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Business litigation often involves both contract and tort claims. A fraud or negligence claim that is deemed “duplicative” of a breach of contract claim, however, will be dismissed. When is that the case? The Westchester Commercial Division and the Appellate Division, Second Department recently answered this question in Oceanview Associates, LLC v. HLS Builders Corp., et al., Index No. 51687/2018, 2020 N.Y. Slip Op. 03519 (2d Dep’t June 24, 2020).  Oceanview Associates, LLC commenced this…
On Monday, June 8, I co-moderated a Virtual Town Hall discussion with Hon. Linda S. Jamieson and Hon. Gretchen Walsh about litigating in the Westchester Commercial Division during COVID-19 and beyond, the Court’s operations, and the methods the justices are using to move cases forward. The justices have worked very hard throughout the pandemic, and we’re grateful for the time they took out of their busy schedules to speak with members of the Westchester County…
It is not uncommon for litigants to sit on their rights and, after years have passed, argue that they are entitled to delayed accrual of their claims under the discovery rule. This was the key issue in a recent decision by Westchester Commercial Division Justice Linda S. Jamieson in Gelaj v. Gelaj, et al., Index No. 68512/2019. The Facts Plaintiff Pashko Gelaj is the nephew of defendant Miter Gelaj (“Miter”). Plaintiff alleged that in 2009,…
Join us on Monday, June 8, as Lachtman Cohen P.C. partner Brian Cohen co-moderates a Virtual Town Hall discussion with Hon. Linda S. Jamieson and Hon. Gretchen Walsh about litigating in the Westchester Commercial Division during COVID-19 and beyond. See the invite for details: WCBA June 2020 Event Flyer Register with the Westchester County Bar Association.…
In civil litigation, contempt is the most severe sanction available because it can subject the offender to fine or imprisonment. A motion for civil contempt was the subject of a recent decision by Westchester Commercial Division Justice Linda S. Jamieson in Matter of Prisco v. L’Aquila Realty LLC, Index No. 58654/2018, a case concerning the breakup of a family business that we discussed in an earlier post. The Facts On July 8, 2019, the…
In light of the COVID-19 emergency in New York State and nationwide, on March 22, 2020, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks directed that no papers shall be accepted for filing by a court except in “essential matters” (for example, criminal, family and domestic violence, mental hygiene, and emergency landlord-tenant). Effective April 13, 2020, Judge Marks announced additional procedures and protocols to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak on the court system. In addition…
A bankruptcy filing often puts a quick halt to efforts to collect a debt from a bankrupt debtor.  Under  11 U.S. Code § 362, the filing of a bankruptcy petition puts in place an automatic stay of collection efforts against a debtor. The stay does not, however, automatically stay proceedings against a guarantor of a debtor’s debts. So, what happens when a plaintiff has sued both a primary obligor on a debt and the guarantor in…
A recent decision by Westchester Commercial Division Justice Gretchen Walsh demonstrates how even a non-party subpoena from an arbitrator can quickly and irrevocably lead to party status and considerable liability if you fail to respond. The case, In re Sivanesan v. YBF LLC et al., Index. No. 67996/2018, showed that parties who believe they can take a “wait and see” approach and then seek redress with a state or federal court run a huge risk…
Sometimes, based on the nature of an action, plaintiffs wish to present their case to a jury and file a demand for one with the court. If the defendants oppose, they can move to strike the demand pursuant to CPLR 4101. This was the subject of a recent decision by Westchester Commercial Division Justice Linda Jamieson in Hanover v. Palazzolo, Index No. 54643/2018. This was the second case between the parties. In the first case,…
Defendants usually make a CPLR 3211 motion to dismiss at the outset of the case and file it together with a Request for Judicial Intervention (RJI).  In that situation, a defendant can simply file the motion without contacting the court in advance.  When a defendant makes a later motion to dismiss, though, it is best to check the rules, because you may have to first request a conference. On November 14, 2019, in Dwyer v.…