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Estate of Stephen Haderski, Etc v. Ruth A. Haderski

New York Supreme and/or Appellate Courts Appellate Division, First Department


February 7, 2012

ESTATE OF STEPHEN HADERSKI, ETC.,
FILE DECEASED.
IN RE MAZUR CARP RUBIN & SCHULMAN, P.C., ETC., PETITIONER-RESPONDENT,
v.
RUTH A. HADERSKI, ET AL., RESPONDENTS-APPELLANTS.

Matter of Haderski

Decided on February 7, 2012

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.

Mazzarelli, J.P., Andrias, DeGrasse, Richter, Abdus-Salaam, JJ.

Amended decree, Surrogate's Court, New York County (Kristin Booth Glen, S.), entered on or about September 16, 2010, after a bench trial, awarding petitioner compensation for legal services performed, and bringing up for review an order, same court and Surrogate, entered on or about January 14, 2010, which denied respondents' motion for summary judgment dismissing the petition, and granted petitioner's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability for its discharge, unanimously affirmed, with costs.

Respondents argue that petitioner's request for a separate retainer agreement signed by respondent Ruth Haderski as administrator of the decedent's estate was a breach of contract and evidence of professional misconduct. This argument is unpreserved and, in any event, unsupported by the evidence, which fails to raise an issue of fact whether, as respondents now claim, the second retainer agreement caused a breach in their relationship with petitioner. Since respondents' termination of petitioner was therefore not for cause, petitioner is entitled to the reasonable value of the services it rendered them (see Nabi v Sells, 70 AD3d 252, 254-55 [2009]). In determining the reasonable value of those services, the Surrogate properly considered the relevant factors (see Matter of Freeman, 34 NY2d 1, 9 [1974]). The court also properly attached prejudgment interest to the decree pursuant to CPLR 5001 (see Ash & Miller v Freedman, 114 AD2d 823 [1985]).

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

ENTERED: FEBRUARY 7, 2012

CLERK

20120207

© 1992-2012 VersusLaw Inc.



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