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In this week’s New York Business Divorce, we tackle one of the most spectacular and well-publicized business falling-outs of modern times: Michael D. Cohen’s departure from the Trump Organization LLC, his resulting criminal conviction, and his cooperation with the Federal Government’s various investigations into activities surrounding former President Trump J. Trump. As an alleged former officer of the Trump Organization, Cohen sued the company for indemnification under its operating agreement for millions of dollars in legal fees resulting from the sprawling array of civil, administrative, and criminal proceedings against him. Learn how Cohen’s claims were resolved in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading The Outer Limits of LLC Indemnification: Michael Cohen v Trump Organization

In this week’s New York Business Divorce, read about a recent appeals court decision in which an elderly male business founder alleged he was ousted from the company and his reputation smeared based upon false allegations of sexual harassment allegedly solicited by a hostile male CEO. Do these allegations equate to a viable claim for breach of fiduciary duty against the CEO? Find out in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading #MeToo and Business Divorce: The Flip Side

In this week’s New York Business Divorce, we consider a recurring problem with LLC operating agreements: enforceability of the writing when it is unexecuted or partially executed. A growing body of case law finds such agreements at least potentially enforceable absent an expression of intent to the contrary. Read about that issue, and related issues of due execution of operating agreements, in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading Cooked or Raw? Enforceability of Partly Signed Operating Agreements

In this week’s New York Business Divorce, read about the history and development of the doctrine of tax estoppel, including two strands of competing case law emanating from a pair of New York State Court of Appeals decisions reaching opposite conclusions about the extent to which one may prove ownership status in a closely-held business based upon estoppel.
Continue Reading The Doctrine of Tax Estoppel in Ownership Status Disputes

In this week’s New York Business Divorce, read about the plight of a Brooklyn beer brewing company founder whose co-members allegedly attempted to “freeze out” his interest by way of a forced dilution and ouster from management, and his efforts to fight back with a start-of-the-case preliminary injunction motion.
Continue Reading Court Enjoins Dilution of Brewing Company LLC Membership Interest

In this week’s New York Business Divorce, a would-be LLC dissolution plaintiff goes down swinging on an unanswered complaint within an unopposed motion for a default judgment, just the latest example of New York courts closely scrutinizing the merits of LLC dissolution claims at the pleadings stage.
Continue Reading Swing and a Miss: Unopposed LLC Dissolution Claim Denied

A hot topic of late, the viability in New York of common-law dissolution of limited liability companies is cast into doubt by a new decision, the third in a series from Brooklyn Commercial Division Justice Leon Ruchelsman. Read about it, and where the case law may go from here, in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading Common-Law and Equitable LLC Dissolution: Going, Going, . . .

In this week’s New York Business Divorce, companion appellate decisions issued last week in the long running Kassab v Kasab litigation emphasize the fundamental legal differences between corporate and LLC dissolution, with allegations of majority “oppression” sufficient to grant dissolution in one case, but so insufficient as to require pre-answer dismissal in the other.
Continue Reading To Dissolve or Not to Dissolve, that is the Question. The Answer is Both.

In this week’s New York Business Divorce, we consider a recent appellate decision addressing the effectiveness of LLC operating agreement “exculpatory” clauses to shield the company’s managers or members from personal liability for misconduct. With the latest decision, the roster of New York appeals court cases to consider this important legal issue grows from a trio to a quartet.
Continue Reading “Intentional” Breach of Fiduciary Duty Defeats Operating Agreement’s Exculpatory Clause