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Important lesson from failed malpractice claim

Those who are seeking legal counsel are generally required to do more than hire an attorney. There are instances when the attorney will require information or paperwork to help build the case. A failure to provide this information or respond to these requests can make it difficult to hold that legal counsel accountable if the case does not more forward in your favor.

A recent case provides an example. The case involves a contested will and vast estate. In this case, a man, Anthony J. Allegrino II, hired attorneys and produced a will to court for probate. The will involves the largest unclaimed estate in New York and bequeaths over $40 million in assets to Mr. Allegrino. The court stated it would not honor the provided will, stating the man failed to provide proper documents to establish his connection to the estate and questioned the legitimacy of the signature on the will. The court asked questions about this relationship and why the owner of the estate would transfer everything to Mr. Allegrino. Mr. Allegrino’s counsel requested this information, but he did not respond for over five months. As such, they were unable to provide the court with the requested documentation.

Ultimately, the court stated it was the man’s failure to “take any steps to protect his own interests” that resulted in the court dismissing the will. The court further explained that the lawyers who served as legal counsel had not provided poor representation. Had the man responded to his attorney’s request for additional information within a couple of weeks instead of almost half a year, he may have had a more successful outcome.