Litigation

Moses & Singer’s Surrogate’s Court practice is comprised of attorneys experienced in all facets of trust and estate litigation and administration.  We regularly represent corporate and individual executors and trustees, family members, beneficiaries and others in both contested and uncontested matters, involving substantial assets, high-profile clients and complex family dynamics.  In addition to their knowledge and understanding of the New York Surrogate’s Courts, our estate lawyers bring to each case their extensive experience in estate planning, estate and gift taxation and estate and trust administration. 

We represent clients in a wide range of inheritance, estate and fiduciary disputes, including will contests, fiduciary accounting disputes, proceedings for the discovery and turnover of estate or trust assets, conflicts involving fiduciary duties and responsibilities, construction and reformation of wills and trust agreements, guardianships, and other matters involving wills, trusts and estates. 

For more information please contact us.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained summary judgment admitting to probate a decedent's will that was challenged by the decendent's grandchild in a highly contentious probate proceeding.
  • Defended institutional trustee against $2 billion dollar claim for negligent administration of testamentary trust.
  • Represented against multi-million dollar claim for institutional trustee for improper retention of concentration of common stock in violation of Prudent Investor Act
  • Represented fiduciary of estate in securing the turnover to the estate of the decedent’s retirement plan and other non-probate assets where the designation of a third party beneficiary was the result of undue influence and decedent’s incapacity.
  • Represented public non-for-profit corporation in defeating prior bequest under will to secure full value of client’s bequest
  • Defended child of decedent’s first marriage against claim by children of second marriage to decedent’s art collection
  • Probated will of decedent benefiting decedent’s second husband against undue influence claims of children of earlier marriage
  • Represented executor against claims of self-dealing and negligent handling of estate assets
  • Represented brother and former law partner of decedent in claims against brother’s estate concerning misappropriation of partnership property and title to real estate interests
  • Represented estate beneficiary in a series of litigation proceedings over the division of a decedent’s substantial real estate properties.

Bank Litigation

The firm has won several landmark cases for its banking clients, including:

  • Obtaining dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty claims in action by noteholders against indenture trustee arising from amendment of indenture;
  • The propriety of Trust Department practices in handling a close corporation in a testamentary trust, winning dismissal of a $2 billion claim of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty;
  • The right of a bank to insurance coverage for pollution-causing activity at property that had been foreclosed by the bank;
  • Success in the U.S. Supreme Court enabling a bank to pursue the principals of a bankrupt debtor under RICO, the Federal racketeering statute;
  • Obtaining summary dismissal of RICO claims against a bank based upon alleged prime rate fraud;
  • Defending a client in the "lenders' liability" action brought by the Hunt brothers in Texas, which was among the largest and most publicized of such cases in the country;
  • Success in establishing the priority of a consolidated first mortgage lien held by banks over the lien for common charges held by a condominium's board of managers;
  • Created new law in the establishment of rights of banks in enforcement of loan documents, electronic funds transfers, currency contracts, and chain of collection issues;
  • Success in subordinating a municipality's claim for payments in lieu of taxes for the lender's mortgage securing Industrial Development Authority Bonds;
  • Successfully extended the time to cure a defective presentation under a letter of credit, to enable a negotiating bank to obtain corrected documents for presentment to and payment by the issuer;
  • Established a standard under the letter of credit Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP) for notices terminating evergreen credits; and
  • Successfully defended a money center bank's dishonor of a letter of credit on the basis of inconsistency on the face of the documents presented for payment.

Real Estate & Land Title Litigation

  • A major bank in the arbitration over the purchase price of its headquarters building, receiving a valuation on behalf of the buyer of approximately half of the seller's figure;
  • A tenant in establishing that major New York City fire code expenses cannot normally be shifted to tenants;
  • Establishing the governing law in New York which upholds the "business judgment rule" to protect members of Boards of Directors of cooperative corporations;
  • Establishing the governing law in New York concerning the priority of first mortgage liens held by lenders over the claims of condominiums for common charges;
  • Clarifying the right of first refusal of a condominium to purchase units;
  • Defending sponsors of cooperative conversions against allegations of fraud or breach of contract brought by cooperatives;
  • Disputes between the Attorney General's Office and sponsors of condominium and cooperative conversions; and
  • Defense of a title insurer establishing the modern law in New York on the obligations of title insurers for land title searches.

Patent, Trademark & Copyright Infringement Litigation

  • Representation of a major production company to protect revenues during an LBO, against a claimant to authorship of a television show format, and in litigations with former employees;
  • Representation of a corporation in a copyright infringement action involving cartoon characters;
  • Representation of a major network in a landmark copyright case confirming the validity of the copyrights in the characters of a television series;
  • Representation of producers of award-winning children's television series in copyright and trademark infringement actions;
  • Representation of a subsidiary of a major greeting card company in a copyright infringement action involving a character;
  • Representation of a major mail order record company in a copyright infringement action;
  • Representation of a major corporation in contract litigation to establish and protect its cable TV rights for a cartoon series;
  • Representation of a major studio in a landmark copyright litigation confirming the validity of the copyrights of the 26 episodes of a television series;
  • Representation of a recording industry association in a precedent-setting parallel import and music performing rights case;
  • Representation of a major foreign authors' and composers' society in the filing of an amicus brief in support of a petition by a major music company for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court relating to the Berne Convention Implementation Act in respect of a major music performing rights licensing decision in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals;
  • Representation of a major record company in an action by a photographer over liability for lost photographs to be used for album covers;
  • Representation of a major music publisher in an action by an author for alleged failure to publish a book;
  • Representation of a major publisher in an action by an archivist seeking authorship attribution for a major rock group; and
  • Representation of a major production company in recovering foreign distribution option rights from a defaulting distributor.

Fiduciary Duty & Partnership Disputes

  • Defense of directors and officers of a research corporation in a derivative suit alleging waste of corporate assets;
  • Representation of defendant corporation and corporate directors in 10(b)5 class action in Southern District of New York arising out of 60% drop in stock price after previously announced earnings were reversed;
  • Representation of CEO of major M&A firm and outside director of Fortune 500 corporations in Delaware and California derivative suits alleging breach of duty of due care;
  • Representation of corporate officers and directors in Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into alleged insider trading and stock manipulation scheme;
  • Representation of currency trader in Federal Reserve Board Investigation into alleged unauthorized trading;
  • Trial to Texas jury of 10(b)5 and RICO class action arising out of oil company's alleged bribery of foreign officials to obtain concessions;
  • Trial to Indiana court of class action and derivative suit seeking to enjoin merger of Indiana health care company with white knight;
  • Representation of 50% shareholder of privately held corporation in state corporate dissolution proceeding involving allegations of fraud and corporate waste;
  • Trial to Massachusetts jury of claims against alleged controlling shareholder and director for breach of fiduciary duties, resulting from leveraged buyout and subsequent insolvency of world's largest dental supply company;
  • Representation of company officers and inside directors in Delaware derivative suit alleging breach of duty of loyalty and self-dealing; and
  • Representation of directors of Delaware corporation in Chapter 11 proceeding in obtaining releases from liability for alleged violations of securities laws and fiduciary duties as directors.

Unfair Competition & Business Tort Litigation

  • Representation of both plaintiffs and defendants, in restrictive covenant, trade secret and duty of loyalty matters, in actions throughout the United States. Counseling and/or legal actions on behalf of competitors in industries including software, medical and dental distribution, computerized equipment, financial services and others. Multi-jurisdictional representation and co-ordination in raiding and other large scale cases;
  • Representation in connection with defamation, false or misleading advertising, invasion of privacy, Lanham Act and other claims; and
  • Litigation over the financial consequences of: breaches of fiduciary duties; criminal activity; the conduct of disloyal employees. Civil actions pertaining to diverted corporate opportunities, breaches of confidentiality and non-competition agreements, forged stock certificates, forged checks and endorsements and other matters.

Entertainment Litigation

  • Representation of artists and authors in claims by and against agents, publishers and other business partners;
  • Litigation and counseling to protect intellectual property rights;
  • Litigation of a landmark case construing the termination and "employee for hire" provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law, in which we successfully represented the author and his heirs;
  • Successful representation of a high profile rock star against a multi-million dollar breach of contract claim brought by former manager. After a lengthy and complex proceeding, we persuaded the trier of fact to deny the claim in its entirety, based on a breach by the manager of fiduciary duties to the artist;
  • Enforcement of mechanical licensing rights on behalf of thousands of music publishers against recording companies, through copyright infringement actions throughout the U.S.;
  • Investigation and resolution of anti-piracy claims on behalf of publishers of musical compositions;
  • Representation of agents on compensation claims; and
  • Representation of advertising agencies in claims involving entertainment related companies.

Bankruptcy Litigation

  • The firm obtained summary judgment equitably subordinating the $110 million senior secured claim of Finova Capital to the claims of all unsecured creditors in the Thaxton, Group Chapter 11 case.
  • The firm obtained an $11 million settlement from Salomon Brothers of breach of fiduciary duty and related claims arising from the leveraged buyout of Envirodyne Industries, Inc. and its subsequent bankruptcy. The firm represented the sole creditor of Emerald
  • Acquisition, the pre-bankruptcy parent of Envirodyne, as plaintiff in litigation pending in both state and federal courts in Illinois.
  • The firm, as special counsel to the Board of Directors of Phoenix Information Systems Inc., a Chapter 11 debtor in possession in a case in Delaware, obtained releases of the directors from all potential claims by the Debtor, its creditors and its shareholders for alleged breaches of the federal securities laws and fiduciary duties of directors.
  • After a six-week trial, the firm obtained a jury verdict dismissing $240 million of claims asserted by the bankruptcy trustee in the Healthco International, Inc. case in Worcester, Massachusetts. Our clients included a director and a substantial shareholder of Healthco who were sued for breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment in connection with the 1991 leveraged buyout of Healthco, which was followed, two years later, by Healthco's bankruptcy and liquidation. The jury verdict frustrated the efforts of the bankruptcy trustee and the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to expand the duties of directors toward creditors in connection with an LBO.
  • In January, 2006, the firm obtained a pre-answer final dismissal with prejudice of commercial-based claims made against our client for veil piercing, fraudulent conveyance and conspiracy, in excess of $5 million, asserted by a bankruptcy trustee against the debtor, related companies and the president of them all.

Trusts & Estates Litigation

  • Defending the propriety of a corporate fiduciary's management of a closely held corporation owned by a testamentary trust, and winning dismissal after 35 days of trial of a $2 billion claim for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Defending a corporate trustee from a surcharge claim arising from management of real estate.
  • Pursuing compulsory accounting proceedings to secure accountings from fiduciaries.
  • Presenting and defending accounts of trustees and executors.
  • Will construction proceeding involving dispute between beneficiaries over rights of an adopted child.
  • Will construction proceeding involving rule against perpetuities.
  • Will construction proceeding involving the interpretation of granting clauses.
  • Contesting will on grounds of undue influence and tracing and recovering assets.
  • Seeking discovery of hidden estate assets.
  • Defending claim seeking to enforce contract to make testamentary dispositions.
  • Valuation and sale of estate's interest in real estate partnership.
  • Appointment of guardian for mentally incapacitated individual.
  • Determination of entitlement to wrongful death proceeds.
  • Securing the appointment of successor trustees not named in trust instrument.
  • Estate and gift tax proceedings including valuation of hard to value assets.
  • Representing beneficiaries in tax apportionment action.
  • Representing surviving spouse in exercise of elective share rights.

Estate Litigation

  • Obtained summary judgment admitting to probate a decedent’s will that was challenged by the decedent’s grandchild in a highly contentious probate proceeding.
  • Defended institutional trustee against $2 billion dollar claim for negligent administration of testamentary trust.
  • Represented against multi-million dollar claim for institutional trustee for improper retention of concentration of common stock in violation of Prudent Investor Act.
  • Represented fiduciary of estate in securing the turnover to the estate of the decedent’s retirement plan and other non-probate assets where the designation of a third party beneficiary was the result of undue influence and decedent’s incapacity.
  • Represented public non-for-profit corporation in defeating prior bequest under will to secure full value of client’s bequest
  • Defended child of decedent’s first marriage against claim by children of second marriage to decedent’s art collection
  • Probated will of decedent benefiting decedent’s second husband against undue influence claims of children of earlier marriage
  • Represented executor against claims of self-dealing and negligent handling of estate assets
  • Represented brother and former law partner of decedent in claims against brother’s estate concerning misappropriation of partnership property and title to real estate interests
  • Represented estate beneficiary in a series of litigation proceedings over the division of a decedent’s substantial real estate properties.
  • Defended institutional trustee against $2 billion dollar claim for negligent administration of testamentary trust.
  • Represented against multi-million dollar claim for institutional trustee for improper retention of concentration of common stock in violation of Prudent Investor Act.
  • Represented fiduciary of estate in securing the turnover to the estate of the decedent’s retirement plan and other non-probate assets where the designation of a third party beneficiary was the result of undue influence and decedent’s incapacity.
  • Represented public non-for-profit corporation in defeating prior bequest under will to secure full value of client’s bequest
  • Defended child of decedent’s first marriage against claim by children of second marriage to decedent’s art collection
  • Probated will of decedent benefiting decedent’s second husband against undue influence claims of children of earlier marriage
  • Represented executor against claims of self-dealing and negligent handling of estate assets
  • Represented brother and former law partner of decedent in claims against brother’s estate concerning misappropriation of partnership property and title to real estate interests
  • Represented estate beneficiary in a series of litigation proceedings over the division of a decedent’s substantial real estate properties.

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Overview

Moses & Singer’s Surrogate’s Court practice is comprised of attorneys experienced in all facets of trust and estate litigation and administration.  We regularly represent corporate and individual executors and trustees, family members, beneficiaries and others in both contested and uncontested matters, involving substantial assets, high-profile clients and complex family dynamics.  In addition to their knowledge and understanding of the New York Surrogate’s Courts, our estate lawyers bring to each case their extensive experience in estate planning, estate and gift taxation and estate and trust administration. 

We represent clients in a wide range of inheritance, estate and fiduciary disputes, including will contests, fiduciary accounting disputes, proceedings for the discovery and turnover of estate or trust assets, conflicts involving fiduciary duties and responsibilities, construction and reformation of wills and trust agreements, guardianships, and other matters involving wills, trusts and estates. 

Business Litigation

Businesses face challenges on all fronts in ongoing operations. In a tough economy, disputes over shortfalls and delays in payments occur more frequently. Vendors may cut corners, delay shipments or otherwise perform in an unsatisfactory manner. Government agencies may exert claims over tax payments or investigate companies regarding compliance with regulatory requirements. Questions arise over potential fraud, negligence and misappropriation. All of these issues call for aggressive representation. Moses & Singer has deep experience in asserting claims on behalf of clients and defending them against opponents.

We have litigated complex cases in a wide variety of commercial areas such as:

  • Accounting errors and omissions
  • Contract breaches
  • Fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty
  • RICO
  • Insurance claims
  • Securities issues
  • Stockholder suits and shareholder rights
  • Tax claims

We work closely with clients on investigations, assertion of claims, and defense both internally, within the company, and with third parties and government agencies.

Bank Litigation

The firm has represented many United States and foreign banks in the prosecution and defense of cases in the areas of:

  • Lender liability
  • Trust indentures
  • Factoring
  • Securities and negotiable instruments
  • Decedents' estates/fiduciary matters
  • Electronic funds transfer
  • Letters of credit, including standby and commercial letters of credit;
  • Currency transactions
  • Creditors' rights
  • Collections
  • Loan documentation

The firm has a national reputation in matters involving Letters of Credit and in cases arising in the context of distressed businesses and the fiduciary obligations of related directors and managers.

Moses & Singer has also represented financial institutions in issues common to all major businesses, including real estate matters involving property valuations; foreclosures; landlord-tenant lease and occupancy disputes; fire and property damage and liability; real estate taxes; fire and building ordinances; taxation; and fraud.

To view representative Banking Litigation matters, click here.

To view recent Moses & Singer Letter of Credit Decisions, click here.

Real Estate And Land Title Litigation

The firm has represented many clients in cases involving commercial and residential real estate, cooperative-condominium issues, landlord-tenant disputes, construction, fire and building regulations, building valuation, abutting property disputes, and other types of real estate matters.

To view representative Real Estate and Land Title Litigation matters, click here.

Patent, Trademark & Copyright Infringement Cases

Moses & Singer has broad experience in all forms of intellectual property litigation. We are actively involved in the prosecution and defense of copyright, trademark and patent infringement claims and we litigate before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. We also have particular experience in litigation in the television, home video, publishing, and motion picture industries. The firm's clients include production and distribution companies, writers, producers, and talent.

To view representative Patent, Trademark and Copyright Infringement matters, click here.

Fiduciary Duty & Partnership Disputes

The firm's litigation practice group has broad experience in director and officer liability, securities and shareholders rights litigation, representing both corporations and individual corporate directors and officers. In addition to defending and prosecuting actions in federal and state court throughout the United States, the firm represents corporations and individuals before federal and state agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve Board and the IRS.

To view representative Fiduciary Duty and Partnership Disputes matters click here.

Employment Litigation

Moses & Singer regularly represents employers and employees in a wide range of disputes affecting relationships in the workplace. Our experience covers a wide variety of matters:

  • Termination and wrongful discharge
  • Compensation, commissions and fringe benefits
  • Title to copyrightable work product
  • Non-competition agreements and other restrictive covenants
  • Nondisclosure agreements
  • Discrimination
  • Physical assault and harassment

Moses & Singer has extensive experience in solving employment disputes, both in designing noncompete and nondisclosure agreements and programs, and in aggressively enforcing the rights of our clients in this area. See Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits for more information.

Our litigators handle numerous cases in federal and state courts throughout the country. We coordinate our clients' interests in this area in multidistrict litigation. We appear in federal and state courts, and before federal and state equal opportunity and human rights commissions in cases involving claimed discrimination based on sex, race, disability, age, national origin and violation of public policy.  The firm also advises clients on federal, state and local regulations concerning employment, including ERISA, FMLA, FLSA and wage and hour laws, in addition to those mentioned above.

Unfair Competition & Business Tort Litigation

In the marketplace, the protection of trade secrets, confidential data and business "know-how" is an urgent concern of virtually every business.  Organizations cannot operate unless intellectual property and information about customer and supplier relationships is thoroughly defended against misappropriation or misuse, by competitors and venture partners, and from present or former employees. Similarly, the reputation of a company’s management is a key aspect of its endeavors. Representation in these areas is a major focus of the work of our firm, which has a national practice and an international reputation in the fields of non-competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreements, and the protection of intellectual property and trade secrets. We protect our clients' vital interests and assets by:

  • Designing trade secret programs
  • Drafting and negotiating non-disclosure agreements,
  • Drafting and enforcing confidentiality agreements
  • Advising on non-solicitation and non-compete agreements
  • Counseling concerning hiring of new employees
  • Advising on avoidance of unfair competition claims. 

To view representative Unfair Competition and Business Tort Litigation matters click here.

Entertainment Litigation

Moses & Singer has a national practice and reputation in Entertainment Law. Our Litigation Department is a key component of our Entertainment practice, with extensive experience litigating entertainment related cases involving contract, intellectual property, privacy, media, fiduciary, and other issues. Our attorneys have been involved in major, precedent-setting cases, as well as in counseling our clients in the avoidance of litigation. We litigate on behalf of media, advertising, entertainment and communications-related clients, as well as on behalf of artists and agents.

To view representative Entertainment Litigation matters click here.

Bankruptcy Litigation

Moses & Singer's bankruptcy, finance and litigation attorneys regularly counsel clients on issues of bankruptcy avoidance and "lender liability" claims.  Our experience covers prevention of such claims in the course of enforcing creditors' rights and in defending such claims if asserted. In addition to defending and pursuing preference and fraudulent transfer claims, the firm has successfully represented financial institutions in complex lender liability litigation, such as in the Hunt Brothers, Braswell Shipyards and Belle Casinos cases in Texas, South Carolina and Mississippi, respectively. The firm has also represented significant parties, including lenders and directors, in litigation arising from insolvencies, recapitalizations and LBO's, such as in the cases involving The Thaxton Group, Envirodyne, Forum Group, Healthco International, Crothers McCall and Phoenix Information Systems.

To view representative Bankruptcy Litigation matters click here.

Trusts & Estates Litigation

The firm regularly represents individuals and fiduciaries in trusts and estates proceedings and lawsuits, including:

  • Will contests and construction proceedings
  • Accountings and surcharge claims
  • Valuations,
  • Claims against estates
  • Disputed inter vivos gifts and testamentary dispositions,
  • Undue influence and competency issues,
  • Guardians and conservators,
  • Estate and gift tax disputes.

To view representative Trusts and Estates Litigation matters click here.

International Litigation

The firm has been involved in international trade and commercial contract litigation before the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. Court of International Trade, and the International Court of Trade, as well as in multinational grey market goods, letter of credit, and importer-distributor matters in state and federal courts. The firm's clients include international banks and import-export companies. The firm has also handled matters involving the enforcement of arbitration awards received in foreign jurisdictions.

To view representative International Litigation matters click here.

Estate Litigation

Moses & Singer’s Surrogate’s Court practice is comprised of attorneys experienced in all facets of trust and estate litigation and administration.  We regularly represent corporate and individual executors and trustees, family members, beneficiaries and others in both contested and uncontested matters, involving substantial assets, high-profile clients and complex family dynamics.  In addition to their knowledge and understanding of the New York Surrogate’s Courts, our estate lawyers bring to each case their extensive experience in estate planning, estate and gift taxation and estate and trust administration. 

We represent clients in a wide range of inheritance, estate and fiduciary disputes, including will contests, fiduciary accounting disputes, proceedings for the discovery and turnover of estate or trust assets, conflicts involving fiduciary duties and responsibilities, construction and reformation of wills and trust agreements, guardianships, and other matters involving wills, trusts and estates. 

To view representative Estate Litigation matters click here.

For more information please contact us.

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Representative Matters
  • Obtained summary judgment admitting to probate a decedent's will that was challenged by the decendent's grandchild in a highly contentious probate proceeding.
  • Defended institutional trustee against $2 billion dollar claim for negligent administration of testamentary trust.
  • Represented against multi-million dollar claim for institutional trustee for improper retention of concentration of common stock in violation of Prudent Investor Act
  • Represented fiduciary of estate in securing the turnover to the estate of the decedent’s retirement plan and other non-probate assets where the designation of a third party beneficiary was the result of undue influence and decedent’s incapacity.
  • Represented public non-for-profit corporation in defeating prior bequest under will to secure full value of client’s bequest
  • Defended child of decedent’s first marriage against claim by children of second marriage to decedent’s art collection
  • Probated will of decedent benefiting decedent’s second husband against undue influence claims of children of earlier marriage
  • Represented executor against claims of self-dealing and negligent handling of estate assets
  • Represented brother and former law partner of decedent in claims against brother’s estate concerning misappropriation of partnership property and title to real estate interests
  • Represented estate beneficiary in a series of litigation proceedings over the division of a decedent’s substantial real estate properties.

Bank Litigation

The firm has won several landmark cases for its banking clients, including:

  • Obtaining dismissal of breach of fiduciary duty claims in action by noteholders against indenture trustee arising from amendment of indenture;
  • The propriety of Trust Department practices in handling a close corporation in a testamentary trust, winning dismissal of a $2 billion claim of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty;
  • The right of a bank to insurance coverage for pollution-causing activity at property that had been foreclosed by the bank;
  • Success in the U.S. Supreme Court enabling a bank to pursue the principals of a bankrupt debtor under RICO, the Federal racketeering statute;
  • Obtaining summary dismissal of RICO claims against a bank based upon alleged prime rate fraud;
  • Defending a client in the "lenders' liability" action brought by the Hunt brothers in Texas, which was among the largest and most publicized of such cases in the country;
  • Success in establishing the priority of a consolidated first mortgage lien held by banks over the lien for common charges held by a condominium's board of managers;
  • Created new law in the establishment of rights of banks in enforcement of loan documents, electronic funds transfers, currency contracts, and chain of collection issues;
  • Success in subordinating a municipality's claim for payments in lieu of taxes for the lender's mortgage securing Industrial Development Authority Bonds;
  • Successfully extended the time to cure a defective presentation under a letter of credit, to enable a negotiating bank to obtain corrected documents for presentment to and payment by the issuer;
  • Established a standard under the letter of credit Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP) for notices terminating evergreen credits; and
  • Successfully defended a money center bank's dishonor of a letter of credit on the basis of inconsistency on the face of the documents presented for payment.

Real Estate & Land Title Litigation

  • A major bank in the arbitration over the purchase price of its headquarters building, receiving a valuation on behalf of the buyer of approximately half of the seller's figure;
  • A tenant in establishing that major New York City fire code expenses cannot normally be shifted to tenants;
  • Establishing the governing law in New York which upholds the "business judgment rule" to protect members of Boards of Directors of cooperative corporations;
  • Establishing the governing law in New York concerning the priority of first mortgage liens held by lenders over the claims of condominiums for common charges;
  • Clarifying the right of first refusal of a condominium to purchase units;
  • Defending sponsors of cooperative conversions against allegations of fraud or breach of contract brought by cooperatives;
  • Disputes between the Attorney General's Office and sponsors of condominium and cooperative conversions; and
  • Defense of a title insurer establishing the modern law in New York on the obligations of title insurers for land title searches.

Patent, Trademark & Copyright Infringement Litigation

  • Representation of a major production company to protect revenues during an LBO, against a claimant to authorship of a television show format, and in litigations with former employees;
  • Representation of a corporation in a copyright infringement action involving cartoon characters;
  • Representation of a major network in a landmark copyright case confirming the validity of the copyrights in the characters of a television series;
  • Representation of producers of award-winning children's television series in copyright and trademark infringement actions;
  • Representation of a subsidiary of a major greeting card company in a copyright infringement action involving a character;
  • Representation of a major mail order record company in a copyright infringement action;
  • Representation of a major corporation in contract litigation to establish and protect its cable TV rights for a cartoon series;
  • Representation of a major studio in a landmark copyright litigation confirming the validity of the copyrights of the 26 episodes of a television series;
  • Representation of a recording industry association in a precedent-setting parallel import and music performing rights case;
  • Representation of a major foreign authors' and composers' society in the filing of an amicus brief in support of a petition by a major music company for a writ of certiorari in the Supreme Court relating to the Berne Convention Implementation Act in respect of a major music performing rights licensing decision in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals;
  • Representation of a major record company in an action by a photographer over liability for lost photographs to be used for album covers;
  • Representation of a major music publisher in an action by an author for alleged failure to publish a book;
  • Representation of a major publisher in an action by an archivist seeking authorship attribution for a major rock group; and
  • Representation of a major production company in recovering foreign distribution option rights from a defaulting distributor.

Fiduciary Duty & Partnership Disputes

  • Defense of directors and officers of a research corporation in a derivative suit alleging waste of corporate assets;
  • Representation of defendant corporation and corporate directors in 10(b)5 class action in Southern District of New York arising out of 60% drop in stock price after previously announced earnings were reversed;
  • Representation of CEO of major M&A firm and outside director of Fortune 500 corporations in Delaware and California derivative suits alleging breach of duty of due care;
  • Representation of corporate officers and directors in Securities and Exchange Commission investigation into alleged insider trading and stock manipulation scheme;
  • Representation of currency trader in Federal Reserve Board Investigation into alleged unauthorized trading;
  • Trial to Texas jury of 10(b)5 and RICO class action arising out of oil company's alleged bribery of foreign officials to obtain concessions;
  • Trial to Indiana court of class action and derivative suit seeking to enjoin merger of Indiana health care company with white knight;
  • Representation of 50% shareholder of privately held corporation in state corporate dissolution proceeding involving allegations of fraud and corporate waste;
  • Trial to Massachusetts jury of claims against alleged controlling shareholder and director for breach of fiduciary duties, resulting from leveraged buyout and subsequent insolvency of world's largest dental supply company;
  • Representation of company officers and inside directors in Delaware derivative suit alleging breach of duty of loyalty and self-dealing; and
  • Representation of directors of Delaware corporation in Chapter 11 proceeding in obtaining releases from liability for alleged violations of securities laws and fiduciary duties as directors.

Unfair Competition & Business Tort Litigation

  • Representation of both plaintiffs and defendants, in restrictive covenant, trade secret and duty of loyalty matters, in actions throughout the United States. Counseling and/or legal actions on behalf of competitors in industries including software, medical and dental distribution, computerized equipment, financial services and others. Multi-jurisdictional representation and co-ordination in raiding and other large scale cases;
  • Representation in connection with defamation, false or misleading advertising, invasion of privacy, Lanham Act and other claims; and
  • Litigation over the financial consequences of: breaches of fiduciary duties; criminal activity; the conduct of disloyal employees. Civil actions pertaining to diverted corporate opportunities, breaches of confidentiality and non-competition agreements, forged stock certificates, forged checks and endorsements and other matters.

Entertainment Litigation

  • Representation of artists and authors in claims by and against agents, publishers and other business partners;
  • Litigation and counseling to protect intellectual property rights;
  • Litigation of a landmark case construing the termination and "employee for hire" provisions of the U.S. Copyright Law, in which we successfully represented the author and his heirs;
  • Successful representation of a high profile rock star against a multi-million dollar breach of contract claim brought by former manager. After a lengthy and complex proceeding, we persuaded the trier of fact to deny the claim in its entirety, based on a breach by the manager of fiduciary duties to the artist;
  • Enforcement of mechanical licensing rights on behalf of thousands of music publishers against recording companies, through copyright infringement actions throughout the U.S.;
  • Investigation and resolution of anti-piracy claims on behalf of publishers of musical compositions;
  • Representation of agents on compensation claims; and
  • Representation of advertising agencies in claims involving entertainment related companies.

Bankruptcy Litigation

  • The firm obtained summary judgment equitably subordinating the $110 million senior secured claim of Finova Capital to the claims of all unsecured creditors in the Thaxton, Group Chapter 11 case.
  • The firm obtained an $11 million settlement from Salomon Brothers of breach of fiduciary duty and related claims arising from the leveraged buyout of Envirodyne Industries, Inc. and its subsequent bankruptcy. The firm represented the sole creditor of Emerald
  • Acquisition, the pre-bankruptcy parent of Envirodyne, as plaintiff in litigation pending in both state and federal courts in Illinois.
  • The firm, as special counsel to the Board of Directors of Phoenix Information Systems Inc., a Chapter 11 debtor in possession in a case in Delaware, obtained releases of the directors from all potential claims by the Debtor, its creditors and its shareholders for alleged breaches of the federal securities laws and fiduciary duties of directors.
  • After a six-week trial, the firm obtained a jury verdict dismissing $240 million of claims asserted by the bankruptcy trustee in the Healthco International, Inc. case in Worcester, Massachusetts. Our clients included a director and a substantial shareholder of Healthco who were sued for breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment in connection with the 1991 leveraged buyout of Healthco, which was followed, two years later, by Healthco's bankruptcy and liquidation. The jury verdict frustrated the efforts of the bankruptcy trustee and the U.S. Bankruptcy Judge to expand the duties of directors toward creditors in connection with an LBO.
  • In January, 2006, the firm obtained a pre-answer final dismissal with prejudice of commercial-based claims made against our client for veil piercing, fraudulent conveyance and conspiracy, in excess of $5 million, asserted by a bankruptcy trustee against the debtor, related companies and the president of them all.

Trusts & Estates Litigation

  • Defending the propriety of a corporate fiduciary's management of a closely held corporation owned by a testamentary trust, and winning dismissal after 35 days of trial of a $2 billion claim for negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Defending a corporate trustee from a surcharge claim arising from management of real estate.
  • Pursuing compulsory accounting proceedings to secure accountings from fiduciaries.
  • Presenting and defending accounts of trustees and executors.
  • Will construction proceeding involving dispute between beneficiaries over rights of an adopted child.
  • Will construction proceeding involving rule against perpetuities.
  • Will construction proceeding involving the interpretation of granting clauses.
  • Contesting will on grounds of undue influence and tracing and recovering assets.
  • Seeking discovery of hidden estate assets.
  • Defending claim seeking to enforce contract to make testamentary dispositions.
  • Valuation and sale of estate's interest in real estate partnership.
  • Appointment of guardian for mentally incapacitated individual.
  • Determination of entitlement to wrongful death proceeds.
  • Securing the appointment of successor trustees not named in trust instrument.
  • Estate and gift tax proceedings including valuation of hard to value assets.
  • Representing beneficiaries in tax apportionment action.
  • Representing surviving spouse in exercise of elective share rights.

Estate Litigation

  • Obtained summary judgment admitting to probate a decedent’s will that was challenged by the decedent’s grandchild in a highly contentious probate proceeding.
  • Defended institutional trustee against $2 billion dollar claim for negligent administration of testamentary trust.
  • Represented against multi-million dollar claim for institutional trustee for improper retention of concentration of common stock in violation of Prudent Investor Act.
  • Represented fiduciary of estate in securing the turnover to the estate of the decedent’s retirement plan and other non-probate assets where the designation of a third party beneficiary was the result of undue influence and decedent’s incapacity.
  • Represented public non-for-profit corporation in defeating prior bequest under will to secure full value of client’s bequest
  • Defended child of decedent’s first marriage against claim by children of second marriage to decedent’s art collection
  • Probated will of decedent benefiting decedent’s second husband against undue influence claims of children of earlier marriage
  • Represented executor against claims of self-dealing and negligent handling of estate assets
  • Represented brother and former law partner of decedent in claims against brother’s estate concerning misappropriation of partnership property and title to real estate interests
  • Represented estate beneficiary in a series of litigation proceedings over the division of a decedent’s substantial real estate properties.
  • Defended institutional trustee against $2 billion dollar claim for negligent administration of testamentary trust.
  • Represented against multi-million dollar claim for institutional trustee for improper retention of concentration of common stock in violation of Prudent Investor Act.
  • Represented fiduciary of estate in securing the turnover to the estate of the decedent’s retirement plan and other non-probate assets where the designation of a third party beneficiary was the result of undue influence and decedent’s incapacity.
  • Represented public non-for-profit corporation in defeating prior bequest under will to secure full value of client’s bequest
  • Defended child of decedent’s first marriage against claim by children of second marriage to decedent’s art collection
  • Probated will of decedent benefiting decedent’s second husband against undue influence claims of children of earlier marriage
  • Represented executor against claims of self-dealing and negligent handling of estate assets
  • Represented brother and former law partner of decedent in claims against brother’s estate concerning misappropriation of partnership property and title to real estate interests
  • Represented estate beneficiary in a series of litigation proceedings over the division of a decedent’s substantial real estate properties.
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