Saturday, November 17, 2007
A dissatisfied client in a divorce case claimed that her lawyers had overcharged her and mishandled the case. There was a fee arbitration that resulted in a substantial award to the lawyers. The client then filed a complaint with disciplinary counsel and sued for malpractice.
The New York First Department held that "the determination fixing the value of the services necessarily determined that there was no malpractice." The malpractice claim is barred by the arbitration award and the principles of collateral estoppel. (Mike Frisch)