the person would have appreciated and wanted, or whether the person would have been upset by the use of their personal information. It's difficult to answer because it's... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Education Law, Legal Malpractice and Small Claims for New York on
Q: Can I get a lawyer for an overlooked application to a degree program in college?

I applied for a nursing program at a local community college within the deadline period. I’ve been waiting for an acceptance letter, which was to be sent out the 3rd week of April. It turns out my application was never put in the system and I was completely overlooked, while my grades are higher... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 23, 2020

No. You were not discriminated against. You were just a victim of bureaucratic error. You have no contract with them just by applying. I see no case.

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