Friday, November 22, 2013

Starr v. Fordham case brief

Starr v. Fordham case brief summary
648 N.E.2d 1261 (1995)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff attorney appealed a judgment entered against him by the Superior Court Department (Massachusetts) on his claim for a share of a law firm's accounts receivable and work in process. Defendant founding partners and attorneys cross-appealed a finding that they violated their fiduciary duties and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing. One attorney also appealed a finding that he engaged in fraudulent misrepresentation.

CASE FACTS
The trial judge concluded that the founding partners had violated their fiduciary duties to the attorney as well as the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in the partnership agreement when they determined the attorney's share of the firm's profits. The judge rejected, however, the attorney's claim that he was entitled to a fair share of the firm's accounts receivable and work in process.

DISCUSSION

  • On review, the court found that there was no error in the judge's imposing on the founding partners the burden of proving that their distribution of the firm's profits to the attorney was fair and reasonable. 
  • Likewise, the court concluded that the judge properly found that the founding partners had violated both their fiduciary duties to the attorney and the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; therefore, the judge's ultimate finding of liability was not clearly erroneous.

CONCLUSION
The judgment was affirmed.

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