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September 13, 2023 /by /General

We are pleased to announce that the Appellate Division, Second Department has affirmed a $2.47 million judgment in favor of our client after a bench trial in Westchester Supreme Court. Congratulations to our colleague Gregory Blue on this important and well-deserved win.

In the underlying action concerning the finances and ownership of a Westchester County hotel, the firm prevailed in a bench trial before the Hon. Linda S. Jamieson of the Westchester County Commercial Division. In Browne & Appel, LLC et al. v. Lichtschein et al, Index No. 50941/2015, Gregory Blue and Brian Cohen represented Sir Paul Realty, LLC (“SPR”) in its efforts to recover on a personal guarantee related to the unwinding of a 1031 transaction with defendant 455 Hospitality, LLC. After trial, Justice Jamieson determined that SPR was entitled to payment of the full amount demanded on the guaranty, as well as interest from the date of demand. The Court rejected the defendants’ argument that 455 Hospitality had effectively repaid the principal amount by crediting the capital account of Browne & Appel, a separate entity that is a member of 455 Hospitality. The plaintiffs also prevailed on two aspects of a declaratory judgment action. In one, the Court held that the members of 455 Hospitality are not required to contribute capital to the company because nothing in company’s Operating Agreement requires them to do so. On a separate point, the Court ruled in favor of plaintiff Browne & Appel, LLC that its ownership interest in the company is equal to that of the combined ownership interest of the two individual members.

Read the Appellate Division, Second Department’s DECISION ON APPEAL.

Read the Westchester Supreme Court’s DECISION_AND ORDER AFTER_TRIAL.