Westchester Commercial Division Blog

Insight and Analysis for Business Litigation in Westchester County, New York

Latest from Westchester Commercial Division Blog - Page 2

On June 14, 2019, the New York State Bar Association hosted a breakfast at the Westchester County Courthouse with Justices Linda Jamieson and Gretchen Walsh. This was a great opportunity to hear from Westchester’s Commercial Division judges on various topics, including their expectations of attorneys who appear before them. Here are a handful of important takeaways: Discovery Disputes: The justices expect counsel to abide by Commercial Division Rule 14, which requires good faith negotiations to…
Commercial leases are often complicated, as the stakes are high for each party. A tenant needs the right space to operate its business and a landlord needs reliable tenants to cover its expenses and earn a profit. When tenants cease paying rent and vacate or are evicted, actions by landlords to collect unpaid rent ensue. Sometimes, those actions include claims against a tenant’s principal to enforce a personal guarantee in the lease. That was at…
An easement, or right-of-way, grants someone the right to cross or use another’s property for a specific purpose. But if the holder of the right-of-way exceeds the scope of the easement, he or she may be liable for damages for trespass. That was the case in Julia Properties, LLC v. Levy. In July 2009, plaintiff Julia Properties, LLC, owned by Thomas Decea, entered into a lease with William Morgan, the landlord, to rent property owned…
Sometimes in-house counsel believe they can handle a case better, or more cost-effectively, than outside counsel. And sometimes, they just miss practicing law. Still, it’s better to let outside counsel do the talking…and the questioning. It’s impossible to know what motivated in-house counsel in HH Marina Development LLC v. Tarrytown Boat Club, Inc., Index No. 63137/17, to take a deposition. But it didn’t work out well. The facts are straightforward, but unusual. Under CPLR 3106(d),…
For many, purchasing real estate is a stressful endeavor. It’s further complicated when one attempts to buy distressed property through a short sale, when an owner sells property for less than the mortgage balance. Lenders typically allow short sales to recoup a portion of the loan balance quickly and avoid a lengthy and expensive foreclosure proceeding. Westchester Commercial Division Justice Linda Jamieson granted a short sale buyer a temporary restraining order (“TRO”) and a preliminary…
Westchester Commercial Division Justice Linda Jamieson recently granted leave to plaintiffs to amend their complaint seven years after they filed their original complaint. In MCC Realty III v. Retail Opportunity Investments Corp., Index No. 56448/11, Plaintiffs sought leave to drop three causes of action and add five new ones. The reason: to reflect information discovered after Plaintiffs filed the complaint, including information discovered within a few weeks of the filing of the motion. Defendants argued…
Ordinarily in real estate sales, the seller’s pre-closing representations do not survive the closing unless the contract expressly states that they do. The situation is different, however, when the seller has made a pre-closing representation about a then-existing fact, like whether the tenants are current in rent. That was the state of facts alleged by the plaintiff/buyer in 260 Mamaroneck Ave v. Guaraglia, Index No. 70017/17, pending before Westchester Commercial Division Justice Gretchen Walsh. Plaintiff…
CPLR 3213 enables litigants to efficiently and quickly enforce instruments for the payment of money only or a previously rendered judgment. The rule is a powerful tool for resolving business disputes. But as one Westchester County litigant recently learned (the hard way), it is limited in scope. In Newman v. Poekler, Index No. 70790/2017, the plaintiff loaned money in connection with a real estate deal. The loan documents included an “Agreement” (which, oddly, the lender…
Most commercial contracts contain a choice of law and forum selection clause. If the contract says that disputes between the parties will only be heard in Delaware courts, the defendant can move to dismiss based on documentary evidence – the contract and the forum selection clause. Similarly, if a plaintiff files a breach of contract case in New York and the contract says that Delaware law applies (but is silent as to where the case…
Commercial Division Rule 19-a says that, on a summary judgment motion, the Court may direct the filing of “a separate, short and concise statement, in numbered paragraphs, of the material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue to be tried.” Lawyers who don’t handle Commercial Division cases can get tripped up by Rule 19-a in several respects: First, while Rule 19-a says the Court “may” direct the filing of…