People v. Rivera

Defendant was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth-degree. Supreme Court submitted to the jury the indicted charge of second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter as a lesser included offense. The jury acquitted Defendant of murder and found him guilty of first-degree manslaughter. Defendant appealed, arguing that the trial court erred by refusing to submit a second-degree manslaughter charge to the jury because a reasonable view of the evidence supported the conclusion that he killed the victim recklessly. The Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the record did not reasonably support the conclusion that Defendant acted with mere recklessness. View "People v. Rivera" on Justia Law

Palladino v. CNY Centro, Inc.

Appellant was disciplined and then terminated from his employment with his Employer. The Union of which Appellant was a member filed several grievances protesting the discipline and subsequent termination, which were denied. The Union’s executive board then voted unanimously against proceeding to arbitration. Appellant commenced two separate actions against his Employer and the Union, alleging, among other claims, breach of the duty of fair representation against the Union. Supreme Court denied the Union’s motion for summary judgment as to the claim for breach of the duty of fair representation. The Appellate Division reversed, concluding that, pursuant to Martin v. Curran, the complaint was fatally defective because it failed to allege that the Union’s conduct was ratified by “every single member” of the association. On appeal, Plaintiff argued that Martin was inapplicable and, alternatively, that this precedent should be overruled. The Court of Appeals affirmed, concluding that the Martin rule applied to this action and that adoption of a rule that does away with Martin was best left to the Legislature. View "Palladino v. CNY Centro, Inc." on Justia Law

Mashreqbank PSC v. Ahmed Hamad A1 Gosaibi & Bros. Co.

This case arose out of a transaction between a bank located in United Arab Emirates and a partnership which had its headquarters in Saudi Arabia. The bank sued the partnership to collect an alleged debt and chose to do so in New York Supreme Court. The partnership filed a third-party complaint against a citizen of Saudi Arabia (“citizen”) and a bank headquartered in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The citizen moved to dismiss the third-party complaint on the ground of forum non conveniens. After the issue was briefed and argued at Supreme Court, the court dismissed both the complaint and the third-party complaint on forum non conveniens grounds. The Appellate Division reversed, concluding that VSL Corp. v. Dunes Hotels & Casinos, Inc. prohibited the dismissal of the main action on forum non conveniens grounds in the absence of a motion seeking that relief and that the dismissal of the third-party complaint was an abuse of discretion. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) VSL did not bar Supreme Court from dismissing the complaint under the circumstances of this case; and (2) Supreme Court was correct as a matter of law in dismissing both the complaint and the third-party complaint. View "Mashreqbank PSC v. Ahmed Hamad A1 Gosaibi & Bros. Co." on Justia Law

In re Gabriela A.

In 2011, Gabriela A., who was fifteen years old, was adjudicated a person in need of supervision (PINS) and placed on probation. Gabriela was later remanded to a detention facility from which she absconded. Several probation officers eventually took Gabriela into custody after Gabriela resisted the officers. Gabriela was then served with a juvenile delinquency petition based on her confrontation with the probation officers. After a fact-finding hearing, Family Court found that Gabriela had committed acts which, if committed by an adult, would constitute the crimes of resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. The Appellate Division reversed Family Court’s subsequent dispositional order, vacated the underlying fact-finding order, and dismissed the petition, concluding that Gabriela’s conduct was consistent with PINS behavior, not with juvenile delinquency, and that Family Court “may not do indirectly what it is prohibited from doing directly - placing a PINS in a secure facility.” The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Appellate Division’s factual findings more nearly comported with the weight of the evidence than Family Court’s findings. View "In re Gabriela A." on Justia Law

People v. Perez

These four cases involved criminal appeals that were not pursued for more than a decade after the filing of a notice of appeal. The Appellate Division dismissed the appeal in each case. The Court of Appeals (1) affirmed the dismissals in three of the cases, as the procedure followed in these cases did not deny the defendants of any constitutional right, nor did the Appellate Division abuse its discretion in dismissing the appeals; and (2) remitted the fourth case to the Appellate Division so that counsel could be appointed to represent the defendant in opposing the dismissal of his appeal, as the Appellate Division erred in denying this defendant’s appeal before assigning him counsel on that appeal and giving counsel a chance to review the record. View "People v. Perez" on Justia Law

Kaslow v. City of New York

Petitioner worked at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) until April 1991. While employed at DEP, Petitioner was a Tier 4 New York City Employees’ Retirement System (NYCERS) member. Later in April 1991, Petitioner was appointed a correction officer at the New York City Department of Correction (DOC). Accordingly, Petitioner became a member of the Tier 3 CO-20 retirement plan established by N.Y. Retire. & Soc. Sec. Law 504-a(c)(2). In July 2009, Petitioner retired from DOC. NYCERS subsequently approved Petitioner’s retirement but refused to credit his DEP service. Petitioner filed a petition against the City and NYCERS asking the court to direct NYCERS to recalculate his pension to include his DEP service. Supreme Court granted Kaslow’s petition, and the Appellate Division affirmed. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding (1) Petitioner’s pension was defined in its entirety by section 504-a(c)(2); and (2) as a result, NYCERS properly did not consider Petitioner’s previous civilian service with DEP when calculating Petitioner's pension benefit. View "Kaslow v. City of New York" on Justia Law

Kapon v. Koch

At issue in this case was N.Y. C.P.L.R. 3101(a)(4), which allows a party to obtain discovery from a nonparty. John Kapon was the CEO of Acker, Merrall & Condit Company (AMC), a retailer and auctioneer of fine and rare wines, and the employer of Justin Christoph. In 2008, William Koch commenced an action against AMC in Supreme Court concerning alleged counterfeit wine that Rudy Kurniawan had consigned to AMC and that AMC had sold to Koch. In 2009, Koch commenced a fraud action in California against Kurniawan, alleging that Kurniawan had sold Respondent counterfeit wine through AMC’s auctions and sales. In 2012, Koch, seeking disclosure in the California action, served subpoenas on Kapon and Christoph (together, Petitioners). Petitioners filed motions to quash the subpoena, which Supreme Court denied. The Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that Petitioners failed to show that the requested deposition testimony was irrelevant to the prosecution of the California action. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding (1) the subpoenas satisfied the notice requirement of section 3101(a)(4); and (2) in moving to quash the subpoena, Petitioners failed to meet their burden of establishing that their deposition testimonies were irrelevant to the California action. View "Kapon v. Koch" on Justia Law

Albunio v. City of New York

Appellants retained Mary Dorman to represent them in a lawsuit. During the litigation, Dorman and Appellants entered into three separate retainer agreements pertaining to Dorman’s work on the trial, on the appeal to the Appellate Division, and on the appeal to the Court of Appeals. A jury ruled in Appellants’ favor, awarding them $986,671 in damages. Dorman was awarded $296,826 for her trial work. The verdict and trial fee awards were upheld on appeal. Dorman subsequently requested fees for her appellate work, and Supreme Court awarded Dorman $233,966. After a monetary dispute arose between Dorman and Appellants, Dorman sought a declaratory judgment to enforce the three retainer agreements. Supreme Court granted Dorman’s motion, and the Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that Dorman correctly interpreted the fee calculation. The Court of Appeals modified the Appellate Division order with regard to the trial agreement and otherwise affirmed, holding (1) the trial agreement entitled Dorman to one third of the jury award; and (2) because the trial agreement did not address the treatment of statutory counsel fees, Dorman was entitled to the more generous alternative of either one third of the jury verdict or the statutory award for her trial work. View "Albunio v. City of New York" on Justia Law

Melcher v. Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Plaintiff brought this action for attorney deceit against Defendants. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss, asserting that the lawsuit was precluded by the three-year limitations period in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 214(2). Plaintiff argued that his action was timely because the applicable statute of limitations was the six-year period in N.Y. C.P.L.R. 213(1). Supreme Court denied Defendants’ motion to dismiss, concluding that the applicable statute of limitations was the three-year period in section 214(2) but that Defendants were equitably estopped from asserting this defense. The Appellate Division reversed and dismissed Plaintiff’s amended complaint. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that claims for attorney deceit are subject to the six-year statute of limitations in section 213(1). View "Melcher v. Greenberg Traurig, LLP" on Justia Law

In re Ass’n for a Better Long Island

In 2010, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) adopted amendments to regulations pertaining to the protection of endangered and threatened species. The amendments established a formal process through which individuals could obtain a permit to allow for the incidental taking of a threatened or endangered species. Before the agency implemented the regulations at issue, the Town of Riverhead and Twon of Riverhead Community Development Agency (collectively, Riverhead) challenged the amendments. Supreme Court dismissed the proceeding, finding that Petitioners did not have standing. The Appellate Division affirmed, concluding that Petitioners lacked standing based on their failure to allege an injury in fact and that Petitioners’ substantive challenges were not yet ripe. The Court of Appeals held that Petitioners could proceed with three of their procedural claims, as they alleged a sufficient injury regarding these claims, but Petitioners lacked standing with respect to the substantive causes of action, as those claims were not yet ripe. View "In re Ass'n for a Better Long Island" on Justia Law