Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

WEITZMAN v. STEIN

June 29, 1995

CAROLE HELLER WEITZMAN, as assignee of SAUL WEITZMAN, Plaintiff, against SIDNEY STEIN, ALBERT FEIFFER, and NORMAN RUBINSON, Defendants, BARRY SCHWARTZ, ESQ., Respondent.

David N. Edelstein, U.S.D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: DAVID N. EDELSTEIN

EDELSTEIN, District Judge:

 The instant action requires this Court to determine the appropriate damage award for defense counsel's violation of this Court's May 16, 1988, Order. In a hearing held on July 11, 1989, this Court ruled that defense counsel, Barry Schwartz, was in contempt of court for violating this Order.

 BACKGROUND

 On May 16, 1988, this Court issued an Order ("the May 16 Order") directing, inter alia, the seizure and sale of a 1983 Lincoln Towne Car ("the Lincoln") by the Sheriff of the City of New York ("the Sheriff"). The May 16 Order reads, in relevant part:

 
[It is hereby] ORDERED, that Garage Management Corp. shall release to the plaintiff or plaintiff's representatives, the 1983 Lincoln Towne car bearing Florida license plate number IPE 075 . . . and it is further
 
ORDERED, that Sidney Stein, Gail Rohme and their representatives are prohibited from interfering with any part of this Order, and it is further
 
ORDERED, that the plaintiff or plaintiff's representative shall take possession of said motor vehicle and shall arrange for the sale of said motor vehicle by the Sheriff of the City of New York. . . .

 On June 15, 1989, plaintiff moved, by order to show cause, to hold defendant Sidney Stein's attorney, Barry Schwartz ("Schwartz"), in contempt of court for violating the May 16 Order. Plaintiff alleged that Schwartz violated the May 16 Order by deliberately interfering with the Court-ordered sale of the Lincoln. Plaintiff contended that Schwartz delivered a letter to the Sheriff on May 30, 1989, that caused the Sheriff to cancel the sale of the Lincoln, which was scheduled to occur on the following day.

 On July 11, 1989, this Court held a hearing regarding plaintiff's civil-contempt motion. After considering the various papers submitted to the Court, as well as the evidence adduced at the hearing, this Court found: (1) Schwartz had violated this Court's May 16, 1988, Order; and (2) as a result of this violation, Schwartz was in contempt of this Court. See Weitzman v. Stein, 70 Civ. 4037 (DNE) (Transcript July 11, 1989, Hearing at 153-54). This Court stated that a Memorandum & Order incorporating the Court's findings and the imposition of an appropriate sanction would be filed subsequent to the July 11, 1989 hearing. *fn1"

 On August 10, 1994, this Court issued a Memorandum and Order, reiterating that Barry Schwartz was in contempt of this Court for violating this Court's May 16, 1989, Order. This Memorandum and Order further stated, however, that Mr. Schwartz's conduct was not deliberate and willful. Moreover, this Court rejected plaintiff's claim for reimbursement of expenses and attorneys' fees.

 On appeal, the Second Circuit reversed this Court's finding that Barry Schwartz did not act wilfully. The Second Circuit also vacated the part of this Court's order that denied plaintiff damages, and the case was remanded for a specific finding with respect to the amount of damages. The Second Circuit noted that a "'district court is not free to exercise its discretion and withhold an order in civil contempt awarding damages, to the extent they are established.'" Weitzman v. Stein, 57 F.3d 1063, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 15441 (2d Cir. 1995) (quoting Vuitton et Fils S.A. v. Carousel Handbags, 592 F.2d 126, 130 (2d Cir. 1979)). The appellate court further explained that, although plaintiff had "inflated" her claim for damages, plaintiff had suffered some damages as a result of Schwartz's contempt. The Second Circuit directed this Court either to determine the amount of damages that plaintiff suffered or to explain why plaintiff, nevertheless, is not entitled to damages. After this case was remanded to this Court, plaintiff moved this Court to include her costs of pursuing this case on appeal.

 The parties have submitted three sets of papers that are relevant to this Court's analysis: (1) the parties' respective submissions of November 19, 1993, regarding the damages that plaintiff incurred in prosecuting Schwartz's contempt in this Court; *fn2" (2) the respective briefs that the parties submitted, at this Court's direction, regarding whether plaintiff's attorney's hourly rate of $ 275 per hour is reasonable; (3) the respective briefs that the parties submitted ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.