AMY GELIA PLAINTIFF RESPONDENT v. DAVID GELIA DEFENDANT APPELLANT

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

AMY GELIA, PLAINTIFF–RESPONDENT, v. DAVID GELIA, DEFENDANT–APPELLANT.

CA 13–01128

Decided: February 14, 2014

PRESENT:  SCUDDER, P.J., FAHEY, LINDLEY, AND SCONIERS, JJ. JOHN P. PIERI, BUFFALO, FOR DEFENDANT–APPELLANT. PALMER, MURPHY & TRIPI, BUFFALO (THOMAS A. PALMER OF COUNSEL), FOR PLAINTIFF–RESPONDENT.

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

It is hereby ORDERED that the order so appealed from is unanimously affirmed without costs.

Memorandum:  Defendant appeals from an order directing him to pay counsel fees in the amount of $20,475 and accountant's fees in the amount of $11,115 as his share of such fees incurred by plaintiff in this matrimonial action.   We reject defendant's contention that those awards are excessive.  “The award of reasonable ․ fees is a matter within the sound discretion of the trial court” (Morrissey v. Morrissey, 259 A.D.2d 472, 473;  see Domestic Relations Law § 237[a] ).   Supreme Court properly considered the parties' submissions in light of all the circumstances of the case, including the parties' relative financial circumstances and the merits of their positions during settlement negotiations, and we conclude that the awards are reasonable and do not constitute an abuse or improvident exercise of the court's discretion (see Decker v. Decker, 91 AD3d 1291, 1291–1292;  Blake v. Blake [appeal No. 1], 83 AD3d 1509, 1509).

Frances E. Cafarell

Clerk of the Court