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Legal Malpractice and Its Avoidance: A Current Review

Total Credits
1.5 - 2.2
CDs/DVDs Only
This course is only available in CD/DVD format.
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Learn from a panel of experts about what constitutes legal malpractice and how best to avoid it. The program will cover such claims as breach of fiduciary duty, professional misconduct, conflicts, the scope of the attorney-client relationship, determining legal competency and more. Special attention will be paid to attorneys’ fees, calculations and justification for charges, as well as fee dispute resolution procedures. The program will also focus on the types of professional liability insurance policies available for legal professionals.

Lecturer Bios

Roger M. Moak

Education: College, law school, more than 30 years of practicing law, ARIAS conferences, workshops, etc., formal mediation training from: ABA Section on Dispute Resolution, Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York State Bar Association Degrees: Bachelor of Science, Cornell University; Juris Doctor, Georgetown University Law Center. Designations: ARIAS-U.S.-Certified Arbitrator, ARIAS-U.S. Certified Umpire. Admitted to practice law in New York and in the District of Columbia and before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second, Seventh, and D.C. Circuits, the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Tax Court. Appointed to eight three-year terms on the Committee on Insurance Law of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, including one three-year term as Chairman; one term on Committee on Arbitration. Elected President of the Insurance Federation of New York, Inc. in 1998 and re-elected each year until 2005, when elected Chairman of the Board of Directors and re-elected each year until 2007. Member, ARIAS-US, American Bar Association (Section on Dispute Resolution, Section on Business Law, Section on Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice), District of Columbia Bar, Association of Corporate Counsel (Charter Member), Association of Professional Insurance Women. Martindale-Hubbell rating: "AV" Languages: English Other Information: Ten years experience in a nationally known litigation boutique law firm, followed by almost 20 years experience as an insurance industry general counsel--as well as many years of significant service in industry and professional organizations--have prepared me well to understand and to resolve both the procedural and substantive issues presented in insurance and reinsurance arbitrations.

Richard P. Ryder

Richard P. Ryder is the founder and owner of SAC, and the editor/publisher of three newsletters, Securities Arbitration Commentator, Securities Arbitration Alert and SAC's Online Litigation Alert. Mr. Ryder earned his J.D. degree from New York University School of Law; he served with the NASD for seven years as New York District Counsel among other positions, and later as Director of Arbitration in charge of the NASD's nationwide arbitration program. From 1982 through 1988, he was head of litigation and Associate General Counsel for PaineWebber, Inc. Mr. Ryder also participates in the arbitration process as an arbitrator and mediator and appears as a speaker on the subjects of securities arbitration and litigation from time to time.

Peter Brown, Esq.

University of Notre Dame and Fordham University School of Law

Norman B. Arnoff, Esq.

Commercial law practice in New York City and in governmental legal positions in areas of insurance coverage/defense and professional liability of lawyers, accountants, securities broker-dealers and investment advisers and their representatives. Substantial litigation and appellate experience, including supervision and handling of hundreds of NASD/FINRA and other arbitrations. Regular columnist on professional liability issues for New York Law Journal, and author of articles for Securities Litigation and Securities Arbitration Commentators, and other publications as well as extensive speaking and published writing on professional liability and securities law topics.


  • New York University School of Law, J.D., New York, NY, February 1969.
  • New York University, BA, Bronx, NY, June 1965.

Honors: Phi Beta Kappa; Founders Day Award for Scholarship.

Sarah Jo Hamilton

Ms. Hamilton received a B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University and a J.D. degree from St. Johns School of Law. Currently, she serves as Executive Director, Office of Character and Fitness, New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department. Ms. Hamilton has served as a member, Committee on Professional Responsibility, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and member, Committee on Professional Discipline, New York State Bar Association. A member of the New York Bar, Ms. Hamilton is a frequent lecturer.

Stephen Shulman CPA/ ABV, CVA, CFF

Stephen Shulman, CPA/ABV, CFF and CVA is the Co-Practice Leader of Anchin, Block and Anchin’s Litigation, Forensic, & Valuation Services Group and its Business Risk Services Group. Stephen provides valuation services to businesses that include ASC 350 and 360 – goodwill, intangible and long-lived asset impairment analysis, ASC-805- purchase price allocations, ASC 820- fair value measurements for financial statements, and ASC 718- valuing equity compensation. Stephen has been qualified as an expert in the Supreme Court of New York and Federal Courts. He has provided damage calculations requiring fair value and fair market value standard of value in oppressed shareholder matters, lost value and matrimonial matters. He also performs valuations for tax purposes. Stephen has presented on different issues to the attorneys in the office of the NYS Attorney General, NYC Corporate Counsel, the local chapters of the NYS Bar Association and other professional groups.

Maria Patterson, Esq.

Maria M. Patterson is co-founder of The Law Offices of Patterson & Aschheim, LLP. Her primary practice areas are commercial litigation, bankruptcy and corporate and real estate restructuring. She has represented clients in a range of industries, including major international financial institutions, manufacturing companies, professional service firms and real estate developers and operators. Her experience includes a wide range of commercial and insolvency litigation, and she has particular expertise in creditors’ rights, including loan and asset recovery. Maria has handled cases in federal district and bankruptcy courts around the country, as well as in New York state courts, and cases that span national boundaries and involve foreign law and institutions. She has also coordinated client responses to government investigations and their compliance with federal and state regulations. Maria has more than 25 years experience. She began her career handling litigation and mortgage securitizations at Brown & Wood (a firm that later merged with Sidley Austin) and at Shearman & Sterling, where she developed her expertise in bankruptcy, restructuring, commercial and real estate litigation and cross-border disputes. She spent over 15 years at The Bank of New York, where she counseled and represented the restructuring divisions, as well as the trade finance and international banking groups and the bank’s real estate interests. She managed the bank’s litigation group and coordinated the bank’s response to a major money laundering investigation. She also practiced in the New York office of Diamond McCarthy, a Texas-based litigation and bankruptcy boutique, and with Reavis Parent Lehrer LLP. Throughout her career, Maria has given each client the personal attention and guidance that is especially helpful in an adversarial context and prides herself on the trust her clients have placed in her. Maria grew up in North Carolina and lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She is an Adjunct Professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University, where she teaches commercial and business law. Maria is an active member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She served as chair of the board of visitors of Davidson College. Maria is a volunteer lawyer for NYC Business Solutions and has spoken and published on a variety of topics.

John H. Haley, Esq.

John H. Haley, graduated from North Texas State University, B.M., 1972 Fordham University, J.D., 1975.

Hon. Milton Mollen

Justice Mollen mediates and serves as an arbitrator in cases involving insurance coverage and other insurance disputes; real estate disputes, including condominium and co-op disputes; construction cases; labor disputes, including management-labor disputes, prevailing wage disputes, and union election monitoring; all types of personal injury and wrongful death claims; product liability; medical, dental, legal, accounting and architectural malpractice; bankruptcy cases; breach of contract cases; class actions against major corporations and municipalities; environmental claims; employer-employee disputes including wrongful discharge cases; discrimination cases including racial, gender, age, disability and sexual harassment; and many types of commercial and contract disputes.

Arthur Norman Field, Esq.

Arthur Norman Field practiced law with Shearman & Sterling for more than forty years. He has broad experience in acquisitions, in financings, and in bankruptcy and reorganization work. He served as Chair of the Shearman & Sterling Opinion Committee. Mr. Field is co-editor (with Morton Moskin) of the three-volume Transactional Lawyer’s Deskbook (West 2001). He has served as Chair of the TriBar Opinion Committee and as reporter of several of the TriBar reports including “Third Party Closing Opinions,” 53 Business Lawyer 592 (1998). He has written and lectured on a variety of business law subjects including legal opinions. He serves as chair of the ABA Business Law Section Legal Opinion Committee for 2002– 04. He was president of the New York County Lawyers’ Association 1990–92. He has been a director of a number of business corporations and nonprofit organizations and in 1980–81 chaired the New York City federally funded Legal Services project. He recently retired as a Shearman & Sterling partner and acts as an officer of a management company and a consultant.

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