New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MARTINEZ v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2002-015-299, Claim No. 103770, Motion No. M-65587


Court granted motion of claimant's attorneys for withdraw from case on ground that irreconcilable differences prevent continued zealous representation of plaintiff.

Case Information

Claimant short name:
Footnote (claimant name) :

Footnote (defendant name) :

Third-party claimant(s):

Third-party defendant(s):

Claim number(s):
Motion number(s):
Cross-motion number(s):

Claimant's attorney:
Greene & Reid, LLPBy: James T. Snyder, Esquire
Defendant's attorney:
Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Attorney General
By: Glenn C. King, Esquire
Assistant Attorney GeneralNo Appearance
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
October 16, 2002
Saratoga Springs

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


By order to show cause signed by the Court on July 23, 2002 and made returnable on September 4, 2002 the claimants' attorneys of record Greene & Reid (James T. Snyder, of counsel) have moved for an order to be relieved as claimants' attorneys pursuant to CPLR § 321 (b). A prior motion (M-65001) seeking such relief was denied by decision and order dated June 26, 2002. Claimant, Cesar Martinez, responded to the motion by letter dated August 23, 2001 [sic] expressing his displeasure at the request but not formally opposing the relief requested. Co-claimant, Victoria Martinez did not respond to the motion. As this Court noted on the prior motion, although a client may discharge an attorney without cause at any time, there must be a showing of good cause and reasonable notice before the attorney will be permitted to terminate the attorney/client relationship (see Dunn, Matter of, 205 NY 398, 403; Lake v M.P.C. Trucking, 279 AD2d 813; Code of Professional Responsibility DR 2-110 [22 NYCRR § 1200.15]).

The Court is satisfied from the affidavit of service submitted on the motion that claimants received reasonable notification of counsel's application for withdrawal. This fact is confirmed by claimant Cesar Martinez's letter received by the Court on August 29, 2002. The affirmation of James T. Snyder and the referenced documents submitted for the Court's in camera inspection clearly demonstrate that counsel's investigation of this matter and his resulting analysis of the case prevents him and his firm from representing claimants zealously. Under such circumstances counsel cannot fulfill the obligations otherwise imposed upon him by 22 NYCRR § 1200.32. The instant facts demonstrate that irreconcilable differences have arisen in the attorney/client relationship justifying the relief requested. Movant has met its burden and the motion of Greene and Reid, LLP to be relieved is granted. It is, therefore,

ORDERED that the withdrawing attorneys personally serve a copy of the instant decision and order with notice of entry upon Cesar Martinez and Victoria Martinez on or before November 8, 2002 and file proof of such service with the Clerk of the Court. Cesar Martinez and Victoria Martinez shall have 60 days following service of the decision and order upon them to inform the Court in writing of the name and address of an attorney retained to represent them on this claim or of their intention to proceed with the claim on a self-represented basis.

October 16, 2002
Saratoga Springs, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

The Court considered the following papers:
  1. Order to show cause dated July 23, 2002;
  2. Affirmation of James T. Snyder dated July 22, 2002 with exhibits;

Submitted but not considered:

  1. Letter from Cesar Martinez dated August 23, 2001 [sic].