The Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court has unanimously ruled against attorney Bob Roberson and the law firm of Andrews, Pusateri, Brandt, Shoemaker and Roberson in a lawsuit filed against Niagara County and County Auditor Ruth Ohol.
Roberson had appealed after State Supreme Court Justice John Michalski threw out his lawsuit attempting to force Niagara County to release more than $17,000 he believed he was owed while serving as the Sewer District attorney.
Roberson, who was the attorney for the Sewer District until he was fired in January 2006, filed the suit in September 2006 after a lengthy dispute with Ohol.
The decision comes as yet another blow to the law firm, which has seen its cash cow in Somerset come to a screeching halt. Roberson is a law partner of Ed Shoemaker, town attorney for Somerset. Shoemaker had represented Somerset in a lawsuit against the county Industrial Development Agency, trying to overturn the tax break the IDA awarded to AES Corp. for its Somerset power plant. Roberson had also been fired from his position of Town Attorney in Newfane and Shoemaker had previously been terminated from the same position for the Town of Lockport.
In the Sewer District case, the Appellate Court judges ruled that "It is hereby ORDERED that the judgement so appealed from is unanimously affirmed without costs." There was no further explanation, which from what I am told by friends in the legal community, is indicative of the court's complete disdain for the merits of the case.
This lawsuit and its subsequent decision are another reflection of why so many entities have severed their ties with this law firm. I'm sure it's simply a matter of time before others follow suit.