Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Judge OKs malpractice suit over law firm's successful fight to uphold client's postnuptial agreement

Malpractice Suit on Firms Negotiated Post-nuptial Agreement Gains Traction

From the ABA Journal:

A New York trial court has OK’d a malpractice suit against Phillips Nizer, over the law firm’s handling of a divorce case that generated $1.4 million in legal fees for work done by 23 attorneys and 16 other professionals.

At issue is a 2000 postnuptial agreement that the firm helped negotiate and draft for client Elizabeth Berardi. It granted her a 49 percent interest in companies controlled by her husband, who operates bus companies. However, the pact did not specify whether she could liquidate her interest and, if so, how she could do so, reports the New York Law Journal (sub. req.).

A divorce ensued within five years, and Berardi again retained Phillips Nizer. Her husband, Eugene Berardi, challenged the postnup and she fought against its invalidation, winning the legal battle. However, unbeknownst to her, agreements made before 2000 with former shareholders and business partners in her husband’s companies limited the liquidity of her own interest, Elizabeth Berardi alleges in her complaint against the firm.

Read more here.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/family_law/2016/05/judge-oks-malpractice-suit-over-law-firms-successful-fight-to-uphold-clients-postnuptial-agreement.html

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