Grounds for Dissolution

There are plenty of advantages to practicing business divorce litigation in New York.  The diversity of businesses and clients, complexity of agreements and transactions, and excellence of judges and attorneys make New York, in my view, the place to be for commercial litigators of all stripes.

One downside is the reality that crowded dockets and busy judges sometimes results in too terse decisions from the trial and appellate courts.  At the appellate level, hundreds of pages of evidence, and nuanced, extensively briefed legal theories are sometimes reduced to a one-line decision.  Not only do those one-liners inevitably leave the parties dissatisfied, but they also miss an opportunity to lend reasoned, precedential analysis to complex and unsettled questions of law.

But in some sense, that’s where the lawyers come in.  New cases can be won or lost in the grey areas created by brief appellate authority, and the sharpest lawyers will find the precedential value in even the shortest appellate decisions.

These few paragraphs are already much longer than the Fourth Department’s recent decision affirming dismissal of a shareholder’s claim for dissolution pursuant to BCL 1104-a in Kavanaugh v Consumers Beverages, Inc., 205 NYS3d 637 (4th Dept 2024).  But in a few words, the Fourth Department packs a punch in corporate dissolution jurisprudence.Continue Reading Termination, Adequate Alternative Remedies Sends Dissolution Proceeding Packing

On the menu for this week’s New York Business Divorce: five noteworthy business divorce cases from five different states.
Continue Reading Crossing the Hudson: Recent Business Divorce Decisions from Yonder States

This week’s New York Business Divorce presents a retrospective assessment of the state of New York law concerning LLC business divorce, including summaries of the most significant court decisions, adapted from a recent presentation at the Eileen Bransten Institute on Complex Commercial Litigation.
Continue Reading New York LLC Caselaw’s Greatest Hits

This week’s New York Business Divorce revisits the Eastland Food v Mekhaya case, focusing on last month’s Maryland Supreme Court’s split decision on whether the minority shareholder has a direct claim for breach of fiduciary duty based on alleged disguised distributions taken by the controlling shareholders.
Continue Reading Eastland Redux: Do Close Corporation Shareholders Have a Direct Claim Against Directors For Taking Disguised Distributions?

A recent Commercial Division ruling involving a realty holding LLC unable to develop its property raises interesting questions about whether the LLC can achieve its stated purpose under the standard for judicial dissolution. Learn more in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading And a Time to Every Purpose Under . . . the Operating Agreement?

Grandpa’s Brooklyn-based seltzer manufacturing business went flat, but his real estate investments went through the roof. This week’s New York Business Divorce features a case in which one of four third-generation owners unsuccessfully sued her brother and cousins for judicial dissolution in her quest to monetize her share of the realty’s value.
Continue Reading Minority Shareholder’s Petition to Dissolve Seltzer Business Loses Its Fizz