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Recent Developments

'Lightman v. Flaum' Case Reversed

The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, 2d Department, has reversed the Lightman v. Flaum case.

This latest opinion is reported at:

Lightman v. Flaum, ___ A.D.2d. ___, ___ N.Y.S.2d ___, 2000 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 13283, N.Y.L.J., 26 December 2000, p. 32, col. 2 (2d Dept. 2000), reversing 179 Misc. 2d 1007, 687 N.Y.S.2d 562 (Sup. Ct. Queens Co., 1999).

The reversal seems to hinge heavily upon the fact that in this particular case, some or all of the plaintiff's "confidential" disclosures to the two defendant Rabbis were apparently made in the presence of third parties, viz., the plaintiff's mother and/or friend, and that the plaintiff had failed to prove that given the presence of third parties, she had not waived the confidientiality privilege.

But the appellate opinion should be noteworthy not for its 5-paragraph opinion, but for the well-written 41-paragraph (according to my count) semi-dissent.

We ought not be surprised if the matter winds up in the Court of Appeals of the State of New York.

-- Ken Ryesky

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