Buhannic v Tradingscreen, Inc.

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Buhannic v Tradingscreen, Inc. 2018 NY Slip Op 33128(U) December 6, 2018 Supreme Court, New York County Docket Number: 653624/2016 Judge: Marcy Friedman Cases posted with a "30000" identifier, i.e., 2013 NY Slip Op 30001(U), are republished from various New York State and local government sources, including the New York State Unified Court System's eCourts Service. This opinion is uncorrected and not selected for official publication. [*FILED: 1] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 12/06/2018 02:39 PM NYSCEF DOC. NO. 479 INDEX NO. 653624/2016 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 12/06/2018 SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK: COMMERCIAL DIVISION PART 60 ---------------------------------------------------------------------){ PHILIPPE BUHANNIC and PAT1UCK BUHANNIC, individually and derivatively on behalf of TRADINGSCREEN, INC., 653624/2016 INDEX NO. lVl:OTION DATE Plaintiffs, MOTION SEQ. NO. -vTRADINGSCREEN, INC.; PIERRE SCHROEDER; PIERO GRANDI; FRA.NK PLACENTJ; ROBERT TRUDEAU; TCV VI, L.P., and TCV MEMBER FUND, LP., DI!~CISION 020 AND ORDER Defendants. ---------------------------------------------------------------------}( HON. MARCY S. FRIEDMAN: The fol1mving e-fiJed documents, listed by NYSCEF docrunent number (Motion Seq. No, 020) 445,446,447,448,449,450,451,452,453,454,455,456,457,458,460,461,462,463,464, 465,466,467,468,469,474,477 were read on this motion to/for .Recusai Plaintiff Philippe Buhannic, proceeding prose, moves for this court's recusal in this action. As a threshold matter, the court declines to &,'rant Mr. Buhannic's request to refor this motion to the Administrative Judge for determination. It is well settled that 1;vhere, as here, grounds for recusal under Judiciary Law§ 14 are not at issue, "a Trial Judge is the sole arbiter of recusal." (See £.~smJY..Y.MQJSJlQ, 70 NY2d 403, 405 [1987],) Mr, Buhannic seeks recusal on the ground that the court has demonstrated bias against him based on national origin (i.e., because he is a French national) and based on his prose 1 of 4 [*FILED: 2] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 12/06/2018 02:39 PM NYSCEF DOC. NO. 479 INDEX NO. 653624/2016 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 12/06/2018 1 status. He also seeks recusal based on the court's alleged alteration ("forging") of transcripts and alleged ex parte communications regarding the credentials of a paralegal whom he had employed. It is axiomatic that "[t]he right to an impartial jurist is a basic requirement of due process." iP£t9.Qk.X.NQY~k., 30 NY3d 222, 225 [2017] [internal quotation marks and citation ornitted],) The Code of Judicial Conduct, section 100.3 (E) (1), provides that "[a] judge shall disqualify himself or herself in a proceeding in which the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where: (a) (1) the judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party." Mr. Buhannic does not point to any ruling or any evidence in the record that provides any support whatsoever for his claim of bias or his other assertions ohhTongdoing. (See generally 459, 459 [1st Dept 1990].) On the contrary, the frivolous nature of the assertions of bias and other wrongdi'.1ing is apparent on the face of those asse1iions, and is confirmed by review of the record. (See~ Mar. 5, 2018 Tr., at 6 [cited by JVlr, Buharmic as suppmi for alleged bias]; J)_gq~Jllli~..Y.Fri.~Qm~n, US Dist Ct, SD NY, 18 CV 5729, Abrams, J., Doc No, 15 [Memo. In Supp. of Motion to Dismiss discussing, among other allegations, alleged alteration of transcripts]; Letter of John M. Vassos [Defa' Counsel], dated Nov. 20, 2017, to the court, copied to Mr, Buhannic's outgoing cmmsel at Shiboleth LLP and Patrick ~md Philippe Buhannic [NYSCEF Doc No 277] [summarizing Philippe Bu.hannic's email to defendants' counsel regarding services to be performed by Mr, Buhannic's paralegal].) 1 Prior to representing himselt: Mr. Buhannic was represented in this action by four separate counsel, including well knovm law firms. 65362412016 BUHANNlC, PHl!..!PPE vs. TRADUllGSCREEN INC. Motion No, 020 2 of 4 Page 2 of4 [*FILED: 3] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 12/06/2018 02:39 PM NYSCEF DOC. NO. 479 INDEX NO. 653624/2016 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 12/06/2018 Although !'vk Buhannic denies that the recusal motion is based on his objections to the court's rulings, he has repeatedly objected to the court's decision, dated December 12, 2017, denying him indemnification for his attorney's foes in this action and certain other matters, with a possible limited exception. He has also objected to certain of the court's rulings regarding discovery and to procedural rubngs affecting the management of the proceedings, including stays or adjournments necessitated by his repeated discharge of attorneys. A litigant's dissatisfaction with a court's rulings obviously cannot support a request for recusaL It is also weH settled that a judge has no legal or ethical obligation to recuse merely [Oct 7, 2016], 13~4] [Apr. 25, 2013], 98-69 [June 19, 1998].) Rather, "[a] judge has an obligation not to recuse himself or herself, even if sued in connection \'vi th his or her duties, unless he or she is satisfied that he or she is unable to serve \\-1th complete impartiality, in fact or appearance. A litigant cam1ot be allowed to create a sharn controversy by suing a judge without justification, and to then use that sham as a means for achieving the judge's recusal." (Spr~D.W ..Y R!lh~Nk, 155 Misc 2d 796, 799 [Sup Ct, Queens County 1992], .mod QJJ Qt,her W'.QYIH1~ 216 AD2d 382 [2d Dept 1995], lv denied 86 NY2d 709 [1995], ~.ert denied 516 US 1161 [1996]; Judicial Ethics Opinions, supra,) As indicated above, Mr. Buhannic has brought an action against this court in foderal court, asserting bias and wrongdoing substantiaHy similar to that at issue here. 65362412016 BUHANNiC, PHILIPPE vs. TRADINGSCREEN INC. Motion No. 020 3 of 4 (a.vlmm1t£,Y Page 3 of4 [*FILED: 4] NEW YORK COUNTY CLERK 12/06/2018 02:39 PM INDEX NO. 653624/2016 NYSCEF DOC. NO. 479 RECEIVED NYSCEF: 12/06/2018 tilyQIJ.]JJ;!J, supra [motion to dismiss pending].)2 This court is satisfied that it can continue to serve, as it has done in the past, with complete impartiality, in both fact and appearance. It is accordingly hereby ORDERED that plaintiff Philippe Buhannic's motion for recusal is denied in its entirety. .•.~~····; ..,...~··~·") ' -~.L'.~:~t::L~'.:~:~:t::l:::~~:~~-~;~L:kdi,,~~''''~~~---MARcv @/FR'l'El)MAN, J.S.C. \" .....\ i i APPUCATION: j l SETILE ORDER CHECK IF APPROPRIATE: LJ CHECK ONE: L..J CASE DISPOSED ~······~ GRANTED 0 r·X--l L----1 i--------: DENIED :--~~~~~-.: INCLUDES TRANSFER/REASSIGN i ! ~ , NON-FlNAl DISPOSITION GRANTED IN PART SUBMIT ORDER l'"'""~..I FIDUCIARY APPO!NTI\llEl\IT D D OTHER REFERENCE 2 Mr. Buhannic has filed numerous actions in fodernl court related to his termination and his o\.vnership interest in TradingScreen, Inc., including an action against arbitrators following an adverse decision. These actions are referenced in the lawsuit against this court. rnl!b.~D11i~.Y.frl.©.ctm~m, supra, Doc. No. 4.) 65362412016 BUHANN!C, PHILIPPE vs. TRADINGSCREEN INC. Motion No. 020 4 of 4 Page4 of4