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Matter of Pekofsky v. Cohen

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department
Mar 22, 1999
686 N.Y.S.2d 837 (N.Y. App. Div. 1999)

Opinion

March 22, 1999

Appeal from the Surrogate's Court, Rockland County (Weiner, S.).


Ordered that the order is affirmed, with costs payable by the appellant personally.

It is well settled that the Surrogate bears the ultimate responsibility of deciding what constitutes a reasonable attorney's fee regardless of the existence of a retainer agreement (see, Matter of Stern, 227 A.D.2d 636; Matter of Nicastro, 186 A.D.2d 805; Matter of Verplanck, 151 A.D.2d 767). The evaluation of what constitutes a reasonable attorney's fee is a matter within the sound discretion of the Surrogate, who is in a "`"far superior position to judge those factors integral to the fixing of counsel fees such as the time, effort and skill required"'" (Matter of Nicastro, supra, at 805; see also, Matter of McCann, 236 A.D.2d 405). Although "[n]o hard and fast rule exists by which it can be determined what is reasonable compensation * * * in any given case" (Matter of Stellis, 216 A.D.2d 473, 474), factors which may be considered include the time spent, the difficulties involved in the matters in which the services were rendered, the nature of the services, the amount involved, the professional standing of the counsel, and the results obtained (Matter of Freeman, 34 N.Y.2d 1, 9; Matter of McCann, supra; Matter of Bobeck, 196 A.D.2d 496). Considering all of these factors, as well as the fact that a portion of the services performed by the petitioner were executorial in nature (see, Matter of Mingoia, 212 A.D.2d 531; Matter of Bobeck, supra), the Surrogate did not improvidently exercise his discretion in awarding the petitioner a $4,000 attorney's fee from this modest estate.

The petitioner's remaining contentions are without merit.

O'Brien, J. P., Joy, Krausman and Luciano, JJ., concur.


Summaries of

Matter of Pekofsky v. Cohen

Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, Second Department
Mar 22, 1999
686 N.Y.S.2d 837 (N.Y. App. Div. 1999)
Case details for

Matter of Pekofsky v. Cohen

Case Details

Full title:In the Matter of MICHAEL A. PEKOFSKY, Appellant, v. ESTATE OF SALLY E…

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

Date published: Mar 22, 1999

Citations

686 N.Y.S.2d 837 (N.Y. App. Div. 1999)
686 N.Y.S.2d 837

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