An attorney who allegedly hired an investigator to locate and solicit accident victims, then failed to pay the investigator’s finder’s fee, has successfully moved to dismiss the investigator’s suit for non-payment on the grounds of illegality.

“The agreement alleged by plaintiff is one between a nonlawyer and attorneys to split legal fees which is proscribed by Judiciary Law �491,” a unanimous New York Appellate Division, 1st Department, panel held in Bonilla v. Rotter, 9806. “Accordingly, the agreement is illegal and plaintiff is foreclosed from seeking the assistance of the courts in enforcing it.”

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