Breach of Contract Litigation: It is preferable to engage an attorney before signing a large contract, but clients often wait to hire a lawyer until litigation is imminent. In such cases, it is best to retain counsel before contract termination to put your position in writing and ensure you comply with the contract's termination provisions. Where possible, an effort should be made to settle the dispute on reasonable terms. If the adversary is unwilling to be reasonable, you need a lawyer with strong written and oral advocacy skills to present your case effectively in litigation.
Business Partner and Shareholder Disputes: Co-owners of closely held businesses in New York owe fiduciary duties to one another. Where the shareholders' agreement or operating agreement is silent on the source of a dispute, the parties' fiduciary duties and duties of good faith and fair dealing prevent them from acting unfairly toward their business partners. These extra-contractual duties prohibit not only obvious acts of malfeasance like fraud or embezzlement but less obvious infractions like competing against the corporate entity. If one of the partners materially breaches his obligations, that individual may be terminated, sued for the breach of contract, or compelled to buy out the non-breaching party's shares.
Construction Litigation: Construction litigation is a highly specialized area of law. Construction contracts are often riddled with exculpatory clauses, including notice of claim requirements, no-damage-for-delay clauses, pay-when-paid clauses, liquidated damages clauses, and change order approval processes. The New York Lien Law and New York Prompt Payment Act also impose strict deadlines and obligations. Failure to comply with these statutory and contractual obligations can result in the waiver of your claim or in substantial liability to the adverse party. Our lawyers have the deep knowledge required of construction law required to avoid these pitfalls and obtain the best possible results in litigation.
Employment Litigation: Our firm's attorneys are experienced in litigation involving employment and labor law issues. Our lawyers have litigated claims under the New York Labor Law, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the New York Worker's Compensation Law. The firm's lawyers are experienced drafting and litigating employment contracts, and handling investigations by the New York State Department of Labor, New York City Comptroller, and New York State Division of Human Rights.
Insurance Litigation: When workers or third-parties are injured, these claims are typically defended by insurance companies under workers compensation or general liability insurance policies. In New York, where punitive damages for bad faith disclaimers of coverage are generally unavailable, insurers often disclaim coverage on improper grounds. Our lawyers can commence declaratory judgment actions to compel insurers to provide defense and indemnification and can defend the underlying claim while the coverage dispute is pending.
Real Estate Litigation: Our commercial litigation attorneys represent New York clients in negotiations and disputes over commercial leases, real estate sales contracts, licenses, and easements. Our lawyers are experienced in prosecuting and defending actions and special proceedings under the New York Lien Law and New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law, including petitions to access an adjoining property, partition of real property, and foreclosure on liens and mortgages.
Creditor Rights and Bankruptcy Litigation: Our firm's lawyers represent creditors, including investors, financial institutions, suppliers on credit and judgment creditors, in actions to recover on significant commercial debts. The firm's lawyers can secure the rights of creditors in New York bankruptcy proceedings, foreclose upon mechanic's liens and mortgages, recover possession of goods in secured transactions, draft security agreements, and enforce judgments through post-judgment collection proceedings.
Deceptive Business Practices: New York General Business Law § 349 renders deceptive business practices unlawful, and allows for recovery of losses and attorneys' fees in litigation. This is in addition to common law remedies for fraud, negligent misrepresentation and rescission of fraudulently induced contracts. Deceptive conduct can also provide grounds for the court to extend equitable remedies such as equitable estoppel, injunctions, and temporary restraining orders.
Arbitration and Mediation: In New York, arbitration and mediation clauses are common, and can influence the time and cost of resolving a contract dispute. Our attorneys have experience representing litigants in arbitration, serving as the neutral arbitrator or mediator of disputes, compelling arbitration and enforcing arbitration awards. Our lawyers can also advise you on the risks and benefits of including arbitration provisions in your contracts.
Appellate Litigation: Our lawyers are experienced in prosecuting and defending appeals before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, and have established new points of law in state and federal court litigation. Our attorneys also have experience prosecuting administrative appeals of determinations by governmental agencies, and challenging such determinations through special proceedings under Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules.
Contract Drafting and Negotiation: Our lawyers use their litigation experience to assist clients in drafting and negotiating contracts that minimize the risk litigation. Litigation can be avoided by clearly defining contract terms, anticipating likely sources of conflict, and providing clear enforcement mechanisms. Our attorneys are experienced in drafting construction contracts, shareholder agreements, operating agreements, real estate purchase contracts, commercial leases, employment contracts, license agreements, settlement agreements, financing agreements and other contracts.