Litigation

07.25.2014 Litigation, Uncategorized No Comments

New Commercial Division Monetary Thresholds Effective September 2, 2014

The Administrative Board of the Courts has announced their decision to amend Section 202.70 (a) of the Uniform Civil Rules of the New York State Supreme and County Courts with respect to monetary thresholds for the Commercial Division.   The monetary thresholds of the Commercial Division are exclusive of punitive damages, interests, costs, disbursements and attorneys’ fees claimed.   The changes are as follows:

Albany County $  25,800 $  50,000
Eighth Judicial District $  50,000 $ 100,000
Kings County $  75,000 $ 150,000
Nassau County $ 100,000 $ 200,000
New York County $ 500,000  
Onondaga County $   25,000 $   50,000
Queens County $   50,000 $ 100,000
Seventh Judicial District $   50,000  
Suffolk County $  50,000 $ 100,000
Westchester County $  100,000  

Erik M. Bashian is the former vice chair of the Commercial Litigation Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association.  His practice focuses on civil litigation related to commercial disputes in the New York state court system.  These areas of practice include claims related to: breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, fraud, real estate litigation, monies owed for services and goods sold and construction disputes.

07.15.2014 Litigation, Uncategorized No Comments

Real Life “Kramer” Lawsuit Dismissed

This lawsuit stems from causes of action for alleged defamation, defamation per se and interference with business relations, as the real life “Kramer” – Kenny Kramer – who served as the inspiration for the colorful Cosmo Kramer on the comedy series Seinfeld, alleges that former Seinfeld writer/comedian Defendant Fred Stoller’s book contained “false and malicious” statements that caused damage to the Plaintiff’s Manhattan reality bus tour around New York City. 

 According to Stoller’s memoir, Plaintiff’s employees would make Seinfeld television show references, such as “Not that there’s anything wrong with that” (a reference to the gay and lesbian community) when travelling through Greenwich Village, which Plaintiff considered to be defamatory and damaging to his business. 

Despite this, on July 15, 2014, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe granted Defendant Stoller’s motion to dismiss pursuant to CPLR 3211(a)(7) by issuing an order to dismiss the complaint in its entirety.   

 For the Court’s entire decision,  click here.

12.24.2013 Corporate, Litigation No Comments

Our Promise to You…

Having the ability to provide clients with an opportunity to manage their legal situations and take away the stress from the client is a service that we take great pride in. Here, at Bashian & Papantoniou, each and every client that walks through our doors (no matter how big or small) receives the same attention and care. We are a New York and New Jersey boutique law firm with offices located in the heart of Garden City, Long Island. Our areas of legal expertise and services stretch from the tip of Montauk to New Jersey and the entire New York City metro area. Please give us a call if you have a matter that requires legal assistance. Have a happy and healthy New Year.

12.16.2013 Blog, Corporate, Litigation No Comments

Avoiding Small Business Mistakes: Shareholder Agreements & Partnership Agreements

Every so often we receive a phone call from a troubled business owner regarding a disagreement in the governance of a business venture that involves one or more shareholders or partners.  More often than not, the problem is these shareholders and partners never entered into a shareholder agreement or partnership agreement that essentially would have laid out the general governance of the business including daily operations, distribution, salaries,  loans, and each of the shareholder’s or partner’s duties and responsibilities with respect to the business.

Unfortunately, most of the time there is really nothing that can be done (outside of aggressive litigation).  Unless the other shareholder or partner has done something which violates state law, or state rules and regulations, there’s very little nothing that can be done legally outside of litigation.  And litigation is sometimes costly and prohibitive and some business owners and partners don’t want to pursue litigation, which leaves the business at a standstill, and eventually leads to the demise of the business.

So what should persons seeking to create a new business venture do to avoid this dilemma? If you’re starting a new business venture and there are multiple shareholders or partners, always take the time to create a shareholder agreement or operating agreement between all of the shareholders or partners.  This one document can save the company as well as all shareholders and partners a significant amount of time and money avoiding litigation, and more importantly the document can be used as a roadmap in operating the business; all partners or shareholders duties, responsibilities, obligations to the business, time commitment to the business, general governance of the business, and general daily operations of the business can be facilitated through a shareholder agreement or partnership agreement.  The shareholder agreement or partnership agreement can also restrict the shareholders’ or partners’ ability to sell their stock or partnership interests to outside third parties (usually implementing a right of first refusal to the shareholders or partners), as well expressly permitting certain types of transfers (for example, transfers to family members).

Of course there are many issues that should be looked at and discussed when forming a new business and legal counsel should always be consulted prior to forming the initial business.  For more information on forming your new business in New York please call the New York corporate attorneys at Bashian & Papantoniou today.

12.13.2013 Blog, Intellectual Property, Litigation No Comments

U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin says Google Can Scan Author’s Books

Late last month, U.S. Circuit Judge Denny Chin, dismissed a lawsuit brought by authors against internet giant Google for digitally copying millions upon millions of books for an online repository/library without the author’s permission.  Judge Chin reasoned that Google’s digitization was “transformative,” meaning it gave the books a new purpose or character and that Google’s scanning of the author’s books – thereby making “snippets” of text available online, constituted fair use under U.S. copyright law. The argument made is that by allowing people to search for certain items that could be found in these scanned books, and then providing snippets of the text, the users are then able to decide on whether to purchase to the book (similar to what amazon.com does with its digital book previews, although amazon probably has agreements in place with the authors of those books, whereas Google does not).   Judge Chin also stated that Google Books provide[s] significant public benefits.  The authors guild disagrees and plans to appeal the decision.

11.04.2013 Blog, Entertainment, Intellectual Property, Litigation No Comments

Serial Cybsersquatting – A big victory for Pinterest

Pinterest, an online consumer social site which allows its users to gather images and other content and curate that content into collections called “pinboards,” won a major court battle, which included a $7.2 million judgment, against  a Chinese cybersquatter Qian Jin.  Qian Jin purchased hundreds of domain names similar to Pinterest.com (for example ptinterest.com, pinterest.de, pinterest.es, etc.)  “Cybersquatters” generally will purchase and register domains names that are identical or confusingly similar to the trademark of a rising brand in hopes to make money by advertising on, or selling products on,  web sites using these similar domain names.  The court agreed with Pinterest that Qian Jin was in fact cybsersquatting.

In 1999, the United States Congress passed the Anti-Cybersquatting Consumer Protection Act  (“ACPA”) to combat this type of behavior (even though the Lanham Act, which existed prior to the days of the internet, was in fact a preexisting law that trademark owners could use to protect their trademarks from exploitation by others).  Essentially, under the ACPA,  a trademark owner needed to prove that there was a bad faith intent by the infringing party to profit off the use of the similar domain names (i.e. the  intent to sell the similar domain names to the trademark holder, to keep the  trademark holder from using the domain names, to disrupt the trademark holder’s  business, or to cause consumer confusion.)  It was then up to the infringing party to show that they had a good faith reason to use the domain names (for example, a legitimate noncommercial or fair use of a domain name without intent for commercial gain to misleadingly divert consumers or tarnish the trademark).  If the infringing party could not establish a good faith reason on why it purchased the similar domain name, the trademark owner was entitled to take ownership of the the similar domains names, as well as the right to obtain statutory damages and reasonable  legal fees.

If you are in need of Cybersqautting Attorneys please contact Bashian & Papantoniou for a free consultation.

09.19.2013 Blog, Corporate, Criminal Defense, Litigation No Comments

Compliance with Fire Code Regulations | Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance

All businesses, individuals and residents in Nassau County are required to comply with the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance.  The Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance is enforced by the Nassau County Fire Marshal and individuals appointed by the Nassau County Fire Marshal to enforce the Nassau County Fire Prevention Ordinance (the “Nassau County Fire Code”).   

The Nassau County Fire Code establishes uniform regulations in conjunction with the recommendations of the Nassau County Fire Commission for the fire and life safety standards of Nassau County businesses, buildings, restaurants, residents and individuals.  The Nassau County Fire Code is also designed to implement the requirements for Nassau County fire detection and suppression systems, which include Fire Sprinkler Systems, Fire Alarm Systems, Fire and Smoke Detection Systems and Automatic Fire Extinguishing Systems.  The Nassau County Fire Code also sets forth the requirements for applications, fees, plans, inspection, testing and recognition of required life safety systems and equipment. 

As business owners, individuals and residents of Nassau County, it is required that you adhere to all provisions of the Nassau County Fire Code.  In fact, many times Nassau County business owners, individuals and residents are unfamiliar with the Nassau County Fire Code, and find themselves facing violations under the Nassau County Fire Code that carry substantial fines and/or potential criminal charges without the knowledge required to properly resolve such allegations.  

Many Nassau County business owners are also unaware that general rule for corporate representation is that corporations are “artificial entities” and must only appear in court through an attorney when confronting a Nassau County Fire Code violation.   Unfortunately, numerous Nassau County business owners are unaware of the requirement to appear by attorney until they are summoned to court and told to reappear on a future date with an attorney present.  Our team of Nassau County Fire Code Violations lawyers prides itself on representing the best interests of your Nassau County corporation, while allowing you to run your Nassau County business in an efficient manner.

At Bashian & Papantoniou, our Nassau County Fire Code Violations Attorneys can assist you in effectively resolving your Nassau County Fire Code violations by appealing such orders through the Nassau County Fire Marshal office or by appearing on your behalf in the Nassau County court assigned to hear and determine such Nassau County Fire Code violation.   In Nassau County, all Nassau County Fire Code violations are heard in Arraignment Room B of the District Court of Nassau County, at 99 Main Street, Hempstead, New York.   The Nassau County Fire Code Violations lawyers of Bashian & Papantoniou have a history of successfully representing business owners and restaurants charged with violations of the Nassau County Fire Code.

12.27.2012 Blog, Litigation No Comments

Class Certified in Medicaid Home-Care Services Reduction Case

The Southern District of New York certified a class for the class action suit against New York State’s Human Resources Administration based on the reduction of 24-hour home care services for people already receiving the service.  The class consists of, among others, current Medicaid recipients who are in the continuous 24-hour home care program and who have experienced threats of reduction or actual reduction of the home care service. The certified class claims the evaluation process for home care was used as “a policy and practice of arbitrarily and irrationally reducing or discontinuing Plaintiff’s…home care services.”

12.20.2012 Blog, Litigation, Personal Injury No Comments

Adderall Shortage Lawsuit | Adderall Shortage Attorneys

Adderall XR Shortage

Effected by the unavailability of generic Adderall XR due to the shortage?

Were you forced to purchase Adderall XR brand product because drug manufacturers failed to manufacturer generic versions of the drug?

Have you paid inflated prices for the Adderall XR brand product and deprived of the benefits from less expensive generic versions of the medicine?

Do you suffer from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (“ADHD”)?

Have you been unable to fill your generic Adderall XR prescription due to its unavailability?

Are you considering an Adderall shortage lawsuit?

Shire LLC and Shire U.S., Inc. (“Shire”) are pharmaceutical drug manufacturers that are alleged to have unlawfully excluded, impeded and restrained competition for a certain generic mixture of amphetamine salts that are sold as Adderall XR, which are commonly used in treating ADHD.   It is being claimed that Shire monopolized the market for Adderall XR  by falsely promising to provide generic manufacturers with the active pharmaceutical ingredients of Adderall XR  for purposes of inducing the settlement of patent litigation and enabling them to sell competing Adderall XR  products, while continuing to receive a royalty on such sales.   

As of late 2010, it has been published that Shire deliberately defaulted on such agreements for the anti-competitive purpose of impeding generic rivals so that users of the medication would be forced to purchase the Adderall XR brand product at inflated prices.   Thereby keeping cheaper generic versions of Adderall XR out of the market, decreasing competition and resulting in drastic increased in the price of prescription Adderall XR.  It has been reported that generic Adderall XR is in such short supply that users of the medication are unable to fill their prescriptions.  Many believe that an Adderall shortage lawsuit is impending.

The Adderall XR Shortage attorneys of Bashian & Papantoniou are currently investigating whether Shire has violated the laws by eliminating generic versions of Adderall XR from the marketplace. For more information or a free case evaluation on the Adderall shortage lawsuit, please contact our Adderall XR Shortage attorneys of Bashian & Papantoniou, P.C., by mail at 500 Old Country Road, Suite 302, Garden City, New York 11530 or by telephone at (516) 279-1554, or by email at contactbplaw@bashpaplaw.com, or visit our website at www.bashpaplaw.com

07.05.2012 Blog, Family Law, Litigation No Comments

Katie Holmes Seeks Split from Tom Cruise Under New York Law

It appears a legal battle is waiting in the wings to determine the proper venue for the divorce suit between actors Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, and custody over their daughter Suri.   According to New York state law, a couple must satisfy one of the following residency requirements to be divorced in New York:

  1. You or your spouse must have been living in New York State for a continuous period of at least two years immediately before the date you start your divorce action; OR
  2. You or your spouse must have been living in New York State on the date you start your divorce action and for a continuous period of at least one year immediately before the date you start the divorce action, and at least one of the following must also be true:
    1. Your marriage ceremony was performed in New York State; OR
    2. You lived in New York State with your spouse as married persons; OR
    3. You or your spouse must have been living in New York State for a continuous period of at least one year immediately before the date you start your divorce action and your grounds for divorce must have happened in New York State. (“Grounds” means a legal reason for the divorce); OR
    4. You and your spouse must be residents of New York State (no matter how long) on the date you start your divorce action, and your grounds for divorce must have happened in New York State. (“Grounds” means a legal reason for the divorce).

 Holmes is believed to have been renting an apartment in Manhattan just prior to her filing for divorce and also claims in her divorce papers that the former couple are residents of New York State.