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Conway v. Brooklyn Union Gas Co.
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
236 F. Supp. 2d 241 (2002)
Katrina Conway (plaintiff) filed multiple lawsuits against Brooklyn Union Gas Company (Brooklyn Union) (defendant) and its employees, including a lawsuit for allegedly firing her for discriminatory reasons. Attorney Marshall Bellovin represented Conway in the employment lawsuit. During all court and settlement proceedings, although Conway often personally expressed her own thoughts and opinions, Conway deferred to Bellovin for the final say on her interests. After extensive settlement discussions involving the court, Bellovin and Brooklyn Union’s attorney each represented that their clients had agreed to settle. Among other terms, Brooklyn Union agreed to pay Conway $40,000, and Conway agreed to dismiss all her lawsuits against Brooklyn Union and its employees and to not file any new ones. The court then received a letter from Conway saying that she wanted to dismiss only some of the lawsuits. The court contacted Bellovin to ask whether he still had authority to agree to the settlement. Bellovin agreed to check with Conway. The next day, Bellovin confirmed the settlement under the agreed terms. Later, Conway claimed that she wanted either more money or to be able to file more lawsuits. Brooklyn Union moved to enforce the existing settlement agreement. Conway opposed the motion, but she never claimed that Bellovin had lacked authority to enter that settlement agreement. Bellovin continued to represent Conway in the case for several more months.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gershon, J.)
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