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MitchKatz

He | Him | His

Partner

"I help clients maximize their return on investing in legal counsel by using my decades of litigation experience to find creative solutions to their business disputes."

Overview

Biography

With over 35 years of complex business litigation experience, handling trials before the bench and juries and in arbitration proceedings as well as appellate advocacy, Mitch offers legal counsel on strategic business operations ranging from day-to-day management issues to real-time contract disputes. He is respected by clients for his ability to foresee and negotiate complex corporate issues at all stages of the litigation process and for his proactive awareness of cost-benefit analyses that businesses must confront when making decisions concerning commercial disputes. He formerly served as the firm's Commercial Litigation Practice Group leader.

Mitch's experience as a problem solver and trial attorney has allowed him to be an effective advocate and negotiator alongside the firm's restructuring, bankruptcy, and creditors' rights attorneys.

Drawing from his significant experience as a business lawyer, Mitch has been sought after to serve as a mediator in business disputes. He applies a nuanced approach, taking time to learn about the essence of the dispute, understanding the legal issues, and listening to the needs and wants of the parties, thus allowing him to offer creative solutions.

Bar Associations

  • New York State Bar Association, Membership Committee Co-Chair; Former Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Chair and Former Section Committee on the Commercial Division Co-Chair
  • Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association, Past President
  • Onondaga County Bar Association

Selected Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Chief Judge of the State of New York Advisory Council on the Commercial Division, Permanently Appointed Member
Experience

Representative Experience

  • Represented siblings in breach of fiduciary duty litigation stemming from the co-trustee siblings' misuse of family assets for over two decades.
  • Served as lead counsel in representing a foreign corporation in arbitration arising from a Delaware LLC operating agreement, resulting in a $350,000 award after a four-day evidentiary hearing.
  • Served as lead counsel in a six-day trial representing a disaster-remediation contractor against a building owner, resulting in a $1.29 million judgment.
  • Served as lead counsel for a general contractor in a bankruptcy-court trial that determined the general contractor had an ownership interest in construction equipment claimed by a Chapter 11 debtor.
  • Served as lead counsel in a hotly contested “business divorce” between owners of a limited liability company, in which a successful motion for summary judgment forced a desirable sale transaction.
  • Served as lead counsel for a former employee of an international specialty manufacturer who was sued by the former employer to enforce restrictive covenants in an employment agreement and stockholders’ agreement. The court denied the preliminary injunction and allowed the parties to resolve the dispute.
  • Served as lead counsel in a federal-court action involving rights under trust indenture and related loan documents concerning the financing of several hydroelectric facilities, resulting in two favorable decisions by the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and ultimate favorable disposition for the clients in a companion bankruptcy case.
  • Represented a manufacturer-distributor in a dispute involving a professional-services agreement related to the development of commercial property and, due to the small amount in dispute, successfully counseled the client through mediation to reach a business solution.
  • Successfully concluded an arbitration involving a business dispute between professionals.
  • Successfully represented a vendor in an Article 78 proceeding against a school district involving the letting of a public contract.
  • Secured a defense verdict and judgment in a jury trial concerning a $1 million lease-finance dispute.
  • Successfully represented a county in an Article 78 proceeding against a village concerning a public-works project.
  • Appeared as litigation counsel in several Chapter 11 proceedings to handle evidentiary hearings and trials.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Represented a fashion manufacturer in a partnership dissolution arbitration against a former design-related business partner, obtaining a $350,000 judgment. The matter also included litigation surrounding a breach of contract for violating a noncompetition clause, breach of fiduciary duty, and piercing the corporate veil claims, which have not yet been finally determined by the court, but withstood the test of an early motion to dismiss. 
  • Represents an out-of-state business in staying the enforcement of judgment and ultimately vacating the entry of judgment on grounds of breach of contract and improper business practices after the merchant advance lender improperly entered the judgment by confessing against an out-of-state defendant.
  • Represented a former telecommunications services provider in a six-day trial seeking to collect payment for telecommunications services provided and accepted under the terms of a services contract. The matter involved various breach of contract claims, resulting in damages in excess of $1.5 million to the client, plus statutory interest at 9 percent per annum.

Prior Experience

  • Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece, P.C., Shareholder
  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Associate

Selected Community Activities

  • Onondaga County Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc., Former Board of Directors Member
  • Syracuse Habitat for Humanity, Former Board of Trustees President

Selected Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America®: Bet-the-Company Litigation, 2015–2022, Commercial Litigation, 2009–2022, Litigation – Banking & Finance, 2011–2022, and Litigation – Real Estate, 2011–2022
  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York: Business Litigation, 2007–2021
  • The Best Lawyers in America®, Syracuse Lawyer of the Year: Litigation/Banking & Finance
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated for Very High to Preeminent Ethical Standards and Legal Ability
Knowledge

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association Fireside Chat With the Judiciary, Moderator
  • New York State Judicial Institute Summer Seminars, “Current Issues in Alternate Entity Litigation”
  • New York State Judicial Institute, “Effective Management of Small Business Divorce Cases"
  • Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association, “Socially Distant Depositions” CLE

Selected Publications & Media

  • NYLitigator, “The Business Theory of Diversity: How Diversity Improves Law Firms’ Bottom Lines"
  • Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, Fifth Edition, “Career and Practice Development” Chapter Co-Author

Featured Media

Alerts

Board of Regents Adopts Emergency Regulations on the Mental Health Diagnostic Privilege

Alerts

Utility Companies Not Liable for Substations They Do Not Own, Operate, or Supervise

Alerts

Supreme Court Establishes a Subjective Mens Rea Burden of Proof Under the Controlled Substances Act

Alerts

The 13th New York State Cannabis Control Board Meeting

Alerts

EPA's Continued Focus and Mandated Reporting on PFAS ("Forever Chemicals")

Alerts

EPA Issues Proposed Water Quality Certification Rule

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