Wrong Municipality Sued-First Alleged Negligent Attorney Blames All On Second Negligent Attorney-Denied Dismissal

 This case concerns a New York City (NYC) teacher who suffered spinal injuries in a trip and fall at a public school.  Two different law firms successively represented him until his case was dismissed for failing to file a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident, against the correct municipality. The first law firm hired failed to realize that public schools in NYC are owned, maintained and operated by the NYC Department of Education (DOE) - not NYC. As a result, they filed a Notice of Claim within 90 days of the accident on NYC - instead of serving it on the DOE. That is a fatal mistake that can be cured, but only under certain limited circumstances.

The second attorney hired had a chance to save the case by filing a motion for leave to file a late Notice of Claim upon the DOE, within 1 year and 90 days of the accident—but failed to do so. The teacher's case was lost on a statute of limitations technicality and his only remedy to recover for his injuries was to sue the attornney's for legal malpractice. However, it must still be proven that a properly prosecuted personal injury claim would have been successful.

On June 26, 2018, the appellate court covering Manhattan ruled that the first firm should not be dismissed from the case and could not blame it all on the second law firm because it was too early to determine whether a motion for leave to file a late Notice of Claim would have been successful. The grant of such a motion is discretionary with the court and involves consideration of multiple factors. If the motion for leave to file a late notice would have been successful, the failure to file such a motion would be a superceding and intervening act of negligence severing the first firms liability for failing to timely serve a Notice of Claim on the correct municipality within 90 days of the accident. Liporace v Neimark, 2018 WL 3116863

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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