Justia Corporate Compliance Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in New York Court of Appeals
Blaudziunas v Egan
Plaintiffs commenced an action and moved for preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin defendants, the board of trustees, from demolishing a certain church building. At issue was whether section 5 of the Religious Corporations Law granted plaintiffs, former parishioners of the church incorporated as a religious corporation, the authority to challenge the board of trustees' decision to demolish the church. The court held that plaintiffs have no basis to challenge the actions properly voted upon by the board of trustees and sanctioned by the archbishop. Accordingly, the order of the Appellate Division was affirmed. View "Blaudziunas v Egan" on Justia Law
People v First Am. Corp.
This appeal arose out of an action commenced by the New York State Attorney General against defendants, seeking injunctive and monetary relief as well as civil penalties for violations of New York's Executive Law and Consumer Protection Act, Executive Law 63(12) and General Business Law 349, as well as the common law. The primary issue on appeal was whether federal law preempted these claims alleging fraud and violations of real estate appraisal independence rules. The court held that the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) governed the regulation of appraisal management companies and explicitly envisioned a cooperative effort between federal and state authorities to ensure that real estate appraisal reports comport with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The court perceived no basis to conclude that the Home Owners' Loan Act (HOLA) itself or federal regulations promulgated under HOLA preempted the Attorney General from asserting both common law and statutory state law claims against defendants pursuant to its authority under Executive Law 63(12)and General Business Law 349. Thus, defendants' motion to dismiss on the grounds of federal preemption was properly denied. The court also agreed with the Appellate Division that the Attorney General had adequately pleaded a cause of action under General Business Law 349 and that the statute provided him with standing. Accordingly, the order of the Appellate Division was affirmed. View "People v First Am. Corp." on Justia Law
ABN AMRO Bank, N.V., et al. v. MBIA Inc., et al.
This case stemmed from a dispute between MBIA Insurance Corporation (MBIA) and certain of its policyholders who hold financial guarantee insurance policies. The principal question presented was whether the 2009 restructuring of MBIA and its related subsidiaries and affiliates authorized by the Superintendent of the New York State Insurance Department precluded these policyholders from asserting claims against MBIA under the Debtor and Creditor Law and the common law. The court held that the Superintendent's approval of such restructuring pursuant to its authority under the Insurance Law did not bar the policyholders from bringing such claims. Accordingly, the court held that the order of the Appellate Division should be modified, without costs, in accordance with the opinion.
Bessemer Trust Company, N.A. v. Francis S. Branin, Jr.
Plaintiff sued a former employee after a number of the former employee's clients left plaintiff's wealth management and investment advisory firm for the firm that the former employee currently works at. The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit certified the following question for the court: "What degree of participation in a new employer's solicitation of a former employer's client by a voluntary seller of that client's good will constitutes improper solicitation?" In answering the certified question, the court continued to apply its precedents in Von Breman v. MacMonnies and Mohawk Maintenance Co. v. Kessler and held that the "implied covenant" barred a seller of "good will" from improperly soliciting his former clients. The court also held that, while a seller may not contact his former clients directly, he may, "in response to inquiries" made on a former client's own initiative, answer factual questions. The court further held that the circumstances where a client exercising due diligence requested further information, a seller may assist his new employer in the "active development... of a plan" to respond to that client's inquires. Should that plan result in meeting with a client, a seller's "largely passive" role at such a meeting did not constitute improper solicitation in violation of the "implied covenant." As such, a seller or his new employer may then accept the trade of a former client.