Once in a while a case captures your interest. This was the situation in Gevorkyan. Sure, this was outside of legal malpractice and professional liability, but a former client came to us with a problem. He had been arrested for financial crimes, and bail was set at $2 Million. He paid a bail bond premium, but never got out of jail. Because he never “made bail” his bail bond premium was never at risk, and there was no way he could fail to return to court, since he never left jail. He wanted his $ 120,560 premium back, and the bond guy just wouldn’t listen to him.
The case progressed through the US District Court, and then to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The Second Circuit certified a question to the New York Court of Appeals. The New York Court of Appeals decided that a bail bondsman has to return the premium when the accused goes to a hearing and is not release after trying to post bail.
Today the New York State Department of Financial Services notified bail bond agents and companies of a change in the regulations. Reported in the New York Law Journal by Josepha Velasquez, the Gevorkyan rule is now in effect.