Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The doctrine of collateral estoppel and the pendency of an appeal.

Practice point:  The doctrine of collateral estoppel bars relitigation of an issue which has necessarily been decided in a prior action and is determinative of the issues disputed in the present action, provided that there was a full and fair opportunity to contest the decision now alleged to be controlling. The party seeking the benefit of the doctrine must establish that the identical issue was necessarily decided in the prior action and is dispositive in the present action. Once the party invoking the doctrine discharges his or her burden in that regard, the party to be estopped bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a full and fair opportunity to contest the prior determination. The rule in New York is that the pendency of an appeal does not prevent the use of the challenged judgment as the basis of' collateral estoppel.

Case:  77 Water St., Inc. v. JTC Painting & Decorating Corp., NY Slip Op 02396 (2d Dep't March 29, 2017)

Here is the decision. 

Tomorrow's issue:  A municipality's liability on a section 1983 claim.