Monthly Archives: March 2013

An Absent Co-op Director

I was recently quoted in the New York Times:

Q One of our co-op directors, who has a place in Florida, seems to have moved out of his apartment here and into his Florida home. Can he remain a director if he doesn’t live here? And can he just leave his apartment empty, or does he have to try to sell it?

A Victor M. Metsch, a Manhattan real estate lawyer, says the bylaws of a residential co-op specify whether an owner must actually live in an apartment to be a director. “And the bylaws of many co-ops in New York City do not require directors to reside in the building,” Mr. Metsch said, adding that many bylaws do not even require a director to hold shares. “The owner of a co-op apartment usually cannot be forced to either occupy or sell his apartment,” he said.

The First Department’s Jan. 29 ‘spoliation trifecta’

By Victor M. Metsch

Victor M. Metsch is Senior Litigation/ADR Counsel at Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP.  This article was originally published by ThomsonReuters.

On Jan. 29, 2013, the First Department released three decisions that addressed issues related to “spoliation” of evidence that, taken together, constitute a primer on how that Appellate Division approaches both the claims of loss, destruction or failure to preserve evidence, on the one hand, and the consequences and sanctions for the negligent or intentional failure to maintain and produce documentary and other proof, on the other.

In Alleva v. United Parcel Service, Inc., 2013 NY Slip Op 00409 “a security guard employed by defendant Pitt [Investigations, Inc.] at a UPS center, [sought] to recover for injuries he sustained when he allegedly was assaulted by defendant [Gary] Calwood, a UPS employee, while searching Calwood’s belongings.” Alleva sought, and UPS was unable to produce, its “center file” on Calwood – a file that “would document any previous disciplinary issues[.]” Continue reading