In an unique Judiciary Law 487 setting, Justice Billings has appointed a Referee to hear and determine Judiciary Law 487 claims in Papageorgiou v Consolidated Edison Co. of N.Y., Inc. 2023 NY Slip Op 33217(U) September 15, 2023 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: Index No. 115106/2004.
“To the extent the motion by Flomenhaft Law Firm, PLLC, requires an examination of a long account, the court refers the motion to a referee to hear and determine. C.P.L.R. § 4317(b). The referee will hear and determine the allocation of attorneys’
fees among the successive attorneys for Luis Casas and his appointed guardian in this action, based on any agreements between the attorneys and otherwise on a quantum meruit basis. N.Y. Jud. Law§ 475. · In particulal, the referee will enforce the
agreement between Michael Flomenhaft Esq. and Perecman Law Firm, P.L.L.C., that David Perecman Esq. would determine the fair and reasonable compensation to Flomenhaft for his work on this action when Perecman Law Firm represented plaintiff.
The allocation of attorneys’ fee& will consider whether any attorney delayed the act~on without accomplishing results and whether the any such attorney consequently is entitled to reduced or no fees. The referee will ·determine these issues and also
will hear and recommend to the court whether plaintiff and Flomenhaft Law Firm are entitled to sanctions. C.P.L.R. 5543 & 4317(-) 22 N.Y.C.R.R. § 130-1.1 (c). Sanctions may be in the form of (1) interest on the settlement distributed to Luis Casas and on the attorneys’ fees and expenses awarded to Flomenhaft Law Firm, to compensate for
the delay in recovery, C.P.L.R. §§ 5001, 5004, or (2) a specified amount of additional fees incurred to combat another attorney’s delay. Both forms of relief are to be charged to the attorney who caused the delay.
Finally, the referee will hear and recommend whether the conduct of any attorney who delayed or obstructed resolution of this action was so egregious, so intentionally deceitful or protracted, as to violate New York Judiciary Law§ 487. C.P.L.R. 543_. While
the compensatory damages plaintiff and Flomenhaft Law Firm seek under Judiciary Law § 487 are the same as under 22 N.Y.C.R.R. § 130-1.1, interest on the settlement amount and attorneys’ fees recovered or additional attorneys’· fees, liability under the
statute would trigger treble damages.”