This week’s New York Business Divorce offers its annual Winter Case Notes with synopses of half a dozen recent decisions in business divorce cases involving minority shareholder oppression, books and records proceedings, and more.
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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…
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In a follow-up to last week’s New York Business Divorce, this week’s post addresses a second decision by Justice Saliann Scarpulla in the Yu family constellation of ilitigations, this time considering the fatal effects on standing to sue for statutory dissolution by assigning one’s stock voting rights.
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It’s common practice to convert old realty-holding general partnerships to LLCs for financing and liability purposes. Given that partnerships and LLCs are distinct entity forms governed by distinct statutes, can a pre-conversion partnership agreement nonetheless be enforced among the post-conversion LLC members? Find out in this week’s New York Business Divorce.
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Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla’s recent ruling in Poole v. West 111th Street Rehab Associates illustrates some of the difficult interpretive and factual issues that often accompany internal partnership disputes governed by the “old” Limited Partnership Act adopted by New York in 1922. This week’s New York Business Divorce explains.
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