“The shorter and the plainer the better.” ~ Beatrix Potter

Atlantic Shores Bldrs. & Devs., Inc. v Federico, 2019 NY Slip Op 05950, Decided on July 31, 2019, Appellate Division, Second Department:

“” In reviewing a determination made after a nonjury trial, this Court’s power is as broad as that of the trial court, and it may render the judgment it finds warranted by the facts, taking into account that in a close case the trial court had the advantage of seeing and hearing the witnesses'” (Quadrozzi v Estate of Quadrozzi, 99 AD3d 688, 691, quoting BRK Props., Inc. v Wagner Ziv Plumbing & Heating Corp., 89 AD3d 883, 884; see Yarom v Poliform S.P.A., 153 AD3d 760, 761). ” The construction and interpretation of an unambiguous written contract is an issue of law within the province of the court, as is the inquiry of whether the writing is ambiguous in the first instance. If the language is free from ambiguity, its meaning may be determined as a matter of law on the basis of the writing alone without resort to extrinsic evidence'” (Palombo Group v Poughkeepsie City Sch. Dist., 125 AD3d 620, 621, quoting Law Offs. of J. Stewart Moore, P.C. v Trent, 124 AD3d 603, 603 [citations omitted]; see Yarom v Poliform S.P.A., 153 AD3d at 761). Accordingly, “[w]hen the terms of a written contract are clear and unambiguous, the intent of the parties must be found within the four corners of the contract, giving practical interpretation to the language employed and the parties’ reasonable expectations” (Patsis v Nicolia, 120 AD3d 1326, 1327).”