Ronald A. Baradel and N. Tucker Meneely Secure Reinstatement of Client's $2.42 Million Jury Verdict on Appeal
September 30, 2016
Ronald A. Baradel and N. Tucker Meneely recently won an appeal in the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland, in a case in which their client had sued the defendant for converting $2,420,000 of the client’s funds that had been placed in the defendant’s escrow account. The trial court vacated the client’s jury verdict, finding that a conversion claim was barred because the client’s money had been commingled with other funds in the defendant’s escrow account.
Ron and Tucker successfully argued to the Court of Special Appeals that the commingled-funds defense did not apply in this case because the client’s funds were to be placed in an escrow account belonging to the client, where the funds were to be accessible only to the client and be returned to the client. In this context, they argued, the funds were sufficiently specific, separate and identifiable and, therefore, were the proper subject of a conversion claim.
In overturning the trial court, Judge Patrick L. Woodward wrote on behalf of the Court of Special Appeals that, “we will not bar a conversion claim simply because funds were located in a single escrow account, without looking at the purpose of the account, the duties of the account holder, and whether the funds were sufficiently specific, separate, and identifiable.”