Judge Awards $16.7 Million for Ex-Client of Cadwalader

, New York Law Journal

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In a legal malpractice case, a Manhattan Supreme Court justice has awarded a former client of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft more than $16.7 million against the law firm.

Cadwalader represented Red Zone, an investment vehicle run by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, in a potential transaction with Six Flags in 2005. Red Zone brought suit against the firm in 2011, asserting it failed to properly carry out its instructions to ensure a letter agreement between Red Zone and UBS Securities LLC memorialized an oral agreement to limit Red Zone's liability for fees to UBS for the Six Flags transaction.

Red Zone filed suit against Cadwalader after the Appellate Division, First Department, ruled in 2010 that Red Zone owed UBS $8 million plus interest. In August, Acting Supreme Court Justice Melvin Schweitzer granted summary judgment to Red Zone against Cadwalader but held off on the amount of damages (NYLJ, Sept. 5, 2013).

In a new ruling, Schweitzer awarded Red Zone about $11.7 million in damages and another $1.5 million for its legal fees in the underlying litigation with UBS. With interest, the judgment against Cadwalader totals more than $16.7 million, said Jeffrey Jannuzzo, a solo practitioner who represents Red Zone. "The judge awarded to Red Zone every dollar proven in our summary judgment papers," he said in an interview.

Meanwhile, Cadwalader's appeal on the summary judgment decision is pending in the First Department. David Marriott, a partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore who represents Cadwalader, said, "We respectfully disagree with the trial court's rulings and the case is on appeal."

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