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Last May, the Court of Appeals handed down a 4-3 decision in 159 MP Corp. v Redbridge Bedford, 33 N.Y.3d 353 (2019). The facts and opposing opinions were faithfully reported at length in many publications [including this one, as well as] the New York Law Journal’s June 18, 2019 Court of Appeals Roundup column by William T. Russell Jr. and Lynn K. Neuner. I have concluded, however, that further comment and analysis is warranted on the three-judge dissent, which, if adopted by the majority, would have fundamentally altered the very foundation of New York contract law. The court has, for many decades, consistently adhered to interpretive approaches focused on enforcing the contracting parties’ intent, as revealed in the plain language set forth within the four corners of an agreement. In sharp contrast, the dissent advanced a novel, policy-based means of adjudicating contract disputes that would put an end to the predictability and stability that have become hallmarks of New York contract law, and the reasons why contracting parties have so often specified application of New York law in their agreements.
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By Peter E. Fisch and Mitchell L. Berg
The purpose behind rent reset clauses is simple — to capture any change in the fair market value (and fair market rental value) of the leased property. However, the application of rent reset clauses in practice is anything but simple, and the consequences of such clauses can be significant.
By Jeffrey B. Steiner and Scott A Weinberg
Federal programs have made insurance more readily accessible to protect real property in the event of a flood or an act of terrorism. These programs enable flood and terrorism insurance to be widely available at realistic price points by ensuring that the amount of the premiums payable for such insurance remain at a level that a borrower can afford, which in turn preserves the underwritten economics of the loan transaction.
By Steven M. Silverberg
A landowner challenged local zoning that banned holding a three-day music festival, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional violation of free speech and void for vagueness.
By Carmen Contreras-Martinez
Because bankruptcy can add significant expenses and increase the time it takes to remove a delinquent tenant, landlords should not allow tenants to fall far behind on rental payments. Here are some tips on how to address the issues raised by a bankrupt tenant.