Posted May 18, 2011 04:17 pm CDT
A father whose child was spirited to Spain by his former spouse has won a nearly $1 million verdict against the New Jersey law firm that represented the woman.
A jury in Bergen County, N.J., awarded $950,000 to Roy Innes and his daughter in their suit against Lesnevich & Marzano-Lesnevich and name partner Madeline Marzano-Lesnevich, the New Jersey Law Journal reports. The suit faulted the law firm for releasing the child’s passport to the mother, Maria Jose Carrascosa.
The child is now 11. She remains in Spain where she is being raised by her grandparents. The mother, Carrascosa, returned to the United States without the girl in 2006 and is in prison.
Marzano-Lesnevich’s husband, Walter Lesnevich, represented the law firm. He called the case a “nightmare” and told the NLJ it establishes “a new standard of responsibility by a matrimonial lawyer to their nonclient.”
The law firm got the passport along with the case files after Carrascosa fired her prior lawyer. Lesnevich says his wife did release the passport, but she didn’t know she was supposed to act as trustee.
“Everybody feels very sorry for the father so they just threw out the book and changed the law up and down,” he told the NLJ.