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Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. Rescues a Commercial Tenant From Eviction and a Nine Million Dollar Judgment

Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was retained as appellate counsel to prosecute an appeal for a commercial tenant who, as a result of making one late rent payment, had a judgment of possession entered against it as well as a subsequent money judgment for more than nine (9) million dollars for use and occupancy. The possessory judgment was granted on summary judgment.

Needing a vehicle to reverse the judgment and get the tenant to trial, the firm was able to successfully argue that the lower court had erroneously dismissed the tenant’s affirmative defense of equitable estoppel. Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. was able to show to the Appellate Term that such defense was viable because the tenant was confused as to which entity (the old landlord or the new net lessee) was supposed to receive the rental payment. As a result of our advocacy, the Appellate Term found that the “record evidence-particularly the interplay between the June 1, 2010 notice of adornment confusingly drafted by petitioner’s immediate predecessor and the payment terms of the May 2009 order issued in the related Supreme Court action between the parties-sufficient to raise triable issues as to whether, as alleged, the tenant’s isolated July 2010 rent default complained or resulted from a genuine uncertainty as to which of the two ownership entities designated in the attornment notice were authorized to collect the rent payments in question.”

Jeffrey R. Metz and Joanna C. Peck represented the tenant on appeal before the Appellate Term.

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