Thursday, December 24, 2009

News: Brazil Custody Case plus Madoff Victims' Divorce Agreement

Brazil Custody Case Appears Ended

American, David Goldman boarded a private plane bound for the U.S. with his son Sean after years of court battling. Sean Goldman was turned over to his father by his Brazilian step-father in a scene of public turmoil instead of at the Consulate as requested. See NY Times article

Madoff Victims' Divorce Agreement Upheld

In Simkin v. Blank, decided in New York County on December 22, 2009, a New York Supreme Court Judge held that the husband's attempt to set aside the parties' 2006 settlement agreement due to a mutual "mistake of fact" as to the existence or non-existence of the Madoff account and "unjust enrichment", did not pass muster. Importantly, the court found, "The complaint does not contend, however, that the account had no value, only that, under the circumstances it was "non-existent". In urging that the Amended Complaint fails to state a viable cause of action, defendnat contends without contradiction that on September 1, 2004, and later, on June 27, 2006 when the parties entered into their agreement, and in fact, for the several years thereafter that plaintiff maintained this investment, it could have been redeemed for cash, presumably significantly in excess of its 2004 value."

The court then left open the possibility of a valid claim if the proper allegations were set forth in the complaint holding, "In the absence of a claim that, on the date of the parties' agreement the Madoff account had no value, the complaint fails to set forth a cause of action, either for mutual mistake or for unjust enrichment, as a matter of law."

See NY Law Journal for decision