NY Court Reverses Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Claim Against Willkie Farr

A securities broker prevailed in his bid to reverse the dismissal of a legal malpractice claim he brought against Willkie Farr.  In this matter, the securities broker, Palmeri Jr., was a client of Willkie, but his representation was terminated by the firm when his former employer, Ramius Securities, LLC, was being investigated by FINRA.  Willkie cut ties with Palmeri, Jr. due to a conflict that emerged when his interests diverged from Ramius.  Ramius was investigated by FINRA due to its suspicion that it was using stock finders.  Stock finders locate securities for lending and borrowing in exchange for a fee from the lenders.  Stock finders must be registered because they can create unjustifiable increases in the costs of the loan to the detriment of the borrower.  Palmeri Jr.’s father had previously been convicted for orchestrating illegal stock loan functions, and FINRA believed that he may have influenced Ramius to use unauthorized stock finders.    Palmeri Jr. was eventually cleared by FINRA; but, expended over $700,000 in legal fees defending the allegations brought against him.

Initially, the trial court dismissed the suit finding that it was filed after New York’s three year statute of limitations.  However, the Court of appeals reversed finding that the alleged wrongful conduct continued beyond the date considered by the trial court.

The case is Palmeri v. Willkie Farr & Gallagher, LLP, case number 2016-1473, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Alex Passo and Patterson Law Firm, LLC handle legal malpractice matters throughout Illinois and Indiana.  If you have a matter that you would like to discuss with Alex, you may reach him at (312) 750-1820 or apasso@pattersonlawfirm.com.