Klass in the News: Malpractice Rulings Extend NYC Lawyers’ Ties To Old Clients

By Pete Brush
Law360, New York
September 11, 2014, 8:22 PM ET

New York City trial court and appellate rulings extending the clock on professional negligence claims against law firms that no longer directly represent those clients could boost malpractice risk and leave attorneys with tough choices over communicating on past matters, experts say….

…The current lay of the land in New York City, where the First Department holds sway, means lawyers must take careful approaches when considering how they might communicate with clients — especially unhappy clients — after the work at hand is done, according to Brooklyn-based attorney Richard A. Klass, who represents malpractice plaintiffs and defendants.

Transactional lawyers, for example, might want to foreclose advice on litigation or appeals at the outset, according to Klass, and they also may want to make it clear that no more advice will be forthcoming at the completion of an engagement in order to shield themselves.

“They should beef up both their hello letters and their goodbye letters,” Klass said.

To read the entire article, click here.

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copyr. 2014 Richard A. Klass, Esq.
The firm’s website: www.CourtStreetLaw.com
Richard A. Klass, Esq., maintains a law firm engaged in civil litigation in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
He may be reached at (718) COURT-ST or e-ml to RichKlass@courtstreetlaw.com with any questions.
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

R. A. Klass
Your Court Street Lawyer

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Debt Collection Tips: Docketing a Judgment Lien

Once a Judgment has been entered in a court, there are various methods which may be utilized by the judgment creditor to collect the Judgment from the debtor.

Where the debtor owns real estate, a lien may be placed upon the property. This type of lien is referred to as a Judgment lien under Article 52 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR).

The Judgment lien is placed upon real estate by the “docketing” of a Transcript of Judgment with the County Clerk’s Office.  Once the Judgment is docketed or registered, the judgment creditor may issue an Execution to the Sheriff to levy and sell the real estate, or merely leave the lien against the property until the debtor sells or transfers the property (at which time, the Judgment will likely be paid from the proceeds at closing).

If the Judgment was obtained in the Supreme Court of the county in which the property is located, no further action is required to docket the lien.

If the Judgment was obtained in another court (such as the New York City Civil Court, federal court, Family Court, or District Court), that court will issue, for a fee, a Transcript of Judgment with a raised seal, which Transcript of Judgment will then be filed with the County Clerk’s Office, at which point the lien will be effective.

If the debtor owns real estate in a county different from the one in which the Judgment was entered, a Transcript of Judgment should issue from the County Clerk’s Office in which the Judgment was entered and be filed with the County Clerk’s Office in which the property is located to effectuate the lien.

by Richard A. Klass, Esq.

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copyr. 2014 Richard A. Klass, Esq.
The firm’s website: www.CourtStreetLaw.com
Richard A. Klass, Esq., maintains a law firm engaged in civil litigation in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
He may be reached at (718) COURT-ST or e-ml to RichKlass@courtstreetlaw.com with any questions.
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

R. A. Klass
Your Court Street Lawyer

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Getting Your Money: obtaining abandoned property

In various situations, New York State obtains abandoned property, which it holds in escrow until the rightful owner applies to release the property to it. This may arise from surplus moneys in mortgage foreclosure cases, deposits paid into court, or other statutory deposits.

The New York State Comptroller is in charge, by virtue of the Abandoned Property Law, of holding onto the funds or “abandoned property.” The Comptroller’s office maintains a list of all property it is holding, and makes the same available to the general public. By simply inputting one’s name into  opens in a new windowthe Comptroller’s website, all records will be located.

However, sometimes the Comptroller’s search is not enough to locate all property to which a person may be entitled. An asset locator (a search firm engaged in this business) may locate other property to which a person may be entitled. One of the typical scenarios in which this occurs is:

In a mortgage foreclosure case, the real estate is sold at auction and a “surplus” is generated (which is the amount of money the real estate sold for above what the mortgagee/lender is entitled to). No party applies to the court for payment of the surplus moneys, and after five years, the local County Clerk pays the surplus moneys over to the State Comptroller as abandoned property.

In the above situation, the asset locator will help a party entitled to the surplus moneys (e.g., second mortgagee, judgment creditor, etc.) to locate the abandoned property, as it will not be held under its name.

Once the abandoned property is located, the Comptroller will issue a “Certificate of Deposit” and require that a Court Order be obtained for release of the property. A proceeding will need to be brought in the court in which the moneys were deposited for turnover of the surplus moneys deemed abandoned.

The proceeding, in which the court will order the turnover, must be conducted upon proper notice to all interested parties, along with notice to the Comptroller.

by Richard A. Klass, Esq.

———–
copyr. 2014 Richard A. Klass, Esq.
The firm’s website: www.CourtStreetLaw.com
Richard A. Klass, Esq., maintains a law firm engaged in civil litigation in Brooklyn Heights, New York.
He may be reached at (718) COURT-ST or e-ml to RichKlass@courtstreetlaw.com with any questions.
Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

R. A. Klass
Your Court Street Lawyer

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