New York Supreme and/or Appellate Courts Appellate Division, First Department
March 1, 2012
RDLF FINANCIAL SERVICES, LLC, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
MARC A. BERNSTEIN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS, NORTH FORK BANK, DEFENDANT.
RDLF Fin. Servs., LLC v Bernstein
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.
Decided on March 1, 2012
Tom, J.P., Friedman, Acosta, DeGrasse, Roman, JJ.
Order, Supreme Court, New York County (Eileen Bransten, J.), entered December 8, 2010, which denied the Bernstein defendants' motion to vacate a judgment entered June 10, 2009, and an order entered May 12, 2010, unanimously affirmed, with costs.
Contrary to defendants' contention, they were not entitled to an automatic stay pursuant to CPLR 321(c), which "is meant to afford a litigant, who has, through no act or fault of his own, been deprived of the services of his counsel, a reasonable opportunity to obtain new counsel before further proceedings are taken against him in the action" (see Moray v Koven & Krause, Esqs., 15 NY3d 384, 389 ). Here, defendant Marc A. Bernstein, representing himself and his firm, was disbarred after he pled guilty to stealing client funds (see Matter of Bernstein, 78 AD3d 94, 95-97 ). Because his removal from the bar was the product of his own wrongdoing, defendants were not entitled to an automatic stay. In any event, the record demonstrates that defendants retained new counsel prior to any action being taken against them.
We have considered defendants' remaining arguments and find them unavailing.
THIS CONSTITUTES THE DECISION AND ORDER OF THE SUPREME COURT, APPELLATE DIVISION, FIRST DEPARTMENT.
ENTERED: MARCH 1, 2012
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