Taking legal recruiters to court is a risky proposition for law firms, as evidenced by a pair of recent court decisions in which judges have awarded payments to recruiters after firms initially refused to pay their placement fees.

On Sept. 27, a New York federal judge ordered midsize firm Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein & Breitstone to pay a judgment that will total about $500,000 to recruiter James Malfetti of Management Recruiters of Union County, New Jersey, which had introduced a health care group to the Long Island-based firm.

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