Litigation and Disputes
The firm’s litigation department is experienced in all phases and aspects of litigation and dispute resolution. We represent both domestic and foreign corporations and individuals, and our skills include litigation in federal and state courts located throughout the United States, and extend to internal investigations, agency and administrative proceedings and appeals, and alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration before tribunals such as FINRA, AAA, JAMS and ICC. Our philosophy focuses not only on advocating for our clients’ legal rights, but also understanding their practical, personal, and business interests. We combine our deep litigation and trial skills with substantive industry knowledge and expertise to deliver highly effective advocacy and results that achieve our clients’ unique interests.
Substantive Areas of Practice
Antitrust and Unfair Competition: We are highly experienced in antitrust and trade regulation matters and have handled matters involving allegations of illegal mergers under the Clayton Act, price discrimination under the Robinson-Patman Act and various associated common law claims, including interference with contractual relations, covenants-not-to-compete and distributor terminations. We have also successfully prosecuted and defended against antitrust and unclean hands claims relating to intellectual property, including Walker Process claims, tying claims, and claims based on settlements of pharmaceutical patent litigation.
Bankruptcy: The Insolvency and Creditors' Rights/Bankruptcy Practice Group plays a crucial role that intersects with virtually all other areas of the firm's practice. We represent indenture trustees and other financial institutions in bankruptcy cases, litigation, and negotiated workouts. In addition, our attorneys are regularly called upon to advise corporate clients who are acquiring assets from financially troubled companies or who may be experiencing financial difficulties or find themselves caught up in the bankruptcy case of a contracting party or an employee. We also advise individual and corporate clients who are equity holders in companies that are in bankruptcy, or whose litigation have been interrupted by a bankruptcy filing. Our attorneys implement quick and effective responses to a multitude of different circumstances.
Broker/Dealer and Financial Services Industry Disputes: We regularly represent securities and financial services industry firms and professionals in connection with litigation, industry arbitrations, and regulatory inquiries involving a wide variety of claims, including claims of improper sales or disclosure practices, selling away, improper trading, suitability and negligent asset management or investment advice, alleged supervisory and compliance failures, and related claims. We also frequently counsel clients with respect to employment and compensation issues that are unique to the securities and financial services industry, including form U4 and U5 disclosures, claims related to advanced compensation agreements and promissory notes, and bonus and commission claims.
Capital Markets: With our deep experience in the financial services and securities industry, our litigators have a unique breadth of experience representing domestic and foreign hedge funds, commercial creditors, special purpose vehicles, and other institutional investors involved in all types of capital markets transactions, including collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), asset-backed securities and other forms of securitizations, structured finance and investment vehicles, credit default swaps (CDS) and other derivatives, credit facilities, syndicated loans, and other complex financial products and transactions. Our attorneys frequently work in tandem with the firm’s insolvency and creditors’ rights attorneys to protect our clients’ interests in connection with bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings.
Condemnation: We have acted as special Condemnation Counsel for most of the major public entities in New York City which exercise the power of eminent domain. Our services begin during project planning, including planning for public hearings and SEQRA and ULURP compliance, continue through representation of the entities in challenges to the project brought in the New York state and federal courts, through all appellate levels, and extend to relocation of tenants, Writs of Assistance, and valuation trials of fee and fixture claims. We developed forms and procedures for use by our clients which have avoided federal Due Process issues that have impacted other condemnors in the State.
Contract and Commercial Disputes: We handle all forms of contractual disputes, including those relating to distribution, sales, acquisitions and franchising, as well as real estate litigation involving commercial landlord/tenant disputes, foreclosure and condemnation proceedings and construction contract disputes.
Employment/Trade Secrets Litigation: We handle a wide variety of employment litigation, including claims of breach of employment agreements, wrongful termination, and employment discrimination involving common law claims, as well as violations of various federal, state, and local statues pertaining to employment. We handle claims under the FLSA, involving wages and hours. A specialty practice involves counseling and prosecution and defense of litigation involving recruitment and retention of employees, including claims of raiding, theft of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of non-solicitation and non-competition restraints and related claims. We use our expertise developed through litigation to assist our clients in crafting state-of-the-art employment agreements and clauses designed to protect trade secrets and good will.
Environmental Law: Members of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group have experience litigating environmental cases at the trial and appellate levels, before federal and state courts across the country and before administrative agencies. We handle all forms of environmental and land use litigation, including challenges under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA, also known as the Superfund Law) and other federal and state laws for cleanup of hazardous waste discharges, the National Environmental Policy Act and the New York counterpart, the State Environmental Quality Review Act, the National Historic Preservation Act and state counterparts, and local zoning laws.
Fine Arts: We represent a wide variety of clients including art galleries, artwork owners, and non-profit organizations managing art work portfolios. Disputes often involve such matters as authentication, determination of ownership rights and valuation. We also represent the owner of the largest collection of photographic and video images and we are commonly called upon to prosecute claims of unauthorized use and to defend claims of photographers claiming superior rights to the images.
Intellectual Property: The firm has an established and sophisticated IP litigation practice, successfully representing a variety of entertainment, chemical, arts, publishing, electronics, fashion, real estate, computer software, financial services and consumer product clients, as both plaintiffs and defendants, in patent, copyright, trademark, domain name, and trade secret disputes. We litigate IP issues nationwide, in mediation, arbitration, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and the federal courts.
Internal Investigations and White-Collar Defense: Our White Collar Defense group represents individuals and businesses in all types of federal and state criminal, regulatory and administrative matters. Whether the allegations involve antitrust, securities fraud, money laundering, bank, mail or wire fraud, tax offenses, RICO or the like, our lawyers, including former federal and state prosecutors and SEC legal staff, will defend and protect our clients’ interests. Our legal teams also conduct discreet, internal investigations for business entities of all types facing potential prosecutorial or regulatory sanctions.
Maritime Litigation: Our maritime litigation team has the experience and depth to fully service the litigation and arbitration needs of the maritime industry. The firm has represented shipping companies, oil companies, container lessors, marine insurance underwriters, P&I and FD&D clubs, and financial institutions throughout the United States and throughout the world. Our wide-ranging capabilities in maritime related litigation matters include: antitrust and competition law, attachments and arrests, bankruptcy and workouts, charter party disputes, cruise shipping, enforcement of maritime liens and ship mortgages, environmental and pollution issues, insurance coverage and claims, management and pooling agreements, ship purchase and repair contracts.
Media and First Amendment Law: We have wide experience in media and First Amendment law counseling and litigation and often represents parties who are subjects of media attention in pre-publication disputes as well as victims of defamatory publications.
Securities Litigation/Corporate Governance: A historic strength of the Litigation Practice Group has been the defense of corporations and/or their directors and officers in actions involving allegations of violations of the federal securities laws, particularly the anti-fraud provisions of these laws, in connection with claims arising out of allegations of misleading disclosures, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, tender offers, private placements, financing and broker/customer relations. We represent clients in connection with corporate and shareholder disputes, class action and derivative litigation, and corollary claims involving rights to advancement and indemnification, and claims of breach of fiduciary duty, corporate waste, and other common law claims arising out of management activities.
Trusts & Estates: Building on the strength of its nationally-recognized Trusts & Estates Department, the firm has established itself as a leader in the field of fiduciary litigation. We represent executors, trustees, and beneficiaries in courts around the country -- litigating will contests as well as disputes over property, the fiduciary obligations of executors and trustees, the proper administration of trusts and estates, accountings, construction of testamentary instruments, and tax issues with the IRS. Often we are retained by other law firms who recognize our superior expertise in this complex area. Many of the litigations we handle involve trusts or estates with values in excess of $100 million, although we also handle more modest disputes in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
- Rose Auslander - Counsel
- Michael H. Bauscher - Counsel
- G. Michael Bellinger - Partner
- Charles G. Berry - Partner
- Jeffrey S. Boxer - Partner
- Aaron R. Cahn - Counsel
- Clifford P. Case III - Retired Counsel
- John R. Casolaro - Partner
- Matthew D. Dunn - Partner
- Melissa J. Erwin - Counsel
- Sarah H. Ganley - Associate
- John M. Griem, Jr. - Partner
- Gerald W. Griffin - Partner
- Stephen L. Kass - Senior Environmental Counsel
- Donald J. Kennedy - Retired Counsel
- Alan S. Lewis - Partner
- Judith A. Lockhart - Partner
- Alexander G. Malyshev - Partner
- Theodore Y. McDonough - Counsel
- Karen E. Meara - Counsel
- Jacob H. Nemon - Associate
- Stephen M. Plotnick - Partner
- Christopher Rizzo - Partner
- Gary D. Sesser - Partner
- Michael Shapiro - Partner
- Nilima M. Singh - Associate
- William F. Sondericker - Partner
- Meredith B. Spelman - Associate
- Nicholas W. Tapert - Associate
- Leonardo Trivigno - Counsel
- Judith Wallace - Partner
- John J. Walsh - Senior Counsel
- Madelyn K. White - Counsel
- Mark R. Zancolli - Partner
- Robert J.A. Zito - Retired Partner