FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 3/31/09

ATTORNEY’S FEES, CONTRACTS, ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

Samuel v. Druckman & Sinel, LLP, No. 39
In an action seeking a declaratory judgment that a fee-sharing agreement between lawyers was invalid, the Appellate Division’s order that Defendant referring attorney was not entitled to attorney’s fees awarded in connection with a judgment is reversed, where the plain terms of the agreement entitled Defendant to such fees.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, PROFESSIONAL MALPRACTICE

Duffy v. Vogel, No. 42
In Plaintiff’s appeal from judgment for Defendant in a medical malpractice trial in which the jury’s verdict was apparently contradictory, the trial court’s order denying Plaintiff’s request to poll the jury is reversed, where the denial of a request to poll the jury cannot be harmless error.
CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Kalin, No. 34
Defendant’s drug possession conviction is affirmed, where: 1) Defendant’s entry of a guilty plea forfeited his claim that the misdemeanor information was deficient; and 2) the information, in any event, adequately described the controlled substances at issue.

GOVERNMENT LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW

McLean v. N.Y., No. 46
In an action for negligent supervision of a day care center by Defendant city, the denial of Defendant’s motion for summary judgment is reversed, where there was no special relationship between Plaintiff and the city that would permit a tort action.

GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

10 East Realty, LLC v. Valley Stream, No. 32
In an Article 78 proceeding to annul a purchase-money mortgage in connection with the sale of municipal property to a private entity, judgment for Plaintiffs is reversed, where a purchase-money mortgage is not a “loan” under the Gift or Loan Clause of the New York Constitution.

INJURY AND TORT LAW, PRODUCT LIABILITY

Jaramillo v. Weyerhaeuser Co., No. 29
On a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the N.Y. Court of Appeals held that Defendant company that sold one of its used machines (itself purchased used) to a different company could not be held strictly liable for a workplace accident involving that machine, because Defendant was a casual seller.

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