MINEOLA, N.Y. (CN) – A woman claims in court that though she paid her attorney Dominic Barbara more than $1 million, he read the sports section during her divorce trial, and got so drunk during meetings that she saw him “actually vomiting on two occasions.”
Laurie Blancher-Moor sued Barbara, the Barbara Law Firm, and attorneys Leslie J. Altman and Judith A. Ackerman, in Nassau County Supreme Court.
Barbara, whose high-profile clients included Joey Buttafuoco, Jessica Hahn and Howard Stern, was suspended from practice of law in February 2011, according to The Long Island Press.
He retired and closed his Garden City, N.Y. practice shortly after, amid allegations that he would not return retainers for “botched” cases, according to The New York Post.
Blancher-Moor claims Barbara’s firm “thoroughly botched” her 3-year case so badly “as to cause both monetary and irreparable family damages to plaintiff and her family.”
She claims, among other things, that the defendants advised her not to sue for child support, though her husband could afford it.
“Defendants consistently appeared at trial late and unprepared,” the complaint states. “Defendants had no exhibits or questions prepared for witnessed and acted unprofessionally and negligently during their representation of plaintiff. On one occasion during the trial, even while plaintiff was on the stand for cross-examination, defendant Dominic Barbara has his New York Post open and was openly reading the section on horse racing, completely inattentive to the trial that was going on. He even commented on it.”
She claims she paid the defendants more than $1.1 million in legal fees. For this, she says in the complaint: “On several occasions when defendants met with plaintiffs to discuss the case and prepare, defendant Dominic Barbara drank alcohol and was heavily intoxicated to the point where plaintiff actually observed him vomiting on two occasions.”
Blancher-Moor seeks disgorgement of her legal fees, and damages for malpractice.
She is represented by Jeffrey Benjamin of Forest Hills.