Court of Appeals of Ohio, Eighth District, Cuyahoga
JOSH S. KAUFMAN PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE
BRADLEY YOUNG, ET AL. DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS
Appeal from the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Case
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANTS Richard G. Johnson Richard G. Johnson
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEE Leon A. Weiss Adam M. Fried Martin T.
Galvin Reminger & Reminger Co. L.P.A.
BEFORE: Jones, J., E.A. Gallagher, P.J., and Kilbane, J.
JOURNAL ENTRY AND OPINION
A. JONES, SR., JUDGE.
Defendants-appellants Bradley Young and Laurel Young appeal
several of the trial court's judgments in this case that
(1) denied the Youngs' motion to enforce the settlement
agreement; (2) granted the motion of plaintiff-appellee Josh
Kaufman, Trustee of the Joyce Kaufman 2012 Irrevocable Trust
("Trust") to strike the Youngs' reply brief in
support of the Youngs' motion to enforce the settlement
agreement; (3) denied the Youngs' motion for
reconsideration on the judgment striking their reply brief;
and (4) denied as moot Josh's motions to quash subpoenas.
For the reasons that follow, we affirm in part, reverse in
part, and remand for further proceedings consistent with this
Procedural and Factual Background
The record establishes, as mentioned, that Josh was the
Trustee of the subject Trust. Josh is one of Joyce's five
children. Defendant Laurel Young is another one of
Joyce's children, and was married to defendant Bradley
In 2011, Laurel and Bradley executed and entered into a
demand promissory note with Joyce in the principal amount of
$3, 890, 000 together with interest at the rate per annum
equal to the federal short-term rate. In 2012, Joyce assigned
to Josh, as Trustee, all of her rights, title, and interest
in the note.
In 2015, Josh, as Trustee, filed this action against the
Youngs. At the time this action was filed, Joyce was
deceased. Josh sought repayment of the principal amount of
the note, plus interest, from the Youngs under theories of
breach of contract and quantum merit.
In February 2016, the parties entered into a settlement
agreement. The trial court retained jurisdiction to entertain
any post-judgment motions. In March 2017, the Youngs filed a
motion to enforce the settlement agreement. They also issued
subpoenas to Phillip Babtiste, C.P.A. and Cohen & Co.,
Ltd., an accountant and accounting company, respectively, who
provided services to the Trust. Josh opposed the Youngs'
motion to enforce the settlement agreement, and the Youngs
requested leave to file a reply brief to his opposition,
which was granted instanter.
Josh then sought to strike the Youngs' reply brief, which
the trial court granted. The Youngs sought reconsideration of
the trial court's decision to strike their reply; the
trial court denied their request for reconsideration. The
trial court also denied the Youngs' motion to enforce the
settlement agreement. Josh also filed a motion to quash the
subpoenas issued to accountant Babtiste and Cohen & Co.,
which the trial court denied as moot.
The general terms of the parties' settlement agreement,
which were filed along with the February 2016 dismissal,
substantively provided as follows:
The defendants, Laurel and Bradley Young, agree to pay
plaintiff, Josh Kaufman, Trustee of [the] December 21, 2012
Irrevocable Joyce Kaufman Trust, the sum of $3, 250, 000.00,
to be paid by certified check, on or before 4 pm on February
The claims in this case, to-wit: CV15-842421 are hereby
released upon payment, and the note will be marked satisfied
and returned, on or before February 19, 2016.
Formal release containing customary terms to follow. The
parties further agree that the payment and settlement
contemplated herein will not be used or disclosed in pending
or future litigation, except for purposes of enforcement of
this particular settlement agreement.
The parties' fully executed settlement agreement and
release provided in relevant part as follows:
WHEREAS, the Parties desire to settle and compromise fully
and completely the claims and defenses raised in the Note
Litigation on the following terms and conditions.
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of their mutual covenants
and undertakings herein, and for good and valuable
consideration, the adequacy of which is hereby acknowledged
upon payment, the parties agree as follows:
1) Settlement Payment. The Defendants, Laurel K.
Young and Bradley R. Young, agree to pay Plaintiff, Josh S.
Kaufman, Trustee of the Joyce S. Kaufman 2012 Irrevocable
Trust U/T/A Dated 12/21/2012, for the benefit of the 2012
Trust, the sum of $3, 250, 000, to be paid by certified check
* * * no later than 4:00 p.m. on February 12, 2016. * * *
2) Satisfaction of the Note. Upon payment with good
funds, the Plaintiff will, by no later than February 19, 2016
at 4:00 p.m., deliver to the Defendants the original Note
bearing language to the effect that the Note "is paid,
satisfied and the obligation due thereunder is
* * *
5) Release of Defendants. Upon payment with good
funds of the consideration referenced in Paragraph 1 herein,
Plaintiff releases and discharges Defendants Laurel and
Bradley Young, together with their agents, heirs, family
members, legal representatives, successors, assigns,
beneficiaries, executors, and trustees, from any and all
obligations relating to the Note and the claims asserted in
the Note Litigation, and hereby acknowledges that said Note
obligation is satisfied in full.
6) Entire Agreement. This Agreement is the entire
agreement between the Parties relating to the Note Litigation
and supersedes all prior and contemporaneous written or oral
negotiations, communications, and agreements relating to the
* * *
13) Joint Preparation of Agreement. This Agreement
shall not be construed against the Parties preparing it, but
shall be construed as if it were prepared jointly by all
persons and entities affected thereby, and any uncertainty or
ambiguity, or both, ...