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Bruce Bieber and Kurzman Eisenberg litigation group earn noteworthy decision in high profile judgment enforcement proceeding

KECL partner Bruce Bieber, along with associates Lisa Capone and Jeffrey Peters, successfully obtained an order on behalf of the firm’s client, LSQ Funding Group, L.C. (“LSQ”), requiring a defendant to resign his country club membership and turnover proceeds from the resignation in partial satisfaction of a judgment.  The decision is notable as it appears to be the first decision in New York, and possibly the United States, requiring the resignation of a country club membership in judgment enforcement proceedings.

In November 2016, LSQ obtained a judgment after trial against defendants Daniel Werther (“Werther”) and Werther Partners, L.L.C., in Florida.  In January 2017, the Florida judgment was domesticated (entered) in New York, Werther’s home state.  LSQ then sought the resignation of Werther’s country club membership (the “Membership”) in The Bridge, one of the country’s most prestigious country clubs, and the turnover of the refundable portion of Werther’s Membership, approximately $360,000, in partial satisfaction of the judgment.

Upon ruling in favor of LSQ, New York Supreme Court Justice Andrew Borrok directed the immediate resignation of Werther from The Bridge and the turnover of the proceeds from the resignation to LSQ.  In his ruling, Justice Borrok rejected all of Werther’s arguments.

In particular, the Court held that it was “beyond doubt” that the Membership was in Werther’s possession, rather than The Bridge’s possession, because the membership documents made clear that Werther was issued a revocable license in The Bridge that could be transferred through The Bridge.  The Court further held that the Membership was transferable “property” under New York law, as a member could resign his revocable license and receive a refund of a portion of his membership deposit. 

The decision is available on Westlaw and Lexis.  See LSQ Funding Grp., L.C. v. Werther, Index No. 650390/2017, 2018 WL 3385045, 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2912 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. July 11, 2018).  The decision was also recently analyzed by golfdisputeresolution.com.