Wednesday, November 19, 2008
An attempt to set aside a settlement agreement by a former client of a law firm was rejected by the New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department:
Defendants' contention that the portion of the settlement agreement requiring them to sign general releases is unenforceable is without merit. Upon application by defendants, then represented by able counsel, the trial court signed an order embodying the terms of a settlement agreement negotiated among all parties, including the McCallion firm and Grobman, defendants' former attorneys in this action. Notwithstanding defendants' unsworn protestations that they never agreed to execute general releases in favor of McCallion and Grobman, they are bound by the terms of the settlement agreement because their counsel had actual and apparent authority both to negotiate the settlement on their behalf and to apply to the court for an order embodying the terms of the settlement agreement... Moreover, with actual knowledge of the terms of the settlement order, defendants accepted and made use of the substantial benefits accruing to them under the settlement agreement, thereby implicitly ratifying the terms of the agreement.