Hemmings v. Ivy League Apt.

NEW YORK COUNTY
Legal Profession

New York Law Journal

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Justice Joan Madden

Plaintiffs moved to disqualify attorney Chehebar and his law firm from representing defendants, arguing he would be required to testify regarding the disputed issues in this suit. Plaintiffs claim Chehebar was a necessary witness, or it was likely his testimony would be necessary as he was present at a Aug. 29, 2011, board meeting and took the meeting minutes. They also claimed he was the principal drafter of four resolutions accepted at that meeting and had a pivotal role in negotiating and drafting an assurance of discontinuance (AOD). The court found Chehebar would not be serving as the "advocate before the tribunal" for defendants, thus disqualification under the advocate-witness rule was unwarranted. Also, it stated even if Chehebar was serving as advocate, plaintiffs failed to show he would be a necessary witness, noting merely because an attorney had relevant knowledge or was involved in a transaction at issue did not make such attorney's testimony necessary. Also, as there were others at the meeting, they were available to testify regarding the AOD, hence, Chehebar's testimony would be cumulative and unnecessary. Thus, disqualification of Chehebar and his law firm was denied.

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