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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
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Posted: February 17, 2014

Court Denies Motion for Permissive Venue Change from New York County to Nassau County

On February 5, 2014, New York County Commercial Division Justice Friedman issued a decision in W.S. Corp. v. Cullen and Dykman LLP, 2014 NY Slip Op. 30353(U), denying a motion for change of venue from New York County to Nassau County.

In W.S. Corp., the court granted in part a motion to dismiss former clients’ legal malpractice claims against a law firm. This post focuses on a separate, procedural issue: the defendant’s motion to change venue from New York County to Nassau County. The court denied the motion in an opinion that should be instructive to any counsel arguing for a change of venue of the approximately 20 miles between the New York County and Nassau County Courthouses:

Defendant seeks a discretionary change of venue to Nassau County, pursuant to CPLR 510(3), for the convenience of witnesses. Defendant fails to make any showing in support of its assertion that Jeffrey, who suffers from a physical disability, can travel from his home in Manhasset to a court in Nassau County, but cannot travel the slightly longer distance to Manhattan. Nor does defendant show that the other witnesses, most of whom reside in Nassau, will be materially inconvenienced by a trial in New York County. Based on defendant’s failure to make the detailed evidentiary showing that the convenience of non party witnesses would be served by the requested change of venue, such change should be denied.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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