Tuesday, July 25, 2017

An emailed settlement agreement.

The Appellate Division reversed the motion court and granted defendant's motion to enforce the settlement agreement. The emails between the parties' counsels counsel sufficiently set forth an enforceable agreement to settle plaintiffs' claims, and plaintiff's counsel, who had authority to bind the plaintiff, accepted the defendant's offer..

Practice point:  Counsel typed his name at the end of the email accepting defendants' offer, which satisfied CPLR 2104's requirement that settlement agreements be in a writing subscribed by the party or the party's attorney.

Case:  Jimenez v. Yanne, NY Slip Op 05677 (1st Dep't July 13, 2017)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  An alleged breach of the employer's fiduciary duty.

Monday, July 24, 2017

An affidavit submitted in oppositon to summary judgment.

Practice point:   The motion court may consider the affidavit even though it is notarized out-of-state and lacks a certificate of conformity, pursuant to CPLR 2309(c).

Case:  Redlich v. Stone, NY Slip Op 05676 (1st Dep't July 13, 2017)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  An emailed settlement agreement.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Motions to compel or stay arbitration.

Practice point:  On the motion, the court will first determine whether the parties have agreed to submit their disputes to arbitration, and, if so, whether this dispute comes within the scope of their agreement.  The court will apply ordinary state-law principles that govern the formation of contracts.

Case: Degraw Constr. Group, Inc. v. McGowan Bldrs., Inc., NY Slip Op 05580 (2d Dep't July 12, 2017)  

Here is the decision.

Monday's issue:  An affidavit submitted in opposition to summary judgment.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Documentary evidence and dismissal.

Practice point:  A motion to dismiss a complaint based upon documentary evidence under CPLR 3211(a)(1) may be granted only where the documentary evidence utterly refutes the plaintiff's factual allegations, conclusively establishing a defense as a matter of law. To qualify as documentary evidence for the purpose of a motion to dismiss, the evidence must be unambiguous and of undisputed authenticity. Affidavits, deposition testimony, and letters are not considered documentary evidence within the meaning of the statute. 

Case:  Board of Mgrs. of 100 Congress Condominium v. SDS Congress, LLC, NY Slip Op 05414 (2d Dep't July 5, 2017) 

Here is the decision. 

Tomorrow's issue:  Motions to compel or stay arbitration.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Conspiracy to commit fraud.

Practice point:  New York does not recognize a cause of action for conspiracy to commit fraud.

Case:  Maheras v. Awan, NY Slip Op 05309 (1st Dep't June 29, 2017)

Here is the decision. 

Tomorrow's issue:  Documentary evidence and dismissal.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Specific performance as to real property.

Practice point:  To prevail on a cause of action for specific performance of a contract for the sale of real property, a purchaser-plaintiff must establish that it substantially performed its contractual obligations and was ready, willing, and able to perform its remaining obligations; that the vendor was able to convey the property; and that there is no adequate remedy at law.

Case:  1107 Putnam, LLC v. Beulah Church of God in Christ Jesus of the Apostolic Faith, Inc., NY Slip Op 05411 (2d Dep't July 5, 2017)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Conspiracy to commit fraud.

Monday, July 17, 2017

A defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint.

The plaintiff alleges that he was riding a bicycle in Queens when a minivan owned and operated by the defendant pulled out of a driveway and struck him. Later that evening, the plaintiff returned to the accident site, identified the minivan he believed was involved in the accident, and recorded its license plate number. The plaintiff commenced this action to recover damages for personal injuries. The defendant cross-moved for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, contending that the plaintiff's deposition testimony revealed that the plaintiff would be unable to prove that the defendant's vehicle was the vehicle involved in the accident. The Supreme Court denied the cross motion, concluding that the defendant had failed to establish, prima facie, that his vehicle was not involved in the accident. The Appellate Division affirmed.

Practice point:  A defendant moving for summary judgment dismissing a complaint cannot satisfy its initial burden merely by pointing to gaps in the plaintiff's case. Here, the defendant failed to make a prima facie showing of his entitlement to judgment as a matter of law because he offered no evidence to affirmatively demonstrate that his vehicle was not the vehicle that struck the plaintiff. Although the defendant pointed to alleged gaps in the plaintiff's proof revealed by the plaintiff's deposition testimony, this was insufficient to satisfy his initial burden. Since the defendant failed to sustain his prima facie burden, the Supreme Court properly denied his cross motion for summary judgment dismissing the complaint, regardless of the sufficiency of the plaintiff's opposition papers.

Case:  Feldberg v. Skorupa, NY Slip Op 05199 (2d Dep't June 28, 2017)

Here is the decision

Tomorrow's issue:  Specific performance as to real property.