Articles Posted in Custodian | Receiver | Special Fiscal Agent

LLC Receiver Attorney
A claim that one of the members has misappropriated assets of a limited liability company and ousted the other member from management is a “quintessential breach” of the fiduciary duties that may exist in a closely held business. It is not, however, grounds for the appointment of a receiver.

This decision of the New Supreme Court in Chen v. Dai, Index Co. 653601/2015 (New York County January 18, 2017) holds that the fact that a claim arises from the existence of a contract – in this case an operating agreement – it may also involve duties independent of the contract. The court finds in a decision on a motion dismiss that pleading that the plaintiff was a co-member of two New York limited liability companies is sufficient to state a cause of action.

LLC Member Misappropriation is Breach of Fiduciary Duty

Business Divorce Attorneys | Corporations
No one gets married expecting to get divorced.  And no one forms a business expecting that it will fall apart.  Just as people get divorced, many businesses come to the point at which a business divorce is the best alternative because the partners cannot, or will not, continue to work together.  When that happens, the parties need to restructure, and often separate, their business interests.

Business Divorce Defined

We use the term business divorce to describe a series of different types of lawsuits that involve the owners of a closely held business. The defining character of the business divorce is that co-owners of a business must separate their business interests.  There are typically two alternatives. In this article, we focus on the closely held corporation.  Some of the principles are similar with other types of businesses, which we address in other articles, but the application of the principles are often quite different.

dispute-management

A recent dispute involving the owners of a medical office building demonstrates, once again, how unexpected business governance issues can threaten an ongoing business.LLC-interest-over-tenants-233x300

This opinion from the Appellate Division, in New Jersey Realty Concepts, LLC v. Mavroudis, Docket No. A-2013-12T1 (App. Div. March 18, 2014)(opinion here), demonstrates how the failure to put a business enterprise into a business form with limited liability, be it a corporation, limited liability company or limited liability partnership, can make it impossible for the business to continue.

 

The case itself turned on the scope of authority of a special fiscal agent, which is a court appointee typically found in shareholder or limited liability company litigation. We’ll discuss this in more detail below.

Judgment Creditor Attaches LLC Interest in Rents

The real issue, however, is buried at the end of the opinion in which the Appellate Court held that a debtor could directly attach rents paid by the building tenants because the owners’ interest was itself assignable. And that is the big difference as far as asset protection goes – a joint tenancy offers no real protection to creditors.

Had the owners of the building placed it in some type of holding company, then the remedy against a debt owed by of one of the principals would have been much more limited — and would not have threatened the viability of the enterprise. Here, as a result of the form of the enterprise, a judgment creditor of one of the participants was able to levy against 60 percent of the rent roll, leaving the building itself apparently insolvent.

Had the building been held as a limited liability company, the best the judgment creditor could have done was a charging order against the individual interest of the member that was a judgment creditor. Similarly, in a corporation, the remedy would have been limited to the individual shareholder’s interest – assuming no buy-sell agreement restricted transfer.

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