BIAGGI BIAGGI v. LOCAL 300 SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION

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Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York.

BIAGGI & BIAGGI, Esqs., Plaintiff-Respondent, v. LOCAL 300, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION, et al., Defendants-Appellants.

Decided: October 29, 1998

Before ROSENBERGER, J.P., NARDELLI, MAZZARELLI, ANDRIAS and SAXE, JJ. Richard M. Biaggi, for Plaintiff-Respondent. Vincent M. Sclafani, for Defendants-Appellants.

Order, Supreme Court, Bronx County (Stanley Green, J.), entered May 14, 1998, denying defendants' motion to dismiss plaintiff's complaint for failure to state a cause of action, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

The complaint of plaintiff law firm, alleging, inter alia, that the firm changed its position to its detriment by reason of its retainer agreements with the Union and Welfare Fund defendants, sufficiently states a claim for compensation according to the terms of those retainer agreements, notwithstanding the generally applicable rule that a client may discharge its attorney at will and, in so doing, relegate outgoing counsel to recover in quantum meruit for the value of its services (see, Greenberg v. Jerome H. Remick & Co., 230 N.Y. 70, 129 N.E. 211; ‚ÄČAtkins & O'Brien LLP v. ISS Intl. Service System, Inc., 252 A.D.2d 446, 678 N.Y.S.2d 596, 1998 N.Y.App.Div. LEXIS 8427; ‚ÄČEhrlich v. Rebco Ins. Exchange Ltd., 198 A.D.2d 58, 604 N.Y.S.2d 729).

MEMORANDUM DECISION.