Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Shock the Conscience

In a decision of likely interest to defense counsel, Judge Howard S. Miller of the District Court, Nassau County, Hempstead Part issued a Decision/Order concerning settlement stipulations often done by the law firm of Israel, Israel & Purdy, LLP. See Omega Diagnostic Imaging, P.C. v State Farm Mut. Ins. Co., 2007 NY Slip Op 51405(U) (Dist. Ct., Nass. Cty., 2007). Typically, Israel puts a clause in their settlement stips that provide that, should the settled-for amount not be paid within 30 (or however many) days, judgment will be entered for the full amount demanded in the Complaint, including full statutory interest, et al.

Judge Miller held (correctly, in my opinion) that there is no basis to stay enforcement of the portion of the stipulation in question. The Court cited to ABCO Refrigeration Supply Corp. v Designs by Keiser Corp., 239 A.D.2d 165 (1st Dep't, 1997) for the proposition that, there being no allegation of fraud, mistake, etc., there is no basis to vacate a stipulation that essentially calls for the defendant to pay the full amount of the Complaint.

State Farm, by Picciano & Scahill, P.C., cited to some Second Department case law for the proposition that unconscionable stipulations should not be enforced. Judge Miller found State Farm's cited case law to be distinguishable and/or sui generis. In any event, Judge Miller found that $2,578, the difference between the settled-for amount and the amount of the judgment, did not shock the Court's conscience.

Those Israel settlement stips are potentially dangerous, to be sure, but things would work a lot more smoothly on a lot of fronts if the carriers made payments quickly, anyway.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Barnes & No-fault

According to the sidebar on David M. Gottlieb, Esq.'s blog, No-Fault Paradise, he's currently re-reading David Foster Wallace's 1996 novel 'Infinite Jest'. I admire that Mr. Gottlieb is still able to get any reading done; I have had a tough time of keeping at it since law school. I also admire that he has been able to finish 'Infinite Jest' (more than once?) and wants to go back for more. I tried starting it a few times, the most recent being August 14, 2003, when the Northeast had a blackout. Somehow it fails to grab me enough. I found Wallace's debut novel, 1987's 'The Broom of the System,' to be a bit more agreeable. I think I finished it, or at least came close.

As to my avoidance of 'Infinite Jest,' I would confess that I am afraid of Big Important Novels, but I don't think it's true. I spent much of my law school years (and tapering off thereafter) chewing up books like 'J R' and 'A Frolic of his Own' by William Gaddis (I think I got through the first chapter or two of 'The Recognitions' at one point), most everything by Don DeLillo, Thomas Pynchon's 'V.', most of the core works of Thomas Bernhard (which I guess don't quite qualify as 'big'), and even wannabe fare like Jonathan Franzen's 'The Corrections.' Then again, despite owning perhaps several hundred books, I can no longer seem to sit down and actually read any. Oddly enough, the subway commute I had during most of law school (Williamsburg<-->Greenwich Village) provided an ideal, structured time for plowing through books at a decent pace.


I just wanted to bring to the top a comment posted last night to an old post on this blog:

At Tuesday, July 17, 2007 8:45:00 PM, Anonymous said...

Things have been heating up in the Carothers, Sher, Chess and Rasputin arena as the connections we all know exist are surfacing so ever slightly...What an industry this No Fault Insurance is Very challenging to prosecutors and law enforcement..sometimes too challenging LOL

While one of those references may seem a bit obtuse, it does all fit together, one way or another. I have no clue who our anonymous commenter is, but he/she is more than welcome to continue contributing, preferably to more recent and visible posts. :)