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Limited Retainer Agreement Held Insufficient to Dismiss Legal Malpractice Case

Earlier this month, the appellate court covering Brooklyn agreed with a trial court who refused to grant the motion of a workers compensation law firm to dismiss a legal malpractice claim. The plaintiff was injured on the job and hired the Polsky law firm to handle his claim for workers compensation benefits. The retainer agreement "explicitly states that he was only hiring the firm for the purpose of obtaining workers compensation benefits and not for any other claims arising from this accident." However, the client asserted that he never spoke to an attorney-only a paralegal before the first 90 days after his accident. The client claimed this paralegal never told him that since his accident occurred on property owned by the NYC Department of Education and/or the School Construction Authority--he could sue them provided he filed a Notice of Claim within 90 days.

The plaintiff alleged that he did hire another law firm to handle his injury claim, but not until more than 90 days after his accident. This second firm timely filed a motion for leave to file a late notice of claim which was denied. Therefore, the plaintiff argued that the Polsky law firm negligently failed to alert him to retain a law firm to handle his injury claim within 90 days of the accident and their failure to do so resulted in the dismissal of his claim against the municipal owners of the property where he was injured. As such, the Court held that the limitations in the workers compensation law firm retainer could not serve as the basis of dismissal since it did not conclusively establish a defense as a matter of law. Garcia v Polsky, 2018 WL 2124062

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 of 2011" and "Top New York Settlements of 2012." 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 is 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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