Photo of Thomas Monahan

In an effort to streamline litigation in the Commercial Division, the Commercial Division Advisory Council has continued with its revisions to the Commercial Division Rules by recently implementing one new rule encouraging early adjudication on threshold issues, and revising another rule to approve the use of technology-assisted review in discovery.
Continue Reading Commercial Division Rule Revisions Continue to Promote Efficiency in Complex Cases

In Matter of CDR Créances S.A.S. v First Hotels & Resorts Invs., Inc., 2016 Slip Op. 04888 (1st Dep’t June 21, 2016), the Appellate Division reversed a December 11, 2014 Order by New York County Commercial Division Justice Lawrence K. Marks, which denied respondent First Hotels & Resorts Investments, Inc.’s (“First Hotels’”) motion to dismiss the action for lack of personal jurisdiction.  The action related to an $82 million loan made in 1991 by a predecessor in interest of petitioner CDR Créances S.A.S. (“CDR”) to Euro-American Lodging Corp. (“Euro-American”).  The loan was made to enable Euro-American to acquire Manhattan real estate and convert it into a hotel.  After Euro-American defaulted on that loan, CDR obtained a foreign judgment against Euro-American that CDR domesticated in New York.  CDR subsequently commenced an action and obtained a New York judgment against a handful of individuals affiliated with Euro-American based upon allegations that those individuals engaged in a conspiracy to convert the proceeds of the loan for their own benefit.  One of those individual judgment debtors was Maurice Cohen, one of the principals of Euro-American.
Continue Reading Be Sure to Sue Before Your Defendant Moves: Appellate Division Finds No Jurisdiction Over Defendant Company After Sale of Its New York Assets

The Commercial Division Advisory Council continued its revamp of the Commercial Division Rules on October 14, 2015, when it implemented amendments to 22 NYCRR § 202.70(b) and (c).  As we discussed in this blog when the amendments were proposed in April, the amendment to 22 NYCRR § 202.70(b) subjects actions to compel or stay domestic arbitration hearings and actions to affirm or disaffirm domestic arbitration awards to the same eligibility criteria as other matters.  Such actions must involve equitable and/or declaratory relief, or meet the monetary threshold of $500,000 in New York County, $200,000 in Nassau County, $150,000 in Kings County, $100,000 in Suffolk and Queens Counties and the Eighth Judicial District, and $50,000 in Onondaga and Albany Counties.  Those actions must also involve one of the commercial issues set forth in 22 NYCRR § 202.70(b), meaning the subject matter of the case must involve principal claims for: breach of contract or fiduciary duty, fraud, misrepresentation, business tort, statutory and/or common law violation where the breach or violation is alleged to arise out of business dealings, transactions governed by the Uniform Commercial Code, transactions involving commercial real property, shareholder derivative actions, commercial class actions, business transactions involving commercial banks and other financial institutions, internal affairs of business organizations, accounting and legal malpractice arising from commercial representations, environmental insurance coverage, or dissolution of business entities.
Continue Reading Commercial Division Rules Revamp Encourages International Arbitration Matters In The New York County Commercial Division

On Tuesday, April 7, 2015, Justice Anil C. Singh of the New York Supreme Court was appointed to the New York County Commercial Division.  Justice Singh succeeds Justice Melvin Schweitzer, who retired last year.  According to his judicial biography, Justice Singh is a 1986 graduate of Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C.
Continue Reading Justice Anil C. Singh Appointed to New York County Commercial Division

Effective Monday, February 3rd, Justice Saliann Scarpulla of the New York Supreme Court was appointed to the New York County Commercial Division.  Justice Scarpulla succeeds Justice Barbara Kapnick, who was appointed to the Appellate Division, First Department, by Governor Andrew Cuomo on January 17, 2014.  According to her judicial biography, Justice Scarpulla is a 1986 graduate of Brooklyn Law School.  After law school, Justice Scarpulla was a Court Attorney for Justice Alvin F. Klein (1986-1987), a Litigation Associate at Proskauer Rose LLP (1988-1993), Counsel/Senior Litigator at the FDIC New York Legal Services Office (1993‑1997), and Senior Vice President and Bank Counsel at Hudson Bank (1997-1999).  From 1999 to 2001, Justice Scarpulla was a Court Attorney for her now colleague in the New York County Commercial Division, Justice Eileen Bransten.
Continue Reading Justice Saliann Scarpulla Appointed to New York County Commercial Division

In Aetna Life Insurance Company v. Appalachian Asset Management Corp, et al., 2013 Slip Op 05506 (1st Dep’t July 30, 2013) the Appellate Division affirmed the April 13, 2012 decision of the New York County Supreme Court, Commercial Division (Ramos, J.), which sustained claims by Aetna Life Insurance Company (“Aetna”) for beach of the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act (“CUTPA”), breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and recklessness against certain wholly-owned subsidiaries of Lehman Brothers Holding, Inc. (“LBHI”) and individuals acting on behalf of those companies (collectively, the “Defendants”).
Continue Reading First Department Sustains Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act and Other Claims Against Subsidiaries and Officers of Lehman Brothers Based Upon An Allegedly Improper Asset Substitution on the Eve of the Lehman Brothers Collapse