Law Firm Activities
The New York State Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility,
at Cannon 7, states that: "A Lawyer Should Represent a Client Zealously Within the Bounds
of the Law". Dibble & Miller, P.C. prides itself on rigid adherence to
this and all ethical precepts.
The following samples of past cases are not intended to be
comprehensive, but rather merely interesting and, in some cases,
of our devotion to our clients. Prior Results Do Not Guarantee A
Summary of Selected Interesting Cases
- Dibble & Miller, P.C., Digital Law Office:
The Firm Was Featured for Its Advanced
Law-Office Technology in the Rochester
Daily Record, a Prominent Legal and Business Publication.
A quote from the paper:
"The firm's entire case management system is
digital. This may come as a surprise to many in the legal community
but Dibble & Miller does not keep paper files when they do work for
their clients. The firm, which practices in the areas of business
agreements, business formations, criminal law, debtor rights, estate
planning, family law, litigation, personal injury, real estate, and
tax defense, is a model for law firms of the future ."
The article continues to describe the firm's
cutting-edge technology and the benefits to clients as a result of the
firm having such technology. The firm's use of advanced document
management technology is reflected on the
Xerox Web Site.
- Contempt of Court:
Sued a Family Court Judge for Improperly
Incarcerating an Attorney.
An attorney was involved in a family law court matter
and was accused by the presiding judge of violating an order not to drink
alcohol or take drugs. The judge was told during the court proceeding that
the attorney had drunk alcohol and had taken cocaine before the court
proceeding and the judge acted upon this and incarcerated the attorney for
30 days without giving the attorney the right to even make a statement.
Mr. Dibble sued and the attorney was released.
- Trust Funds:
Sued a Bank for Abuse
of Discretion for Failing
to Pay the Medical Bills of the Beneficiary of a Trust Set Up for That
The beneficiary was elderly and the trust was set up by her deceased
husband to pay, amongst other bills, medical bills. The beneficiary paid
medical bills out of her own personal funds and later requested that she
be reimbursed by the bank as trustee. The bank refused to pay because the
medical bills had been paid and because the request was not made during
the year the bills were incurred. The beneficiary had never previously
been told that the bank would not reimburse paid medical bills or that the
request had to be made during the year the bills were incurred. Mr.
Dibble sued and the beneficiary was paid.
- Election Law:
Sued the Monroe
County Board of Elections on Behalf of Republican Party Member-Candidates for
Failing to Validate Certain Designating Petitions Merely Because the Subscribing
Witness Moved from One Apartment to Another in the Same Political
This was a significant victory for the candidates, and for the
electorate at large, because unnecessarily strict construction of the Election
Laws by the Board of Elections prevented the candidates from running
in the primary elections against party members selected by the incumbent
Republican party. Voters were being denied the right to choose their
candidates in a free and fair election.
The suit was lost at the trial level, but Mr. Dibble won a unanimous
reversal on appeal. The Appellate Court held that if "there is no
implication of fraud, resort to strict construction should be avoided if
it would lead to injustice in the electoral process or the public
perception of it". As a result, our clients, the Republican candidates,
were permitted to run in the primary elections. They were ecstatic!
This was the fastest appeal completed by the law firm. Normally, appeals
take many months to complete (often six (6) to nine (9) months, and
The trial judge rendered his decision on August 13, 2001, and the
Appellate Court rendered its decision just ten (10) days later, on August
23, 2001. The Board of Election's Motion for Leave to Appeal to the NY
Court of Appeals was argued and denied just six (6) days later on August
29, 2001 (which means that the Appellate Court decision stands as the law
of this case).
- Real Estate--Fence Affidavit Law:
New Neighbor of a
Client to Stop the Neighbor from Taking Property that the Neighbor Thought
She Had Purchased but that Our Client Had Been
Using for More than 10 Years Before the Purchase.
Our client had owned his property for 15 years, when a new
neighbor purchased adjacent property and tried to claim property that they
thought they had purchased but that our client had been using for 15
At the time that the new neighbor purchased the adjacent property, our
client signed a "fence affidavit" purporting to assert no ownership to a
strip of land in question. However, the firm sued and obtained ownership
for our client, by adverse possession, to the strip of land in question,
because the "fence affidavit" had been signed after our client had been
using the property adverse to the rights of the then owner for more than
Basically, when real estate is used "adversely" (as defined by the law)
for more than 10 years by someone else, the owner loses ownership of the
The firm won at trial. The defendant appealed, and on appeal the firm won
again, which resulted in an Appellate decision
that substantially changed real estate practice in New York State, by
strictly guarding the rights of property owners, where an owner of property learns that a
neighbor claims, or may claim, a portion of his or her land that the owner
had been using for more than 10 years. Now, in these adverse
possession situations, a quit claim deed or agreement with "consideration"
is required, where a "fence affidavit" (which merely states that there is
no claim being made to the land in question) was accepted before.
case was so important that a summary of it appeared in the local legal
and business publication known as
Grandson's Rights to Decide Funeral Arrangements.
When a grandson
lost his beloved grandmother, not only did he have to cope with the
grief of her passing, but also the legal feud
that ensued with another relative over the right of burial. This
other relative had taken control of the grandmother’s body,
at an undisclosed location,
and arranged for decedent's
burial without even consulting the grandson. This
relative refused to compromise.
The comprehension of one of the attorney's at the firm of the detailed
law in this field
allowed the firm to secure a court
order granting the
grandson the right
his grandmother with the respect she deserved.
Claim by an Employer of Possible "Inevitable Disclosure" Not
Permitted As Substitute for a Non-Compete Agreement.
Mr. Norton has authored
articles for “The Daily Record”, a well known and widely used local
legal publication, including " ‘Inevitable Disclosure’ Not Permitted As
Substitute for Non-Compete Agreement ". In this article Mr. Norton
explained a complex and heavily litigated matter concerning an
employer’s ability, using the theory of inevitable disclosure of
possible trade secrets, to restrict a former employee’s decision to work
for a competitor following the employee’s termination, where the
employee was not restricted by a non-compete agreement.
Power of Attorney Abuse: Unmasked Double
Agent and Recovered Daughter's Inheritance; Deceased Mother's Life
After the death of her
old mother and best friend, our
client was shocked to learn that her
mother's life savings had been cleaned out by greedy neighbors
who had been "assisting" the deceased with a power of attorney.
An attorney at the firm
worked through the night preparing legal papers for a court order
freezing funds summoning the neighbors
to face a New York State
Supreme Court Justice. The neighbors surrendered all of the money they
improperly obtained after firm threatened
further legal action revealing that their self-dealing with decedent's
power of attorney was illegal and that the purported change in
beneficiary of a bank account was ineffective under the laws applying to
banks. The firm also
recovered additional money to defray the cost of our client's legal
Permits: Persuaded Court to
Reinstate Client's Pistol Permit after NYS Felony Conviction.
conviction for felony driving while intoxicated, our client's pistol
permit was lifted and his gun collection was seized. An attorney at the firm persuaded
a Court to reinstate our client's pistol permit based upon a certificate
of relief from civil disabilities and an analysis of New York State and
federal law governing gun possession..
Prior Results Do Not Guarantee A