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“New York’s Law on Full payment Checks: Has It Changed?” by David Anderson appeared in the New York State Bar Association Journal (July/Aug 2015)

After completing your construction work, you receive substantial back charges which you dispute. Two months later you receive a check for $40,000, with the words “payment in full” marked on the front. Your unpaid retainage is $100,000. You need the money. Can you cash the $40,000 check “under protest” and then recover the unpaid $60,000? This article discusses whether the New York law, which for over 35 years has permitted contractors to cash such checks “under protest” and then recover their unpaid balance, was reversed by recent revisions to New York’s Uniform Commercial Code.