Presented by the Lawyers' Professional Liability Practice Group

Legal Updates For Lawyers’ Professional Liability – RESULTS & THOUGHT LEADERSHIP


Christopher Block and Erica Goldring (Roseland) prevailed on a motion to strike the plaintiff’s expert in a complicated New Jersey professional malpractice matter. Following two rounds of briefing and two rounds of oral argument, the court agreed that the plaintiff’s expert’s opinion was a net opinion and did not provide any substance or evidence of a lack of a duty of care.

Lara Bream and Edwin Schwartz (Harrisburg) were successful in obtaining a dismissal of a complaint filed in the Middle District of Pennsylvania against a New York attorney for alleged malfeasance regarding the appointment of a guardian of an elderly woman that is alleged to have resulted in the dissipation of $2.2 million in assets.

Josh Byrne and Alesia Sulock (Philadelphia) succeeded in having a complaint dismissed, with prejudice, on preliminary objections in a legal malpractice action in Philadelphia County. Josh and Alesia had preliminary objections sustained on this multiple-count legal malpractice claim that arose out of representation in a hotly-contested divorce matter. The plaintiff's complaint was dismissed, with prejudice, as to all defendants.

Josh Byrne (Philadelphia) successfully defeated a petition for allowance of appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel that sought to change a private reprimand to a public reprimand. In a highly unusual move, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel filed a petition for allowance of appeal seeking to have the decision of the Disciplinary Board changed from a private reprimand to a public reprimand, in a case with potential national implications. Josh successfully defeated this petition, thus maintaining his client's privacy.

Josh Byrne (Philadelphia) recently achieved dismissal of a disciplinary complaint against an attorney. The complaint involved allegations of multiple violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct arising from an underlying representation. After Josh responded to the complaint, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel exercised its prosecutorial discretion to dismiss the complaint, despite determining that there were potential violations of at least three Rules of Professional Conduct.

Josh Byrne (Philadelphia) achieved dismissal of a complaint before the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs against a home appraiser based upon allegations of an improper appraisal.

Josh Byrne (Philadelphia) succeeded in getting a joinder complaint brought by an AM Law 100 firm against his client in a legal malpractice/breach of fiduciary duty action arising out of a multi-million dollar business transaction dismissed on preliminary objections in Philadelphia.

Edwin Schwartz (Harrisburg) achieved a successful dismissal of a Disciplinary Board complaint against an attorney who had been involved in a complex and messy family dispute regarding the creation and operation of brewery and events venue.

Yael Dadoun and Edwin Schwartz (Harrisburg) obtained a dismissal of a Disciplinary Board complaint filed against a York County attorney by a sitting judge on the Court of Common Pleas of York County related to the attorney’s representation of a client an underlying hostile divorce action.

*Prior Results Do Not Guarantee A Similar Outcome



Josh Byrne, chair of our Disciplinary Board Representation Practice Group, weighs in on potential red flags for banks in use of IOLTA accounts. Read the article here:

Josh Byrne (Philadelphia) presented at the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s annual Spring 2022 Avoiding Legal Malpractice Program on June 24th. “Avoiding Legal Malpractice” was presented by the PBA Professional Liability Committee and featured information on a variety of issues that have been identified as common areas where attorneys can be exposed to liability or malpractice claims and focuses on steps we can all take to avoid, or at least mitigate, potential claims.

Josh Byrne’s (Philadelphia) article “Mental Health, Malpractice Avoidance and Ethical Conduct” was published in the July edition of The Legal Intelligencer. You can read the article here:

Josh Byrne (Philadelphia) presented the seminar “Dealing with Difficult Opposing Counsel 2022” for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. Josh co-presented this program with other experienced lawyers and professional liability professionals, including the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. This session offered tools, techniques, and insight into practical and effective methods of dealing with difficult opposing counsel while complying with the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Charlene Seibert (Pittsburgh), a shareholder and member of the firm’s Lawyers’ Professional Liability Practice Group, has been appointed to a three-year term as a Hearing Committee Member of District IV or the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. Hearing Committee Members perform essential roles in Pennsylvania’s disciplinary system, chief among them to review Disciplinary Counsel’s recommended dispositions and to conduct hearings into formal charges of attorney misconduct and petitions for reinstatement. These efforts, which include reviewing pleadings and briefs, weighing evidence, and writing reports, are critical to guiding the Board and the Supreme Court in their determinations.

Jack Slimm and Jeremy Zacharias (Mount Laurel) presented a webinar entitled “Virtual Trials in New Jersey: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” This was presented to an audience comprised of claims professionals, attorneys and various insurance companies. Jack and Jeremy explained their experience with trying cases in a virtual and hybrid setting, and gave practical pointers and strategies in trying a case, picking a jury, and presenting evidence in a virtual format. Jack and Jeremy introduced the firm capabilities in a technological standpoint and the staffing that is needed for trying a virtual or a hybrid case.


Legal Update for Lawyers’ Professional Liability – July 2022 is prepared by Marshall Dennehey to provide information on recent legal developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. We would be pleased to provide such legal assistance as you require on these and other subjects when called upon. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1 Copyright © 2022 Marshall Dennehey, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm. For reprints or inquiries, or if you wish to be removed from this mailing list, contact