Your Attorney's Conflict of Interest Is Not Necessarily Legal Malpractice

It has been a long standing rule of law that a legal malpractice claimant must be able to prove both wrongdoing and damages as a direct result of that wrongdoing. On June 23, 2016 the Appellate Division upheld a New York County Trial Court that had dismissed a legal malpractice claim even assuming the truth of a claim that the claimant's attorney had a conflict of interest that was not waived. The attorneys agreed there was a conflict of interest but argued that the client verbally consented to the representation despite disclosure of the conflict. (Currently a waiver of a conflict of interest must be in writing. Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.7.) As the Court noted: "In any event, the violation of a disciplinary rule, without more, is insufficient to support a legal malpractice cause of action." Fletcher v Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP

The problem with the plaintiff's claims was that she was unable to prove that she was damaged as a direct consequence of the attorney filing a bankruptcy proof of claim one day late. The delay was inconsequential because the bankruptcy claim was accepted despite the delay and the plaintiff recovered a substantial sum of money thru mediation. Moreover, there was no proof submitted that but for the delay in filing, she would recovered a greater settlement. (Generally, a tough claim to prove, but not impossible.)

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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