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Articles Posted in Appeals to the New York Court of Appeals

In its recent decision in Dombrowski v. Bulson, 19 N.Y.3d 347 (2012), the New York Court of Appeals recently reiterated the long-established New York court-made rule barring the recovery of damages for emotional distress injuries and other “non-pecuniary” (i.e., non-monetary) losses in legal malpractice cases.

DSC00026Bucking the position of the majority of states which treat legal malpractice damage claims no differently than other types of negligence claims,[1] the New York Court of Appeals in Dombrowski, in reversing the holding of the Fourth Department, held that non-pecuniary damages are not recoverable in a legal malpractice action arising from a criminal attorney’s “ineffective” defense of the plaintiff. In Dombrowski, the plaintiff’s disallowed non-pecuniary damages arose from his wrongful conviction and 5-1/2 years of incarceration resulting from his defense lawyer’s alleged legal malpractice. Continue Reading

The New York Constitution and Statutes governing which New York State courts have authority (i.e., jurisdiction) to grant permission to appeal to the Court of Appeals can be confusing and in many cases seemingly illogical.gavel-3-1409593-m

Like the United States Supreme Court, the New York Court of Appeals is generally a certiorari type court in that, with few exceptions — such as for appeals from Appellate Division decisions finally deciding the action and in which there were either two dissents or a constitutional question; New York Constitution, Article VI, §3(b)(7) and CPLR §5601(a) & (b) — the great majority of decisions can only be appealed to the Court of Appeals when permission (often referred to as “leave”) is granted. However, unlike the United States Supreme Court, which generally has the exclusive say over which cases will be granted certiorari, the authority to grant permission to appeal to the Court of Appeals is divided between that Court and the Appellate Division.

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