Plaintiff Who Sued Retired Judge in County Where Judge Presided for 20 Years Permitted to Transfer Case (Venue) to a Different County

Case: Pruitt v. Patsalos

Court: Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York

Date: June 20, 2012

From: New York attorney Gary E. Rosenberg (personal injury and accident attorney and lawyer; serving Brooklyn and Queens; Queens accident lawyer)

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Facts: Interesting case. "Venue" is legalese for the county in which a lawsuit is started in an accident case, or any other case. Venue is selected by the plaintiff, who is the party bringing the lawsuit.

This court decision doesn't give any hint as to what type of case this is. We don't know if it's a contract case, an accident case or whatever. We do know that plaintiff started this case in Orange County.

At some point a lightbulb lit up in the head of plaintiff's attorney and he or she had a "holy smoke" moment. Someone on the plaintiff's side apparently realized that plaintiff was suing a retired judge who presided in Orange County for some 20 years, that his daughter worked in Orange County Family Court, and that the defendant judge had a relative who was also an Orange County retired judge. Oops.

Held: To prevent even the appearance of favoritism ("impropriety") this case is moved (venue is changed) from Orange County to Dutchess County where, hopefully, the defendant -- that retired Orange County judge -- doesn't have golf buddies.

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