We go on and on about Judiciary Law 487, but today’s post is about a different statute, Judiciary Law 475, which regulates attorney fees. Here are some basics: There has to be a settlement in open court and no signed writing reflecting that the client authorized the purported settlement. Hence, no lien.
Baker v Restaurant Depot 2017 NY Slip Op 02615 Decided on April 5, 2017 Appellate Division, Second Department holds that:
“”[A] stipulation is generally binding on parties that have legal capacity to negotiate, do in fact freely negotiate their agreement and either reduce their stipulation to a properly subscribed writing or enter the stipulation orally on the record in open court” (McCoy v Feinman, 99 NY2d 295, 302; see CPLR 2104; Vlassis v Corines, 247 AD2d 609, 610). Here, there was no stipulation made in open court, and the Strassman firm failed to proffer a signed writing reflecting a settlement or any clear indicia that the plaintiff actually authorized the purported settlement (see CPLR 2104; McCoy v Feinman, 99 NY2d at 302; cf. Sprint Communications Co. L.P. v Jasco Trading, Inc., 5 F Supp 3d 323, 333 [ED NY]). Without a settlement or a verdict, there was no “favorable result of litigation” in which the Strassman firm had a security interest. Thus, the Strassman firm was not entitled to confirmation of the purported settlement or an attorney’s lien pursuant to Judiciary Law § 475 (see Chadbourne & Parke, LLP v AB Recur Finans, 18 AD3d 222, 223; cf. Wasserman v Wasserman, 119 AD3d 932, 933).”