Best Lawblog Contest for 2017 now being conducted by The Legal Institute

From now until
September 15th, 2017, Lawblog fans can nominate their favorite blogs and bloggers for inclusion in the voting round of 2017. As in previous years, the nomination process is competitive, meaning the more nominations a blog receives, the more likely it is to be included in the public voting stage of the contest.

To access the link to the nomination form, click on:

https://www.theexpertinstitute.com/blog-contest/?utm_source=email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=CTA&utm_campaign=blog-contest-8.14.2017-general

Monday, May 02, 2011

Malpractice in disciplinary actions

Malpractice in disciplinary actions
Tinelli v Redl, CA2, 199 F.3d 603, Affd. 121 S.Ct. 47

After being found guilty of disciplinary charges, an individual decides to sue his or her attorney, contending that the lawyer’s action, or failure to act, in the disciplinary hearing or an appeal constituted malpractice.

In the Tinelli case, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit considered such a malpractice claim. The decision sets out a test for determining if there is a basis for such an action against the attorney.

Joseph Tinelli was served with disciplinary charges pursuant to Section 75 of the Civil Service Law. He retained an attorney, Frank Redl, to represent him in the matter. Following a two-day hearing, the hearing officer found Tinelli guilty of three charges of “misconduct and incompetence.”

The appointing authority adopted the findings of the hearing officer and imposed the penalty recommended by the hearing officer: termination.

Tinelli appealed. According to the decision, Redl failed to take any “further action ... after the initial filing of the petition for Tinelli’s appeal” in New York State Supreme Court. As a result, six months later Tinelli’s “appeal expired.”

Tinelli sued Redl, contending that the attorney’s (1) failure to perfect the Article 78 appeal and (2) his failure to ask the court for an extension of time to perfect the appeal, constituted malpractice.

He also charged that Redl’s performance at the administrative disciplinary hearing constituted malpractice.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that whether or not Redl’s handling the appeal constituted malpractice depended on whether or not Tinelli’s appeal would have been successful. In other words, if Tinelli would not have won the appeal regardless of the action or inaction of his attorney, there was no basis for holding the attorney liable for malpractice.

After reviewing the record, the circuit court said that “Tinelli’s appeal would not have succeeded because the hearing officer’s findings of misconduct and incompetence were supported by substantial evidence and because there was no abuse of discretion in recommending Tinelli’s termination under the circumstances.”

The court dismissed Tinelli’s claim, holding that his attorney could not be held liable for malpractice because he failed to perfect the appeal since Tinelli would not have been able to overturn either the administrative disciplinary determination or the penalty imposed.

As to Tinelli’s claim that “Redl’s poor performance at the administrative hearings constituted malpractice,” Redl’s motion for summary judgment dismissing this allegation was also granted.


Handbooks focusing on State and Municipal Public Personnel Law continue to be available for purchase via the links provided below:

The Discipline Book at http://thedisciplinebook.blogspot.com/

A Reasonable Penalty Under The Circumstances at http://nypplarchives.blogspot.com

The Disability Benefits E-book: at http://section207.blogspot.com/

Layoff, Preferred Lists at http://nylayoff.blogspot.com/

Caution:

Subsequent court and administrative rulings, or changes to laws, rules and regulations may have modified or clarified or vacated or reversed the decisions summarized here. Accordingly, these summaries should be Shepardized® or otherwise checked to make certain that the most recent information is being considered by the reader.

THE MATERIAL ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATION ONLY. CHANGES IN LAWS, RULES, REGULATIONS AND NEW COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS MAY AFFECT THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION PROVIDED IN THIS LAWBLOG. THE MATERIAL PRESENTED IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE AND THE USE OF ANY MATERIAL POSTED ON THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

Consistent with the Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations, the material in this blog is presented with the understanding that the publisher is not providing legal advice to the reader and in the event legal or other expert assistance is needed, the reader should seek such advice from a competent professional.

Items published in NYPPL may not be used for commercial purposes without prior written permission to copy and distribute such material. Send your request via e-mail to publications@nycap.rr.com

Copyright© 1987 - 2017 by the Public Employment Law Press.



___________________



N.B. From time to time a political ad or endorsement may appear in the sidebar of this Blog. NYPPL does not have any control over such posting.

_____________________

.