On April 25, 2022, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved a settlement between GLLLP client LAK3, LLC, a residential homeowner, and contractors Sean Dunn and Gerald Dunn, both of whom agreed to make a substantial cash payment to LAK3. Both Defendants agreed to sign a Confession of Judgment which will be fully enforceable if the payment, which is being made over time, is not made pursuant to the terms of the Settlement Agreement. Early on in the case, Sean Dunn had filed for bankruptcy Court protection, but the Court granted LAK3’s motion to lift the automatic stay so that the case could be prosecuted in New York State Court. As the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York retained jurisdiction, its approval was sought and granted.
For over two years, GLLLP has been providing pro bono legal advice on a range of topics to Friends of Hilltop Hanover Farm & Environmental Center, a not-for-profit farm that operates in the Yorktown Heights community and emphasizes the importance of implementing sustainable, advanced agriculture to which all people have access. The Center also educates the community on environmental stewardship and is committed to spreading its message so that sustainable agriculture practices become widely adopted. GLLLP is proud to have helped the organization on a wide range of governance as well as labor and employment issues.
On August 9, 2022 Michael Gordon, the principal of GLLLP, was part of a three-lawyer panel webinar that presented on the topic of advanced deposition techniques. Mike spoke on ways that litigators can take maximum advantage of the depositions they take, with an emphasis on “boxing-in” techniques. Contact Mike if you’d like a copy of his presentation and/or a link to the webinar.
On July 12, 2022 New York State Supreme Court Justice Barry Ostrager granted GLLLP’s motion to dismiss an insurance coverage declaratory judgment action that was filed by DLA Piper on behalf of its client Westport Insurance, a subsidiary of insurance giant Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. Over DLA Piper’s objections, Justice Ostrager agreed with GLLLP that the Westport action was barred by a prior action that Vulcan had filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington. The case is notable because Westport originally brought the New York action and sought a preliminary injunction barring the prosecution of the Washington federal action. In December 2021, GLLLP notified DLA Piper that on December 21, 2021, the Appellate Division First Department decided a case, North Am. Elite Ins. Co. v. Space Needle, LLC, 200 A.D. 3d 425, 159 N.Y.S. 3d 396, rejecting the central choice of law and forum selection arguments DLA Piper had raised. Within days of that notice, Westport withdrew its preliminary injunction motion but did not discontinue its action, which continued until Justice Ostrager’s July 12, 2022 Order dismissing the case. Counsel representing insureds that are covered by insurance policies issued in states, such as Washington, that mandate force of law and forum selection should review carefully the Space Needle case, as it carefully and thoroughly discusses one of the more thorny and complex issues of multistate insurance coverage litigation.
Michael R. Gordon presented on Leveraging Depositions at Trial: Impeachment, Refreshing Recollection, Offer of Proof, Admissions, Unavailable Witness.
On April 14, 2022, Michael R. Gordon, the principal of GordonLaw LLP, was part of a webinar panel on leveraging depositions at trial. Mike focused on how counsel can effectively refresh a witness’s recollection at trial with the use of deposition transcripts and exhibits. Mike discussed how to lay a proper foundation, how to use transcripts and other sworn statements, and how to use unsworn records. Mike also discussed pitfalls such as potential privilege issues that can arise when refreshing a witness’s recollection. For those interested, the webinar materials are available from Strafford. Here’s the link: https://www.straffordpub.com/products/leveraging-depositions-at-trial-impeachment-refreshing-recollection-offer-of-proof-admissions-unavailable-witness-2022-04-14
On February 11, 2022, United States District Court Judge Vernon S. Broderick denied a motion by Defendant James Barchiesi to dismiss the Complaint filed against him by GLLLP client Beyond Bespoke Tailors. Judge Broderick also denied Barchiesi’s motion to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In the course of his Opinion and Order, Judge Broderick made the following finding:
I am troubled by the evidence submitted by [GLLLP] supporting their accusation that Barchiesi lied to me concerning his residency. (See generally Pls.’ Sur-Reply.) If I believe Barchiesi that he has been a resident of Pennsylvania for the last 15 years, as he has repeatedly sworn, (see First Barchiesi Decl. ¶ 4; Second Barchiesi Decl. ¶ 2), then it appears that Barchiesi lied to the Honorable Robert D. Mariani in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, when Barchiesi denied, through counsel, that he was a resident of Pennsylvania less than four years ago. (See Gordon Decl. Ex. 3; see also Answer ¶ 2, Sons of Arthritis LLC v. Low Tide Group et al., No. 3:18-cv-01456 (M.D. Pa. September 18, 2018), ECF 9 (“Defendants deny that Barchiesi is a resident of Pennsylvania.”).) In other words, no matter how I view the evidence, Barchiesi lied in one of the proceedings. The justice system cannot operate this way.
The case is proceeding in discovery.
On February 9, 2022, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Ross, J.) approved a settlement agreement between GLLLP client Mahesh Shetty and his former employers SG Blocks, Inc., and Paul Galvin. The settlement resolved an action that GLLLP had brought on behalf of Mr. Shetty for wage violations, unfair retaliation, and breach of an obligation to indemnify Mr. Shetty in respect of certain unrelated third-party claims. The settlement included a substantial cash payment to Mr. Shetty, a grant to him of shares of SGB stock, and an obligation by SBG to indemnify and defend Mr. Shetty in respect of the third-party claims.
On November 23, 2021, the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Westchester County approved a settlement resolving a business dispute between GLLLP client Scott Portugal, on the one hand, and Wavefront TV, LLC, Wavefront Software, LLC, Louis Giocondo, and Andrew Castin, on the other. GLLLP guided Mr. Portugal through a mediation process that led to a settlement that was ultimately approved by the Court. Pursuant to the settlement, Mr. Portugal recovered from the Defendants a cash payment, and the parties agreed to mutual, time-bound restrictive covenants.