New York State Court of Claims

New York State Court of Claims

MYSTIC v. COMMISSIONERS OF THE STATE INSURANCE FUND, #2004-016-039, Claim No. 104382, Motion No. M-68267


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:
Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C.By: Ronald B. Goodman, Esq.
Defendant's attorney:
Eliot Spitzer, Attorney GeneralNo Appearance
Third-party defendant's attorney:

Signature date:
July 14, 2004
New York

Official citation:

Appellate results:

See also (multicaptioned case)


This is the motion of Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck P.C. to withdraw as claimants' counsel. In the underlying claim, in which claimants' seek $1,800,000, it is alleged that the State Insurance Fund "made material misrepresentations to claimants regarding the premiums and period of coverage with respect to Workers' Compensation policies purchased by claimants from the Fund . . . The Fund . . . made significant errors in the calculation of retrospective premiums . . .[and] [t]he Fund acted negligently and in disregard of its obligations in its handling of Workers' Compensation claims." Claim, ¶3. According to claimants' counsel, a related action is pending in Supreme Court, New York County, in which the State has sued claimants, seeking unpaid Workers' Compensation premiums. See ¶2 of the March 5, 2004 affirmation of Ronald B. Goodman (the "Goodman Aff."). 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 NY County 1980).

In this case, with regard to cause, counsel asserts that Robinson Brog is owed legal fees and disbursements from claimants in the amount of $94,441.98 in connection with this and the related Supreme Court Action. According to counsel, the billing goes back to November13, 2002 and claimants have failed to pay despite monthly invoices. In addition, it is asserted that claimants owe Robinson Brog over $2,000,000 for legal fees and disbursements on unrelated matters for work done in 2002 and 2003: "Despite repeated promises of payment that were not met, despite repeated promises of working out a payment schedule that never happened, payment [has] not been forthcoming." See ¶¶3 and 4 of the Goodman Aff. Robinson Brog's assertions have not been disputed by claimants as they failed to oppose this motion, which was served on each of them on March 18, 2004. See the affidavit of service annexed to Robinson Brog's moving papers.

In view of the foregoing, I find that there has been a showing of good cause and reasonable notice sufficient for counsel to be relieved.

Accordingly, having reviewed the submissions[1], IT IS ORDERED that motion no. M-68267 be granted to the extent that:
  1. Permission to withdraw is hereby granted to Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C., only upon satisfaction of the requirements of ¶2 hereof.
  2. Within fourteen (14) days of the filing of this Decision and Order, Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C. shall serve upon the three claimants a file-stamped copy of this Decision and Order by overnight mail. Within fourteen (14) days of delivery, counsel shall file an affidavit of service with the Clerk of the Court, attaching the tracking results indicating delivery on the three claimants. Only upon the Clerk's receipt of such affidavit of service with tracking results shall Robinson Brog Leinwand Greene Genovese & Gluck, P.C. be relieved from representation of claimants; 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 claimants to retain new counsel. Claimants shall, within 90 days of the filing of this Decision & Order, have new counsel file a notice of appearance.
4. If claimants fail to so 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.

July 14, 2004
New York, New York

Judge of the Court of Claims

  1. [1]The Court reviewed claimants' counsel's notice of motion with affirmation in support and exhibits A and B. Neither claimants nor defendant opposed the motion.