Legal Question in Civil Litigation in New York

Can a person function as both a lawyer and a witness in New York Small Claims Court proceedings? I hired a contractor to do some work in my home, which is the subject of my claim against her. On the day that she came to do the work, she had two people working for her. One of them is her husband who also happens to be an attorney. We have had numerous court dates (all of which have been adjourned) and it is clear from what she has said at these brief appearances that she intends for her husband to function as her lawyer, but she has also alluded to the fact that both of them worked in my apartment.

Additionally, if he is going to be there anyway, is there any way that I can call him to testify for me? I'm assuming that as an officer of the court he will be less likely to fabricate a tale under oath, so I'd like to have the option to call him to testify, if needed.


Asked on 7/11/16, 4:47 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Locksley Wade Law Office of Locksley O. Wade

The husband is a fact witnesses. Therefore, you can call him as a witness. Disregard the fact that he is an attorney. He can only tell the facts and not the law. In closing, here is a brief Small Clams story: I once appeared as a defense attorney for the government in a Small Claims case. The judge asked me if I read and understand the rules because most attorney kind mess-up when they appear here in Small Claims. I said yes, "I read the rules and I know that whatever evidence the plaintiff wants to get in it gets in." Best wishes.

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Answered on 7/11/16, 5:36 pm

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