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Judge Says Mom Can't Sell A Portion of Daughter's Malpractice Case To Litigation Funding Co.

On January 11, 2019 Justice Paul Marx of the Orange County Supreme Court refused to authorize the payment of appellate fees and litigation funding expenses out of a brain damaged baby's malpractice settlement funds.The plaintiff's attorney arranged a sale of proceeds or loan of approximately $5,000 from a litigation funding company to the mother so she could cover her housing costs during the lawsuit. Since the mother had no claim on her own behalf, the only source of repayment was the infant's recovery. Justice Marx voided the agreement and was critical of the plaintiff's attorney and the litigation funding company (owned by the brother of plaintiff's counsel) stating they both should have known better. He also stated that it was an egregious breach of an attorney's ethical responsibility not to advise the client that the litigation funding company was owned by the brother of plaintiff's counsel.

Since the malpractice retainer agreement excluded appeals, plaintiff's counsel retained an appellate lawyer prior to the trial to handle three appeals. Without consulting his client, the plaintiff's attorney agreed that the appellate lawyer would be paid $10,000 if the appeals were unsuccessful and $40,000 if successful. The result on the appeals were successful. Justice Marx voided that agreement finding that the client had not been consulted or given her approval but allowed the payment from the baby's recovery of $10,000 to the appellate lawyer who just happened to work out of the same office as plaintiff's counsel.

Justice Marx authored a 17 page blistering decision and stated: "Simply put, brain injured children should not be treated by their lawyer's (or lawyer's relatives and colleagues) as cash cows ti be milked with excessive, unwarranted and undisclosed fees." Trelles v St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital, 2019 WL 190597

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts of 2011" and "Top New York Settlements of 2012." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He is a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!

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