Posts tagged "Seafood"

Kiribati Seafood Company, LLC, et al. v. Dechert LLP (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-161-17)

NOTICE: All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports. If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   SJC-12287   KIRIBATI SEAFOOD COMPANY, LLC, & another[1]  vs.  DECHERT LLP.       Suffolk.     April 6, 2017. – October 11, 2017.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Lenk, Hines, Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, & Cypher, JJ.[2]     Attorney at Law, Malpractice, Negligence.  Negligence, Attorney at law, Proximate cause.  Proximate Cause.  Damages, Mitigation.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on July 1, 2013.   The case was heard by Kenneth W. Salinger, J., on motions for summary judgment.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     Megan C. Deluhery (John R. Neeleman, of Washington, also present) for Kiribati Seafood Company, LLC. Denis M. King (Richard M. Zielinski also present) for the defendant.     GANTS, C.J.  The issue on appeal is whether, in a legal malpractice action, a court’s error of law constitutes a superseding cause that bars recovery to the plaintiff client even where the defendant attorney was negligent for failing to prevent or mitigate the legal error.  The plaintiff, Kiribati Seafood Company, LLC (Kiribati), brought a legal malpractice claim against its former law firm, Dechert LLP (Dechert).  Kiribati alleged that Dechert negligently failed to provide a French appellate court with the evidence the court deemed necessary for Kiribati to prevail on a claim, which resulted in the court’s denial of the claim.  A judge of the Superior Court granted summary judgment to Dechert and denied partial summary judgment to Kiribati.  The judge determined that the French appellate court committed an error of law in requiring this evidence and that, even if Dechert were negligent in failing to provide the evidence to the court, Kiribati could not recover damages for Dechert’s negligence because the court’s legal error was a superseding cause of the adverse decision.  We conclude that an error of law under these circumstances is a concurrent, not a superseding, proximate cause and that the judge therefore erred in granting summary judgment to Dechert and denying partial summary judgment to Kiribati. Background.  Because this is an appeal from an allowance of summary judgment, we set forth the undisputed material facts.  Kiribati purchased a fishing vessel known as the Madee (ship), and chartered it to Olympic Packer, LLC, and Dojin Co., Ltd., for the purpose of fishing for tuna in the Pacific Ocean.[3]  After sustaining damage to its […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 11, 2017 at 10:48 pm

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Kiribati Seafood Company, LLC v. Crovo (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-162-16)

1 COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss. SUPERIOR COURT SUCV2014-02851-BLS2 KIRIBATI SEAFOOD COMPANY, LLC, Plaintiff vs. M. DELACY CROVO, Defendant MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT Plaintiff Kiribati Seafood Company, LLC (Kiribati) filed this legal malpractice action against defendant M. Delacy Crovo (Delacy) seeking to recover damages flowing from Delacy’s alleged role in violating a Washington state court order against Kiribati. Kiribati’s Amended Complaint asserts both contract-based and negligence-based claims as well a violation of 93A. The case is now before this Court on the defendant’s motion for summary judgment. Specifically, the defendant contends that Kiribati’s claims are barred by the applicable statutes of limitations. This Court agrees, and therefore concludes that the Motion must be ALLOWED. BACKGROUND The relevant facts in the summary judgment record, viewed in the light most favorable to Kiribati, are as follows. Kiribati is a Washington state limited liability company formed in 2000 to own and operate a commercial fishing vessel. Currently, Kiribati is owned by Nicholas Coscia, who holds the majority interest, and a second individual with a minority interest named Steven Ross. 2 In 2000 and 2001, Kiribati refurbished a boat, the MADEE, with the expectation that it would be used in South Pacific commercial fishing operations. In 2001, the MADEE sustained damage due to a rudder failure. It was repaired in Tahiti, but suffered additional damage after a dry dock collapsed. Lawsuits ensued. Moran Windes & Wong, PLLC (MWW), a Seattle based law firm, represented Kiribati in an action brought in Hawaii related to the rudder failure. A French law firm, later acquired by the Paris office of Dechert, LLC (Dechert), represented Kiribati on its claim for damages to the MADEE sustained in the dry dock collapse. Sometime in May 2010, Dechert on behalf of Kiribati, settled the dry dock collapse case, and the proceeds of the settlement (the Settlement Funds) were sent to Dechert. At the time of the settlement, Delacy’s brother Charles Crovo (Charles) was the majority owner of Kiribati, with Coscia holding a minority interest. Delacy is a Massachusetts attorney who has acted as (or held herself out to be) counsel for Kiribati at various times commencing in 2000. At the heart of this lawsuit is the role she played in the transfer of the Settlement Funds from Dechert to other entities. In a letter dated April 29, 2010 to Dechert’s Paris office (the April 2010 Letter), Delacy stated that she was Kiribati’s corporate attorney and that Charles Crovo was authorized to make all monetary decisions on Kiribati’s behalf. This letter was sent under Delacy’s married name, Marie D. Carlson, with a letterhead that read, “Law Offices of Marie Carlson.” Delacy sent a second letter, […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - December 6, 2016 at 10:04 pm

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Mar-Lees Seafood LLC, et al. v. Lees, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 12-144-16)

  COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUFFOLK, ss.SUPERIOR COURT CIVIL ACTION 2012-4609-BLS2 MAR-LEES SEAFOOD LLC, MAR-LEES HOLDING LLC, and SEAFOOD DEVELOPMENT PARTNERS, LLC, Plaintiffs vs. JOHN A. LEES, JR., JAL CONSULTING, INC., ML HOLDINGS, INC., LEES SEAFOOD HOLDINGS, LLC, MICHAEL F. SWEENEY, DUFFY & SWEENEY, LTD., NORATLANTIC 21, LLC, N.A. 21 HOLDINGS, LLC, and JAMES DWYER, Defendants MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER ON LEES AND SWEENEY DEFENDANTS’ MOTIONS FOR RECONSIDERATION The Lees and Sweeney Defendants have moved for reconsideration or clarification of the Court’s ruling that Plaintiffs’ Count Six for breach of fiduciary duty survives summary judgment to the extent it is based on allegations that “Lees sold tilapia from TAF without providing plaintiffs an opportunity to participate in these transactions.”  See Memorandum of Decision and Order dated July 22, 2016, at p.15.  After carefully considering the arguments put forward by both partiesand on further review of the summary judgment record, this Court concludes that the Motion  should be ALLOWED. The summary judgment record contains no evidence cognizable under Mass. R. Civ. P. 56(e) that Lees sold tilapia from TAF.  In support of this allegation, Plaintiffs point to a statement in their Second Answers to Interrogatories in which they asserted that Lees “purchas[ed] and [sold] tilapia from TAF, at a profit, without providing Plaintiffs an opportunity to make the same business deal.”  The statement, however, is not based on personal knowledge and therefore does not constitute admissible evidence under Rule 56(e).  Plaintiffs also suggest that the Arbitration Award provides support for their claim.  Quite the contrary is true. The  Panel explicitly found that the transactions at issue were loansto TAF and not purchases or sales.  Moreover, as to those loans, the Panel expressly found that the plaintiffs did not suffer any harm as a result of Lees making such loans.      In so finding, it pointed out that  New Mar-Lees had previously refused to extend credit to TAF and would not have loaned TAF money if it had been asked to do so.  It also concluded that the loans were “designed to assist a business that [Lees] hoped would do more business with Mar-Lees,” gave TAF “the funds to purchase a substantial amount of product from Mar-Lees,” and “benefited rather than harmed Mar-Lees.”  Award at p. 20. Given these findings and their collateral estoppel effect on these proceedings, plaintiffs  may not  assert a breach of fiduciary  duty claim based on this set of allegations. SO ORDERED. __________________________________ Janet L. Sanders Justice of the Superior Court Dated: October 20, 2016 Full-text Opinions

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 10, 2016 at 2:04 am

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Cape Cod Shellfish & Seafood Company, Inc., et al. v. City of Boston, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-148-14)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   11-P-1474                                       Appeals Court   CAPE COD SHELLFISH & SEAFOOD COMPANY, INC., & others[1]  vs.  CITY OF BOSTON & another.[2]   No. 11-P-1474. Suffolk.     October 9, 2013. – November 12, 2014.   Present:  Cypher, Katzmann, & Maldonado, JJ. Taxation, Exemption, Leased property, Abatement, Real estate tax:  exemption, abatement.  Contract, Lease of real estate.  Landlord and Tenant, Taxation, Tenancy at sufferance, Lease as contract.  Real Property, Lease.  Massachusetts Port Authority.  Boston.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on November 9, 2004.   After review by this court, 74 Mass. App. Ct. 1127 (2009), the case was heard by Elizabeth M. Fahey, J., on a motion for summary judgment.     Marshall F. Newman for the plaintiffs. Adam Cederbaum, Assistant Corporation Counsel, for city of Boston.     MALDONADO, J.  The plaintiffs appeal from a Superior Court judgment in favor of the city of Boston (city) in its effort to tax the plaintiffs as lessees of property owned by the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport), on Boston’s Fish Pier.  Although, pursuant to G. L. c. 91 App., § 1-17 (§ 17), as appearing in St. 1978, c. 332, § 2, Massport and its lessees are not required to pay real estate taxes on Massport properties, an exception to the exemption applies to business lessees of property in the area known as the Commonwealth Flats.  In an earlier decision pursuant to our rule 1:28, we determined that the plaintiffs are liable for taxes for their respective lease terms under that exception.[3]  At issue now is whether the plaintiffs, all of whom remained on the property after the end of their lease terms, continue to be liable as lessees for the taxes assessed during the holdover period. Background.  We recount the undisputed facts from the motion judge’s May 20, 2011, memorandum of decision and order on the city’s motion for summary judgment, supplemented also by the record on appeal as noted.  The plaintiffs, Cape Cod Shellfish & Seafood Company, Inc.; John Mantia & Sons Co., Inc.; Atlantic Coast Seafood, Inc.; New England Marketers, Inc.; and Great Eastern Seafood, Inc., operated wholesale fish and seafood businesses on the Boston Fish Pier, which is owned by Massport and situated in the Commonwealth Flats area of South Boston.  The plaintiffs originally occupied the property pursuant to written leases with Massport.  The relevant leases of the plaintiffs covered the […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - November 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm

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