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Commercial Division Blog

Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: March 25, 2021

One Motion Rule Bars Parties’ Second Motions for Summary Judgment

On March 19, 2021, the Fourth Department issued a decision in Magic Circle Films Intl., LLC v. Breon, 2021 NY Slip Op. 01673, holding that the one motion rule barred successive summary judgment motions, explaining:

Generally, successive summary judgment motions are disfavored absent newly discovered evidence or other sufficient cause. Here, we conclude that the court properly denied the parties’ successive motions because the parties’ submissions were not based on newly discovered evidence. Although on her second motion defendant submitted deposition testimony elicited after her first motion, that testimony did not constitute newly discovered evidence because it did not establish facts that were not available to defendant at the time she made her initial motion for summary judgment and which could not have been established through alternative evidentiary means. The court properly denied the motion of plaintiff and third-party defendants because they also failed to demonstrate that the evidence submitted in support of their second motion was unavailable to them at the time they made their first motion. Further, although this Court is not precluded from addressing the merits of a successive summary judgment motion that is not based on newly discovered evidence or lacks sufficient cause, we decline to exercise our discretion to reach the merits of the parties’ second motions.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

New York procedural law (including the special rules applying to litigation in the Commercial Division of the New York courts) is not particularly complex. Still, there are special procedural requirements, such as the one motion rule discussed above. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client have questions regarding New York practice, and particularly regarding the rules governing practice in the Commercial Division.

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