Nicholas Malfitano Dec. 16, 2015, 12:22pm


PHILADELPHIA – According to a motion filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, plaintiff counsel intends to exit a suit alleging legal malpractice against a Bensalem law firm and one of its attorneys.

Matthew B. Weisberg of Weisberg Law in Morton filed a motion for withdrawal of appearance on Oct. 5, explaining “professional considerations” necessitated his exit from the legal malpractice suit brought by Perkasie resident John Piancastelli against Thomas Joachim and Applebaum & Associates. Weisberg stated if the Court required more details, he would willing to provide that information in an off-the-record, ex parte conference. 

A hearing in this matter was set for Wednesday in Court chambers, at Philadelphia City Hall.

In 2012, Piancastelli’s neighbors allegedly filed multiple police reports against him as part of a “vendetta” over property disputes. As a result of the reports, the plaintiff was arrested and then retained the legal services of Joachim, signing a fee agreement in the process. As part of the plaintiff’s release, the plaintiff was released on the condition that he not live at home.

However, Piancastelli expressed opposition to the idea, since he himself had custody of his twin sons, he was helping to care for his deceased sister’s two year-old child and his girlfriend was receiving treatment for breast cancer at that time, he says.

Joachim allegedly promised to petition to have the terms of Piancastelli’s bail modified and later claimed that same petition had been denied by the Court, issuing Piancastelli a document with the word “DENIED” stamped on it. In the interim, Piancastelli was unable to live at home for five months.

Piancastelli's complaint states he examined his case file docket in November 2013 and allegedly discovered the petition for his bail release terms modification had never been ruled upon, or even filed. Piancastelli offered his view that had Joachim filed the petition in question, he likely would have been successful, he alleges. 

As a result, the plaintiff suffered emotional distress and financial damage, and had been forced to expend money for a nanny and childcare, in addition to purchasing a $6,000 camping trailer to live near his children. The plaintiff filed suit against the defendants for professional negligence/malpractice, simple negligence, breach of contract/covenant of good faith and fair dealing, breach of fiduciary duty and fraud. 

The plaintiff is seeking a sum, individually, jointly and severally, in excess of $50,000 including punitive damages, plus attorney’s fees, costs and other relief in this case.

The defendants are represented by Michael H. Applebaum of Applebaum & Associates, in Bensalem.

Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas case 150303756

From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at nickpennrecord@gmail.com

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