N.Y. Appellate Divisions

     ATTORNEYS, TORT – A company claimed that it would not have leased waterfront property if its negotiating attorney had not told the chair’s son that he could be involved in the project without divulging his criminal history. The city later cited the concealed criminal history as the reason for ending negotiations. The appellate division ruled that the company might be able to prove “but for” causation in its legal malpractice action. See ruling.
     ATTORNEYS, TORT – The appellate division found that a legal malpractice claim against should have been dismissed because the plaintiff had relied on the advice of her financial consultant, not the law firm, when she sunk her money into a venture that failed. Modified. See ruling.
     FAIR TRIAL, ATTORNEYS – The appellate division granted a new trial, ruling that the trial judge improperly denied a defendant’s request for new counsel without conducting an inquiry or allowing him to explain why he wanted a different lawyer. The request may well have been a frivolous delaying tactic, but the judge had no basis to completely cut off the discussion without hearing any explanation. Reversed. See ruling.

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