Alter Ego Liability Requires More than Dominion or Control

In Aaron Richard Golub, Esquire, P.C. v. Blum, 23-cv-10102 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 1, 2024), the court dismissed a claim for quantum meruit asserted against an owner of the co-defendant corporation because the complaint failed to plead sufficiently that the owner’s alleged dominion over the defendant corporation caused the plaintiff’s alleged injury… Read more

Fiduciary Duty Established by Contract May Be Released by Contract, Too

In Stephanie Clegg v. Sotheby’s, 23-cv-01995, 2003 WL 8281487 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 30, 2023), the Southern District of New York held that the fiduciary duties of a consignee could be defined by a written consignment agreement and further modified by subsequent written agreements between the parties… Read more

Electronic Service on Defendants Governed by Hague Convention Permissible when Physical Addresses Are Not Reasonably Ascertainable

In The Kyjen Company, LLC v. The Individuals, Corporations, Limited Liability Companies, Partnerships, and Unincorporated Associations Identified on Schedule A to the Complaint, 1:23-cv-00612-JHP (S.D.N.Y.), the Court permitted electronic service of process on certain foreign defendants, even though such service generally would have been prohibited under international law… Read more

Declaratory Judgment Claim Dismissed on Ripeness Grounds Where Too Many Contingent Events Exist for Plaintiff to Show Actual or Threatened Imminent Harm

The parties in Berardi v. Berardi, Case No. 22-CV-00159, are the owners of certain companies that provide public transportation services throughout New York State and other surrounding areas under various trade names including Trailways and Coach.  The parties entered into a post-nuptial agreement providing that upon dissolution of their marriage, plaintiff would own 49% of the companies and defendant would own 51%.  The parties were divorced in 2009… Read more

Turkey’s Conversion and Replevin Action to Recover 6,000-Year-Old Statute Denied for Failure to Show Ownership and for Sleeping on Rights

After a dispute arose over the ownership of the “Stargazer,” a six-thousand-year-old marble statuette, the Republic of Turkey commenced an action in the Southern District of New York seeking the return of Stargazer, alleging claims for conversion and replevin against auction house Christie’s, Inc., as the possessor, and Michael Steinhardt, as the owner.  According to Turkey, the figurine was unlawfully excavated and smuggled out of its borders.  Following an eight-day bench trial, the district court held that Turkey failed to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that it owned Stargazer, and that, in any event, the defendants established the equitable defense of laches.  Turkey appealed… Read more

Arbitration Clause Does Not Apply When Consideration of Agreement Is Not Necessary to Determine the Merits of Claims

The Federal Arbitration Act (the “FAA”) embodies a strong federal policy in favor of arbitration.  When the existence of an arbitration agreement is undisputed, any doubts as to whether a claim falls within the scope of that agreement should be resolved in favor of arbitrability.  Despite the broad reach of the FAA, a recent decision issued in Salgado v. NYC Medical Practice P.C. d/b/a Goals Aesthetics & Plastic Surgery, 22-CV-06910(LAK)(SN), 2022 WL 17974915 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 2022) illustrates that claims may bypass arbitration if the agreement providing for arbitration need not be considered to determine if such claims are meritorious… Read more