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CommercialLitigation

"The commercial litigation team is extremely competent and responsive. I appreciate their overall professionalism and speed of response to emails and telephone inquiries as well as their extensive experience and knowledge of the subject matter." —Chambers USA client review

Overview

Throughout the United States, we represent public and private-sector companies that include multinational businesses, emerging companies, start-ups, governmental and quasi-governmental agencies, and not-for-profits in contested matters in federal and state courts, agencies, arbitration, and in other dispute-resolution settings such as mediation. Our commercial litigation team of over 70 experienced trial and appellate attorneys includes former judicial law clerks from trial and appellate courts in both the state and federal systems, former state and federal prosecutors, former regulatory agency counsel, and individuals with extensive backgrounds in business, politics, and public service.

Our mission is to bring strategic, results-driven, and cost-effective advice and service to our clients. We manage commercial disputes to avoid litigation where possible and vigorously protect our clients’ interests when adversarial proceedings are required. We use the latest litigation technologies and resources, and pride ourselves on proactive client communication, creating early and accurate case budgets, and on our deep understanding of the business-sector issues, interests, and needs of our clients.

Our commercial litigation clients come from diverse industries that include energy, finance, insurance, transportation, manufacturing, and more.

Our team counsels clients on matters that include:

  • Bank and credit union lender liability
  • Business contract disputes, including business formation, structuring, succession, securities, sales, mergers, acquisitions, and dissolutions
  • Contested commercial foreclosures
  • False Claims Act and whistleblower litigation
  • Insurance defense and re-insurance matters
  • Intellectual property and licensing
  • Joint venture and partnership disputes

Our Commercial Litigation Practice Area and its attorneys have been recognized as leaders in several litigation categories in Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America®, Buffalo Business First’s Legal Elite of Western New York, and other national and local publications and organizations.

Team Members
Representative Experience
  • Represented an animal-health business in a lawsuit seeking immediate injunctive relief regarding control of manufacturing acquired by an industry competitor. Identified mediation as the best route to restore the client's supply, and, following 20 hours of mediation, reached an approved creative resolution that achieved the client's objectives.

  • Obtained summary judgment for a third-party benefits provider for self-funded health- and risk-management plans in a pair of federal civil-rights actions commenced by retired disabled police officers who were challenging the manner in which their medical benefits were paid under Section 207-c of the NY General Municipal Law. The decision granting summary judgment was affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. One of the plaintiffs then commenced a near-identical action in NYS Supreme Court against the client.  Obtained dismissal of most of the claims in an initial motion, and then obtained summary judgment dismissing the remaining claims. The decision granting summary judgment was then affirmed by the Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

  • Successfully defended an adversaries' appeal of a lower court's denial of an Article 78 petition that sought to reverse the Public Service Commission's denial of retroactive reimbursements to a group of residential developers for certain trenching work used to install utility service. The Appellate Division's decision to affirm the lower court order was particularly important to the utility client because an adverse decision would have potentially caused other developers to also seek retroactive reimbursements, opening the client up to additional claims and damages. 

  • Obtained a highly favorable settlement for a coalition of NYS transportation-related businesses in a lawsuit against the NYS Workers’ Compensation Board. The coalition was comprised of former members of a group self-insured trust that was fraudulently formed and unscrupulously managed, leading to the insolvency of the trust. The clients alleged the “deficit assessment” issued by the board against the members violated both procedural and substantive due process, several statutory provisions, and common law. Obtained successful motions for stay of enforcement and partial summary judgment and settled related third-party litigation with no exposure for the clients.

  • Successfully defended a multi-national corporation against a lawsuit claiming the operation of a 13,000+ acre underground mining operation had not been subjected to an adequate environmental impact review.

  • Represented the City of Watertown in a lawsuit from Ives Hill Country Club seeking to invalidate a public-property lease the client had entered into with a for-profit enterprise on the basis of statutory and constitutional grounds. The firm cross-moved for judgment, successfully obtaining a denial of Ives Hill's motion with the court granting the City of Watertown's cross-motion and dismissing the case.

  • Defended Oneida Indian Nation Police Department officers in an excessive-force lawsuit filed in federal court. Obtained complete dismissal of the case on summary judgment after discovery.

Knowledge

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