Akeroyd v. Soho 311 Development

Civil Practice

New York Law Journal


Justice Jeffrey Oing

Akeroyd executed a purchase option agreement and rider with seller Soho 311 to buy two condos to be combined into a single unit. Soho 311 issued an amendment to correct a "scrivener's error" to remove a 20-by-100-square-foot parcel from the original property description. Akeroyd sought a return of his deposit, arguing a material change in the contract based on the amendment, but Soho 311 refused. Asserting claims including rescission based on misrepresentation, Akeroyd sought production of certain documents. Soho 311's attorney provided redacted documents, asserting attorney-client and work-product privilege. Soho claimed the communications withheld were not discoverable. The court noted Herrick, Feinstein's role was to provide advice to Soho in filing the offering plan. Thus, any communications regarding the filings were for purposes of rendering legal advice. Akeroyd claimed he sought factual information regarding removal of the parcel from the legal description of the property. The court stated for attorney-client privilege to apply to communications, they must be primarily of a legal, not factual, character. It ordered an in camera review to determine if any documents were of a factual nature and not protected.

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