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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 Carol A. Sigmond
New York City is seeing an upsurge of deed theft. Attorneys, architects, title companies, real estate brokers, agents, contractors, developers and construction managers need to be alert to this potential issue when blocks of properties are assembled for development in these neighborhoods.
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For all intents, 2019 has been good for commercial real estate. 2020, at least for the first half, promises much of the same. That is not to say that the CRE environment will be stagnant; as always there will be changes. Some of these will be subtle while others may well be more ground shaking — and likely due to outside circumstances.
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