Legal malpractice stands apart from all other professional negligence. Its rules are fundamentally different, more rigorous and more difficult than for other professional negligence.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Legal malpractice stands apart from all other professional negligence. Its rules are fundamentally different, more rigorous and more difficult than for other professional negligence. In medical malpractice the patient/plaintiff need only show a departure from accepted community standards of medical practice which was a proximate cause of injury or damage. Geffner v. North Shore Univ. Hosp., 57 AD3d 839 (2d Dept. 2008)
In accountant malpractice the client/plaintiff need plead and prove only that the accountant departed from recognized and accepted professional standards of practice for accountants, and that this departure caused injury. Friedman v. Anderson, 23 AD3d 163 (1st Dept. 2005).
Now, suddenly, for attorneys only, there is a new and unprecedented rule that if an appeal of the malpractice event was reasonably likely to succeed, it must have been taken or the legal malpractice case is waived. Grace v. Law, 24 NY3d 203 (2014). This rule sprang on the legal malpractice bar without any warning when the Court of Appeals took an unpublicized case on certiorari and rendered a novel decision in a question of first impression. This new rule is in addition to the gateways of privity, the "successor attorney" rule, the "attorney judgment" rule, the economic damages rule, the "effectively compelled" settlement rule and the "settlement as waiver" rule which continue to serve as unique legal malpractice roadblocks.
Read the rest in the September 9, 2015 New York Law Journal