Ridiculous Ruling In Legal Malpractice
Today the Court of Appeals made a ridiculous ruling which is clearly a “protect our own” ruling and generally will harm the public at large. Today the Court of Appeals overturned a decision from the Fourth Department Appellate Division which recognized that criminal defendants whose criminal defense lawyers commit malpractice and cause them to spend time in jail cannot recover non-pecuniary damages. Stated differently, someone who is falsely accused of a crime and is convicted because his criminal defense lawyer’s performance fell below that of even the average criminal defense lawyer cannot recover damages for his wrongful incarceration, emotional suffering for being wrongfully incarcerated or any other non-pecuniary damage.
This is outrageous and the Court of Appeals should be ashamed of themselves for coming up with this decision. Everyday our New York trial lawyers attempt to secure justice for our clients in an increasingly hostile judicial environment, where Judges and even Juries are becoming more conservative and even hostile to tort lawsuits. This case is only one more example of why changes are necessary in our Judiciary and new blood without an agenda should be appointed. The political hack appointments of the Patacki administration with an obvious pro-insurance company/governmental bent should be put out to pasture. This latest insult which completely told our society’s most fragile members, those wrongfully convicted of crimes that there is no remedy for their wrong has gone too far and the New York legislature should act to overturn this injustice.
While our New York City lawyers continue to fight the good fight and pursue a social justice agenda, we are increasingly playing into a stacked deck with the Judiciary at all levels, especially in the Appellate Courts which are shamelessly bending the law to their liking.