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News

Litigation Group Successfully Negotiates Plea Arrangement in Grand Larceny Case

David Lazer of the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group recently negotiated a plea arrangement for a criminal defendant charged with Grand Larceny for stealing more than $38,000.00 from a little league baseball program in a much publicized case. The Nassau County District Attorney’s Office recommended to the Court a sentence of 1-3 years in state prison. Despite that drastic recommendation, the Firm’s attorneys were able to persuade the Court to accept a guilty plea with a sentence of 16 weekends in county jail, plus a term of probation, to which the defendant agreed. Through persistent advocacy, the Firm’s attorneys subsequently convinced the judge to eliminate the jail portion of the sentence entirely and instead impose only a probation term, restitution and community service.

Litigation Group Secures Supreme Court Judgment in Law Firm Partnership Dispute Over Partner Loan

David Lazer of the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group recently secured a significant judgment for a client against a law firm partnership and its surviving partner, who resides and practices law in Florida. The client loaned money to the partnership at the request of his then-attorney, the New York-based partner in the partnership. After loaning the partnership hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years, purportedly secured by a mortgage on the home of the New York attorney, that attorney committed suicide, leaving an unpaid balance on the client’s loans of more than a quarter-million dollars. The client also discovered that the loans were never secured with a mortgage on the attorney’s home; the attorney had forged the his wife’s signature on mortgage documents, pulled the equity out of his home and spent it for his own ends. The Firm commenced an action in New York State Supreme Court against the law firm partnership for failing to repay the loans. After the defendant law firm defended the case throughout, it failed to appear for trial and a default judgment was obtained. The Firm’s attorneys conducted a trial on damages, winning a total judgment for the client in excess of $400,000, including $60,000 in legal fees and costs. Through our Florida office, the Firm converted the client’s New York judgment into a Florida judgment in order to pursue the surviving partner in that state.

Litigation Group Wins Verdict in Supreme Court on Behalf of Chiropractor Alleged to Have Breached Restrictive Covenant in Contract for Sale of Practice

On March 27, 2008, the Firm won a non-jury verdict in Supreme Court, Suffolk County, on behalf of our client, a chiropractor, in a dispute over a contract for the sale of her chiropractic practice to the purchaser/plaintiff. The plaintiff claimed that our client had breached the restrictive covenant contained in the contract, and sought monetary damages. Our client counterclaimed for damages stemming from the plaintiff’s failure to pay the remainder of the note in accordance with the contract. Russell Penzer and Giuseppe Franzella of the Firm’s Litigation Practice Group successfully argued before the Hon. Peter Fox Cohalan that the plaintiff did not suffer any damages from the alleged breach and therefore was not entitled to recovery, and that our client was entitled to payment of the note. Justice Cohalan, ruling from the bench, found in favor of our client and denied recovery to the plaintiff.