Grossman LLP | Grossman LLP Notches Another Big Win
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  • Grossman LLP Notches Another Big Win

    Last week, the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court, First Department, issued a unanimous 5-0 decision reversing the trial court’s denial of summary judgment and handing Grossman LLP a total win for its client in a real-estate litigation that had been pending for over 10 years.  

    In 2012, a commercial landlord—represented by the international law firm DLA Piper—commenced litigation against a prominent accounting firm, seeking seven figures in damages under a commercial sublease.  The complaint, and a co-defendant’s cross-claims, included a litany of allegations and legal theories, ranging from breach of contract under a presumed oral assignment, to a veil-piercing argument alleging alter ego liability, to an unorthodox equitable claim for account stated—and even went so far as to allege that the signature on the operative lease, to which our client was not a party, had been forged (this latter claim ultimately abandoned in the face of our unrebutted handwriting-expert testimony).

    Grossman LLP was recently brought on to take over the case following the close of discovery, including depositions.  After all parties moved for summary judgment, the trial court, finding the existence of material questions of fact, denied all the motions and set the case for trial.  Grossman LLP proceeded with an appeal, arguing that the lower court had improperly analyzed various claims, including those seeking to hold liable the individual owner of the accounting firm, as well as his current business, which was not even extent at the time of the underlying events.  Following oral argument by Webster McBride, counsel at the Firm, the appellate court in short order ruled unanimously as a matter of law that the lower court had erred in refusing to dismiss those claims, among others.  In doing so, the First Department handed a complete victory to our clients, allowing only an undisputed equitable cause of action for use and occupancy to proceed against the only remaining defendants—two long-ago defunct entities with no assets to their name.

    ATTORNEY: Webster D. McBride
    CATEGORIES: ContractsGrossman LLP