FindLaw Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 05/07/07

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CIVIL PROCEDURE, CONTRACTS, ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, EVIDENCE

Muriel Siebert & Co., Inc. v. Intuit Inc., No. 48
In case arising from a strategic alliance agreement between a discount brokerage and a financial software maker, reversal of order disqualifying defendant's attorneys from the case, requiring destruction of all notes from interview with former employee of plaintiff, and enjoining defense counsel from communicating the information they learned during the interview to others, is affirmed as disqualification of defense counsel is not warranted where measures were taken to steer clear of privileged or confidential information and, thus, adversary counsel may conduct ex parte interviews of an opposing party's former employee.

CONTRACTS, CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW

Bailey v. Fish & Neave, No. 61
In case involving the propriety of an amendment to a law firm partnership agreement affecting compensation to withdrawing partners and passed by a majority of the shares in interest of the partnership, dismissal of complaint brought by withdrawing partners is affirmed as, under the agreement, all questions related to the partnership may be decided by a majority vote and the partnership agreed to be bound by the "decision of the majority" on all partnership questions.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE, PER CURIAM

People v. Person, No. 66
Conviction and sentence for multiple counts of robbery in the first and second degrees are affirmed over claim that the trial court's preclusion of videotaped statements of defendant's accomplices was erroneous as a matter of law as Supreme Court failed to recognize that the jury could not reliably gauge the credibility of the witnesses without viewing their demeanor and hearing their voices during the police interviews.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

People v. Rosas, No. 59
Conviction and sentence for first degree murder for causing the deaths of two individuals during the same criminal transaction are affirmed as the Appellate Division correctly held that the imposition of consecutive sentences on the first degree murder convictions violated Penal Law section 70.25 (1) and (2) since there was an identical "act" underlying both counts of murder in the first degree.

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