Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in New York Courts: Collecting debts based on foreign judgments in New York

Enforcement of a foreign judgment in a New York court should first proceed based on the type of foreign judgment and how you obtained the foreign judgment. The procedure requires an understanding of not only New York Law, but international law and treatises.  The procedure should be performed by a New York attorney without experience in this area of law. If you are interested in enforcing a New York Judgment in a foreign court please see: Enforcement of New York Judgments Abroad.  If you are interested in enforcing a New York judgment in Korea please see our sister blog at: Enforcing of Foreign Judgments in Korea. Recognition of judgments of foreign courts is not automatic in New York, a procedure in place must be followed prior to recognition of a foreign judgment in a New York court. The foreign judgment must first be authenticated in accordance with an Act of

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Good New York Lawyers Beats Goliath Everyday In New York Courts

It can be daunting to think about suing anyone, let alone a huge department store like Macy’s. The same Macy’s that brings us Santa Claus and the opening of the holiday season with their annual Thanksgiving Day Parade televised nationally.  The same Macy’s with department stores all over the United States.  However, big guys can be beat in New York courts with the assistance of proactive, aggressive and nuanced New York lawyers. Now imagine if you are an immigrant with little command of English that was injured when you slipped and fell on a wet floor that Macy’s negligently failed to warn you about.  Your life has been flipped upside down. You are in constant pain from your injuries, you lost your job and your mental outlook is in a downward spiral of fighting depression and anxiety. Because of all this the plaintiff was going through and the language barrier,

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International Divorces in New York Courts: Grounds for Divorce in New York

In New York, a divorce may be granted by a New York Family Court based on a mutual agreement of separation, an order of separation by a New York court, for “Fault” attributable to the other spouse or for No-Fault Grounds. A New York court may not grant a divorce in New York based on any other grounds, but the aforementioned New York grounds for divorce. Getting a divorce in New York does not need to be stressful or time consuming. Often the most important issue in handling a divorce is hiring a New York street-smart divorce attorney.  We handle many international divorce matters in New York. Often our clients are foreign nationals married to New York residents or vice versa. These matters require, not only a New York family law attorney, but a New York attorney that understands international divorce requirements and the needs of resident aliens residing in New

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New York Shareholder, Member and Partnership Business Disputes In NY: New York Business Disputes & Litigation Basics

New York Business Disputes We handle numerous shareholder and member disputes.  The main reasons for these disputes are because of the lack of an adequate Shareholder, Operations or Partnership Agreement, the lack of due diligence or nefarious acts by a member, shareholder or controlling directors.  Analyzing whether to file a lawsuit is, often, a matter of economics. A civil law suit at the court of first instance may take over a year.  Your attorney in New York will need to file a complaint to in a NY court, file a reply to the defendant, depose witnesses, file pre-trial requests and make numerous appearances in court and at pre-trial conferences.  The process is cumbersome, time consuming and of course will not be cheap. Thus, we, always, sit down with our clients and do a detailed cost-benefit analyses.  Many New York law firms push to file a lawsuit for obvious reasons, however,

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Winding Up Your New York Business: Essential Steps to Business Closure in New York

If you are looking to close your New York business, these are some of the many essential steps you should take.  In most cases you shall require a New York Bankruptcy lawyers to assist in the windup process: Vote to Close the New York Business No matter what form your NY business has taken, you must get all owners’ approval to close the business.  In some forms, it is easier to do than others.  For example, if your New York business is a sole proprietorship, you simply make the decision on your own.  If it is a New York limited liability company or partnership, you and your partners must agree to dissolve the business based upon the rules set out in your organizing documents and the laws of the State of New York. Dissolve your Business with the New York Government If your New York business filed documents with any

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Frustration of Purpose as a Tool to Avoid Contracts in New York: The BREXIT Fallout

We have clients that are supplying products to UK companies and UK companies that are being supplied products by U.S. companies. With the surprising outcome of the Brexit vote, the purpose of these agreements are now frustrated because, often, these products are used in finished products assembled in EU nations. This situation often arises in complex products. For example, a U.S. business has a piece of technology that is integrated into a British component. The British component is then further integrated into a finished product manufactured in Germany. The situation is not as rare as you think. We suggest an immediate review of your contracts. With the potential for UK companies to have decreases in sales, a fixed supply contact may be invalidated based on the Frustration of Purpose principle. Obviously, the opposite may also be true. A UK company may be unable to provide products (Impossibility Principle) or provide

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Hearings Necessary in New York Child Custody Disputes

In a significant change in adjudicating New York child custody disputes, the New York’s Court of Appeals recently ruled that, in most cases, NY child custody and visitation orders should, only, be made after the parties have been given the right to a full evidentiary hearing before a New York court. The recent NY Court of Appeals (highest court in New York state) decision in the matter of S.L. v. J.R., the NY Court heard an appeal from an order upheld by a lower appellate court that allowed a custody award to be upheld without conducting a hearing.  The reason the lower appellate court upheld the custody award is because it determined that no hearing is necessary where the court had enough relevant information to make an informed decision as to what was in the child’s best interest. In reversing the appellate decision, the New York Court of Appeals noted,

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Hiring a New York Divorce Lawyers for International Divorces in New York Courts

Our law firm’s New York attorneys handle many divorce and family matters for our international clients. The major issues that arise are, typically, jurisdiction of the New York courts, service of process and the grounds for the New York divorce.  We wrote an article on the Grounds for a New York divorce and will be posting an article soon, also, on International Service of Divorce Documents in New York soon. New York’s Domestic Relations Law Section 230 allows New York courts to have jurisdiction over the parties in a divorce matter if and only if: “1. The parties were married in the state and either party is a resident thereof when the action is commenced and has been a resident for a continuous period of one year immediately preceding, or 2. The parties have resided in this state as husband and wife and either party is a resident thereof when the

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Suing The New York Government? Exceptions And Extensions To Statutes of Limitation / Notification Periods

When you are suing the New York government, there are strict time limitations for notice and filing your claim, but they are not without exception or without the ability to extend under special circumstances. Recently, we featured a blog post about the statute of limitations when suing a New York municipal entity or authority.  However, there are exceptions to the rule and motion practices you can attempt to pursue if none of those exceptions apply. These statutes of limitations and the statutory period of notice of claims are tricky depending on the nature of the claim and the legal status of the claimant, so consult an attorney in New York immediately should you choose to sue a New York municipal entity or authority. Claim Notification Exceptions in New York If your claim against a New York municipal entity or authority involves a claim by an infant (person under the age of

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Partition Actions in New York: NY Real Estate Law Basics

When a dispute occurs with co-owners of real property in New York it is, often, advisable to initiate a partition action. Under New York’ Partition Law, a partition is a remedy available to any person who is a co-owner of New York real property.  Specifically, under N.Y. Real Prop. Acts. Law § 901, the following individuals with New York real property may lawfully apply for a partition of the NY property: A person holding and in possession of real property as joint tenant or tenant in common, in which he has an estate of inheritance, or for life, or for years, may maintain an action for the partition of the property, and for a sale if it appears that a partition cannot be made without great prejudice to the owners. A person holding a future estate as defined in sections forty, forty-a or forty-b of the real property law or a

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Suing New York Banks in Equity: New York Equitable Accounting Remedy

Recently, we discussed a case where we were able to hold JPMorgan Chase to their word with regards to a stipulation made in a New York court.  We represented a defunct New York corporation suing for the return of a substantial amount of funds that the bank allowed a co-owner to withdraw without the two-signature authorization required by the New York corporate resolution.   Our theory of recovery was sound.  The relationship between the bank and its depositor being that of debtor and creditor, the bank cannot charge the account of the depositor with moneys paid out without authority. Although research has failed to disclose any New York cases directly on point, it is obvious that a check signed by one of two depositors, where both signatures are required, is not authority for such payment. Our client had contracted their rights away when they established the account with JPMorgan Chase.  You see,

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New York Special Use Doctrine Leads to Special Responsibilities for NY Landlords

Here is some important information for landlords to remember – with special uses come special responsibilities! Last year, a firm attorney in New York argued a matter where our client tripped and fell on a broken concrete pedestrian ramp in front of a two-story mixed-use building, leaving her with a broken ankle. When the building owner and the tenant moved for summary judgment, I opposed it by citing the “special use” doctrine, and won our client a mid-six figure settlement. If you own a commercial or mixed use property, you should know that people making personal injury claims against you have the burden to show that you caused, created or had “actual or constructive notice” of the condition which caused the injury.  But most owners don’t realize that there is a third category for special circumstances that is a “special” exception for curb cuts and ramps that provide access from

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Every New York Business Owner Needs A Will

No one ever wants to think about it, but sooner or later we all meet our maker and before meeting your maker – have a will drafted that complies with New York law and your wishes. Small business owners especially need a will, as their businesses can suffer based on the time it requires to resolve the estate matter.  Not let this happen.  Having a professional drafted will is cheap and painless. A “Last Will and Testament” helps protect your loved ones and allows you to determine what happens to your property – on your terms.  With a will you can leave your property to whomever or whatever entity you want, ensure that any minor children get proper care and settle financial concerns that would be left to your grieving loved ones.  In New York, the alternative to passing without a will, is “Intestacy” and not your own wishes, but

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New York Independent Contractor or Employee? Taxi Union Sues Uber

Lawyers, in New York, representing 5,000 Uber drivers in New York City filed a lawsuit in NY on behalf of 10 of these alleged New York employees in federal court in Manhattan last week accusing the ride-share company of depriving these New York drivers of various employment protections they should have by declaring them as “independent contractors” rather than treating them as employees. This New York independent contractor lawsuit is a pivotal case that can lead to changes in Independent Contractor Law/Employment Law in New York.  We suggest a review of your independent contractor agreements by your attorney and, also, advise following this case closely if you have hired independent contractors. Get your New York attorney on this matter immediately. It is essential to have a carefully drafted independent contract agreement and protocols in place to assist in guaranteeing that an independent contractor is not deemed an employee. New York Taxi

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Terminating A Franchise Agreement In New York: NY Franchise Law Basics

The termination or cancellation of a New York franchise relationship requires planning, a thorough understanding of your particular New York franchise agreement and procedural formalities.  Typically, it is advisable to consult with your franchise lawyer. New York Franchise Terminations (Franchisee Considerations) For example, preparation should begin before signing a franchise agreement by a New York franchisee.  Before signing, a would-be franchisee should consider the written terms outlining the right to terminate the franchise agreement.  Other clauses, of course, should be reviewed.  This post, only, addresses one issue of many that a franchisee should consider. Typically, a franchisor shall lay out several conditions it would consider to be breaches of the franchise agreement that trigger termination.  These conditions will not afford an opportunity for either party to cure or correct the specific condition.  These incurable breaches are, typically, material breaches of franchise agreement and, often, New York law.  In some cases, a

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Enforcement of Liquidated Damages Clauses in NY?

When NY businesses contract with others, and those contracts include a clause for liquidated damages, be careful that your New York liquidated damage clause is enforceable in New York and not a mere penalty, or you may have negotiated your way into a New York court. In New York, parties generally are free to set the terms of their own contracts and may agree on the damages for breach in certain circumstances. Specifically, parties are free to agree to liquidated damages, which is damage calculation, typically, used when: damages are difficult or impossible to calculate; and where the amount agreed upon bears a reasonable relationship to the probable loss. Our New York law office drafts, has enforced and has challenged liquidated damage clauses in numerous industries including real estate, service agreements, supply agreements and vendor agreements. When damages resulting from a breach are readily calculable or where the agreed upon

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NY Legal Protection For Employees With Disabilities In New York

As part of our ongoing series of postings bringing awareness to certain laws every New York business owner must know, we bring your attention to laws that protect employees with disabilities. (For other stories in this series, you can read our posts about best practices to avoid age discrimination and New York’s new laws involving family and medical leave.) The Americans with Disabilities Act requires employers in many cases to provide a “reasonable accommodation” to employees with disabilities.  The law, as amended by the ADA Amendments Act, protects employees from job discrimination based on: Physical or mental disability; Recorded history of disability or impairment; or A substantial impairment that limits a major life activity (defined in the law as hearing, seeing, speaking, walking, breathing and many other manual tasks – broadly defined). Having a disability covers only half of the standard.  Employees making a discrimination claim based upon ADA must also

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New York Defamation Law: Yelp Alerts Reviewers To Business’s “Questionable Legal Threats” In Response To Negative Reviews

Some New York businesses, including a New York dentist, have been turning to litigation to respond to negative reviews left about their businesses on the popular website, Yelp. Yelp is a website that crowd-sources recommendations and reviews of local businesses. Many businesses see an increase in business activity based upon positive reviews and recommendations left on the website, while others believe that their business good-will and reputation are harmed by negative reviews that may or may not be accurate. Buzzfeed recounts the story of a New York dentist that has sued at least three negative reviewers for speaking their mind about the services provided by this business. The increase in such activity has led Yelp to alert reviewers to businesses who make, in Yelp’s words, “questionable legal threats” against reviewers speaking their mind. The story also states that Congress is currently considering bills designed to protect consumers from such lawsuits based

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Federal Government Considering New Debt Collection Rules

For the first time in nearly 40 years, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is proposing new rules that govern debt collection in an effort to clamp down on alleged abusive collectors. Debt collection is a multi-billion dollar industry. According to the Urban Institute, one in three American adults have a report of debt in collections. That equals to over 77 millions Americans. The average debt owed is over $5,000 and typically involves a credit card balance, medical or utility bill more than 180 days past due. The CFPB has fielded over 250,000 complaints since 2011. According to the CFPB, the safeguards suggested are those that debt collection companies frequently ignore, raising the specter of the prototypical company aggressively chasing customers. The rules should also bring some consistency to what is now a hodge-podge of local, state and federal rules and regulations. Under the proposed rules: Collectors must confirm consumers’ names,

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Successor Liability Pitfalls in New York

When buying or selling a New York business or any of a business’s assets under NY law, potential successor liability of the buyer is of primary concern.  New York Successor Liability Law is complex and the following is, only, intended as a brief overview of the matter. Successor liability in New York is liability that the buyer of a New York company’s assets may have for the liabilities of the seller of those assets performed prior to the purchase.  Essentially, a buyer would be compelled to pay off debt that the seller accumulated prior to completion of the transaction. The general rule in New York is that the buyer of company assets does not assume and is not liable for the seller’s liabilities unless otherwise expressly stated in the asset purchase agreement.  However, exceptions exist. New York Successor Liability Exception to General Rule Express or Implied Assumption by Buyer. This exception

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