Assessing to Retain Counsel

In large cases, there are often multiple defendants, raising the question of whether or not an individual defendant should retain separate counsel. The client must carefully assess with counsel the advantages and disadvantages of proceeding with joint representation.

In recent cases, one in the federal District Court in New York, and the other in the state Supreme Court in New York, Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy successfully represented individual defendants where there were also other corporate and individual defendants that were being sued with respect to the same business transaction. In the federal case, the plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $5 million dollars in connection with a claimed fraud and interference with contract. In the state case, there was a dispute as to ownership of valuable stock in a country club. In each instance, our clients, rather than engaging in a joint representation with the other defendants, correctly concluded that they were in a different position than the other defendants and had defenses to the claims that were not available to the other defendants.

In the federal case, the claims against our clients were dismissed while a judgment was obtained against the corporation. In the state case, our client has been the only defendant to achieve a complete dismissal of the case against him. Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy is committed to a careful and ethical review of the evidence and status of each matter so that its clients can make an informed decision as to the best course to take in the circumstances of their particular case.