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Centennial Insurance Co. v. Apple Builders & Renovators

NEW YORK SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT


March 17, 2009

CENTENNIAL INSURANCE COMPANY, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
APPLE BUILDERS & RENOVATORS, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,
JAGGANATHAN KUTTAMBAKKAM, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.

Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Karla Moskowitz, J.), entered November 5, 2007, which, insofar as appealed from, denied defendants' cross motion to disqualify plaintiff's attorneys, unanimously affirmed, with costs.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

Friedman, J.P., Nardelli, Catterson, DeGrasse, JJ.

603784/06

The motion court properly denied defendants' cross motion, since defendant Apple Builders & Renovators, Inc. had executed a written waiver in its retainer agreement with the same law firm specifically waiving any conflict of interest that might arise from the firm's representation of Centennial and Apple. Apple cannot compel the disqualification of plaintiff's counsel simply because the representation to which it consented has since devolved into litigation (see St. Barnabas Hosp. v New York City Health and Hospitals Corp., 7 AD3d 83, 92 [2004]). Apple's claim that it did not understand the implications of the waiver is unsupported by the clear language of the retainer agreement and the record evidence.

THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.

20090317

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