The opinion of the court was delivered by: SWEET
Plaintiffs Stratavest Ltd. ("Stratavest"), Joseph Chervin ("Chervin") and Suzanne Chervin, moved for an order pursuant to Canons 4 and 9 of the ABA Model Code of Professional Responsibility and the New York Code of Professional Responsibility, disqualifying the law firm of Baer Marks & Upham ("BMU") from further representing the defendants Walter L. Rogers ("Rogers"), Belgrave Investment Trust, N.V. ("BIT"), St. Jean Financial, Inc. ("St. Jean") and Cambridge Phase II Corp. ("Cambridge") (collectively the "Rogers Defendants") in this action. For the reasons discussed below, the motion to disqualified is denied with leave to renew.
The parties, facts, and prior proceedings in this matter were fully discussed in a prior opinion of this Court, familiarity with which is assumed. See Stratavest v. Rogers, 888 F. Supp. 35 (S.D.N.Y. 1995). They will be described below only to the extent necessary to decide the present motion.
Defendant BIT is a foreign corporation doing business in New York with an office at 500 Park Avenue, New York, New York.
St. Jean is foreign corporation doing business in New York with a place of business at 500 Park Avenue, New York, New York. The complaint asserts that Rogers is a principal who manages its affairs and controls its activities.
VCI is a New York Corporation with its place of business at 600 Madison Avenue, New York, New York and Vasiliou is a principal who manages its affairs and controls its activities.
Cambridge is a foreign corporation doing business in New York which owns and operates an office in New York for Defendants Rogers, Vasiliou, VCI, and St. Jean.
The complaint alleges that Plaintiffs were fraudulently induced to part with time, information, professional skills and overhead in consideration of a share in a joint venture with Defendants whose object was to engage in profitable investments and transactions identified and developed by Plaintiffs and funded by Defendants. Plaintiffs alleged that the venture agreement provided that the respective profit shares of the participants were to be agreed upon in each instance. Plaintiffs allege that they worked on and brought to the Defendants over 100 opportunities and they know of six in which the Defendants placed funds. But, Defendants never agreed with Plaintiffs on their respective shares in the venture, paid Plaintiffs only $ 197,000 with respect to transactions involving many millions of dollars, and then, took for themselves all of the assets of the venture, and refused to account to, communicate with or otherwise deal with Plaintiffs as participants in the venture.
This motion was filed on August 3, 1995. Oral argument was heard on September 6, 1995, and the motion was considered fully submitted at that time.
Chervin alleges that he and Defendant Rogers engaged an attorney Anne Pitter ("Pitter") to represent them in their joint venture. It is the existence or non-existence of this joint ...