Law Firm Defeats Malpractice Claim of Inadequate Deposition Preparation of Eyewitness

The question of whether an attorney can be held liable for failing to properly prepare an eyewitness for a deposition was addressed by an appellate court. A disgruntled client who lost a jury trial concerning a motor vehicle accident claimed that if only the sole eyewitness had been better prepared for a nonparty deposition, they would have won. On February 27, 2020, an appellate court covering Manhattan ruled that the legal malpractice claim had to be dismissed as too speculative. The legal malpractice plaintiff could never prove that “but for” the failure of an attorney to better prepare the sole eyewitness for his deposition the jury would have found in favor of the plaintiff. Unfortunately, this eyewitness was a terrible witness who could not be rehabilitated.

The problem for this legal malpractice plaintiff who was “badly injured” was that the sole eyewitness had given conflicting and inconsistent accounts of what the truck looked like.The crucial issue at the trial was identification of the offending truck. The accident was a hit and run which was investigated by the NYC Police Department. The eyewitness described the truck as a green colored garbage truck with a bull nose front end to one police investigator and to another reported it as a dump truck with a flat front. The appellate court dismissed the legal malpractice complaint finding that it was too speculative to predict whether a better prepared unreliable eyewitness would have persuaded the jury to find in plaintiff's favor. Caso v Miranda, 180 A.D. 3D 611

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts " and "Top New York Settlements." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He was a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!


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