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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: January 12, 2019

Reassignment to Different Justice Does Not Affect Effect of Prior Justice’s Rulings

On January 8, 2019, the First Department issued a decision in R&R Capital LLC v. Merritt, 2019 NY Slip Op. 00067, holding that its reassignment of a case to a different trial judge did not affect the prior trial judge’s rulings, explaining:

The scope and import of this Court’s decision in R & R Capital LLC v Merritt (78 AD3d 533 [1st Dept 2010], lv dismissed 17 NY3d 769 [2011]) was to reassign trial of the counterclaims to another Justice. This Court did so to address plaintiffs’ concerns about the previous Justice’s impartiality, but such concerns did not arise from his rulings as to the nature of members’ obligation to fund the LLCs. His rulings during proceedings on December 11, 2007 were not only supported by the language of the LLC agreement, but also consistent with his previous day’s reciprocal rulings as to plaintiffs’ claims against Merritt — rulings that no one claims were within the scope of our November 2010 order. Supreme Court accordingly went too far in deeming the entirety of the December 11, 2007 proceedings irrelevant to what it was permitted to consider.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).

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