Thursday, January 7, 2016

Calculating interest.

Practice point:  The Appellate Division affirmed the denial of former counsel's motion insofar as it sought interest to run from February 28, 2012 to the date of entry of a final judgment against nonparty current counsel.

The Appellate Division held that the Supreme Court properly declined to compute interest under CPLR 5002, as that section allows for interest from the date a verdict is rendered, or a report or decision is made, to the date of entry of a final judgment. Here, there was no verdict, report or decision; rather, by the Supreme court order entered October 18, 2011, former counsel was awarded $50,000 upon its motion for a proportional distribution of the contingency fee in the underlying personal injury action. Supreme Court correctly calculated interest pursuant to CPLR 5003, which provides that "[e]very order directing the payment of money which has been docketed as a judgment shall bear interest from the date of such docketing."

Student note:  Because CPLR 2222 directs that, upon request, "the clerk shall docket as a judgment an order directing the payment of money," the Supreme Court correctly concluded that the Clerk erred by refusing to enter the October 18, 2011 order as a judgment when asked to do so on March 19, 2014, and that interest, therefore, should be calculated from the latter date, pursuant to CPLR 5003.

Case:  Han Soo Lee v. Riverhead Bay Motors, NY Slip Op 09642 (1st Dept. 2015)

Here is the decision.

Tomorrow's issue:  Trivial defects.