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Sedaghati v. Mansouri

Civil Court of City of New York, New York County

August 7, 2013

Natalie SEDAGHATI, Claimant,
v.
Milene MANSOURI, Defendant. No. 2526/10.

Editorial Note:

This decision has been referenced in a table in the New York Supplement.

Natalie Sedaghati, New York, pro se.

Milene Mansouri, Kew Gardens, pro se.

LYNN R. KOTLER, J.

Recitation, as required by CPLR 2219[a] , of the papers considered in the review of this (these) motion(s):

Papers Numbered

Def's n/m (dismiss, sj, vacate undertaking, sanctions), MM affirm, affid of service, exhs 1

Pltf's NS affirm in opp, exhs 2

MM reply affirm, exh 3

Upon the foregoing papers, the decision and order of the court is as follows:

This small claims action arises from a dispute between two lawyers. Claimant seeks $5,000 for the work she performed on non-party Jeannine Nemandoust's personal injury action which defendant took over and ultimately settled for $33,000.
Defendant now moves for a plethora of relief by Notice of Motion. She seeks an order: [1] releasing the undertaking she posted with the Clerk of Court; [2] dismissing this action pursuant to CPLR § 3211(a)(7); [3] granting her summary judgment pursuant to CPLR § 3212; [4] awarding her $5,250 for her costs and disbursements and/or as sanctions against claimant. Claimant opposes the motion.

The motion is decided as follows.

The relevant facts are largely undisputed. Ms. Nemandoust explains in an affidavit that that she was involved in an accident on May 2, 2006 at a store called Avenue, located in Nassau County, New York. She states that she originally obtained Sedaghati and Associates (" S & A" ) to represent her in this matter and that claimant was the attorney at S & A handling her case. According to Ms. Nemandoust, she tried calling claimant numerous times to find out about the status of her case, but claimant " never accepted any of [her] phone calls and [she] would always be forced to leave a message [for] her." Ms. Nemandoust maintains that claimant " refused to meet [her]." Eventually, claimant told Ms. Nemandoust that she " did not have a good case and that [her] case was very hard and she could not get favorable results for [Ms. Nemandoust]." Claimant allegedly " refused" to commence an action on behalf of Ms. Nemandoust. Therefore, Ms. Nemandoust " fired said firm for cause."

On May 8, 2007, Ms. Nemandoust obtained the Law Office of Milene Mansouri by signing a retainer agreement and consent to change attorney. Defendant states in her affirmation that on May 9, 2007, she personally faxed over the consent to change attorney to S & A and a " Cease and Desist letter to stop any and all work" to claimant's attention and " following that I personally spoke with [claimant] advising that she has been substituted and no longer represented Ms. Nemandoust." On June 4, 2007, defendant sent claimant a letter and a check for $119.57 for claimant's expenses and disbursements. Defendant wrote: " as discussed you have not put the case in suit and there have been no offers on this ...


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