AMATO v. LEFFLER

Reset A A Font size: Print

Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York.

Giuseppe D'AMATO, et al., Appellants, v. Carolann LEFFLER, et al., Respondents.  (Action No. 1)

Blair International Corp., Plaintiff, v. 755 New York Avenue Associates, et al., Defendants.  (Action No. 2)

Decided: January 22, 2002

MYRIAM J. ALTMAN, J.P., THOMAS A. ADAMS, SANDRA L. TOWNES and A. GAIL PRUDENTI, JJ. Arthur L. Altman, White Plains, N.Y., for appellants. Lazer, Aptheker, Feldman, Rosella & Yedid, P.C., Melville, N.Y. (Zachary Murdock of counsel), for respondents Carolann Leffler, Roselyn Reiffman, Sidney Schwartz, Shirley Schwartz, Herbert Schwartz, Robert Leffler, Steven Leffler, Norman Reiffman, Soiffer Realty, Blanche Leffler, 100 North Village Avenue Associates, Daniel Schwartz, and Mitchell Reiffman.

In two related actions involving the dissolution of a partnership, the plaintiffs in Action No. 1 appeal, as limited by their brief, from so much of an order of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County (Gerard, J.), dated October 25, 2000, as denied their motion in Action No. 1 to vacate an arbitration award pursuant to CPLR 7511 and for appointment of a receiver, and denied their cross motion in Action No. 2, inter alia, to impose a sanction against the law firm of Lazer, Aptheker, Feldman, Rosella & Yedid, LLP.

ORDERED that the appeal from so much of the order as denied the plaintiffs' cross motion is dismissed, without costs or disbursements, since the complaint in Action No. 2 was dismissed;  and it is further,

ORDERED that the order is affirmed insofar as reviewed, without costs or disbursements.

 The Supreme Court properly denied the plaintiffs' motion to vacate the arbitration award.  “An arbitration award may not be vacated unless it is violative of a strong public policy, is irrational, or clearly exceeds a specific limitation on an arbitrator's power” (Matter of New York City Tr. Auth. v. Transport Workers Union of Am., 279 A.D.2d 474, 719 N.Y.S.2d 264, lv. granted 97 N.Y.2d 604, 736 N.Y.S.2d 308, 761 N.E.2d 1035 [2001];  see, Matter of Town of Callicoon, 70 N.Y.2d 907, 909, 524 N.Y.S.2d 389, 519 N.E.2d 300;  Matter of County of Westchester v. Alfonso, 244 A.D.2d 482, 664 N.Y.S.2d 114).   Here, the arbitration provision was broad and the only limitation on the arbitrators' powers was that they could not “alter, change, cancel or rescind any provision of th[e] agreement”.   No excess of authority was shown by the arbitrators' chosen mechanism for appointment of a liquidating entity to sell the dissolved partnership's sole asset.   While refusal to hear pertinent material evidence may constitute misconduct under CPLR 7511(b)(1) (see, Lewis v. County of Suffolk, 70 A.D.2d 107, 419 N.Y.S.2d 680), the record does not support the plaintiffs' contention that the arbitrators refused to hear relevant evidence.   The only evidence the arbitrators refused to hear related to the enforceability of the arbitration provision, which had previously been decided by the court.

Copied to clipboard