Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that Jennifer A. Lofaro has become a member of the firm. Her practice focuses on Commercial Finance and Real Estate and she advises and represents regional and national institutional lenders and developers, as well as individual and corporate borrowers, in residential and commercial real estate transactions.
Ms. Lofaro received her J.D. from Pace University School of Law and is a 1990 graduate of the State University of New York, New Paltz.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that Janet B. Linn has become a member of the firm in the Intellectual Property and Litigation Practice Groups. Her practice focuses on patent, trademark and trade secret litigation and counseling. She has extensive trial and litigation experience in jurisdictions throughout the United States in a broad range of technologies, including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, consumer products, and mechanical devices. She also has substantial experience in trademark prosecution and inter partes proceedings, as well as unfair competition, false advertising, and copyright litigation.
Ms. Linn was recently Chair of the Patents Committee of the New York City Bar Association and is currently a member of the Executive Committee of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Section of the New York State Bar Association. She has been recognized as a Super Lawyer in Intellectual Property Litigation.Read More
Bleakley Platt is honored to announce that Frances M. Pantaleo has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 in the field of Elder Law. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey. Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”Read More
An amendment to New York State’s Real Property Law, effective December 3, 2014, imposes new requirements for all residential leases, whether currently in existence or which take effect thereafter. The amendment adds a new section, Section 231-a, which imposes the following requirements.
First, all leases for residential premises must include a disclosure statement regarding the existence (or not) of an automatic fire suppression sprinkler system covering the “leased premises,” common area or both. Second, the disclosure statement must be “conspicuous notice in bold face type.” Third, the notice must include the most recent date of maintenance and inspection.
Section 231-a may present some unusual problems. For instance, the requirement is imposed in “every residential lease” so it is not limited to owners of residential property. By way of example, even a tenant who is subletting the “leased premises” will be bound by the law. Moreover, New York law does not necessarily require that a lease for residential property be in writing, yet Section 231-a requires that the statement regarding sprinkler disclosure be “conspicuous notice in bold face type.”
In addition, the law does not specify a penalty for its violation. Does the failure to include the disclosure render the lease void and unenforceable? Is the lease unenforceable by the owner or landlord only? Can the tenant simply refuse to pay rent? Can the tenant walk away without consequence? What if the tenant refuses to sign? Does the tenant’s refusal to sign mean there is no enforceable lease?
Also, what about an existing residential lease? Must the lease be amended or is a separate letter “deemed incorporated into” the lease?
Further, Section 231-a does not distinguish between single family and multi-family housing, so it presumably applies to single family housing and is not restricted to apartment buildings, co-ops or condominiums.
Finally, the law does not define the crucial terms “lease” or “residential property.” It is unclear how Section 231-a would apply where a family member acquires housing for another family member, e.g. where a parent purchases a co-op or condominium unit for a child or vice versa. Such an arrangement could be construed as a “lease” or a “license” and the risk of failure to comply with Section 231-a would be on the property owner.Read More
Each year, Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters publication, identifies no more than five percent of the lawyers in New York State as “Super Lawyers” – “outstanding lawyers” who have attained a “high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.” The selection process includes independent research and peer evaluations. The publication recently announced that 11 Bleakley Platt attorneys were named “Super Lawyers” in 2014. The attorneys receiving this honor are:
- Joseph DeGiuseppe, Jr.
- Susan E. Galvao
- William P. Harrington
- Robert D. Meade
- William M. Murphy
- Christopher C. Palermo
- Frances M. Pantaleo
- Matthew G. Parisi
- Raymond M. Planell
- Nancy J. Rudolph
- Mary Anne Wirth
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that Christopher C. Palermo has become a member of the firm, in the litigation practice group. His practice focuses on matters involving contractual disputes, unfair competition and consumer protection claims, product liability, real estate litigation, common law fraud and False Claims Act matters. He has represented corporate clients in jurisdictions throughout the U.S. in a number of different industries, including pharmaceuticals, financial services, industrial manufacturing and telecommunications.
Mr. Palermo was appointed by Chief Judge of the State of New York Jonathan Lippman to serve on the Commercial Division Advisory Council, which is charged with advising the Chief Judge on an ongoing basis about all matters concerning the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
Mr. Palermo received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, cum laude, in 1987 and is a 1984 cum laude graduate of Princeton University. Mr. Palermo has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” from 2007 to the present.Read More
Appellate Division First Department Affirms Surrogate’s Court Decision in Favor of BPS Clients and Rejects Estate Executor’s Claim of Undue Influence as to Turnover of the Renowned “Pyramid of Hope” and “Butterfly of Peace” Diamond Collections
On April 1, 2014, the Appellate Division, First Department unanimously affirmed a Bronx County Surrogate’s Court decision dismissing the claims against Bleakley Platt & Schmidt’s clients, Alan Bronstein and Aurora Gems, Inc. David Gould, the Executor of Harry Rodman’s Estate, sought to set aside Rodman’s transfer of his fifty percent interest in Aurora Gems, Inc., to his stepson, Alan Bronstein; Aurora Gems, Inc. is the owner of the renowned “Pyramid of Hope” and “Butterfly of Peace” colored diamond collections. Currently the “Pyramid of Hope” collection is on display at London Natural History Museum and the “Butterfly of Peace” collection is exhibited at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. The Court rejected the Executor’s claim that Mr. Bronstein engaged in fraud and overreaching noting that Mr. Rodman was of sound mental health and had a close family relationship with Mr. Bronstein and such relation negated any inference of undue influence.
Vincent W. Crowe, a member of Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP since 1985, tried the case and argued the appeal on behalf of Alan Bronstein and Aurora Gems, Inc. Click here for the full Appellate Court Decision and Click here for trial court decision.Read More
By unanimous Decision and Order dated March 19, 2014, the Appellate Division affirmed the Order of the Supreme Court, Westchester County (Loehr, .J) entered on June 5, 2012, which granted the oral motion of the defendant Marlene Magarelli, executor of the estate of Isaac G. Sargiss, and the separate oral motion of the defendants Julius Sargiss, brother of Isaac, and Panrad Automotive Industries, Inc. pursuant to CPLR 4401, made at the close of the plaintiff’s case after a nonjury trial, for judgment as a matter of law dismissing the complaint against them as a matter of law.
The plaintiff, Frieda Sargiss, was the divorced widow of Isaac Sargiss who passed away in California in 2004. The couple had entered into a divorce agreement in New York in 1996. Following Isaac’s death, his widow claimed that a variety of financial documents found in her late ex-husband’s residence showed that he had made fraudulent misrepresentations concerning his assets at the time of the divorce, thus preventing the plaintiff from receiving her fair equitable distribution. She filed an action seeking damages for the alleged fraud. Following the presentation of her case, the defendants made their motions for dismissal as a matter of law. The trial court agreed with the defendants finding that plaintiff had produced nothing more than “circumstantial evidence” and utterly failed to prove her case under the required standard of “clear and convincing” evidence to establish fraud.
The Appellate Division concurred, affirming the dismissal, noting that “A trial court’s grant of a CPLR 4401 motion for judgment as a matter of law is appropriate where the trial court finds that, upon the evidence presented, there is no rational process by which the fact trier could base a finding in favor of the nonmoving party.” In this case the Appellate court found that indeed there was no rational process by which the trial judge could have concluded that the plaintiff reasonably or justifiably relied on the misrepresentations her now deceased former husband allegedly made during the divorce action, in particular as regarding the sale of a share of one of his business entities to his brother, which occurred six years before the divorce action.
William Hughes Mulligan, Jr., a member of Bleakley Platt & Schmidt LLP since 1985, tried the case and argued the appeal on behalf of the executor defendant, Marlene Magarelli. Click here for the full decision.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that Frances M. Pantaleo has become a member of the firm, handling a broad range of matters with a particular emphasis in the areas of elder law, estate planning, drafting wills and trusts, probate and administration of estates, guardianship proceedings, and the drafting and administration of supplemental needs trusts.
Ms. Pantaleo is the Chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She has previously served as Chair of the Elder Law Committees of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association and the Westchester County Bar Association.
Ms. Pantaleo received her J.D. from New York University Law School in 1979 and is a summa cum laude graduate of Brooklyn College, CUNY. Ms. Pantaleo has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” in the area of Elder Law and was named one of the top twenty-five attorneys in Westchester County in both 2011 and 2012. Ms. Pantaleo has achieved the AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards from Martindale Hubbell.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that eight of its Partners have been recognized by New York “Super Lawyers” 2013 as among the top attorneys in the New York-Metropolitan Area in their respective areas of concentration. “Super Lawyers” is a listing of outstanding lawyers that evaluates each candidate based on peer recognition and professional achievement; verdicts and settlements; transactions; representative clients; experience; honors and awards; special licenses and certifications; position within law firm; bar and or other professional activity; pro bono and community service as a lawyer; scholarly lectures and writings; education and employment background; and other outstanding achievements. The Bleakley Platt attorneys named as 2013 New York “Super Lawyers” are William P. Harrington, who is the Chair of our Firm’s Executive Committee, in the areas of Energy, Environmental Litigation, and Land Use; Joseph DeGiuseppe, Jr. in Labor & Employment; Susan E. Galvão in General Litigation; Robert D. Meade in Insurance Coverage; William M. Murphy in Business Litigation; Matthew G. Parisi in Environmental Litigation; Raymond M. Planell in Estate Planning & Probate; and Nancy J. Rudolph in Estate & Trust Litigation. The Firm proudly congratulates these attorneys on their receipt of this year’s prestigious “Super Lawyers” Award.Read More
BPS Partner, Joe DeGiuseppe, Selected as “2013 Top Rated Lawyer” in Both “Labor & Employment” and “Immigration Law”
We are pleased to announce that BPS Partner Joe DeGiuseppe, who is the head of the Firm’s Labor and Employment Practice Group, has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell™ and the American Lawyer Media as a “2013 Top Rated Lawyer” in both “Labor & Employment” and “Immigration Law.” Mr. DeGiuseppe also has achieved an AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell™, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. The Firm warmly congratulates Joe DeGiuseppe on his selection for this prestigious award.Read More
Joe DeGiuseppe, the head of the Firm’s Immigration Law and Employment Law Practice Groups, will speak on June 18, 2013, at a CLE accredited seminar being sponsored by Lorman Education Services. Joe will give a presentation on the topic of “Wage and Hour Compliance.”
The Lorman seminar will be held at the Radisson Hotel New Rochelle, One Radisson Plaza in New Rochelle, NY, from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. Reservations for this seminar can be made by either contacting Lorman at (866) 352-9539 or by visiting Lorman’s website at www.lorman.com/ID391383.Read More
We are pleased to announce that Nancy J. Rudolph, who works in the Trusts and Estates Practice Group, has been appointed to the Governing Board of the Westchester Visiting Nurse Services Group, Inc. (WVNS Group), the parent organization of VNS Westchester, the largest nonprofit Medicare-certified community based home healthcare agency in the County and of Westchester Care at Home, its affiliated NYS-licensed home healthcare agency.
A past member of the WVNS Group Board, Nancy has rejoined the Board and will serve as its Treasurer.Read More
We are pleased to announce that BPS Partner Fred Martin, who is a Senior Member of the Firm’s Executive Committee, has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell™ and the American Lawyer Media as a “2013 Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Law.” Mr. Martin has successfully litigated constitutional due process, freedom of speech and eminent domain claims, statutory construction and Article 78 cases and appeals through the New York Court of Appeals and in the Second and Third Circuit Courts of Appeal of the United States. He recently argued and won a landmark decision in the New York Court of Appeals establishing the constitutionality of newly introduced Video Lottery Terminals at New York race tracks. Mr. Martin also has achieved Martindale-Hubbell™’s AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards. The Firm warmly congratulates Fred Martin on his selection for this prestigious award.Read More
We are pleased to announce that Bleakley Platt partner Robert Braumuller was recently named winner of the “Above the Bar” Award as the Leading Corporate Attorney in Westchester County for 2013. Bob is a corporate partner and heads our Health Law practice group. The “Above the Bar” Award was developed to honor the best and brightest Westchester-based attorneys in several categories according to representatives from the Award competition’s co-sponsors, which this year included Pace University Law School, Citrin Cooperman, the Westchester County Business Journal, the Westchester County Bar Association, and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. A reception honoring Bob and the four others recognized for their achievements in their respective fields will be held at the Pace Law School, on June 6, 2013. The Firm warmly congratulates Bob on his receipt of this year’s prestigious “Above the Bar” Award in the area of Corporate Law.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that William P. Harrington has once again been recognized by New York Super Lawyers as a 2013 Top Rated Lawyer in the New York – Metropolitan Area in the areas of Energy, Environmental Litigation, and Land Use. Mr. Harrington has achieved the AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rating, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that BPS Partners James W. Glatthaar and Joseph DeGiuseppe, Jr. have each been appointed to the Rules Committee for the Westchester County Human Rights Commission. The designated assignment for the Committee is to review and recommend changes to the Commission’s current Rules and Regulations to ensure that discrimination complaints are handled in a more efficient and timely manner. Towards that goal, Jim will provide guidance in the area of housing discrimination complaints, while Joe will provide guidance in the area of employment discrimination complaints. The Firm congratulates Jim and Joe on their respective appointments.Read More
Nancy J. Rudolph, a partner in BPS’s Trusts and Estates Department, will speak on the topic of “Special and Alternative Forms of Letters and Proceedings” on December 10, 2012 at a N.Y.S. Bar Association sponsored CLE program on “Probate & Administration of Estates”which will explore the various proceedings involved in probate and estate administration. The program will be held in Westchester County at the Westchester Marriott, 670 White Plains Road, Tarrytown, NY 10591 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. More information on this CLE course can be obtained at www.nysba.org.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to be a Gold Sponsor for the 26th Annual Event of the Orange County Partnership (OCP) to be held on December 4, 2012 at Anthony’s Pier 9, 2975 Route 9W, New Windsor, New York from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This year’s Annual Event will feature Keynote Speaker Stuart Varney, host of Varney & Co. on the Fox Business Network and longtime business journalist. The OCP is a private, not-for-profit economic development agency that serves as the one-stop resource for economic development in Orange County, NY. Our Firm congratulates the members and staff of the OCP on their dedication and tireless efforts to achieve for Orange County the highest level of excellence in economic development in New York State.Read More
James W. Glatthaar, a litigation partner in BPS’s White Plains office, will speak on November 29, 2012, at a 2 hour CLE seminar on Recent Developments in Landlord-Tenant Law & 21st Century Habitability Issues for the Mount Vernon Bar Association at Ristorante Buona Sera, 546 Gramatan Avenue, Fleetwood, NY. Topics to be covered include behavioral problems by tenants, such as cigarette smoking, hoarding, mold, bedbugs, criminal activity and similar issues.
On March 12, 2013, Jim will be on a panel for an approved CLE course which will address a wide range of topics on Commercial & Residential Landlord-Tenant Law in NY for Sterling Education Services at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 66 Hale Avenue, White Plains. More information on these CLE courses can be obtained from Sterling Education Services at www.sterlingeducation.com.Read More
On October 3, 2012, Bronx County Supreme Court Justice Mark Friedlander granted defendant Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway’s summary judgment motion and dismissed plaintiff’s negligence claim in Louis Jacobs v. Yonkers Raceway Corporation, Index No.: 304947/09. Plaintiff alleged that as a result of falling while exiting a Yonkers Raceway shuttle bus due to an alleged protrusion across the edge of the bus doorway she sustained debilitating injuries. The Court dismissed the claim as plaintiff failed to introduce evidence of any defect. Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP partner Vincent W. Crowe successfully represented Yonkers Raceway in the case.Read More
We are pleased to announce that Bleakley Platt partner Mary Ellen Manley was recently named winner of the “Above the Bar” Award as the Leading Trusts and Estates Attorney in Westchester County for 2012. The “Above the Bar” Award was developed to honor the best and brightest Westchester-based attorneys in several categories according to representatives from the Award competition’s co-sponsors, which this year included Pace Law School, Citrin Cooperman, The Westchester Bank, the Westchester County Business Journal, the Westchester County Bar Association, and the Westchester Women’s Bar Association. A reception honoring Mary Ellen and the four others recognized for their achievements in their respective fields was held at the Pace Law School, Judicial Institute, on April 26, 2012. The Firm warmly congratulates Mary Ellen on her receipt of this year’s prestigious “Above the Bar” Award in the area of Trusts and Estates.Read More
We are pleased to announce that BPS was recently named by Martindale-Hubbell as one of the leading law firms in the New York City-metropolitan tri-state area based on the number of attorneys in our Firm who have attained AV® Preeminent Ratings as judged by the confidential opinions of our peers and members of the judiciary. To compile its list of leading law firms, Martindale-Hubbell identified tri-state area law firms having 10 or more attorneys where at least one out of four attorneys had achieved AV® Preeminent recognition. This list is included in the May 21, 2012 issue of New York Magazine. Our Firm deeply appreciates its receipt of this most prestigious honor.Read More
The February 2, 2012 online edition of Westfair Online features an article on BPS Partner, William P. Harrington, who was recently named as the new Chair of the Westchester County Association. The article highlights both the professional and personal sides of Bill’s “classic Westchester story” and can be read at the following link:
On January 3, 2012, N.Y. Supreme Court Justice, Richard M. Platkin, granted Defendant Ross Court Plumbing, Inc.’s CPLR 3212 motion for summary judgment dismissing Plaintiff’s negligence claims arising from exposure to lead-based paint at a premises located in Albany, New York, from 1992 through 1996. During that time, the premises was owned by defendants Iron Creek and Renaissance Rehabilitation. BPS’s client Ross Court Plumbing was employed by Iron Creek and Renaissance to provide services regarding the premises. Plaintiff alleged that Ross Court was negligent as a property manager in failing to discover and/or remediate the lead-based paint condition at the premises.
Ross Court’s motion argued that although factual issues exist concerning the scope of the property management services provided by Ross Court and/or its involvement in the remediation efforts, there were no facts tending to demonstrate that the agreement between Ross Court and Iron Creek and Renaissance was sufficiently comprehensive as to give rise to an independent duty of care to the plaintiff in this action. The Court adopted BPS’s argument and granted summary judgment to Ross Court. Click here for the full decision.Read More
James W. Glatthaar, a litigation partner in BPS’s White Plains office, will speak on January 31, 2012 at a seminar on “Landlord Tenant Law: Surviving in a Difficult Economy” sponsored by Sterling Education Services, Inc. Jim will speak on the topics of “Leases: An Ounce of Prevention,” “Tenant’s Rights and Obligations” and “Ethical Considerations in Landlord Tenant Law.” The seminar will cover the essential legal and practical aspects of landlord-tenant law for which CLE credit will be given. More information on this seminar can be obtained from Sterling’s website, which is https://store.sterlingeducation.com/seminar/12NY01033Read More
Bleakley Platt Client, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, was recently granted summary judgment in the following three lawsuits:
- In Panariello v. Yonkers Racing Corp., Supreme Court, Nassau County, Bleakley Platt & Schmidt, LLP, obtained dismissal on summary judgment for a claim arising when plaintiff claimed that she was caused to trip and fall on a ramp at the Casino premises. BPS Litigation Partner Vincent Crowe, appearing for Empire City Casino, argued that the ramp and the carpeting covering it were not inherently dangerous and was readily observable by the reasonable use of one’s senses. The trial Court adopted Bleakley Platt & Schmidt’s argument and dismissed the case in its entirety. [Link to case.]
- In Caivano v. Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, Supreme Court, Rockland County, summary judgment was granted where plaintiff was unable to offer proof that defendant had actual or constructive notice of the alleged dangerous condition. The Court noted that for purposes of establishing liability for a slip and fall claim, general awareness that a dangerous condition may be present is legally insufficient to constitute notice of a particular condition that caused plaintiff’s fall. [Link to case.]
- In Paul Gallo v. Yonkers Racing Corp., Supreme Court, Westchester County, plaintiff alleged that he was injured when he stepped into a hole as he dismounted from a truck while delivering propane on defendant’s property. The Court agreed with the argument of Vincent Crowe that the ground upon which plaintiff fell did not constitute a dangerous condition, and granted summary judgment dismissing all claims. [Link to case.]
BPS Litigation Partner Vincent Crowe prevailed after trial in an action alleging that excessive force was utilized during the course of claimant’s arrest at Empire City Casino. Claimant asserted assault and battery against a New York State police investigator arising out of an incident of September 12, 2007, where he was arrested and charged with menacing, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.
The Court analyzed plaintiff’s claim under the standard of objective reasonableness deriving from the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protection against unreasonable seizures of the person. Mr. Crowe introduced expert testimony that the State Police Investigator acted in accordance with proper police practice and procedure in arresting claimant, and in the amount of force used in making the arrest.
Court of Claims Judge Stephen Mignano concluded that claimant’s testimony that the plainclothes officer did not identify himself as a police officer prior to his use of force became “murky” upon cross examination. The Judge also noted that claimant’s testimony was evasive, and the probative value of claimant’s testimony was minimized by his demeanor on the stand, and his announcement, while being cross examined that “he had answered enough questions.” The Court adopted Bleakley Platt & Schmidt’s arguments and dismissed the case.
[Link to case.]
William P. Harrington, who is the Chair of the WCA Blue Ribbon Task Force on Healthcare Reform, will chair and moderate an all-day symposium on Healthcare Reform on September 22, 2011 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Westchester Marriot, Tarrytown, New York. As part of this Symposium, the nation’s leading authorities will diagnose the vexing problems in healthcare, expose the true cost drivers, and identify solutions and policy recommendations. The Symposium’s session topics will include: Understanding the real cost drivers of healthcare; New models of healthcare delivery; How business can take control of healthcare costs; What insurance will look like in the future; and Advocacy and legislative next steps. Bill’s comments on the Symposium’s subject of Healthcare Reform and its anticipated impact on businesses in Westchester County can be heard at the following linked video: click hereRead More
On June 9, 2011, N.Y. Supreme Court Justice, Mary H. Smith, granted Defendant LifeNet, Inc.’s CPLR 3211 motion to dismiss Plaintiff’s medical malpractice claims in Kumar v. Westchester Cty. Health Care Corp., et al., Index No. 2010/30914. In a prior special proceeding wherein Plaintiff successfully sought an Order granting him permission to serve a late notice of claim against the Westchester Medical Center defendants, Plaintiff represented to the Court that the Westchester Medical Center defendants were responsible for Plaintiff’s injury by definitively arguing that the injury was not present when Plaintiff had arrived at the Westchester Medical Center. Notwithstanding this earlier claim, Plaintiff subsequently alleged that LifeNet had caused Plaintiff’s injury prior to Plaintiff’s arrival at the Westchester Medical Center. In dismissing Plaintiff’s claims against LifeNet upon the grounds of judicial estoppel, the Court held that Plaintiff was “playing fast and loose with the Courts” and that Plaintiff “simply cannot have it both ways.” BPS Partner John Diaconis and BPS Associate Justin Gardner successfully represented LifeNet, Inc. in this case.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that Leo Zucker has become Of Counsel to the Firm. Leo has more than 25 years’ experience in the area of patent and trademark law, and is a member of the New York State Bar. His practice includes the preparation and prosecution of patent applications in the U.S. and abroad in the fields of electronics, communications, optical systems, medical devices and tools. He also conducts trademark searches and renders opinions with respect to the registration of various classes of trademarks and service marks. Leo is licensed to practice before the United States Patent and Trademark Office and in federal court. He received his J.D. degree from St. John’s University School of Law, and his M.S.E.E. degree from the New York University Graduate School of Engineering.Read More
This year’s Annual WESFACCA Ethics Seminar will feature BPS Partners, Jonathan Murphy, Bill Murphy and Susan Galvão who will respectively speak at the seminar on the following topics: “Outside Counsel and Conflicts of Interest: the Rules, the Risks and the Right Way to Approach”; “Ethical Issues in Internal Corporate Investigations”; and “Ensuring A Sound and Ethical Document Retention Policy in Light of the 2009 Enactment of the ‘Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.’ ”
Jonathan, Bill and Susan are each members of our Firm’s Litigation Practice Group. Jonathan also co-chairs our newly formed Construction Law Practice Group, together with BPS Partner John Hannigan.
The WESFACCA seminar will be held at IBM’s offices in Armonk, New York, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., and will offer three Ethics/Professional NY Transitional/Non-Transitional NY CLE credits to New York State Attorneys who attend the seminar. Reservations for this seminar can be made by contacting Lee Cushman, Executive Director, WESFACCA, either at 203-461-9004 or firstname.lastname@example.org.Read More
Joe DeGiuseppe, the head of the Firm’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group, will speak on September 24, 2010, at a seminar being sponsored by Lorman Education Services on “Employment Law From A to Z.” Joe will give presentations on the topics of “Wage and Hour Compliance” and “Personnel Documents and Records Retention.”
The Lorman seminar will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Downtown in White Plains, New York, from 8:30 am to 4:30 p.m. Reservations for this seminar can be made on Lorman’s website at www.lorman.com.Read More
BPS client Yonkers Raceway prevailed before Region 2 of the NLRB on the novel issue of whether the Board should apply the doctrine of “equitable tolling” to an otherwise untimely filed representation petition under the Board’s “contract bar” rule that had previously been timely filed by LEEBA with the N.Y.S. Employment Relations Board (“SERB”) in June 2009. The issue arose after SERB decided to conduct a hearing in August 2009 concerning its continued jurisdiction over Yonkers Raceway’s newly expanded “racino” operations (i.e., combined casino and harness racing operations) based on 1997 NLRB precedent asserting jurisdiction over harness racing tracks that had been expanded to include casinos. After the hearing on the jurisdictional issue, SERB in October 2009 certified the issue for an advisory opinion from the NLRB in Washington, D.C. Yonkers Raceway and the incumbent union finalized a new three-year CBA in December 2009 through “good faith” bargaining after their prior agreement had expired on August 31, 2009.
After the NLRB rendered a May 2010 advisory opinion, 355 N.L.R.B. No. 35, that it would exercise jurisdiction over Yonkers Raceway’s new “racino” operations (which had been expanded to include a N.Y.S. Lottery “casino” in October 2006), LEEBA filed a representation petition with the NLRB in July 2010. At a jurisdictional hearing held before Region 2 of the NLRB in July 2010, BPS partner Joe DeGiuseppe successfully argued that the NLRB should not apply the doctrine of “equitable tolling” to LEEBA’s newly filed petition in that LEEBA’s “inexcusable ignorance” of the above-stated 1997 Board precedent on exercising jurisdiction over “racinos,” together with its knowledge gained from the August 2009 SERB hearing that Region 2 had previously exercised jurisdiction over Yonkers Raceway based on this 1997 precedent, did not warrant the application of this equitable doctrine. Region 2 therefore dismissed LEEBA’s representation petition under the NLRB’s “contract bar” doctrine based on the CBA finalized in December 2009 between Yonkers Raceway and the incumbent union.Read More
John Diaconis and John Murphy of Bleakley Platt and Schmidt have been successful in obtaining a grant of partial summary judgment on the duty to defend under a Director’s and Officer’s Liability policy issued to the Town of Yorktown. The grant of partial summary judgment was issued by Hon. Richard Liebowitz, Supreme Court Justice in Westchester County in Town of Yorktown, et al., v. Landmark American Insurance Company, pending in Westchester Supreme Court. The Court rejected Landmark’s contention that coverage was barred by the regulatory takings exclusion contained in the Policy. The Court directed Landmark to defend the Town, and its individual Board Members, with respect to the Old St. George Winery action which is currently pending in Federal Court.Read More
Jim Glatthaar of Bleakley Platt & Schmidt presided over what may be the first meeting of its kind in New York: an annual shareholder’s meeting for a residential cooperative where the Board of Directors was elected by on-line voting. BPS has represented the Surrey Strathmore, a White Plains cooperative corporation, for over 13 years. Surrey Strathmore has not elected directors since 2006 since a quorum of shareholders, more than 50%, has not been present.
When struggling with ways to increase shareholder participation, one of the directors, Allison Keilman, devised the idea of on-line voting at the annual meeting. She presented her idea to Jim Glatthaar, who researched the relevant statutes and determined that electronic voting was consistent with the New York State Business Corporation law.
Together, Allison and Jim created a process which gave all candidates for the Board of Directors time to announce their candidacy, upload biographies and photos of themselves on line, and allow voting starting one week prior to the annual meeting. In addition, the on-line voting period was extended to 12:00 noon the day after the annual meeting. This process allowed any shareholder who attended the meeting to speak with the candidates and cast their ballots after meeting the various candidates.
On-line voting was a tremendous success. Seventy (70%) percent of the shareholders participated, either live or on-line, meaning that the Surrey Strathmore achieved a quorum and elected directors for the first time in years. Moreover, those shareholders who wish to participate, but were busy or turned off by the annoying personalities who sometimes dominate residential cooperative annual meetings, could read the candidate biographies, speak with the candidates and cast their votes from their desktop or laptop computer in their home or office. Finally, the meeting was efficient and was concluded within 25 minutes.
Habitat Magazine, a magazine geared toward cooperatives and condominiums, attended the meeting and will be reporting on electronic voting in a future issue.Read More
John S. Diaconis, a member of the Firm’s Insurance Practice Group, will speak at the AIDA Reinsurance & Insurance Arbitration Society (“ARIAS U.S.”) Spring Conference in Coronado, California on Friday, May 7, 2010. The Conference is entitled “Arbitration is A-Changin’: Learn About New Reforms or Be Left Behind,” and it will emphasize change and industry reforms to improve insurance and reinsurance arbitration. John will speak on “Mediation’s Role in Reform.”
ARIAS U.S.is a not-for-profit corporation that promotes improvements in the insurance and reinsurance arbitration process for both the domestic and international markets.Read More
Bleakley Platt is once again proud to sponsor The Yonkers Chamber of Commerce Networking Breakfast which will be held this year on Tuesday, February 23rd. This year’s event will feature keynote speaker Joseph Apicella, Executive Project Manager, Streuver Fidelco Cappelli LLC (SFC), who will discuss the $1.5 billion revitalization plan for the downtown area of the City of Yonkers, New York, which will be the largest development plan ever undertaken in Westchester County. The Yonkers downtown redevelopment plan currently envisions the construction of 1,436 housing units, a 6,500-seat baseball stadium, a 150-room hotel, a new municipal justice center, new headquarters for the Fire Department, a 150,000-square-foot office building and the “daylighting” of the Nepperhan River with a river walk, among other elements.
The Networking Breakfast will be held at The Royal Regency Hotel located at 165 Tuckahoe Road in Yonkers, New York, starting at 7:30 a.m. Reservations for this event can be made by contacting The Yonkers Chamber of Commerce at (914) 963-0332.Read More
Joe DeGiuseppe, the head of the Firm’s Immigration Law and Employment Law Practice Groups, will speak on February 23, 2010, at a CLE accredited seminar being sponsored by Sterling Education Services, Inc. (SES) on the “Fundamentals of Employment Law in New York.” Joe will give presentations on the topics of “Immigration Compliance Issues for Employers” and “Basic Labor Law.”
The SES seminar will be held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel Downtown in White Plains, New York, from 8:30 am to 5:00 p.m. Reservations for this seminar can be made by contacting SES at (715) 855-0498.Read More
On January 23, 2010, our friend, colleague and Chairman, William F. Harrington, affectionately known as “BJ,” passed away at the age of 78. Born on December 3, 1931 in Yonkers, New York to William Patrick and Jane Harrington, he attended St. Joseph’s Grammar School and Gorton High School in Yonkers. He received a degree in accounting from Manhattan College in 1953 and his law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1959. He joined the Firm in 1959 where he practiced law for 51 years and served as our Chairman and Managing Partner for 35 years. He was an accomplished attorney in trust and estate litigation and oversaw the growth of Bleakley Platt into one of the premier law firms in the region. He served as Legislative Council to Lt. Governor Malcolm Wilson between 1964 and 1973 and Town Attorney for the Town of Pound Ridge from 1980 to 1985 and Town Justice between 1985 and 1991.
A devout and dedicated Roman Catholic, BJ served his church and the Archdiocese of New York throughout his life. He was a Trustee of St. Joseph’s Seminary and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a member of the Cardinal’s Committee of the Laity and the Archdiocese’s Inner City Scholarship Fund. He served as the Chairman of St. Agnes Hospital in White Plains, New York and as Vice Chairman of St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s Health Fund in Yonkers, New York. He was a proud member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Westchester County, serving as the Chairman of the Society’s Board of Stewards for over 25 years.
Mr. Harrington also served on the Board of Directors of his beloved Fordham Law School, where he was instrumental in the creation of the Cardinal John O’Connor Chair for Theological Studies. He also served as a founding member of the Boards of Directors of Pace Law School and The Ave Maria School of Law. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Sacred Heart High School, Iona Prepatory School and the School of The Holy Child. At the time of his death, BJ was the moving force behind the construction of the new Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Hospital in Yonkers, serving as the Hospitals Capital Campaign Chairman.
BJ was a Knight of Malta, Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great and humbly accepted various awards throughout his life including the St. Thomas Moore Award, The Fordham Law School Medal of Achievement, the Charles Carroll Award from the Catholic Guild of Lawyers, the Cardinal’s Committee of Laity Award, the Pro Eccelesia Et Pontifice Medal and the Humanitarian Award for Life. In addition BJ proudly served as Grand Marshall for the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
BJ is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Audrey (Kazimir), his sons William (Carolyn) Harrington of Pound Ridge, New York; Brian (Elizabeth) Harrington of Pound Ridge, New York, Peter (Danielle) Harrington of Waccabuc, New York and daughters Mary Pat McCarthy and Mary Beth Harrington of Pound Ridge, New York and nine grandchildren Caitlyn, Meagan, Emily, Luke, William Finian, Caroline, Hanna, P.J. and Jill. He is also survived by his two loving sisters Mary Harrington and Jane Devlin.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that Jonathan A. Murphy has become a member of the Firm. Jonathan is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and is admitted to practice in New York. His practice areas include Environmental Law; Environmental Litigation and Regulatory Law; Toxic Torts; Property Loss; Construction Defects; Business Loss Litigation; Administrative Law; and Defense Litigation. Jonathan was a member of the firm of Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer in New York City where he headed the environmental group as well as the construction defect and property loss practice. He resides with his family in Wilton, Connecticut.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that William P. Harrington has been appointed to the transition team of the incoming Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino. Mr. Astorino will be sworn in as County Executive on January 1, 2010, succeeding Andrew J. Spano who has served as Westchester County Executive since 1998.
The Firm is also pleased to announce that James W. Glatthaar has been appointed to the transition team of White Plains Mayor-elect Adam Bradley. Mr. Bradley, who was born and raised in White Plains, has served as an Assemblyman since 2003. He will be sworn in as Mayor on January 1, 2010 to replace Joseph M. Delfino, who retires from office on December 31, 2009.
The Firm proudly congratulates Bill and Jim on their respective appointments.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to have been one of the sponsors for the 23rd Annual Event of the Orange County Partnership (OCP) held on December 1, 2009 in New Windsor, New York. The OCP is a non-profit organization which is committed to the economic growth and development of Orange County. This year’s Annual Event featured Keynote Speaker Ric Edelman, the nationally syndicated radio host, best selling author and #1 rated Independent Financial Advisor. The firm congratulates the members and staff of the OCP on their dedication and tireless efforts to achieve for Orange County the highest level of excellence in economic development in New York State.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce that it has been named a “Go-To Law Firm” for 2009 by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. In light of this recognition, the Firm will be featured in the Sixth Annual edition of In-House Law Departments at the Top 500 Companies, a legal reference guide distributed to over 20,000 General Counsel across the United States and Canada, including CEOs and General Counsels at the Fortune 1000 companies. The Firm greatly appreciates this recognition by one of our longstanding corporate clients.Read More
On June 30, 2009, Bleakley Platt obtained a decision by the Appellate Division, Second Department, denying plaintiffs’ motion for preliminary injunctive (PI) relief and dismissing the complaint against our Firm’s client, Orange Regional Medical Center (ORMC) with respect to the issue of whether ORMC was required to pay prevailing wage rates for all electrical contracting work being performed on ORMC’s ongoing $306 million construction project. The project will replace ORMC’s two current hospitals with a brand new, state of the art medical facility in Wallkill, New York – the first new freestanding hospital to be built in New York State in more than 20 years.
The case raises an issue of first impression concerning whether ORMC’s receipt of a $24.6 million grant from the N.Y.S. Department of Health pursuant to the Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers (“HEAL NY”) had the effect of requiring the entire $306 million of construction work on the new hospital to be performed at prevailing wage rates or whether only the construction work funded by the HEAL Grant had to be performed at prevailing wage. Reversing the lower court, the Second Department ruled in favor of ORMC’s position that only the work funded by the HEAL Grant needs to be performed at prevailing wage rates.
The June 30 decision allows ORMC to proceed with the new medical facility construction project. BPS Partners, William M. Murphy and William P. Harrington, represented ORMC in the case with the assistance of Susan Galvao and Robert Meade. Bill Murphy successfully argued the appeal.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to have sponsored the 2009 Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies and Dinner on July 5, 2009 in Goshen, New York. Among this year’s HOF inductees was Timothy J. Rooney, President of Yonkers Racing Corporation. For more than 35 years, Tim has greatly influenced the Standardbred sport as President of one of Harness Racing’s most successful tracks, Yonkers Raceway, as well as being a prominent owner and horse breeder. The Firm warmly congratulates our long-time friend and client Tim Rooney on his well-deserved election to the Harness Racing Hall of Fame.Read More
Bleakley Platt is pleased to announce the formation of its Interest Recovery Practice Group, effective July 1, 2009. The Interest Recovery Practice will help the Firm’s corporate clients address the problem of complex and difficult to identify IRS interest computation errors and omissions on taxes and refunds or credits. These errors regularly cost individual corporations millions of dollars, which often, due to the difficulty of identifying the potential recoveries, remain unclaimed.
The Firm is also pleased to announce that Joe Incorvaia and Tim Joyce have become Members of the Firm effective July 1, 2009, and will co-head the Interest Recovery Practice Group. With experience in complex corporate tax controversies and IRS interest computations dating back to 1979, Joe and Tim have a solid understanding of the specialized technologies in the field, fluency in the complex tax transcript data that IRS interest specialists use and an up-to-date knowledge of the rules, practices and procedures that underlie IRS interest computations. BPS congratulates and welcomes them as Members of the Firm!Read More
Bleakley Platt is proud to have been one of the primary sponsors for the 18th Annual Golf Classic hosted by our client Orange Regional Medical Center to benefit ORMC’s Comprehensive Cancer Care Program. ORMC’s oncology program provides a wide spectrum of care that includes cancer prevention, early detection and advanced treatment. The Annual Golf Classic helps make this care possible through the generosity of the Classic’s sponsors and players, and the support of the overall community. This year’s Classic was held on June 15, 2009, at the Otterkill Golf & Country Club in Campbell Hill, New York, and was attended by BPS Partners Bill Harrington, Matt Parisi, Bill Murphy and Joe Madden.Read More
William F. Harrington, Chairman of our Firm’s Executive Committee, will receive the Thomas J. Caramadre, Jr. Humanitarian Award on March 25, 2009, at the 17th Annual Yonkers Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon sponsored by The Yonkers Chamber of Commerce Women in Business Committee. This Award (which was established in memory of the late Thomas J. Caramadre, Jr., former president of the Yonkers Chamber of Commerce) is presented to an individual who has spearheaded an initiative, project or program that has benefited both the business community and the community as a whole. The Firm warmly congratulates “BJ” Harrington on his receipt of the Thomas J. Caramadre, Jr. Humanitarian Award.Read More
Bleakley Platt Partner, Brian E. Lorenz, Nominated For Prestigious “Independent Counsel of the Year Award”
Brian E. Lorenz, the head of the Firm’s Corporate Practice Group, has been nominated as one of the finalists for the “Independent Counsel of the Year Award” which is one of the awards to be issued as part of the 16th Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards on March 19, 2009. Brian was selected for this nomination based on his accomplishments during the past year on behalf of four separate Boards at the Franklin Templeton Funds. The Firm proudly congratulates Brian on his nomination for this prestigious award.Read More