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An attorney that practices in NJ is admitted pro hac vice in NY. What state has malpractice taking place?

New York, NY |

There was a clear issue of malpractice. This is a NY Case from a NJ attorney admitted pro hac vice. The damages are not more than $250,000 likely. To take on another attorney in malpractice attorneys usually work on much larger cases? My guess is yes. There was a clear case of a total breakdown of prudence and diligence. I have hired attorneys for work over the course of over 15 years so I am a layman but feel that based on my experience there is not a way for this to not be malpractice. In addition this is the least professional attorney I have ever come across.

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

You will be able to obtain Jurisdiction over this attorney where he resides, where he maintains an office, where you reside, and where the malpractice was committed. I don't know the New Jersey Statute of Limitations for legal malpractice cases but in New York , where I am admitted and where I regularly handle legal malpractice claims, the Statute is 3 years. For what its worth, I find that the carriers and law firms that defend legal malpractice cases in New York quickly separate the wheat from the chaff, meaning that if the case is properly pleaded and is properly supported, they tend to resolve the case rather than litigate. Accordingly, if your case is good and you are able to show that "BUT FOR" the lawyer's negligence, you would have achieved a better result, the matter should resolve quickly and THEREFORE the fact that the damages are less than $250,000 will not prevent an attorney with experience in this area from accepting your case on a contingency basis. Again, I can't speak to this issue if you bring suit in New Jersey since I'm not admitted there, and have no experience with legal malpractice cases in that State. My advice applies only to cases brought New York State.

If you'd like to discuss, please feel free to call. Jeff Gold Gold, Benes, LLP 1854 Bellmore Ave Bellmore, NY 11710 Telephone -516.512.6333 Email -

Jeffrey Bruce Gold

Jeffrey Bruce Gold


Thanks for the "best answer". Do you care to share in general terms, what the malpractice is?


I am sorry to hear about your unsatisfactory experience. Since this is a NY case, then the presumption (for choice of law issues) would be NY. The case could be sued in NY or NJ or anywhere else the defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction. Best of luck.

Ryan Finn * 518.213.0115 * * Referrals are the highest form of compliment * Hacker Murphy serves clients throughout New York State and always pays referring attorneys a reasonable referral fee


The place of a lawsuit is where the plaintiff can obtain jurisdiction over the defendant. In this case, it is probably either NJ or NY. What is the case about. Each state may have different statutes of limitation.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


The attorney can certainly be sued in NJ, possibly in NY. Whether a $250,000 legal malpractice claim makes economic sense depends on the specifics of the claim.

Any opinions stated in response to Avvo questions are based upon the facts stated in the question. Responses to Avvo questions are for general information purposes only, and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice.


If the purpose of your inquiry is to determine where to bring a legal malpractice case against the attorney, and assuming you are a NY resident, and this NJ lawyer represented you in a NY lawsuit for an incident or occurrence that happened in NY, I would say that the lawsuit should be brought in NY. Having had himself admitted in NY Pro Hac Vice, and his actions being in NY with consequences in NY, he is subject to the jurisdiction of the NY courts. Additionally, it is more advantageous to have the action tried in NY. Keep in mind that in a legal malpractice case you have to prove not only that the attorney failed to properly represent you, but also that you would likely have been successful in the underlying case but for his/her professional negligence. This is often referred to as "trying a case within a case". If the latter element can not be proven, then the legal malpractice action will be unsuccessful as well. Good luck.

Jeffrey I. SchwimmerEsq
20 Vesey Street - Suite 1200
New York, NY 10007
(800) 370-3010


Other than blowing the statute, I have yet to see a clear case of legal malpractice where a case within a case which is easily proven, but certainly have a lawyer investigate.

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