Draggin’ Y Cattle Co. v. AddinkAnnotate this Case
Roger and Carrie Peters and Daggin’ Y Cattle Company (collectively, Peters) filed a complaint against Junkermier, Clark, Campanella, Stevens, P.C. and Larry Addink (collectively, Junkermeir) alleging multiple counts stemming from tax services Junkermier performed for Peters. New York Marine, which insured Junkermier under a professional liability policy, defended Junkermeir subject to a reservation of rights. Peters and Junkermeir eventually entered into a settlement agreement and stipulation for entry of judgment without New York Marine’s participation, and the district court scheduled a hearing on the stipulated settlement’s reasonableness. The district court allowed New York Marine to intervene. After a hearing, the district court found that the stipulated settlement amount was reasonable, entered judgment in Peters’s favor, and ordered that Junkermier was not liable for the stipulated settlement. New York Marine appealed, asserting for the first time that the district court judge erred by not disclosing an apparent conflict of interest. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal without prejudice pending referral to a district judge for hearing on New York Martine’s request for disqualification for cause, holding (1) New York Marine did not waive its disqualification claim; and (2) the presiding judge should have disclosed circumstances that could potentially cause the judge’s impartiality reasonably to be questioned.