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Law Offices of Jonathan M. Cooper

Poetic Justice? One NY Lawyer Sues Another for Breach of Contract

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Jonathan Cooper
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It really shouldn't come as any suprise, but yes, New York lawyers have been known to accuse each other of breach of contract.

Nor should it come as any surprise that sometimes lawyers - just like the rest of the public - enter into agreements with their friends and acquaintances, and therefore fail to reduce their agreements to writing.

And that is precisely what (allegedly) happened in Landau PC. v. Goldstein, where the plaintiff law firm transferred numerous cases to defendant's firm for handling after members of the plaintiff's firm were disbarred, in exchange for a promise that the plaintiff would be paid a percentage of the recovery on those files (these were apparently personal injury cases).

But the plaintiff's biggest mistake wasn't just failing to reduce the agreement to writing; it was waiting too long to bring the lawsuit. In case you're wondering, under New York law, you're generally allowed six years to bring a breach of contract lawsuit. So it was no small feat blowing the statute of limitations (or even coming close to doing it) in this case.

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