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Hill Rivkins Prevails in Bench Trial and Obtains $3.22 Million Verdict
November 10, 2014

Following a two-day bench trial on November 3-4, 2014, before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, Judge Donald E. Walter (of the Western District of Louisiana, sitting by designation) found in favor of Hill Rivkins’ client, State Bank of India.  The Bank had sought to recover on two commercial invoices pledged and assigned to the Bank by a credit customer of its Antwerp branch.  The Bank’s credit customer had sold two separate shipments of diamonds to two different New York based diamond trading companies operating under common ownership and management.  The Bank sued on the payment invoices issued to the respective buyers, who defended on the grounds that no effective assignments of payment had taken place, and that any rights to payment that nevertheless may have been assigned to the Bank were vitiated by a course of dealing in which the trading partners would offset debts owed between them.  On November 7, 2014, Judge Walter issued a memorandum decision finding in favor of the Bank on both issues, and awarded damages in the amount of $3,222, 635, plus interest, representing the unpaid balance on the respective invoices.  Senior Partner John J. Sullivan was trial counsel for the Bank.