District Court of Nassau County, New York
746 N.Y.S.2d 548 (2002)
Herbert Sussman (plaintiff) obtained a judgment against a debtor who had two bank accounts at different banks. Sussman was told that to enforce the judgment, he needed to provide the Sheriff’s Department with a turnover order. Sussman asked Marcia Grado (defendant), an independent paralegal, for assistance. Grado was a graduate of a paralegal certificate program with 13 years of experience. Grado did not work under the authority of an attorney, but instead worked independently. Although Grado told Sussman that she did not know how to draft a turnover order, Grado accepted the case and charged Sussman $45 for her services. Grado then asked three different attorneys how to prepare a turnover order, but none of these attorneys were familiar with the document. Grado prepared and submitted the document herself based on what she knew about other orders petitioning courts for money. However, the Sheriff’s Department determined that the papers Grado submitted were deficient, and Sussman’s case was closed. Sussman sued Grado for the amount of the judgment, as well as to recover the fee he had paid Grado.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Asarch, J.)
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