New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

WEHRMANN v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2003-016-015, Claim No. 101237, Motion No. M-66035


Motion to withdraw as counsel was granted.

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):

Alan C. Marin
Claimant's attorney:
Galasso LangioneBy: James R. Langione, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralBy: Bridget E. Farrell, Esq., AAG
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
February 26, 2003
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This is the motion of the law firm of Galasso Langione[1] to withdraw as claimant's counsel. In the underlying claim, it is alleged that claimant was improperly treated in connection with an "angiogram/cardiac catheterization" at the Stony Brook University Hospital. This motion was served by certified mail, return receipt requested on claimant and upon counsel for defendant. See the affidavit of service of Gail Ravenell submitted with counsel's moving papers. Mr. Wehrmann failed to respond to the motion. Defendant "takes no position" on the motion except to request that should it be granted, Mr. Wehrmann be required to proceed within 60 days. See the December 13, 2002 affirmation of Bridge E. Farrell.

There must be a showing of good cause and reasonable notice before an attorney will be permitted to terminate the attorney-client relationship. See, e.g., J. M. Heinike Associates, Inc. v Liberty Nat. Bank, 142 AD2d 929, 530 NYS2d 355 (4th Dept 1988). What constitutes good cause is not an objective determination, but rather lies within the sound discretion of the trial court. See, e.g., People v Salquerro, 107 Misc 2d 155, 433 NYS2d 711 (Sup Ct, New York County 1980). Here, counsel asserts that some time ago, after having had an expert review claimant's medical records, he advised claimant that Galasso Langione would be unable to represent claimant.

As set forth above, claimant has been notified of counsel's request to withdraw and I find that counsel has made a showing of good cause to be relieved.

Accordingly, having reviewed the parties' submissions[2], IT IS ORDERED that:
  1. Permission to withdraw as attorney of record is hereby granted to Galasso Langione, subject to the requirements of ¶2 hereof.
  2. Within ten (10) days of the filing of this Decision and Order, Galasso, Langione shall serve upon claimant a file-stamped copy of this Decision and Order by certified mail, return receipt requested and by regular mail and shall file an affidavit of such service, with the return receipt attached, with the Clerk of the Court. Upon the Clerk's receipt of such affidavit with return receipt, counsel shall be relieved from the representation of claimant; and
  3. No further proceedings shall take place with respect to this claim until ninety (90) days after the filing of this Decision and Order, so as to permit claimant to retain new counsel should he choose to do so. Claimant shall, within 90 days of the filing of this Decision & Order, notify the Clerk of the Court (New York State Court of Claims, Box 7344, Capitol Station, Albany, NY 12224) and the State of New York (Bridget E. Farrell, AAG, New York State Department of Law, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271) in writing of his intention to proceed without counsel (pro se), or file a notice of appearance by a new attorney; and
  4. If claimant fails to so notify the Clerk of the Court or appear by new counsel within such 90-day period, the claim herein will be deemed dismissed (22 NYCRR 206.15), and no further order of this Court will be required.

February 26, 2003
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]At the time this claim was filed, such firm was known as Galasso, Langione and Goidell, LLP.
  2. [2]The following were reviewed: Galasso Langione's notice of motion with affirmation in support and exhibits A-D; and defendant's "Affirmation in Partial Opposition."