Jilted bride-to-be's lawyer fires back in nasty Staten Island engagement-ring fightJames A. Cohen in Staten Island Advance, January 04, 2014
A simple text message holds the key to a nasty legal spat between former fiancees over a $15,000 diamond engagement ring, contends a lawyer for the jilted bride-to-be.
Attorney Michael Glasser maintains Great Kills resident Salvatore Pecoraro texted his client, Alessondra Archabal, and told her to keep the 1.7 carat, round-cut diamond sparkler a month after breaking off their engagement.
"It's yours. Keep the ring," Pecoraro texted Ms. Archabal, said Glasser, a principal in the Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based firm Rudenberg & Glasser. "It's undisputed he broke off the wedding. He apologized to her. She was devastated."
The Advance recently reported that Pecoraro has sued Ms. Archabal in state Supreme Court, St. George, seeking return of the ring and his legal fees.
Public records indicate Pecoraro is 26 and Ms. Archabal is 27.
Court papers said she currently lives in Hallandale, Fla., while public records also show an address in Dania, Fla. Initial attempts to contact her had been unsuccessful.
According to court documents, the couple got engaged on Nov. 11, 2011.
Glasser said Ms. Archabal had been living in Florida and moved to Staten Island to live with Pecoraro before their engagement. He could not immediately say how the two met, although he believed Pecoraro occasionally traveled to Florida.
He said the couple moved forward with their nuptial plans and intended to buy a house together.
"She was madly in love with him and wanted to spend her life with him," the lawyer said.
However, just seven months later in June 2012, Ms. Archabal noticed Pecoraro had become "very distant," said Glasser.
The next month, Pecoraro told her he "wasn't ready to get married," and broke off the engagement, said the lawyer, who is not registered to practice in New York, but said he intends to represent Ms. Archabal in this matter pending court approval.
Broken-hearted, Ms. Archabal returned to Florida, said Glasser.
In his court filings, Pecoraro maintains he asked Ms. Archabal to return the ring, but she's refused to comply.
Glasser confirmed that Pecoraro initially requested the ring back, but he and Ms. Archabal did not resolve the issue.
A month later, in August 2012, Pecoraro texted an apology to his client and, in an apparent change of heart, told her to keep the ring, said the attorney.
Glasser said he's seen the text, but could not provide it to the Advance.
Pecoraro made no further references to the ring in communications with his client and her mother over the ensuing 13 months, the lawyer maintained. In them, Pecoraro expressed remorse the couple was no longer together, said Glasser.
It was only after she began dating in October that Pecoraro renewed his demands for the ring and ultimately filed the lawsuit, Glasser said.
Informed of Glasser's remarks, Pecoraro's lawyer, Daniel E. Clement, said he was unaware of any post-breakup texts in which his client allegedly told Ms. Archabal she could keep the ring.
"Regardless, it was his intent at the time he gave the ring that controls," said Clement. "When he gave the engagement ring, it was a gift made in contemplation of marriage. It was a conditional gift. The marriage never took place. The couple broke up. Salvatore is entitled to the immediate return of the ring."
James A. Cohen, a Fordham University Law School professor, previously told the Advance an engagement ring is "very, very symbolic and for a special purpose" and establishes an implicit contract between the parties.
If the woman breaks off the engagement, she's not entitled to keep the ring, Cohen opined. He said he believed a groom-to-be might even have a case if he terminated the engagement.
Glasser contended there are "clear exceptions" to the rule, which are arguable here.
"There's no remedy in the law for giver's remorse," he said.