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Schaefer v. Smigel – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Schaefer v. Smigel, No. 1:08 Civ. 6439(JFK), 2009 WL 174795 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 22, 2009), the parties had settled previous litigation pursuant to a settlement agreement, and the defendant delivered a promissory note to the plaintiff.

The defendant subsequently defaulted on the note and the plaintiff brought suit to enforce the settlement agreement.

Although the court in Schaefer distinguished between language in the settlement agreement awarding attorneys' fees when "collecting a judgment" as opposed to "obtaining a judgment," it also found that the promissory note accompanying the settlement agreement contained broader language.

The court ultimately awarded fees because it found that the promissory note's provision awarding "all costs of collection," included efforts to obtain a judgment.