Friday, August 10, 2007
A law firm represented two people in the formation and purchase of a building in Lake Placid. One claimed that the other had engaged in fraudulent misrepresentations in the operation of the business out of the building. The law firm entered an appearance to defend the ensuing lawsuit and the plaintiff sought disqualification.
The Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department, upheld the trial court's denial of the motion to disqualify. The purchase and present dispute were not substantially related. The plaintiff had failed to show that confidential information relevant to the present suit had been disclosed to the firm. The "lawyer as witness" rule also did not require disqualification. (Mike Frisch)