Judge Rowan Wilson, in Strong Dissent, Would Scrap Civil Commitment for Sex Offenders

Judge Rowan Wilson isn't afraid to step out on a limb when he sees inequity or incongruity. He reminds me of another independent commercial litigator that once sat on the Court of Appeals—former Judge Robert Smith. Judge Smith was well known not only for his voracious questioning at oral argument, but also for pointing out …

Court of Appeals Holds Plaintiffs Can’t Base Discrimination Claim Under the NYC Human Rights Law on Untreated Alcoholism

Under Title VII and the New York State Human Rights Law, individuals are protected from discrimination on the basis of a perceived disability, even if they don't have one. The New York City Human Rights Law is generally interpreted to be even more protective than Title VII and the State Human Rights Law. In fact, …

Court of Appeals Sends Kazahk Billionaire’s Suit Over Bad Financial Advice to Arbitration in London

In Garthon Business Inc. v Stein (No. 99), which I previewed here, the Court of Appeals was asked whether Kazakh billionaire Patokh Chodiev's suit alleging breach of contract, fraud, and negligence for bad financial advice could be litigated in New York, or had to proceed to arbitration in London.  The dispute involved multiple different investment advisement agreements with …

Court of Appeals Deals Blow to Right to Die Movement in New York

Four states have legalized the right to aid-in-dying, which is generally defined as the right of a mentally competent and terminally ill person to obtain a prescription for a lethal dosage of drugs from a physician, to be taken at some point to cause death—Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California.  New York, on the other hand, …

Court of Appeals Holds Promissory Estoppel and Unconscionability May Foreclose Reliance on the Statute of Frauds

For years, you work with your grandfather to manage his rental apartments.  When he retires from the business, you take over the rentals and upkeep of the building.  You find tenants.  You pay the mortgage and taxes.  You do everything.  In exchange for your years of work, he orally promises to give you the building …

Court of Appeals Holds Bail Bondsmen Can’t Keep Bond Premium if Defendant Not Released

Arthur Bogoraz is a bad dude.  For more than three years, he ran a multi-million dollar no-fault insurance fraud scheme by convincing radiologists to review MRIs and submit fake insurance claims for payment.  He paid the radiologists kickbacks and then not only pocketed the cash, but used the radiologists' information to set up fake medical …

Court of Appeals Holds Education Funding Cases Must be Pled on District-by-District Basis

Under the Education Article of the New York Constitution, students are guaranteed a free, sound basic education that should prepare them for participation in society.  For the last 20 years, parents, education groups, and the State have fought over exactly what that requires.   Beginning in 1995 with a series of cases called Campaign for …

Judge Rowan Wilson, Dissenting in Personal Jurisdiction Case, Advocates that Court of Appeals Should Have Dismissed Appeal as Improvidently Granted

In Wilson v Dantas (No. 62), previewed here, the Court of Appeals affirmed an order of the Appellate Division, First Department, holding that it had long-arm jurisdiction over the defendants in a breach of contract and fiduciary duty action, because the appellant expressly abandoned his challenge to the personal jurisdiction ruling on appeal. Interestingly, however, …

Court of Appeals Holds New York City’s Adult Use Zoning Ordinance Does Not Violate First Amendment 

In this long and tortured litigation over New York City's adult use zoning regulations on First Amendment grounds, which I previewed here, the Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether New York City met its burden to show that the reconfiguration of adult businesses to attempt to avoid regulation under the adult use zoning …

Court of Appeals Holds Additional Insured is Only Entitled to Coverage if Named Insured Proximately Caused Occurrence

In insurance contracts for major development or municipal projects, there are generally a number of parties that have insurance coverage under a single insurance policy.  For example, in The Burlington Insurance Company v NYC Transit Authority (No. 57), previewed here, a general contractor, Breaking Solutions, Inc. (BSI), was awarded a contract to complete some excavation work …