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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: June 8, 2019

Despite Alleged Participation of New York Parties in Fraud, New York Found to be Inconvenient Forum

On June 4, 2019, the First Department issued a decision in Rodionov v Redfern, 2019 NY Slip Op. 04328, holding that notwithstanding the alleged participation of New York parties in a fraud, New York as an inconvenient forum, explaining:

The court correctly dismissed the complaint on grounds of forum non conveniens. The court properly balanced the factors set forth in Islamic Republic of Iran v Pahlavi (62 NY2d 474, 479 [1984], cert denied 469 US 1108 [1985]) in finding New York to be an inconvenient forum for the dispute. Although defendants employed a New York limited liability company and a New York investment account in carrying out the alleged fraudulent scheme, the bulk of the fraudulent transactions occurred in Cyprus, with most of the litigants and witnesses being domiciled or located there. Given the lack of a substantial nexus to New York, litigating the dispute here would impose a burden on New York courts. Further, Cyprus is an adequate alternative forum for litigating the dispute.

(Internal citations omitted).

Disputes regarding commercial contracts involving international parties end up being heard in New York courts. Even if the court has the power to assert jurisdiction of the parties, it can, under the forum non conveniens doctrine discussed above, dismiss the dispute so it can be heard in a forum that is more convenient for the parties. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client face a situation where you are unsure whether New York is the appropriate forum in which a dispute should be heard.

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