In a split 3-2 decision last week, the Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed an order dismissing a claim to enforce an oral buy-out agreement involving a Delaware LLC as barred by the merger clause in a subsequently amended operating agreement that the plaintiff never signed. Read about it in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
Continue Reading New York Appellate Court’s Split Decision Involving Delaware LLC Pits “Harsh” Contractarianism Against “Fundamental Fairness”

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, learn if it’s possible to plead the existence of a viable oral partnership whose business operated in the form of a corporation or limited liability company. The short answer: yes it can be done, but it’s not easy to do.
Continue Reading The Oral Partnership Operating as a Corporation: Is it a Partnership? A Corporation? Can it be Both?

In this week’s New York Business Divorce, we tackle the rules governing enforceability of oral partnership, shareholder, and operating agreements, including a first-impression appeals court decision addressing the validity of an alleged oral modification of written limited partnership agreement under New York’s Revised Limited Partnership Act.
Continue Reading Enforceability of Oral Operating, Shareholder, and Partnership Agreements

Over the last several years, the books-and-records proceeding and its corresponding shareholder rights of inspection seem to have entered a bit of renaissance period in the courts. We here at New York Business Divorce have reported on at least nine decisions primarily addressing the topic since September 2014, going on record to proclaim the phenomenon as a “boost” for the summary proceeding, by which minority owners in closely-held businesses can get a window into the management and operation of the companies from which they’ve been shut out. We’ve even gone so far as to suggest that books-and-records proceedings may be “on a roll” of late, both in terms of an expansion what constitutes a “proper purpose” for bringing the proceeding, as well as in terms of the scope of information attainable.

That trend, at least with respect to the frequency with which issues related to inspection rights are being litigated, appears to be continuing into 2018. What follows are summaries of three of this year’s more notable decisions addressing inspection rights – all from Manhattan Supreme Court, as it happens.

But first, a quick refresher on the subject matter at hand…
Continue Reading Inspection Rights, Oral Operating Agreements, and Other Pop-Diva Delights

This week’s New York Business Divorce compares two recent New York and Delaware decisions reaching opposite results on the issue of amending LLC agreements without the unanimous consent of the members. You may be surprised to learn which state offers minority members greater protection.
Continue Reading Delaware Ruling Highlights Difference With New York Over Amending LLC Agreements

In an important ruling yesterday, the Delaware Supreme Court upheld application of the statute of frauds to oral LLC operating agreements. Today’s posting links to Professor Larry Ribstein’s analysis.

Continue Reading Delaware Supreme Court Upholds Application of Statute of Frauds to Oral LLC Operating Agreements