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Hon. Saliann Scarpulla

Universal Investment Advisory, SA, et al. v Bakrie Telecom PTE, Ltd., et al. (NY County, J. Scarpulla – 4/18/16)
Commercial Division Refuses to Bind Non-Signatories to a Forum Selection Clause
Justice Saliann Scarpulla held that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over a company’s commissioners, directors, and controlling shareholders in their individual capacities. Rejecting the plaintiffs’ argument that these individual defendants were bound by the New York forum selection clause contained in notes, guarantees and an indenture, by virtue of the “closely-related” theory, the Court found no “objective evidence of their intent to be bound.”
-Universal Investment Advisory, SA, et al. v. Bakrie Telecom PTE, Ltd., et al., 2016 NY Slip Op 50631(U) (Sup. Ct., NY County Apr. 18, 2016)
-Key Terms: Forum Selection Clause, Personal Jurisdiction, Motion to Dismiss, Closely-Related Theory

The Irish Dairy Bd. Cooperative Ltd. v Pryor Cashman LLP (NY County – J. Scarpulla - 4/19/16)
Legal Malpractice Action Arising Out of Human Resources Audit Survives Motion to Dismiss
The defendant law firm, Pryor Cashman, was hired to provide plaintiffs with a labor and employment audit of its human resource practices and policies in the United States. After the audit, one of the plaintiffs was sued in a class action for violations of California wage and hour laws. Plaintiffs brought a legal malpractice action against defendant for failing to properly identify the issues for which it was sued. Justice Scarpulla granted Pryor Cashman’s motion to dismiss as to a number of plaintiffs due to the lack of an attorney-client relationship. However, Justice Scarpulla found that plaintiffs adequately alleged the existence of an attorney-client relationship between one of the plaintiffs and the defendant and plaintiffs sufficiently alleged the defendant’s failure to exercise the ordinary reasonable skill and knowledge commonly possessed by a member of the legal profession. The breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract causes of action were dismissed as duplicative of the legal malpractice cause of action.
-The Irish Dairy Bd. Cooperative Ltd. v. Pryor Cashman LLP, 2016 WL 1597762 (Sup. Ct., NY County Apr. 19, 2016)
- Key Terms: Legal Malpractice, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Breach of Contract, Labor and Employment Audit

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