This one gave me pauseSeptember 15, 2018

Matter of MAPFRE Ins. Co. of NY v Callahan,  2018 NY Slip Op 06016 (2d Dept 2018)


“The Supreme Court ordered a framed-issue hearing to resolve the various issues raised by MAPFRE. Following a lengthy period of delay during which numerous adjournments of the hearing were granted, the matter was marked final and scheduled to be heard on May 19, 2016. MAPFRE’s counsel and a witness for MAPFRE appeared for the hearing. Callahan failed to appear on that date, despite having been subpoenaed. Moreover, although her attorney answered the calendar call that morning and indicated his readiness to proceed, he did not appear when the court convened the hearing less than two hours later, despite his receipt of text messages from opposing counsel requesting his presence, and he did not advise the court in advance that he might be delayed due to appearances on other matters. The court granted the petition on Callahan’s default and subsequently denied her motion pursuant to CPLR 5015(a)(1) to vacate the default.”

This is the decision denying vacatur of the order.  Maybe I am getting too soft in my second decade of practicing because I would probably have not taken the default or consented to vacate the order if the facts as presented by Respondent in his order to show cause are true.  But I cannot necessarily fault Petitioner’s counsel since he was sitting there for two hours twitting his thumbs after being sent out, and he was probably pissed as he had other things to do that day.  It is a judgment call and, again, I hate to see other attorneys get jammed up for stuff like this.

For what its worth, I think my second employer would have fired me if I did not take the default in this situation.  Thus,  I cannot even pretend to tell you the reader what the right answer is in this case.

But let this be a lesson and I am taking note here that if you have to run around Court or various courts (heaven knows we all do) and you have a hearing, tell the part clerk you have three other things.  That looks to be the difference in this case as to why the OSC was not grated.