NY Judges Grill Lawyers on Unfinished Business Profits

June 4, 2014 – In The News
Yann Geron was featured in the Law360 article “NY Judges Grill Lawyers on Unfinished Business Profits.” While the full text can be found in the June 4, 2014, issue of Law360, a synopsis is noted below.

A panel of New York state judges recently questioned the practicality of forcing ex-partners of dissolved law firms to return hourly profits from unfinished client matters, suggesting that it might interfere with lawyer mobility and clients’ right to choose their counsel.

Lawyers for the estates of defunct law firms Coudert Brothers and Thelen LLP presenting their arguments to the New York Court of Appeals judges contended that the ex-partners who finished up former Courdert and Thelen client business at other law firms after Coudert and Thelen went under must honor their fiduciary duty to their old firms and hand over the fees they earned on those matters. Some of the judges worried that forcing them to do that would have unfortunate consequences for nearly everyone involved.

Following recent arguments, Geron said the judges asked “highly intelligent and probing questions” of both sides, but that it’s anybody’s game at this point.

“There was no clear indication from the justices as to how the ruling will come out,” he said.