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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Death and Court Proceedings (MORE, CLICK HERE)

Ex-Client's Death Delays NY Firm's Day in Court Over "Unconscionable" Fees
The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko - March 11, 2008

The challenge to a 40 percent contingency fee deal between Graubard Miller and the elderly widow of real estate developer Sylvan Lawrence will continue despite plaintiff Alice Lawrence's death last month. The state Court of Appeals had scheduled oral arguments for March 18 under an expedited process when Ms. Lawrence was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Following her Feb. 16 death, the case has been stayed as her attorney, Leslie D. Corwin of Greenberg Traurig, seeks to have the two executors of her estate substituted for Ms. Lawrence, who was 83, as plaintiffs in the action.

Mr. Corwin said yesterday he now expects the Court of Appeals to hear arguments in the matter in five to six months under its customary timetable.

Ms. Lawrence is appealing a 4-1 determination by the Appellate Division, First Department, that a payment of about $42 million to Graubard Miller under the fee agreement is not unconscionable on its face. The fee was in addition to about $18 million Ms. Lawrence had been billed by the firm for hourly fees over the previous two decades and the $5 million she paid to three partners at the firm in "gifts."

The firm represented Ms. Lawrence in a protracted fight with Mr. Lawrence's brother and business partner Seymour Cohn over the sale of Mr. Lawrence's properties following his death in 1981. Mr. Lawrence amassed real estate holdings estimated at more than $1 billion, including several Wall Street office towers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's time for the federal government to step up,and actively step into the awful corrupt affairs that I've been reading about on this website.

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
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