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Schoeman, Marsh & Updike, LLP v. Dobi – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Schoeman, Marsh & Updike, LLP v. Dobi (264 AD2d 572, 694 N.Y.S.2d 650 [1999], lv dismissed 94 NY2d 944, 731 N.E.2d 158, 709 N.Y.S.2d 502 [2000]), the Appellate Division, First Department reversed a trial court's denial of the plaintiff law firm's motion for partial summary judgment dismissing defendant's counterclaim for malpractice.

Defendant alleged that the plaintiff law firm failed to request, in the underlying divorce action, the execution of a certificate of acknowledgment by the trial judge with respect to a 13-year old post-nuptial agreement between the parties.

The appellate court based its reversal, in part, on the prior "holding" in Anonymous, wherein it determined "that parties in the midst of a divorce proceeding should not be able to obtain retroactive validation of a postnuptial agreement" because acknowledgment formalities in DRL 236(B)(3) require "that the parties have contemporaneously demonstrated the deliberate nature of their agreement" (id. at 573).