In the 25 or so years since New York adopted its Revised Uniform Limited Partnership Act, last month’s trial court decision in Levine v. Seven Pines Associates, L.P. may be the first to address issues attendant to a post-merger, dissenting limited partner appraisal proceeding. It’s featured in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
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Appraisal experts provide critical testimony in valuation proceedings. Court rules govern pretrial expert disclosure. In this week’s New York Business Divorce, you can bone up on the disclosure requirements and read about cases in which the parties paid a price for failing to comply with disclosure requirements.
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Someday, if and when the facts come out in discovery, we’ll learn what really happened in the curious case of Matter of Hu (Lowbet Realty Corp.), 2012 NY Slip Op 22314 (Sup Ct Kings County Nov. 2, 2012), in which a slippery minority shareholder somehow managed to sell the corporation’s sole realty asset and abscond with $1.6 million sale proceeds in violation of court order in a pending liquidation proceeding brought by the majority shareholder. In the meantime, the buyer and the property manager now find themselves ensnared in the majority shareholder’s effort to rescind the sale and to recover damages.

The court’s decision in Lowbet, issued earlier this month by Brooklyn Commercial Division Justice Carolyn E. Demarest, tells a remarkable story of brazen disobedience of court order by one Margaret Liu, a 25% shareholder of Lowbet Realty Corp. The decision also sheds light on an interesting, rarely seen procedural question in corporate dissolution proceedings, namely, whether the court may adjudicate within such summary proceedings a shareholder’s claim for relief against a third party who is neither a shareholder nor officer/director of the corporation, rather than being forced to commence a separate, plenary action by ordinary summons and complaint.

Background

The petitioner, Shau Chung Hu, was the 100% owner of Lowbet when, in 1980, it purchased a 19-unit apartment building in Brooklyn. In 1985, Hu married Margaret Liu and gave her a 25% stock interest in Lowbet. Mr. Hu and Ms. Liu separated in 1995, at which time Mr. Hu went to China where he has resided ever since, leaving Ms. Liu in full control over Lowbet.
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This week’s New York Business Divorce features a nuts-and-bolts issue concerning the limited availability of depositions and other discovery in corporate dissolution cases, prompted by a recent ruling on the subject by Nassau County Commercial Division Justice Timothy S. Driscoll in Matter of Kaufman (L.I. Yellow Cab Corp.).

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A fight over ownership of a Long Island marina leads to an order granting corporate dissolution and awarding counsel fees based on the controlling shareholders’ unreasonable denial of the petitioning shareholders’ 50% ownership. Read about Justice Stephen Bucaria’s decision in Rosenfeld v. Luccaro in this week’s New York Business Divorce.

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