Like business divorce, New York trusts and estates litigation (“T&E”) is a highly specialized niche of the law. T&E litigators have their own universe of substantive law, their own set of procedural rules – the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, and their own courts – the Surrogate’s Court. Each and every one of the 62 counties in the State of New York has a Surrogate’s Court. So specialized is New York T&E litigation that, at our firm, we have an entire group of lawyers devoted to it exclusively, with their very own sister blog, New York Trusts & Estates Litigation.
The point of all this is not to fluff our T&E lawyers or their blog, but rather, to set the stage for this week’s post, emanating from a recent decision by Manhattan Surrogate Nora S. Anderson addressing an important recurring issue: the jurisdictional power of Surrogate’s Court to resolve seemingly-quintessential business divorce disputes typically resolved in Supreme Court.
Business Interest Ownership Claims in Surrogate’s Court
Business divorce cases most often find their way into Surrogate’s Court because the owner of a business – be it a general or limited partner, corporate shareholder, or LLC member – has died, and his or her former ownership interest must be litigated as part of the settlement of his or her affairs after death. Occasionally the outcome of a business divorce case will depend heavily, or even exclusively, upon the outcome of litigation in Surrogate’s Court. Continue Reading Business Divorce in the Surrogate’s Court