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Fourth Department — Personal Jurisdiction: Cellino & Barnes v. Martin, Lister & Alvarez

Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Personal Jurisdiction

Long-arm Jurisdiction — Personal Injury Claim and Settlement

Cellino & Barnes v. Martin, Lister & Alvarez
CA 13-00363
Appealed from Supreme Court, Erie County

Background: The plaintiff commenced an action against a Florida law firm, seeking quantum meruit damages for the plaintiff’s legal representation of a client who later retained the defendant to represent her. The plaintiff seeks a portion of the defendant’s attorney fee. The defendant appealed from the denial of its motion to dismiss contending a lack of personal jurisdiction.

Ruling: The Appellate Division affirmed. The court noted that the process servicer affidavit stated that whether the defendant’s receptionist was an authorized agent to accept service of the summons and complaint and she answered in the affirmative. Also, the defendant was subject to long-arm jurisdiction as the defendant represented a client who was injured in a motor vehicle accident in New York and obtained a favorable settlement of her claim from New York tortfeasors in accordance with New York law.

Anthony D. Parone for the defendant-appellant; Gregory V. Pajak of Cellino & Barnes for the plaintiff-respondent

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