320 West 13th Realty LLC v. Avanade Inc.

On April 11, 2003, in 320 West 13th Realty LLC v. Avanade Inc., 03 CV 1579 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y.), a federal district court rendered an important decision concerning motions to remand pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §1447(c), the absence of complete diversity among the parties and the avoidance of duplicative litigation. The civil action began as a multi-million dollar commercial dispute between two plaintiffs, a New York limited liability company and a New York corporation, both represented by Kucker Marino Winiarsky & Bittens, LLP, against defendant Avanade Inc., a Washington state corporation. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Rakoff, J.), ruled that the action must be returned to New York state court, as requested by Kucker, Marino, Winiarsky, & Bittens’s 28 U.S.C. §1447(c) motion for remand. In ruling for plaintiffs, the court agreed with KMWB that Avanade’s joinder of a third-party defendant, Wolf Shevack, Inc., a New York corporation, under circumstances which compelled plaintiffs to raise their own third-party claims against WSI, made the third-party defendant a necessary party under Fed. Rule Civ. P. 19. Because the federal court did not have diversity jurisdiction to entertain plaintiffs’ third-party claims against WSI, the only court in which all of the parties’ claims and counterclaims could be heard was the New York state court. A remand order was issued, returning the action to state court.