In Chadha v. Wahedna, 2021 NY Slip Op. 50509(U) (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty. 2021), Justice Ostrager of the New York County Commercial Division, dismissed Plaintiff Nilsa Chadha’s (“Plaintiff”) claims in their entirety due to Plaintiff’s execution of a general release.
Tharunidhar Narravula et al v. Perosphere Technologies, Inc. et al, Index No. 900410-21, Supreme Court, Albany County
In Narravula v. Perosphere Tech., 2021 NY Slip Op 50510(U) (Sup. Ct. Albany Cnty. 2021), Justice Richard M. Platkin of the Albany County Commercial Division reinforced the textbook rule that that an individual who signs a contract as an agent for an undisclosed entity can be held personally liable on the contract if the agency relationship is not disclosed.
In “Governor Cuomo’s “Tolling” of New York Statutes of Limitation Has Ended, But What Did It Accomplish?”, we examined the debate surrounding whether Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order No. 202.8 and subsequent orders up to and including Executive Order No. 202.67, which extended Executive Order No. 202.8 (collectively, the “Executive Orders”), actually tolled New York statutes of limitation and other litigation deadlines for the period of March 20, 2020 through November 3, 2020, or merely suspended them. For purposes of determining whether a claim or an appeal was timely filed, the answer to this question can have huge implications. If the Executive Orders merely accomplished a suspension, then any claim or filing deadline that would have otherwise lapsed during the period of March 20, 2020 through November 3, 2020 would need to have been filed no later than November 4, 2020—the day after the suspension period ended. On the other hand, if the effect of the Executive Orders was a true tolling of the statutes of limitation and other court deadlines, then any time that remained on the limitations period as of March 20, 2020 would be added back (and start to run again) once the limitations period resumed on November 4, 2020.
Mac Parent LLC v. North American Elite Insurance Company, Index No. 906489/2020, Supreme Court, Albany County
On March 29, 2021, Justice Richard J. Platkin, of the Albany County Commercial Division, dismissed an insurance coverage dispute pursuant to CPLR § 3211(a)(4) due to another action that was pending in New York County, making clear that New York courts do not tolerate forum-shopping in the face of clear forum selection clauses. Mac Parent LLC v. North American Elite Insurance Company, 2021 NY Slip Op 50268(U) (Sup. Ct. Albany Cnty 2021). Continue Reading
In Black Diamond Aviation Grp. LLC v. Spirit Avionics, Ltd., 70 Misc. 3d 823 (Sup. Ct. Suffolk Cnty. 2020), Justice James Hudson of the Suffolk County Commercial Division limited the reach of New York’s long-arm statute, CPLR 302, in granting a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction where the contract at issue was negotiated via emails between Ohio and Connecticut and no business was performed in New York. The plaintiff argued that the Court had jurisdiction over defendant pursuant to CPLR 302(a)(1), which provides, in pertinent part, that a party will be subject to the jurisdiction of New York courts if it is a non-domiciliary who transacts business within New York or contracts anywhere to supply goods or services in New York. The plaintiff alleged that because the defendant’s subcontractor performed certain work in New York, the defendant was subject to jurisdiction under CPLR 302(a)(1). In rejecting this argument, the Suffolk County Commercial Division follows a familiar line of U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence limiting a court’s jurisdictional reach where the defendant has no connection to the forum state. Continue Reading
COVID-19 has ushered in a new era for litigation in the Commercial Division. Here are the key developments litigants should be aware of.
Remote Appearances and No Paper Copies
In May 2020, e-filing in the Commercial Division resumed in earnest, with a few important differences from the status quo ante:
- Most, if not all, appearances in the Commercial Division are proceeding remotely via Microsoft Teams. While the Commercial Division encourages parties to conduct virtual evidentiary hearings and non-jury trials, in-person jury trials will resume on March 22, 2021.
- Per Administrative Order AO/267/20, paper copies of motions and other documents in e-filed cases are not required in the Commercial Division until further notice. Several Commercial Division Justices in New York County, including Justice Schecter, Justice Masley, and Justice Ostrager, have updated their individual rules to note that working copies are no longer required.
- Foreclosure proceedings and eviction proceedings continue to be subject to restrictions and modified procedures pursuant to various statutes, Executive Orders, and/or Administrative Orders from the Court.
Statutes of limitation were “tolled” in New York by Executive Order No. 202.8, issued by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on March 20, 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the next six-and-a-half months, that toll was renewed by further executive order every 30 days until, on October 4, 2020, the Governor issued Executive Order No. 202.67, announcing that the tolling order would be extended for only one more 30-day period—“until November 3, 2020, and after such date [statutes of limitation] will no longer be tolled.” Continue Reading
On Sunday, March 22, 2020, pursuant to Administrative Order AO/78/20 of Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks, the New York Unified Court System took the drastic step of suspending all filings (both paper and e-filing) in all but a select few types of cases in all New York Courts. The Order provides that:
…effective immediately and until further order, no papers shall be accepted for filing by a county clerk or a court in any matter of a type not included on the list of essential matters attached as Exh. A. This directive applies to both paper and electronic filings. Continue Reading
In In re Everquote, Inc. Securities Litigation, 2019 N.Y. Slip Op. 29242, No. 651177/2019, 2019 WL 3686065 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cnty. Aug. 7, 2019), Justice Andrew Borrok of the New York County Commercial Division stayed discovery pending a motion to dismiss a federal securities class action pursuant to the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “PSLRA”), diverging from the handful of state courts that have grappled with that statute’s application since the Supreme Court’s ruling last year in Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement Fund, 138 S.Ct. 1061 (2018) (“Cyan”). The PSLRA provides for an automatic discovery stay pending adjudication of motions to dismiss private securities actions, and has been interpreted to be a procedural mechanism meant to curb litigation abuses in securities cases. See 15 U.S.C. § 77z(b)(1). In his decision, Justice Borrok joined the ever-growing list of judges tasked with deciding whether such mechanisms apply to state court securities litigation in the wake of Cyan. Continue Reading
Pursuant to New York Civil Practice Law and Rules § 306-b, a plaintiff is required to serve a summons and complaint within 120 days of commencing an action. Although a court may grant an extension of this deadline for good cause shown or in the interests of justice, Judge Richard M. Platkin recently found that neither justified an extension of the plaintiff’s time to serve its summons and complaint in Plank, LLC v. Dutch Village, LLC, et al., 62 Misc. 3d 1220(A) (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Feb. 7, 2019). In that case, the Court rejected any argument that the plaintiff’s failure to serve the complaint was excused by its pro se status, especially given that New York prohibits limited liability companies like the plaintiff from appearing pro se. Continue Reading