Manhattan Civil Court Judge Arthur F. Engoron (See Profile) castigated attorney Steven R. Sutton last week for taking a grab-bag approach to defending a client, Gotham Lasik, against a lawsuit for payment of rent by its landlord, Cityspire. The judge granted Cityspire’s motion for summary judgment, ordering Gotham Lasik to pay more than $46,000 in back rent. He then criticized Mr. Sutton for offering 20 unavailing affirmative defenses.

“The grounds are a veritable laundry list, something of a ‘greatest hits,’ of what respondents tend to argue: the predicate notices are not self-authenticating; petitioner accepted a rent payment after serving a notice to cure; the amounts of money set forth in the predicate notices are inconsistent with the amounts set forth in the petition; the subject lease provision sets forth a condition subsequent rather than a conditional limitation; the premises are inaccurately described; the verification is improper; the mailings were improper; etc.,” the judge wrote. “In other words, we have the usual suspects, with, naturally, a few vague counterclaims thrown in for good measure.”

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