Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends:
As the third quarter of 2022 ends, we are pleased to share that the New York Post featured our firm’s victorious defense of a Manhattan-based business owner and landlord against a law firm notorious for litigation holdups in an article titled “How We Fought New York’s No. 1 Harassment Lawyer – And Won.” The New York Post (read here) recognized and credited our firm for not settling and taking the case all the way when nearly all other law firms capitulated. This is what truly distinguishes our firm.
The New York Post’s article continued its coverage of a cottage industry of lawyers in New York City that have taken advantage of New York’s byzantine zoning laws that make it impossible to retrofit pre-war building entrances on narrow streets with sidewalk ramps to target street level and subterranean businesses with federal lawsuits under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181 et. seq. As the New York Post’s article points out, these lawyer-driven lawsuits have nothing to with the improvement of access for the disabled and are filed to legally extort tens-of-thousands-of-dollars in settlement payments from business owners that are in compliance with the ADA. Due to the nature of the federal ADA lawsuits, the retainment of experts to prove the impossibility of retrofitting buildings built at the turn of the twentieth century are exorbitantly expensive and impracticable. The New York Post’s Editorial Board has rightly called on New York Attorney General Letitia James to put an end to these legal shakedowns through legal reform.
Taking a principled stand together with our clients, our firm has set legal precedents in discrimination law under the ADA and has obtained sanctions against law firms that have abused the ADA. It is gratifying to see newspapers credit our good work and dedication.
As we are committed to the promotion of accessibility for the disabled, our firm provides legal consultation to businesses to ensure compliance with the ADA. Our firm has also established a separate company, ADA Compliance LLC, to provide advisory and technical services under the ADA to promote inclusiveness of the disabled.
The third quarter has been characterized by the economic tumult of rising interest rates and the decline of the stock market. The surge in mortgage interest rates has caused a precipitous decline in the amount of mortgage applications for conventional home loans, which has prompted bankruptcy filings of mortgage lenders, such as First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation, and the business closures of several prominent mortgage lenders. The mortgage lending industry is in retraction.
The economic uncertainty has also generated a lot of legal work in the cryptocurrency sector as the value of cryptocurrencies have plummeted. The cryptocurrency market value fell under $1 trillion for the first time since January 2021. Leading cryptocurrency businesses, such as Celsius Network LLC, have filed for bankruptcy.
Our firm represents constituents in bankruptcy cases of First Guaranty Mortgage Corporation and Celsius Network LLC and constituents in the business closures of other nationwide mortgage lenders and cryptocurrency platforms. The reversal of fortunes of mortgage lenders and cryptocurrency businesses has been startling.
The continued economic and health challenges have kept our law firm remarkably busy during the third quarter of 2022.
We want to thank you for contributing to our continued success. You know us, you know our experience, and you know the quality of our work. We would be most grateful to be retained in these areas, among others:
- Litigation before trial or appellate courts or administrative bodies, especially matters involving real estate, partnership disputes, and creditors' rights;
- Litigation avoidance - the crucial effort to negotiate agreements to resolve disputes before they cross the threshold of the courthouse;
- Domestic and international arbitration and mediations;
- Bankruptcy litigation and creditors' rights work, including avoidance actions, preference actions, discharge and dischargeability actions;
- Employment litigation in all aspects of employment law, including issues involving restrictive covenants and trade secrets, wage-and-hour issues, Fair Labor Standards Act issues, and breach of contract issues;
- Business divorce litigation, including contested stock valuations, derivative actions and other disputes between owners of closely held business corporations;
- Counseling and strategic planning that defy easy categorization, requiring a deep understanding of the pertinent legal issues and also of the business (and sometimes personal) considerations that must be taken into account to reach a favorable outcome; and
- Representing investors, restauranteurs, restaurant management companies, and chefs in New York City's hospitality sector.
With heartfelt good wishes for a healthy, happy and productive year, we remain,