Levin-Epstein P.C. Newsletter Third Quarter 2019

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It is my great pleasure to share with you some highlights for Levin-Epstein & Associates, P.C. in the third quarter of 2019.

Our firm obtained a favorable decision at a bench trial before the Honorable Denise Cote of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of a management defendant in a Fair Labor Standards Act case: Michael Pugh v. Iliya Meric (Case No. 18-cv-3556).  Following the bench trial, the Court issued a decision that had the distinction of being featured in the New York Law Journal’s column for Decisions of Interest for establishing two legal precedents.

First, in a case that typically would generate plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees in the amount of at least $50,000 for a case tried in federal court, the Judge sided with our position in its award of only 2 hours of attorneys’ fees in the amount of $800 for the plaintiff’s attorney. This decision has reverberated throughout the plaintiff’s bar.

We also set another precedent in this case. This case is the first in federal court to hold that the court is not statutorily constrained to award damages for a violation of the recordkeeping requirement for a “notice” violation under NYLL § 195(1)(a). We argued, and the Court agreed, that  NYLL § 198(1)(1-b), which controls the remedy for a violation of NYLL § 195 (effective December 29, 2014), by its very terms, does not mandate the imposition of damages.

As this case demonstrates, our firm has the capacity to litigate cases from inception through trial and achieve successful, precedent-setting results for our clients. Levin-Epstein & Associates tries approximate three cases per year in the employment context – and we are always seeking cases that have the right profile to be litigated.  

I hope that you continue to refer clients to us and continue to be part of our 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.

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