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Court Looks at Whether Agreement Between the Parties is Enforceable


This case involves the plaintiff Laura J. Donnell and the defendant Conrad Y. Stogel. The case is being heard during the IA term in the Queens County Supreme Court. The plaintiff is represented by David Grais from the law offices of Grais & Richards. The defendant is represented by William J. Davis from the law offices of Schulman, Berlin & Davis. Justice Edwin Kassoff is overseeing the case.

The action before the court is dealing with a contract that both the parties entered on 1982 when they stopped living together. The defendant has made a motion for the complaint from the plaintiff to be dismissed.

Case Background

The plaintiff, Laura J. Donnell married and separated from her husband in 1978. After she left her husband she went to live with the defendant, Conrad Y. Stogel. She was still married at the time. Her divorce was not finalized until November of 1980.

The plaintiff and the defendant lived together from 1978 through January of 1982. When their relationship ended, the two individuals signed a contract that was written by the defendant after he had consulted with an attorney.

A New York DWI Lawyer said that the contract stated that the couple had been living together for the past four years as a man and wife. During this period the plaintiff helped the defendant establish his business career. She worked without a salary during this time and helped create Markon Footwear. The contract provided the plaintiff with a salary for the next three years. The salary was set at $35,000 and was to be paid in monthly payments from January of 1982 through December of 1984. In addition, the contract provided an additional $35,000 per year from the first year that the company saw profitability.

The stipulation set in the contract was that the plaintiff was not allowed to marry during this time. If she were to get married she would stop receiving payments.

The plaintiff has only received $12,000 from the defendant. She is now suing him fro the remaining amount that she is owed under the contract. She states that this amount is a total of $192,500. A New York DWI Lawyer said this is the original contract amount of $87,500 plus a bonus of $35,000 per year for the three profitable years of the business. She acknowledges the fact that she is only entitled to the money owed to her up to the time of her marriage, which occurred in June of 1984.

Court Discussion and Conclusion

The defendant has made the argument that the contract is void as it was primarily made as an agreement to commit adultery, which is not legal in the state of New York.

The plaintiff states that the contract was made as a way for her to receive payment for the work that she did for the company. This work includes negotiating contracts, designing the logo for the corporation, and entertaining clients.

After reviewing the case, the issue is whether or not the contract is enforceable under the law. This case seems to be a first of its kind as the agreement was reached at the end of a relationship and there are other issues involved in regard to the relationship between the plaintiff and defendant. A Nassau County DWI Lawyer said separating the personal and business relationship in this situation is nearly impossible.

After careful review the court finds that this contract is neither severable nor enforceable.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers free consultations to those needing legal advice. If you are in a situation similar to the above or any other type of legal matter contact one of our offices to set up an appointment. Our offices are located throughout New York City for your convenience.

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