A New York state judge has declined to sanction a former Holland & Knight partner who is suing the firm over his 2002 termination. In a decision in Weir v. Holland & Knight, 603204/2007, filed Monday, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Marcy Friedman declined to adopt a referee’s April recommendation to fine the ex-partner, John K. Weir, $2,500 plus attorney fees and costs for failing to file a timely notice that his case was ready for trial. Friedman said the finding that Weir missed the deadline to file the notice does not rise “to the level of harassment or other frivolous conduct” within the meaning of the law.

She said to the extent the referee’s order was based on earlier discovery defaults by Weir, the referee had not outlined them. The special referee overseeing the case, Leslie Lowenstein, had in April chastised Weir for missing the deadline, saying that while he was representing himself he was a lawyer “who certainly must understand that he has an obligation to comply with and be respectful of existing court orders.”

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