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BOSTON —� A Boston federal judge declined to dismiss or transfer a contract dispute lawsuit brought by Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo against two of its former of-counsel lawyers. The Boston-based Berman DeValerio, a class action firm, sued Eran Rubinstein and Susan M. Boltz-Rubinstein last November for alleged breach of contract, interference with advantageous business relations and breach of fiduciary duty claims. The firm’s state court case was transferred to federal court. Berman DeValerio also sued the Rubinsteins for “money had and received” for collecting over $234,775 while benefiting Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins, the firm they joined after parting ways with Berman DeValerio. Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo v. Rubinstein, No. 1:07-cv-12127 (D. Mass.) The couple no longer works for Coughlin Stoia. On Feb. 28, Judge Patti B. Saris adopted the Feb. 7 recommendations of a magistrate judge Magistrate Judge Leo T. Sorokin. Sorokin’s report said he didn’t address the merits of the case but he favored Massachusetts jurisdiction for numerous reasons. Those reasons included that the state’s long-arm statute establishes jurisdiction over contract claim, the defendants conducted business in Massachusetts for the Firm, and that case law has ruled that travel between far-flung states does not create an undue burden for business travelers. “The convenience of the parties favors Massachusetts,” Sorokin said. “Plaintiff’s office and its employees are located here. While Pennsylvania is obviously more convenient to Defendants, transferring the case would simply transfer the inconvenience from one party to the other.” In a statement, the Rubinsteins said they intend to appeal Saris’ order. The Rubinsteins have claimed that Berman DeValerio violated its contract with them by not fulfilling a promise to open a New York office. The couple claimed Berman DeValerio wanted to avoid tax liability for its New York class action cases. In the statement, the Rubinsteins said Berman DeValerio asked them to create and register an LLC in New York under their own names. The statement also said that firm is registering limited liability partnerships in different states using different law firm names. “As Officers of the Court we believed, and still believe, that we had no alternative but to sever our relationship with Plaintiff,” wrote the Rubinsteins. “Thereafter, Plaintiff sent a defamatory letter to our next employer, sued us in state court, attempted to enter a judgment four days early and have continued to harass us.” Berman DeValerio partner Norman Berman said the firm is “in compliance with whatever ethical local filing requirements there may be.” He also said that neither the Rubinstein’s claims about the firm’s LLP filings nor the tax claims have nothing to do with the dispute. “They’ve made a lot of charges, it really doesn’t go to our disagreement,” Berman said. The Rubinsteins’ countersuit in a Pennsylvania federal court was stayed on Jan. 14 while that court awaited action on the Massachusetts motion to dismiss or transfer venue. Rubinstein v. Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo, No. 07-04928 (E.D. Pa.). In that case, the Rubinsteins sued for alleged breach of contract/bad faith, defamation, intentional interference with plaintiffs’ actual and/or prospective business relations and contracts and fraudulent inducement.

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