Citation. 180 A.D. 734, 168 N.Y.S. 454, 460 (N.Y. Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, 1917)
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Brief Fact Summary.
Synopsis of Rule of Law.
The judge in this matter was the husband of the testatrix and a legal advisor.
Did the judge owe a duty?
The intermediate appellate court found that the judge owed a duty to the Plaintiff after his wife informed him that she wished to devise a house to the Plaintiff. The court would not allow the judge to "commit such a fraud upon the plaintiff as would result, if relief were denied her here." It further recognized "[i]t is better not to draw close legal distinctions but to say that on the facts the law will get at an attorney who seeks to avoid such a contract, and will compel performance."
This case demonstrates how judges are held to a higher standard than normal individuals appearing before a court.