Plaintiff tried to bring a personal injury lawsuit against a College on behalf of his daughter, acting under authority of a Power of Attorney. The Power of Attorney was found and printed from the internet, and was not prepared by an attorney.

The defendant argued that the plaintiff lacked authority to bring the action, because the Power of Attorney was invalid as it did not comply with the statutory requirements of GOL 5-1501B(1)(d). The Court agreed with the defendant and dismissed the lawsuit, finding that the document did not contain the exact wording required by the statute. Berrian v. Siena College, 2015 NY Slip Op. 05431 (App. Div. 2d, June 24, 2015)

Morale of the Story: the Power of Attorney document looks very easy to prepare. A lot of people think that they do not need an attorney to do it. And yet a very large percentage of these documents later turn out to be invalid, either because a wrong form was used or because it was not signed in the right places. Talk to an attorney when executing this document!


Disclaimer: This article only offers general information.  Each situation is unique. It is always helpful to talk to a specialized attorney, to figure out your various options and ramifications of actions.  As every case has subtle differences, please do not use this article for legal advice. Only a signed engagement letter will create an attorney-client relationship. ATTORNEY ADVERTISING