In The Press

In the Press

There have been several articles written about some of my clients and the cases that I have worked on for them as their New York business attorney. But before I get into that, I wanted to explain the types of clients I represent, and the types of cases I work on for my clients.

In terms of the types of clients I represent as a New York business attorney, it could be an individual (John Smith), or a corporation (ABC Inc.), or a limited liability company (ABC LLC), or a “dba,” which means an individual or company “doing business as” — i.e., the “dba” — a company name. The way a “dba” presents itself is like this: “Sally Smith dba Sally’s Salon,” or “Sally Smith dba Sally’s Steel Mill.” On signage and business cards and advertising materials, it would just be Sally’s Salon or Sally’s Steel Mill. There are advantages and disadvantages to “dbas” versus corporations and limited liability companies, but that’s a topic for another article.

My client could also be a non-profit association or organization; As a New York business attorney, I also represent multiple clients at the same time. Sometimes it is a group of individuals, or a group of companies, or a combination of individuals and companies (or some other non-individual client like an association).

In terms where my client’s position is in the lawsuit, it varies. Sometimes it is the plaintiff, and other times it is the defendant. As a New York business attorney, I represent both plaintiffs and defendants, but the rules of professional responsibility prevent me from representing both plaintiffs and defendants in the same lawsuit.

$65 million case — reported in TRAVEL WEEKLY

The most recent article is a case where I represent a group of companies that are in the travel industry, along with their founder, so Travel Weekly picked up the story and wrote a number of articles about it, and you can read the articles by clicking here. I should not really comment on the case because it is currently ongoing, but you can read the court papers directly by calling me at (212) 500-1891 and I will get you a copy.

$95 million case — documentary in NETFLIX

In 2015, I was approached by a Chinese national who owned a company that imported garlic into the United States, from China. He was concerned because his business was deteriorating as a result of some big players in the industry, and he wanted to see if there was anything I could do to help him as a New York business attorney. After we met, I did an enormous amount of research about anti competitive claims — this is an area of law known as antitrust. I had taken an antitrust class in law school more than 10 years before the client approached me, so I was by no means an expert in that field. However, I did have access to attorneys in my network who were very familiar with antitrust law.

In any event, I was comfortable enough to do what my recommendation was going to be: send a “demand” letter to the other companies. The purpose of a demand letter is to put individuals or companies or any other type of party on notice that my client has a beef with them, and that they either need to pay up or talk to us. Several things can happen when you send out a demand letter:

  • No response
  • A response telling you to get lost, with an accompanying tirade in a follow-up phone call
  • A response asserting claims against you
  • A lawsuit filed against you

I’ve been screamed at, accused of overstepping boundaries, actually sued personally, and ignored, all in responses to demand letters. I do a substantial amount of research before acting if I am unfamiliar with a move or two, or if I have not made that particular move before, so I know that every time I get threatened with nonsense, I know, being an experienced New York business attorney, it’s just that: nonsense. But that does not stop some attorneys. They go on and on and ramble and threaten and at the end of the day at this point I have learned to just ignore them. One time, an adversary attorney contacted me (he sued my client and two other parties), asked if we could speak “like adults,” and then proceeded to yell at me for about 9 minutes. He would ask me a question, and then yell at me and not let me answer. This is the first time that I had spoken with him, ever, and I had not even filed anything in the case at that time, so he did not know what my position was and how I wanted to proceed. At the end of that call — where he just kept yelling at me, would ask me questions, not let me answer, and then yelled more — he just hung up. I called him back and he did not answer. So I recommended to my client and we pull out all stops and push back and assert strong defenses and make strong motions. The interesting thing here is that we were going to settle the case, but the guy would not let me speak, so my client wanted to push back hard to reset the negotiations, and we did, and the client wound up being very happy.

Now back to the garlic story. As I mentioned we did an enormous amount of research, proposed a plan to the client, which was approved by the client, and then we sent a demand letter. That demand letter made so much impact that my client and other garlic importers wound up being sued in federal court in California. In fact I had to submit a sworn affidavit in that case to support my client, who ultimately prevailed.

At some point after that, a documentary series called “Rotten,” which aired on NETFLIX. My demand letter appears in a cameo in the episode called “Garlic Breath.” Check it out. Here’s the trailer for the series, but you will have to log in to NETFLIX to view the actual Garlic Breath episode.


$500,000 case — THE DOCTORS & THE NY POST

This was a very interesting case. Here, I represented the plaintiff, who was a young woman in her 20s, who, with her boyfriend, turned a few thousand dollars into $500,000 at a New Jersey casino. The court papers allege that they cashed out the $500,000, put it into a backpack, went home to his parents’ house, and then he broke up with her and kicked her out, and kept all the money. The court papers also allege that in order to pay out the cash, the casino had to associate the payment with a tax ID or social security number, and guess what, they used hers. So she thought she was stuck with the tax bill, but fortunately we discovered that there is an apportionment form available from the IRS that allows gamblers who win as a group to allocate winnings among them. IRS FORM 5754.

Here is the link to the episode about this case that aired on THE DOCTORS, and links to articles published by the NY POST.

Comments about Donald Trump allegedly not paying contractors — FORTUNE.COM

I was called by a reporter to comment on what the law was. I did not represent any parties discussed in the article; my only role was commentator, and the reporter wanted to ask me questions as a New York business attorney.