In this matrimonial action, Defendant attorneys were retained 8 months + after the Note of Issue. The custody trial started the day after retention and the financial trial thereafter. Plaintiff claims in Lijun Feng v Passonneau 2021 NY Slip Op 31507(U) April 29, 2021 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 156765/2020 Judge: Richard G. Latin that it was a departure to permit a joint forensic accounting into evidence. The Court disagrees.
“Here, it is evident that plaintiff’s complaint must be dismissed as it consists entirely of speculation of future events and the second guessing of her prior attorney’s reasonable strategic choices. Defendants, who were not plaintiff’s first counsel, were retained on the eve of the
custody trial, eight months and twenty days after the note of issue was filed, and after plaintiff and her ex-husband jointly retained the forensic accountant. The decision to stipulate to the admission of the jointly retained forensic accountant’s report and then object to the report’s
conclusions, as detailed by the appellate record, is not an unreasonable strategic choice.
Additionally, it is entirely speculative to assume that the court would have vacated the note of issue, or that the ultimate outcome would have been better for plaintiff if defendants did not stipulate to the report’s inclusion, if documents that were already listed as sources of
information for the report were offered as separate evidence, if the report’s author would have been cross-examined, or if defendants proffered another expert to testify using plaintiff’s alternative marital property valuation (see F.L. v J.M., 173 AD3d 428 [1st Dept 2019](the
Appellate Court in the underlying action found that “the claimed patent errors in the report, such as omissions of certain stock grants, can be explained by FRA’s mandate to value only the stock options and GSUs held by defendant as of the date of the commencement of this action);
Greenwald v Greenwald, 164 AD2d 706 [1st Dept 1991]). “