Recent Achievements

Motion to Conduct Discovery in Eviction Proceeding Granted

Eviction proceedings in New York City Housing Courts are summary in nature and, as such, discovery is only available by leave of the court. Moreover, it is very unusual for Judges to grant a party permission to conduct discovery absent a showing that there is ample need for the requested discovery and, even then, the discovery demand must be carefully tailored and likely to clarify the disputed facts. A tenant approached this firm upon being served with a hold-over petition seeking to evict him from his home. The purported "owner" of the apartment attached multiple deeds and sale contract documents purportedly transferring title of the apartment to the "owner." On their face, those sale documents appeared to be legitimate, leaving our client with little option other than to find another place to live. However, upon careful review, we discovered that these sale documents contained multiple omissions, were contradictory and were not properly executed, thus calling into question the purported "owner's" right to evict our client. As such, despite the fact that discovery is rarely granted in eviction proceedings, we made a motion with the court to conduct discovery in an attempt to ascertain the true owner of the apartment. Our motion was successful and our opponent was ordered to provide clear documentary proof that he was the owner of the apartment or to certify that such documents were not available, thus providing our client with a potential ground upon which to dismiss the eviction proceeding. Ingenuity and attention to detail are hallmarks of this firm.

Interests Resurrected Following Judgment And Foreclosure Sale

Before he retained the services of this firm, due to the neglect and ineffective assistance of his prior attorneys, the client had a default judgment of foreclosure entered against him on an apartment he owned for investment purposes. Despite the fact that it appeared that he had lost his case because the court had entered a judgment against him, in zealous advocacy for our client, we promptly mounted a vigorous challenge to vacate the court's default judgment on the grounds that the bank failed to attach critical documents and show ownership of the apartment. However, due to the woefully inadequate counsel the client had received, the court failed to get a complete picture of the client's case during the initial proceeding and was unable to revisit the issue at that point without new facts and information.

We therefore did what this firm has always excelled at - combining creative, out-of-the-box litigation strategies with diligent and meticulous fact-finding. We immediately initiated discovery, closely reviewed discovery documents to unearth any information beneficial to our client that his prior attorneys had overlooked. It soon came to our attention that the Bank that purchased the premises had not successfully served our client with a Notice of Foreclosure when it initiated the foreclosure action. Under New York law, a party subject to a foreclosure action is entitled to service of all papers related thereto, including the Notice of Foreclosure. The failure to comply with the service requirements is grounds for vacating the initial foreclosure judgment.

Thus, we moved by emergency application to vacate the sale and re-notice the foreclosure sale. Opposing counsel, recognizing that we had the upper hand, immediately offered the exact relief which we requested. This was a huge win for our client because not only did he maintain ownership of the apartment and achieve his goal, we also avoided the time and expense associated with protracted litigation.

Rogue Tenant Ordered to Pay Tens of Thousands in Back Rent

After months of unsuccessful negotiations, a landlord approached this firm hoping to recoup tens of thousands of dollars from a commercial tenant who refused to pay rent and refused to vacate the premises. Upon retaining this firm, we commenced expedited proceedings in Housing Court seeking to recover the back rent owed and the eviction of the tenant. Within weeks, the matter was before a judge who ordered the tenant to repay what was owed to our client - tens of thousands of dollars. The tenant paid and then vacated the premises days later.

Former Employee Who Opened Competing Business Ordered to Cease And Desist

A business owner retained this firm after seeing a significant decrease in sales when a former employee opened a competing business in the same neighborhood in violation of a non-compete agreement. The former employee had utilized confidential proprietary information to steal our client's customers and to launch a deceptively similar store with the aid of misappropriated business practices and marketing plans. After an emergency trial on the matter, our application for a restraining order was granted in full and the former employee was ordered to immediately cease further utilizing the misappropriated information, communicating with former clients, contracting with our client's vendors and selling exclusive products. The former employee was further ordered to immediately return all marketing plans, advertising strategies, vendor lists and records containing customer contact information.

Unprecedented Dismissal of Two Eviction Proceedings Allows Client to Remain in His Home

After losing his home to foreclosure during the global financial crisis, our client retained this firm to defend against an eviction proceeding commenced by the bank who foreclosed on the premises. This firm answered the petition and asserted multiple affirmative defenses, including lack of standing to bring an eviction proceeding. During discovery, we analyzed documents and communications exchanged and determined we had grounds to move for dismissal. We also successfully opposed the bank's request for monthly escrow payments during the pendency of the action. The action lasted in excess of one year, all the while with our client remaining in his home. Although the bank had colorable arguments, we successfully moved to dismiss the petition with prejudice based on lack of standing, as we demonstrated that the bank had apparently sold the property. The bank's motion to vacate that order was denied, with prejudice.

Shortly thereafter, the bank, in fact, sold the premises to a third party who commenced a second eviction proceeding against this the same firm client. This was a considerable blow to our client, who had been fighting to stay in his home for over a year and hoped that dismissal of the first eviction proceeding would allow him to live in his home in peace. In zealously advocating for our client, we cautioned opposing counsel that he would face a similar outcome of dismissal. Counsel nonetheless proceeded with the suit, despite our attempts to settle the matter. Once again, we raised multiple affirmative defenses in the answer including the petitioner's failure to attach all necessary documentation to its notices as well as lack of standing. In addition, exhibiting its out-of-the-box approach and personalized attention this firm employs as a matter of practice we requested the right to discovery and during document exchange asked for and received contract-related documents which we analyzed closely and were able to utilize in moving to dismiss this second petition as well. This, despite the fact that discovery is generally not requested, let alone permitted, in Civil Court. The sale documents contradicted the deed and the purported buyer neglected to attach appropriate documentation to his petition papers. Again, we offered to settle and again petitioner was unwilling to do so on reasonable terms. Thus the case went to trial. This firm prevailed. This case too was dismissed. Needless to say, the client was and remains overjoyed. Again, he was able to remain in his home throughout the pendency of the second action (another year) and remains there to date.

The affirmative defenses we asserted in our answers paved the way for both decisions resulting in the dismissal of the cases. In fact, in his written decision dismissing the suit the trial judge cited our affirmative defenses as the basis for his decision. Retaining a smaller firm has its benefits. It is almost unprecedented to have multiple eviction proceedings against the same individual regarding the same premises dismissed. This firm forges strong relationships with our clients. We utilize our unique knowledge of our clients and their needs, in addition to our in-depth knowledge of procedure and law, to develop individualized and long-term strategies for our clients.

Motion to Vacate Denied

A large financial institution brought an eviction suit against our client. We successfully moved to dismiss the suit. This was an important win for our client who was living in the apartment and was facing imminent eviction. The bank then brought a motion with the court to vacate (void) the judgment dismissing the suit and to continue attempting to evict our client from his home. This was a potential substantial blow for our client who had moved on with his life and was in the process of renegotiating his mortgage. To our client's delight we successfully opposed the bank's request. The court permanently dismissed the bank's lawsuit and allowed our client to continue residing in his home.

Vigorous Opposition to Defense Motion Saves Client Time and Resources

Upon our filing our brief in support of our appeal in the Appellate Division, First Department, defense counsel submitted a motion seeking to dismiss our appeal and to exclude critical documents from the record on appeal to be considered by the court. We opposed the motion with such vigor that upon our serving same, counsel immediately withdrew its motion prior to the Court even deciding the motion. This remarkable result was advantageous not only because we saved our client considerable time and resources by eliminating the need to further litigate the matter, but also because the documents at issue were vital to our client's case and the court reaching a determination on the merits.

Immediate Settlement Effectuated

This firm was hired to represent an interior designer in a contract dispute case. The interior designer had performed a substantial part of the work for a client who raised no objection to the quality of the work performed and, in fact, repeatedly informed our client that she was very happy with the work. However, when the interior designer provided her client with invoices for the work performed, she received no response. After months of unsuccessfully attempting to collect the outstanding balance, upon our retention, within three weeks -- following minimal but effective negotiations and without any court intervention -- our client received a settlement check for the amount sought.

Party Reinstated For Day In Court

Our client -- a landowner in Midtown Manhattan -- sued when large conglomerates damaged his property. During the course of the litigation, the corporate defendants persuaded the judge, through purported technicalities and erroneous legal arguments, to dismiss the individual plaintiff from the suit. This was a major blow to our client, who would have been denied his day in court and the justice he deserved had the judge's decision remained in place. In an effort to reinstate our client as a party to the suit, we moved to reargue and renew the underlying motion – a long shot given that we were essentially requesting that the judge reverse her own prior decision. Nonetheless, we succeeded, and to our client's delight, secured his reinstatement in the litigation.

Injunctive Relief Granted Through Order To Show Cause

This firm represented the owner of a commercial building who was a co-defendant in a personal injury action by a worker against one of the building's tenants/business owners. Our client was faultless, and the tenant was required to indemnify our client for any responsibility. Almost immediately after the suit was commenced, the tenant, who had recently signed a seven-year lease renewal and was a significant flight risk, approached our client seeking approval to assign his commercial lease and sell his business. The tenant subsequently attempted to persuade our client to agree to his demands. Fearing that the tenant was planning to flee the jurisdiction in order to evade liability, this firm asked the judge to prohibit the sale of the tenant's business pending the disposition of the lawsuit. Despite a long-standing tradition of the court's unwillingness to restrict an individual's right to do as she pleases with her property, the judge restrained the tenant from selling his business thereby ensuring that our client would not bear the burden of the tenant's mistakes.

Eviction Proceeding Dismissed

A major bank foreclosed on our client's home and then commenced eviction proceedings. Our client was faced with the imminent reality of life on the streets then came to us for help. Despite the fact that a foreclosure judgment had been entered and the client was on the verge of eviction, we served substantial discovery demands, followed up on outstanding responses to those demands, and subsequently moved the court for dismissal of the action based on failure to comply with discovery and the bank's lack of standing. Based on our motion, the court permanently dismissed the entire eviction proceeding and our client was able to remain in his home. This was a particularly satisfying result given the fact that our client was up against one of the major banks and all the resources at its disposal in this post recession era when individuals continued to be evicted from their homes at an alarming rate.

Young Entrepreneur Saved From Non-Compete Contract Provision

A young marketing and sales rep in the beauty industry retained this firm when a non-compete agreement she signed with a former employer made it impossible for her to work in New York. She had signed the contract at the beginning of her career when she was eager to gain employment and was unaware of the consequences of agreeing to such severe restrictions on future employment. She approached this firm when her former employer had started legal proceedings against her for breach of contract. They also filed a motion for injunctive relief seeking to prohibit her from working and to gain access to her phone and computer files. We looked closely at the contract -- which was a boilerplate contract that was unfairly one-sided and overly burdensome -- and presented the employer's attorney with several reasons why the contract was unenforceable. As a result of our diligence, we successfully effectuated the dismissal of both the motion for injunctive relief and the lawsuit itself within weeks, without having to even respond to the complaint - which significantly reduced time and costs. To our client's further delight, we also managed to convince the employer to revoke the non-compete agreement.

Misappropriation Claims Resolved Pre-Answer

Our client was sued for misappropriation of confidential client information and trade secrets. Within weeks, without even having to respond to a motion for injunctive relief or the complaint, we negotiated the withdrawal of both. Our young entrepreneurial client was ecstatic as she retained rights to compete and solicit. Again we convinced the plaintiff employer to revoke the non-compete agreement.

Favorable Resolution for Policyholder Against Major Insurer in Federal Insurance Coverage Dispute Litigation

Our client was one of the countless unfortunate victims of Superstorm Sandy, whose business was totally destroyed. He sought insurance coverage and was summarily denied by his carrier based on the absence of a flood policy. Due to the obvious water damage, a prominent insurance coverage firm refused to represent him. Upon a detailed analysis of the voluminous insurance policies involved, we took the case on and filed suit. The insurer removed the case to federal court, Eastern District of New York. Despite overwhelming odds and a strong motion, our breach of contract claim survived and the judge denied the insurer's request to dismiss our claim for consequential damages above and beyond the policy limit. The insurer's potential exposure thus vastly increased. The case settled shortly thereafter and our client was extremely pleased.

Expeditious Settlement Reached in Interstate Franchisor/Franchisee Dispute

An ironclad franchise agreement appeared to obligate our corporate client/the franchisee to pay the franchisor significant funds in connection with a purported breach of the franchise agreement. After reviewing the client file and conducting negotiations with opposing counsel we secured a settlement agreement whereby our client agreed to pay well less than half of what was initially sought. Our client was thrilled.

Full Insurance Coverage Provided Following Submission of Appeal to Major Insurer

A major international health care provider denied our client's claim for coverage pertaining to significant medical treatment that she desperately needed in order to live her life. The amount in question was in the hundred thousand dollar range. The provider's basis for denial was an eminently reasonable basis under the circumstances. It thus appeared our client stood no chance of securing coverage for her claim. Following our retention, we diligently reviewed the client's entire file and prepared a substantive appeal letter to the insurer. Our client was extremely pleased to subsequently learn that we succeeded in our appeal. The insurer agreed with our arguments and reversed their decision and our client was awarded the full coverage amount that she was seeking.

Successfully Opposed Motion to Dismiss Complaint in Commercial Breach of Contract Action

Within days of being retained on an emergent basis in a highly disputed commercial contract matter we successfully opposed a motion to dismiss the complaint while simultaneously drafting, filing, arguing and succeeding on a motion to amend the complaint. By succeeding on our cross-motion we significantly altered the complexion of the case and vastly increased our client's potential recovery many times over.

Favorable Settlement Reached Without Litigation in Contract Dispute Case

Our client contacted us because she was facing an imminent proceeding in which the petitioner was seeking well into the six-figures in monetary compensation. In a matter of weeks, without the need for litigation or any other type of legal proceeding, the firm secured a fully executed settlement agreement whereby the parties agreed to a payment amount that was well less than half of what the petitioner initially sought. Our client was immensely satisfied.

New York State Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board's Improper Decision Against Corporate Client Reversed

Our corporate client was improperly found liable to pay unemployment benefits to a former employee. Upon our review of the file and communications with the client it appeared clear to us that the facts did not support such an award. Although the Unemployment Board's decisions are rarely overturned we nonetheless successfully drafted and submitted an appeal. The Appellate Court overturned the decision and our client was properly excused from any further payment obligation.