Pre-Employment Testing for Marijuana?

In May 2019, Section 8-107 of title 8 of the NYC admin code was amended to make it unlawful for an employer and others to test for marijuana or THC as a condition of employment.  This law becomes effective May 10, 2020.  The NYC Commission on Human Rights is promulgating rules for the implementation of this law. There was a public hearing on Jan. 9, 2020 concerning potential exceptions to the general prohibition on pre-employment testing to which written testimony by interested parties was submitted.  …

Continue Reading

Ensuing Professional Liability Implications with Homeowner or Condo Associations

Key Takeaways:

  • Make sure that the Homeowners Association (HOA)/Condominium board of directors includes protocols wherein its owners are aware of the rules (declaration and by-laws) and have appropriate expectations when living in the community.  
  • In litigation, courts sometimes intervene and substitute its finding for the board’s finding in accordance with the business judgment rule, but are prohibited from intervening where the board acted in good faith and exercised honest judgment in the lawful and legitimate furtherance of the HOA/condo.
  • Boards should regularly work
Continue Reading

Law Firms (and Client Data) Held Hostage

Hackers have successfully hit at least five United States law firms within the past few weeks. Reportedly, the attacks are part of a coordinated effort potentially affecting nearly 200 victims in January alone. As if that were not frightening enough, the threat to law firms and to their clients, has magnified substantially in light of the type of attack now employed against law firms.

Rather than delivering a ransom note to the infected system and waiting for payment, the recent hackers are publishing the victim’s …

Continue Reading

You Dropped the Ball: Now What?

There are so many risk management sources, theories, and tips for the practitioner seeking to avoid a malpractice claim. But, there is less direction available to the professional that does make a mistake and knows about it. What are the obligations to the client, to the carrier, to others once we discover that we’ve dropped the ball? Are there implications on the statute of limitations? The South Dakota Supreme Court addressed these questions in a recent decision.

In the decision, available here, the court …

Continue Reading

Coverage Denied for Attorney Seeking Fee

At its simplest and most basic level, a professional malpractice policy for an attorney serves to insure against claims of malpractice. The devil is in the details, of course. In a recent decision, the Second Circuit affirmed a decision denying coverage to an attorney involved in a dispute over collection of his legal fee. The decision provides an interesting coverage lesson as well as a lesson about the sensitive nature of seeking to collect on a disputed fee.

In Continental Cas. Co. v. Parnoff, …

Continue Reading

Forum Shopping? Choose Philadelphia

America’s birthplace, home of the Liberty Bell, cheesesteaks and Rocky, the City of Brotherly Love is a destination for history, arts, culture…and personal injury cases. Once again, Philadelphia has been named America’s number one judicial hellhole in the annual ranking by the American Tort Reform Foundation for 2019. This is based on Philadelphia’s outrageous verdicts, amount spent on lawsuit advertisements, percent of out of state plaintiffs, and courts loosely applying venue rules.

Some highlights from 2019:

  • A major pharmaceutical company hit with an $8
Continue Reading

Attorney or Scrivener? LPL Claim Dismissed Due to Non-Representation Clause

A recent decision rendered by the New York Appellate Division, First Department, on October 17, 2019, held that the lower court properly dismissed a legal malpractice complaint on the ground that documentary evidence established there was no attorney-client relationship. In Seaman v Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, 176 A.D.3d 538 (1st Dep’t 2019), the dispute centered on the enforceability of a “non-representation clause” disclaiming the existence of an attorney-client relationship and reaffirmed the importance of providing such clauses where an attorney seeks to limit …

Continue Reading

Counsel Responsible for Client’s Massive Ponzi Scheme?

Nine law firms face $500 million in damages arising from the alleged aiding and abetting of a large securities scam. The scam was perpetrated by a now defunct, relatively well-publicized real estate investment firm (“Investment Firm”) that operated a Ponzi scheme targeting the retirement benefits of the elderly.

The man responsible for the scheme pled guilty to a 25-year sentence in late 2019. Now, through its bankruptcy trustee, the Investment Firm is reportedly suing its attorneys and claiming that they knowingly assisted in the fraud. …

Continue Reading

LTC Risk Management Tool: Hip Protectors

Hip fractures are one of the most-common orthopedic injuries sustained by plaintiffs in long-term and elder care cases arising from falls.  Long-term care (“LTC”) facilities must endeavor to reduce fall-induced hip fractures through care-based interventions to optimize patient care, limit litigation, and decrease stress upon the health care system. The Journal of the American Medical Directors Association recently published a study, entitled “Effectiveness of Hip Protectors to Reduce Risk for Hip Fracture from Falls in Long-Term Care,” which addresses the hip protector as …

Continue Reading

Missed Deadlines, No Communication Equals Disbarment

Deadlines are a way of life for most professionals, certainly attorneys. The practice of law involves tons of deadlines, many of which are subject to some form of extension, but an attorney must take active steps to either meet each deadline or see to it that the deadline is adjusted. An attorney’s obligation of competency and communication require that counsel meet each deadline and inform her client when something goes wrong. In a recent disciplinary proceeding, an attorney was disbarred for failing to competently …

Continue Reading