On August 14, 2020, Justice Masley of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Advanced Alternative Media, Inc. v. Hindlin, 2020 NY Slip Op. 32680(U), holding that consolidation is inappropriate where the plaintiff in one action is a defendant in the other, explaining:
Hindlin’s request to consolidate this action with Jacob Kasher Hindlin v Prescription Songs LLC., et al., bearing index number 651974/2018 is denied. Consolidation is inappropriate where a party will be both a plaintiff and a defendant in the consolidated action. Because Hindlin is a defendant in this action, and a plaintiff in the other, he would be both a plaintiff and defendant in a consolidated action, and therefore, consolidation is inappropriate.
Consolidation is a useful tool to avoid duplication of effort when there are similar lawsuits. As this decision shows, a court may refuse to consolidate actions. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at email@example.com if you or a client have a question regarding whether two or more lawsuits can be consolidated.
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