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Appeal Dismissed Even With Fraud Allegation

Appeal Lost Due to Failure to Provide an Adequate Record

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In an action to recover damages for personal injuries, the defendant Myrtle 6, LLC, appealed from an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County (Lawrence S. Knipel, J.). The order, insofar as appealed from, denied those branches of the motion of the defendant Myrtle 6, LLC to stay the trial ,to vacate the note of issue, and to compel discovery.

The Appellate Court, in Jay Bing v. Myrtle 6, LLC, 2024 NY Slip Op 02516, No. 2022-03586, Index No. 519239/16, Supreme Court of New York, Second Department (May 8, 2024) resolved the appeal after finding the record on appeal to be inadequate.

FACTS

The plaintiff commenced this action against the defendant Myrtle 6, LLC and another defendant to recover damages for personal injuries. The defendant moved to stay the action, vacate the note of issue, and compel discovery. The Supreme Court issued a stay of trial and granted leave for the defendant to amend its answer and allege various fraud defenses.

The defendant alleged that there was a related criminal case pending against the plaintiff’s previous attorney in connection to an insurance fraud scheme. Although the defendant’s affirmation in support of its motion stated that the details of the fraud scheme were outlined in prior motions with exhibits, none of the prior motions or exhibits were included in the record on appeal.

In an order after oral arguments the Supreme Court inter alia, denied those branches of the defendant’s motion which were to stay the trial, to vacate the note of issue, and to compel discovery.

ANALYSIS

It is the obligation of the person seeking to appeal a judgment, the appellant, to assemble a proper record on appeal. Generally speaking, a

n appellant’s record on appeal must contain all of the relevant papers before the Supreme Court. In New York and every other state, appeals that are not based upon complete and proper records must be dismissed.

The appellate court observed that the record provided to it by the appellant was inadequate for meaningful appellate review. The appellant failed to include all relevant documents that were before the Supreme Court (the trial court). The record failed to include the exhibits allegedly demonstrating that the plaintiff’s former counsel was involved in a fraud scheme. Since these omissions have rendered meaningful appellate review of the court’s order virtually impossible, the appeal must be dismissed.

ZALMA OPINION

When a plaintiff’s lawyer is under arrest for insurance fraud the right of an injured party to establish a claim against the defendant becomes problematic. The appeal of the order could have been effective but failed because the record on appeal was inadequate. The Appellant is not without a remedy, the defendants can sue their lawyers for malpractice.

(c) 2024 Barry Zalma & ClaimSchool, Inc.

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