Jeffrey Basso, Esq. Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP

  • Sanctions Issued Against Party for Spoliation of Evidence

    By Jeffrey Basso, Esq. Email Jeff     Published in The Suffolk Lawyer, April 2017 A crucial issue for any business named in a lawsuit or that is on notice that it will be named in a lawsuit is the preservation of evidence, specifically electronically stored information (“ESI”).  Attorneys will typically send “litigation hold” letters to their own clients or opposing parties in litigation to ensure that all steps are taken to preserve all documents and ESI that could be relevant to the litigation.  Essentially, businesses are instructed that nothing should be deleted, removed, modified, etc. by anyone within the company while the litigation is pending.  ...

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    Monday, February 27th, 2017

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  • Shifting the Costs of Discovery

        Published in the Suffolk Lawyer, February 2017 By Jeffrey Basso, Esq. Email Jeff Clients embroiled in litigation are often very concerned with the overwhelming costs of discovery, especially when document production can involve sorting through thousands upon thousands of emails and other electronically stored documents to respond to the opposing party’s requests.  Generally speaking, litigants are responsible for their own discovery costs in litigation.  However, certain circumstances call for the shifting of those costs.  A recent decision out of the Commercial Division in Monroe County discussed the various factors courts will evaluate in determining whether to shift discovery costs to the party requesting the ...

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    Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

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  • Threatening to Withhold Commissions Can Render Non-Compete Agreement Unenforceable

    By Jeffrey Basso, Esq. Email Jeff October 26, 2016 Courts are often called upon to interpret the enforceability of restrictive covenants—such as non-compete, non-solicitation, and non-disclosure clauses—contained in employment agreements.  The vast majority of the case law dealing with the enforceability of these clauses often focuses on whether the restrictions are reasonably limited in time and scope, whether they are necessary to protect the employer’s legitimate business interests, and whether they unfairly restrict the employee from obtaining future employment in his or her chosen occupation.   What makes the recent decision from the Commercial Division in Albany County in Integra Optics, Inc. v. Messina ...

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    Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

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  • Goodwill in Partnership Valuations

    Published in the Suffolk Lawyer, December 2016 By Jeffrey Basso, Esq. Should “goodwill” be a component in in determining the value of a partnership?  The Commercial Division in Albany County recently tackled this issue in the case of Romanoff v. Center for Rheumatology, LLP, et al. (J. Platkin).  The Center for Rheumatology is a medical practice founded in the 1980s and plaintiff Norman Romanoff, M.D. is one of the founding partners.  In late 2013, Dr. Romanoff decided he wanted to retire and sought to dissolve the practice and receive payment for his interest in the practice.  Despite Dr. Romanoff’s attempts to obtain an ...

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    Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

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  • New York Court of Appeals Refuses to Extend Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege

    By Jeffrey Basso, Esq. E-mail Jeff Published in the Suffolk Lawyer, October 2016 Whether documents or communications are subject to the attorney-client privilege (and thus not subject to disclosure) is a frequently litigated issue.  Given the various factual scenarios that can affect what is or isn’t protected, such matters often require judicial interpretation. Generally speaking, once someone shares a privileged communication with a third party, the privilege is waived and the communication becomes fair game.  However, as with most general rules, there are exceptions.  One of the most frequent exceptions is the so-called “common interest doctrine.”  The basic premise is that a third party ...

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    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

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  • Attempt to Have Attorney Disqualified Denied by the Court in Corporate Valuation Case

    By Jeffrey Basso, Esq.  January 22, 2016 What happens when an attorney represents a corporate entity in the formation of that entity and then represents one of the shareholders in a corporate dissolution proceeding?  Should the attorney be disqualified because of the knowledge he/she obtained while forming the corporation?  Will that attorney be considered a necessary witness?  The Commercial Division in Suffolk County recently ruled on these issues deciding that, at least in this instance, the attorney should not be disqualified and would not be a witness. In Altungeyik v. Ayknat, et al. (J. Pines), Plaintiff shareholder commenced a shareholder’s derivative action/dissolution proceeding ...

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    Friday, January 22nd, 2016

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  • Court Rules Terminated Employee’s Stock Options Did Not Vest Upon Termination; Complaint Dismissed

    By Jeffrey Basso, Esq.  October 20, 2015 The Commercial Division in Monroe County, New York recently decided an interesting case, Kellman v. Document Security Systems, Inc. (Rosenbaum, J.), that dealt with a topic familiar to many employers: vesting of stock options to a terminated employee under an employment agreement. Defendant Document Security Systems, Inc. (“DSS”) develops, licenses, manufactures and sells anti-counterfeiting technology and products. Co-Defendant Secuprint, Inc. (“Secuprint”) is a subsidiary of DSS which was created to acquire assets of another company, DPI of Rochester LLC (“DPI”), a printing company owned by Plaintiff, Matthew Kellman, and another individual.  When DPI’s assets were acquired, ...

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    Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

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  • Court Holds Successor Corporation Liable For Judgment Against Defunct Entity

    By Jeffrey Basso, Esq.  September 25, 2015 In litigation, it is one thing to obtain a judgment against an individual or entity, but it is another thing to actually collect on that judgment. One scenario that often plays out occurs when a plaintiff has obtained a judgment against a business entity only to find out that the company is out of business and/or has transferred its assets and popped up under a different name.  This strategy is undertaken for obvious reasons – to avoid collection efforts on the judgment while continuing to do business under a different identity.  However, if you are ...

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    Friday, September 25th, 2015

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  • Legal Fees or No Legal Fees – Court Determines Reasonableness

    By Jeffrey Basso, Esq. May 20, 2015 Generally speaking, the two ways a party can recover attorneys’ fees if it is successful in litigation are: (1) by statute based on the claims asserted; or (2) by contract if the parties include a provision entitling the successful party to recover attorneys’ fees.  While parties often believe this entitles them to a dollar for dollar reimbursement for attorneys’ fees, Courts will award only “reasonable” attorneys’ fees.  Courts are often looked upon to analyze the reasonableness of attorneys’ fees.  A recent decision from the Commercial Division in Kings County provided a thorough analysis of the ...

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    Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

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  • Can an At-Will Employee Be Bound by a Pre-Dispute Resolution Agreement Contained Within a Non-Binding Employee Handbook?

    By Jeffrey Basso, Esq. March 18, 2015 Based on a recent decision from the Commercial Division in Westchester County (J. Scheinkman), the answer is yes.  The case of Graham, et al. v. Command Security Corporation was commenced as a class action by Richard Graham (“Graham”) on behalf of himself and all other security guards similarly situated against his former employer Command Security Corporation (“Command”).  Graham’s claims related to the alleged failure of Command to, inter alia, pay Graham and other security guards prevailing wages under New York Labor Law and other wage and hour law violations.  After Graham commenced the lawsuit in ...

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    Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

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