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Victory Report

Gupta v. Leung,
2012 WL 6027696 (App. Div, Dec. 5, 2012)

Alan R. Levy is proud to announce a victory in the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey, Appellate Division, where the appellate court affirmed a lower court order dismissing all claims against our client, a purchaser of a $1,850,000 newly constructed home. Additionally, the appellate court affirmed the lower court’s order compelling the return of a $185,000 deposit to our client. Mr. Levy of the Buckley Law Group served as co-counsel with the office of Weiss & Weiss, LLC on the summary judgment and appeal. A copy of the decision is attached.

Although New Jersey law has long held that a party must usually serve a “time of the essence” notice before a real estate contract can be voided (Paradiso v. Mazejy, 3 N.J. 110, 114-15 (1949)), the appellate court noted that when a contract provides one party with the unilateral right to cancel the contract after the other party fails to meet a contractual deadline, that contractual deadline acts as a “time of the essence” notice. See Ridge Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, Inc. v. Scarano, 238 N.J. Super 149, 155-56 (App. Div. 1990). Hence, the seller/builder was obligated to return the $185,000 deposit to our client.

This decision confirms our firm’s belief that a balanced strategy of aggressive and cost-effective litigation in both the trial and appellate courts will often lead to successful results for our clients.

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Alan Levy, senior attorney in the New York office has published a featured article for the Defense Research Institute (DRI), on the recent Internet/Media reaction to the Progressive Insurance/Fisher claim controversy and how it was caused, in large part, by the specific insurance statutory/regulatory framework found only in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. Please see full article under Legal Alerts.


MFR Coverage on Large Fleets on Long Term Lessors

Pedroli v. Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC, et al.
___ N.Y.S.2d. ___, 2012 N.Y.Slip.Op 02656 (2nd Dept., April 10, 2012)

Buckley Law Group is proud to announce a significant victory in the Supreme Court
of the State of New York, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, whereby
the appellate court reversed a lower court order and dismissed all claims against
our client, a motor vehicle long-term lessor. The ruling is the first published
decision in New York which holds that long-term motor vehicle lessors are not obligated by VTL §370 to provide Minimum Financial Responsibility liability insurance limits to lessees, unlike as is the case with regard to short term, “rental vehicles.”

On May 6, 2008, in Long Island, New York, a severe motor-vehicle collision occurred resulting in one fatality and several people injured. In addition to a wrongful death claim, numerous personal injury and property damage claims were filed against the at-fault driver, who was operating a leased vehicle at the time of the collision. However, the lessee’s automobile insurance carrier had previously cancelled coverage due to non-payment of premiums; and, as a result, plaintiffs sought recovery against the owner/lessor as well as the lessee.

A recent federal statute bars vicarious liability against vehicle lessors, 49 U.S.C. § 30106(a) (“The Graves Amendment”), but here the plaintiffs also argued that the Graves Amendment does not exempt lessors from NY’s Minimum Financial Responsibility (MFR) statute, which requires that all vehicles licensed in New York have at least $25,000/50,000 in liability coverage. The court unequivocally held, however, that New York’s MFR statute, VTL §370, only applies to “rental vehicles” and not “leased vehicles.” The impact of this decision on long-term motor vehicle lessors cannot be understated. The cost to provide even MFR coverage on large fleets of long-term leased vehicles is very significant.

Alan Levy of the firm’s New York office was primarily responsible for bringing about this pro-industry result. We take pride in our history of achieving successful results such as these, and we look forward to future results.


Buckley Law Group is pleased to announce their sponsorship of the Mahaffey Theatre Foundation.

Buckley Law Group is sponsoring the Mahaffey Theatre Foundation!

The firm endeavors to participate in worthy causes in the community. The Mahaffey is one of the prominent entertainment centers in the downtown St. Petersburg area, and participates in many charitable organizations.

The Mahaffey is managed by Big 3 Entertainment and is spearheaded by Bill Edwards.

Buckley Law Group as an integral part of St. Petersburg welcomes opportunities to participate in organizations that benefit the local community and beyond.


Insurance Subrogation/Indemnification Victory Report.

Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, N.A. v. Sacks – 08 Civ. 563 & 08 Civ. 8902 – 2010 WL 3737915 (S.D.N.Y. 2010)

Buckley & Curtis partner Michael B. Buckley and Alan R. Levy are pleased to report a significant summary judgment victory in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York. On September 24, 2010, The Hon. Laura Taylor Swain, U.S.D.J. granted our motion on behalf of plaintiff, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, N.A. against Douglas L. Sacks in the amount of $975,000 plus interest and counsel fees. The addition of fees and interest will easily exceed $1million on behalf of our client.

This insurance subrogation/indemnification matter arose from a 2003 motor vehicle accident in New York City. Defendant, Douglas L. Sacks struck a vehicle causing severe personal injuries to a passenger who received a settlement of $1.275million. Sacks, a managing director at Goldman Sacks investment firm, was operating a leased vehicle only had personal automobile liability insurance of $300,000. Pursuant to NY VTL § 388, Allianz was compelled to contribute $975,000 towards the underlying settlement. Pursuant to the lease agreement, Sacks was obligated to indemnify Allianz for the amount of the settlement plus counsel fees. Unsurprisingly, Sacks sought to avoid his contractual and common-law obligation; thus forcing this federal action. Judge Swain’s decision was nothing short of a complete and total victory for Allianz. Not only did the court find in favor of Allianz’s contractual and common-law indemnification rights, but the court also held that the $975,000 settlement was reasonable as a matter of law; thus dispensing with the need for a trial as to the validity and reasonableness of the underlying settlement. Significantly, the court also rejected the defendant’s anti-subrogation rule argument.

This decision dispels the conventional wisdom that an insurance carrier cannot prevail against an individual. In fact, it is the ideology of this firm that insurance carriers (like individuals) are also entitled to equal protection under the law. Hence, we take pride in our history of achieving successful subrogation results such as these on behalf of insurance carriers, and look forward to future results.


Product Manufacturers and Distributors Finding Limited Respite in Statutes of Repose By Alan R. Levy

read DRI Statute of Repose article >>

read DC Chart >>


Million Dollar Advocate Forum Certifies Michael B. Buckley as a Life Member:   

The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is pleased to announce that attorney Michael B. Buckley of St. Petersburg FL has been certified as a life member of both the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. The Million Dollar Advocates Forum is recognized as one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers

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