Florida’s Tort Reform: Changes and Implications for the Insurance IndustryPermalink
By Amanda Mezer
Florida’s legislature is continuing its efforts to mend the insurance crisis in Florida. The newest proposed bill targets litigation, attorney fees, admissibility of medical bills and bad faith actions. Herein, we will be discussing the changes and potential implications for insurance carriers, their insureds and counsel.(more…)
Sophisticated Parties Need Not Explicitly Waive the Right to Trial in Arbitration AgreementsPermalink
In an important clarification of contract and arbitration law, New Jersey’s Appellate Division recently confirmed that an arbitration agreement between sophisticated parties does not need to expressly waive the right to trial in order to bind the parties to arbitration. This ruling clarifies that while arbitration obligations contained in consumer and employment agreements continue to require express waivers, agreements between sophisticated parties do not require the same protections.(more…)
Favorable Jury Verdict Obtained for a National Restaurant ClientPermalink
Congrats to Alexander Fisher on obtaining a favorable jury verdict for a national restaurant client and wins further hearing forcing plaintiff to pay Counsel fees!
In a just concluded week-long jury trial in Mercer County, New Jersey, gartner + bloom, P.C. partner Alexander Fisher secured a favorable jury verdict in a claim where the plaintiff had sought several hundred thousand dollars for dental injuries.(more…)
Legal Alert – “The Grieving Families Act”Permalink
By Kenneth A. Bloom, Founder & Managing Partner
Talk about waiting until the last minute! Governor Hochul announced in an op-ed published by the Daily News that she would be vetoing the proposed Grieving Families Act on January 30, the deadline for her to sign the bill.(more…)
Proposed New York City legislation would redefine employee/employer relationships for many New York City-based employers.
If passed, Int. No. 837 will prohibit covered employers from terminating employees without either “just cause” or a “bona-fide economic reason.”(more…)
Proposed NYC Law Puts Landlords, Building Owners, Co-op Boards and their Carriers at Increased RiskPermalink
“Little imagination is needed to understand the paramount importance of eliminating unfair discrimination in housing.” To combat such discrimination the New York City Council is planning to pass the Fair Chance for Housing Act (FCHA), a bill sponsored by 26 New York City Council members and the New York City Public Advocate that prohibits landlords and building owners, including co-op boards, from discriminating against a prospective tenant, purchaser, lessee or occupant on the basis of criminal history or arrest record. Not surprisingly, the bill resembles the NYC Fair Chance Act passed a few years ago, which similarly was aimed at reducing discrimination and advancing diversity and inclusion by giving individuals from all backgrounds and circumstances a fair chance in employment.(more…)
Successful Defense for a Midtown-Manhattan Bar/Restaurant Against Billion Dollar Commercial DeveloperPermalink
In the exceptionally acrimonious litigation, the building owner attempted to utilize purported emergent conditions in the premises at issue to force all tenants, including the bar and restaurant, to vacate for an indeterminate period of time, potentially never being able to re-open.
g+b recruited a team of expert architects and engineers to rebut the owner's claimed emergent conditions and seized the initiative by obtaining a Yellowstone injunction against the owner while simultaneously asserting causes of action premised on New York's newly enacted commercial tenant harassment statute.
In the end, not only is g+b’s client the only tenant in that Manhattan building that is back in possession and up and running, but it is doing so with a new lease under very favorable terms negotiated by g+b that will keep it serving great food and cocktails for many more years to come
G+B’s Jeffrey Miragliotta selected to be on CLM Young Professionals Advisory Board.Permalink
Gartner + Bloom Wins Seven-Figure Award in Manhattan Arbitration Involving LLC DisputePermalink
G&B endeavors to settle business disputes practically and without the need for litigation (and indeed attempted to do so in this case prior to the arbitration). When necessary, however, our attorneys advocate for our clients to the fullest extent of the law in front of courts or arbitral forums.
G&B obtains significant ruling against national brokerage firm, limiting New Jersey’s attachment statutesPermalink
Date: December 21, 2018
There was no serious dispute that the disagreement between our client and the brokerage firm, was subject to FINRA arbitration in New York. Our client had no ties whatsoever to New Jersey. She did not live in the state, own property in New Jersey, or conduct business in New Jersey. The brokerage company acknowledged this fact, but claimed the basis for the prejudgment ex parte seizure was because the brokerage company’s “headquarters” was located in New Jersey. With this rationale, the brokerage company claimed it could seize our client’s funds at any national bank where our client had an account, even if there was no actual account in New Jersey.
This rationale clearly violated the minimum contacts test under the United States Constitution for obtaining personal jurisdiction over a defendant. We also moved on the grounds that the bank failed to comply with the requirements of the New Jersey statutes governing pre-judgment attachment, specifically N.J. Court Rules 4-60 and N.J. Rev. Stat. § 2A:15-41 and 42 (2016). We further moved because the brokerage agreement between the bank and our client required that any disputes arising out of the agreement be governed by New York law, and further stated that out client would accept service of process from the bank. Since a requirement of the attachment statutes is that the party against whom attachment is sought cannot be served within the state, we argued that the service provision in the brokerage agreement meant that prong of the statutory requirement could not be met.
After extensive oral argument before the Hon. Francis B. Schultz, the Court ruled that there was no jurisdiction over our client in the State of New Jersey. The Court further ruled that merely the presence of a bank branch in the state did not mean that a party could seek to attach any assets of a bank customer, regardless of that customer’s connection to New Jersey. Additionally, Judge Schultz ruled that the service provision in the brokerage agreement meant that the bank could not meet the requirements of the relevant pre-judgment attachment statutes. Accordingly, the Court permanently vacated the writs of attachment and ordered our client’s funds released immediately.
This case highlights the limits of jurisdiction. While the State of New Jersey (like many other states) has a “long-arm statute” to ensure that parties that avail themselves of the protection of New Jersey law cannot evade jurisdiction, the Court’s decision shows that there are limits to how far jurisdiction extends. Specifically, the Court’s decision indicated that a party cannot seek to attach a foreign bank account merely because the bank where the account is maintained has a separate branch office in New Jersey. Rather, the Court found that the State of New Jersey had to have some minimum contacts with the person against whom attachment was sought in order to exercise jurisdiction over that party. It further shows that a choice of law clause and/or a service provision in a contract should be carefully considered by the drafter, as merely selecting a venue of convenience for your client may foreclose them from seeking to bring a claim in a venue with more advantageous statutes.