Caution! Severly Deficient Record on Appeal Can Lead to Sanctions

on April 16, 2014 by John Tenaglia

Recently a litigant got hit with sanctions by a New York appellate court for filing a deficient record on appeal, a cautionary tale that sloppy lawyering can lead to a significant monetary penalty. The Supreme Court of New York County entered a judgment in Getty Properties Corp v. Getty Petroleum Marketing, decided on March 27, 2014, awarding plaintiffs $260, 657.58, plus interest. Interestingly, the court also awarded sanctions against the defendants, jointly, directing that a hearing be held to ascertain plaintiffs’ damages, legal fees and expenses. Lastly, the court enjoined the defendants or any lawyer acting on their behalf from initiating any action in any court related to the subject matter of the lawsuit without prior approval of the court.

The lawsuit was for use and occupancy, contractual indemnification and breach of guarantee. Plaintiffs were awarded summary judgment and, to the extent defendants’ claims were not resolved, the motion court rejected them.

In appealing the lower court’s decision, the defendant’s record was so deficient that the plaintiff moved to dismiss the appeal. The First Department, however, permitted the plaintiff to file a supplemental record, and then affirmed the Supreme Court.  In doing so, the Court found that the defendant’s record was so insufficient and lacking that it sent the case back to the trial Court to determine how much the defendants had to pay the plaintiff for preparing the supplemental record and their legal fees for their motion to dismiss the appeal based on the deficient record.

Don’t get caught with a deficient record on appeal. Retain the experienced trial attorneys at Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt, P.A. Or, if you have questions regarding your ability to appeal a judgment, call us for the advice you need.

The attorneys at Slater, Tenaglia, Fritz & Hunt, P.A., provide clients with experienced legal representation.  We handle many types of business disputes on behalf of corporate clients, including Fortune 500 Corporations and individuals throughout New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and nationally. Our attorneys handle cases from pre-litigation negotiations through litigation to obtaining and enforcing judgments.  If you need assistance, or are interested in learning more, please contact us by phone at (201) 820-6001 in New Jersey or (212) 692-0200 in New York. We can also be found on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and the Internet. All initial consultations are free of charge.