ATTORNEYS – The New York Appellate Division disbarred attorney Stephen J. Sheinbaum because he pleaded guilty in federal court to two felony counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, an offense which satisfies the elements of the state felony offense of a scheme to defraud in the first degree.
ATTORNEYS – The New York Appellate Division disbarred attorney William F. Sorin because he pleaded guilty in federal court to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, an offense that is essentially similar to the New York felony of scheming to defraud in the first degree.
INSURANCE, ATTORNEYS – The New York Appellate Division found that the lower court should have dismissed the legal malpractice claim filed by plaintiff, an excess liability insurer, against the law firm that represented defendant in the underlying personal injury action.
There was no privity between the law firm and plaintiff, and plaintiff has failed to demonstrate a relationship with law firm so close as to touch the bounds of privity, and under New York law, attorneys are not liable to a third party for negligent performance of services on behalf of their client. Moreover, plaintiff is not the insured’s equitable subrogee. Reversed. Federal Insurance Co. v. North American Specialty Insurance Co.
ATTORNEY FEES – The New York Appellate Division found that the special referee’s report accurately found that Delma Associates had advanced no money for litigation costs of individual defendant directors.
Plaintiff’s speculative claims fail to establish that some of the money was advanced to the law firm for legal work undertaken on behalf of the defendants, and in light of plaintiff’s dilatory conduct during discovery, the referee properly declined to allow further discovery on the issue. Affirmed. Barrett v. Toroyan