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Christopher Renzulli and Nicholas Whipple Featured in the Defense Association of New York Journal

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March 28, 2014: DEFENDANT, the Journal of the Defense Association of New York (DANY), recently featured an article co-authored by Christopher Renzulli and Nicholas Whipple, Understanding the Recalcitrant Worker Defense, in its Winter 2014 Labor Law issue.

The article addresses the Recalcitrant Worker Defense in the context of Labor Law § 240(1) claims, with particular emphasis on when the defense is best utilized and situations in which alternatives with less burdensome requirements would be more effective.

For more information please contact Christopher Renzulli or Nicholas Whipple.

Renzulli Law Firm Obtains PLCAA Dismissal for Large Nationwide Firearms Dealer

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March 18, 2014: Renzulli Law Firm, LLP recently obtained a complete defense judgment for a large, nationwide firearms dealer through a motion to dismiss pursuant to the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (“PLCAA”).  In a case brought in the Supreme Court of Ulster County New York, plaintiff’s decedent, a twenty-three year old woman, lawfully purchased a shotgun after completing a 4473 form and passing a NICS background check.  Shortly after leaving the store, she used the shotgun to commit suicide in her car in the mall’s parking lot.

Plaintiff filed suit alleging that the store and two of its employees had negligently entrusted the shotgun to plaintiffs’ ecedent because she had previously been treated for mental illness, even though she had never been adjudicated as a mental defective or involuntarily committed to a mental institution, and therefore was not prohibited from purchasing a firearm.  In addition, because she had paid for the shotgun using her mother’s credit card, plaintiff alleged that defendants “improperly” sold the shotgun to her.

The court chose to convert the motion to dismiss to a motion for summary judgment because plaintiff had relied on materials outside of the pleadings in opposition to our motion and dismissed the case in its entirety pursuant to the PLCAA.  The court held that there is no federal law prohibiting the use of another person’s credit card to pay for a firearm, and so the exception to the PLCAA for the knowing violation of a state or federal state applicable to the sale or marketing of firearms was not applicable.  In addition, the court held that there was nothing to alert defendants at the time they sold the shotgun to her that plaintiff’s decedent was likely to use it in a manner involving unreasonable risk of injury to herself or others, so the requirements for the negligent entrustment exception to the PLCAA were not satisfied.  Although plaintiff filed an appeal from the dismissal of the case, he never perfected it and it has since been deemed abandoned.

If you have any questions concerning this case or the PLCAA, please contact John F. Renzulli or Scott C. Allan.

Renzulli Law Firm Victory in Commercial Arbitration

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December 4, 2013: Renzulli Law Firm, LLP recently obtained a complete defense verdict from the American Arbitration Association in a case it arbitrated for one of its firearm industry clients.  In Sabre Defence Industries LLC v. Steyr Arms, Inc., et al. the bankruptcy trustee for the company that had previously manufactured AUG rifles in the United States commenced an arbitration proceeding against Steyr Arms, Inc. and Steyr Mannlicher GmbH, alleging that they had breached the contract pursuant to which it had manufactured AUGs for them and sought more than one million dollars in damages.  Renzulli Law Firm aggressively defended the case and after a three day arbitration hearing, during which hundreds of documents were introduced into evidence and seven witnesses testified,   a panel of three arbitrators unanimously held that Sabre was not entitled to any damages.  If you have any questions concerning this case or our commercial litigation capabilities, please contact John F. Renzulli.

RLF Speaks on Industry Outlook; California Ammo Sales Statute Unconstitutional

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November 18, 2013: Earlier this month Renzulli Law Firm offered insights on what the future holds for the firearms industry.  Speaking at the National Association of Sporting Goods Wholesalers Expo, John Renzulli and Christopher Renzulli addressed a group of expo attendees in regards to recently passed legislation, its impact on the firearms industry and strategies for managing a business amidst these ongoing changes. RLF will also be presenting at January’s annual SHOT Show.  For more information about upcoming presentations, contact John F. Renzulli or Christopher Renzulli.

Last week, a California Appellate Court struck down a California law that would require all purchases of ammunition "principally for use" in handguns to be made in person rather than by mail order or on the Internet, and would also require buyers of ammunition to be thumb-printed and sellers to keep records of the transactions.  The law, which was enacted in 2010, was declared unconstitutionally vague by a trial court judge before it was set to become effective in 2011.  


RLF Addresses Nation's Best Sports

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October 17, 2013: Christopher Renzulli was recently asked to speak at the Nation’s Best Sports Fall Semi-Annual Show in Fort Worth, Texas.  Nation’s Best Sports, the largest sporting goods volume buying group in North America, has over 300 members which operate more than 800 retail stores, including many firearms and ammunition retailers.  This recent presentation focused on the new anti-gun laws passed this year as well as pending litigation challenging the new laws.  The presentation also addressed ways FFLs can protect their businesses amidst the waves of new legislation.


NY Court of Appeals Rules Part-Time Residents Cannot be Denied Their Right to Keep and Bear Arms

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October 17, 2013: The New York Court of Appeals ruled by a 7-0 vote Tuesday that part-time residents of a county or city in New York are eligible for gun permits (see Osterweil v. Bartlett decision).

A panel led by Judge Eugene Pigott Jr. clarified the State’s pistol and revolver license statute in the decision, determining primary residence is not necessary for a gun permit under New York Law.


RLF Joins the Fight Against the NY SAFE Act

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October 3, 2013: Last week, RLF filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief on behalf of the National Shooting Sports Foundation in the New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Cuomo case, which is currently pending in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York.  The brief, which was filed in support of the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, aims to draw the Court’s attention to the significant burdens the sloppy drafting of the NY SAFE Act has imposed on New York FFLs at the manufacturer, distributor and retailer levels.  Notably, the brief (available here) is the first time the voices and practical concerns of New York FFLs regarding the NY SAFE Act have been presented to a Court for consideration.  Hopefully the Court takes due notice of these significant issues.

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