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PRESIDING JUSTICE: Hon. Richard Platkin

Romanoff v. Center for Rheumatology, LLP (Albany County, J. Platkin - 5/24/16)
“Distributable Goodwill” Possibly Available to Departing Partners in the Absence of Implied or Express Agreement to the Contrary
Justice Platkin determined that there is a question of fact as to whether the goodwill of the medical professional partnership is a distributable asset in Romanoff. The partners taking over the practice failed to affirmatively demonstrate that the medical center lacked the ability to attract patients as a result of its name, location and reputation. The Court also ruled that, at the summary judgment stage of the litigation, there was no evidence of an express agreement between the plaintiff doctor and his former partners that excluded goodwill from the practice’s distributable assets. Reciting the Court of Appeals’ decision in Matter of Brown, 242 N.Y. 1 (1926), the Court emphasized that “[g]ood will, when it exists as incidental to the business of a partnership, is presumptively an asset to be accounted for.”

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