31 Oct, 2011

Winston & Strawn wins fourth ruling on behalf of international businessman in $270m lawsuit


Last week, the New York Supreme Court issued still another resounding victory on behalf of international businessman, Alexander Gliklad in his $270 million lawsuit against Michael Chernoi.  This is the fourth in a string of favorable decisions Winston & Strawn’s litigation team led by Partner W. Gordon Dobie has won for Gliklad.  The New York Supreme Court has denied Chernoi’s objection to New York jurisdiction, his multiple efforts to change the forum to Israel, questioned the viability of Chernoi’s defenses, and opined in favor of Gliklad’s likelihood of ultimate victory in his multi-million dollar case.


Gliklad brought suit against Michael Chernoi in the Supreme Court of New York in 2009 to enforce a one-page $270 million Promissory Note signed by Chernoi.  Chernoi attempted to defend this litigation by contesting jurisdiction, filing various procedural motions, and even filing a duplicative lawsuit in Israel – after a year-and-a-half of litigation in New York.  Gliklad is “four for four” in defeating Chernoi’s multiple maneuvers.


In his most recent victory, the New York Supreme Court this week reaffirmed its injunction prohibiting Chernoi from proceeding with his duplicative lawsuit filed in Israel, finding that there is “no basis to hold that it erred in its prior decision.”  Most importantly, the Court had labeled Chernoi’s defense – that he had signed a $270 million note in the wrong place because he was allegedly drunk – as “not probable” to succeed and concluded after a full evaluation of both sides’ factual arguments that Gliklad “established a likelihood of success on the merits.”  The court described Chernoi’s decision to file “essentially the same lawsuit” in Israel after litigating in New York for well over a year to be “forum shopping.”  The court determined the timing of Chernoi’s Israeli suit as “in bad faith” and “all the more questionable” because it occurred only after the court had indicated that its personal jurisdiction decision would be in Gliklad’s favor.   


Consistent with this ruling, the New York Supreme Court also rejected Chernoi’s separate motion to dismiss which argued that New York was an “inconvenient forum” for him to litigate.  In a separate opinion, the court weighed seven different factors relevant to the issues in finding for Gliklad and holding that the lawsuit should be pursued in New York.  In addressing another of Chernoi’s defenses that Gliklad supposedly owed him money, the New York Supreme Court found, “Mr. Gliklad has produced evidentiary support showing that the … loan was repaid in full and was not the subject of the [Promissory] Note.”   


Alexander Gliklad issued a statement saying he is pleased with the rulings in his favor: “I hope that Mr. Chernoi will now focus on the real issues between us and I look forward to moving towards an early trial of them in New York.”


The case remains pending in the Supreme Court of New York County, Case Number 602335/2009.


Winston & Strawn LLP is an international commercial law firm with 15 offices in North America, Asia and Europe.  More information about the firm is available at


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