Category Archives: Litigation

THE DEATH OF YELLOWSTONE?

The Second Department recently released a decision which, if followed by commercial landlords, over time may signal the demise of Yellowstone proceedings.  In 159 MP Corp. v. Redbridge Bedford, LLC, the Court (over a strong dissent) held that a written lease, negotiated at arm’s length by a commercial tenant, may include the waiver of a right to declaratory judgment relief – and held that such a waiver is not void and unenforceable as a matter of public policy.

A Yellowstone proceeding is, at its foundation, a declaratory judgment action.  So, unless 159 MP Corp. is appealed to and reversed by the Court of Appeals, going forward commercial leases may include a waiver of the right to Yellowstone relief.  Such a change would have dramatic procedural and evidentiary significance.  In a classic Yellowstone proceeding, the commercial tenant is given the benefit of the doubt to maintain the status quo.  Under 159 MP Corp., the historical assumptions and presumptions in favor of the tenant under the Yellowstone legal regime would no longer be available.

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Court of Appeals #15

We recently published a new update on decisions from the Court of Appeals

THE “ART” OF THE SUIT

Art has become both a commodity and an investment – and, as a result, disputes involving art and antiquities have become regular fare in our Courts.  During a recent three-week period, the First Department issued two opinions and Supreme Court, New York County, published three decisions relating to art and antiquities – involving the doctrine of mutual mistake; art looted during World War II; a disputed consignment agreement; misrepresentations as to the sale price of a painting; and artwork left for framing. Continue reading