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Ten Meyer Suozzi Attorneys Named 2021 New York Metro Super Lawyers

The 2021 edition of the New York Metro Super Lawyers list, having gone live today, features ten of Meyer Suozzi’s attorneys. Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. congratulates its attorneys for an exceptional achievement. Meyer Suozzi is proud to be listed among the outstanding lawyers honored in the state. Super Lawyers annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process that includes: peer nominations; independent research by Super Lawyers; and evaluations from a highly credentialed panel of attorneys. The publication recognizes no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in each state while no more than 2.5 percent are named to Rising Stars.

About Meyer Suozzi

Founded in 1960, Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. is a distinguished provider of legal services, with a reputation for integrity, insight and excellent client service. The firm’s attorneys are committed to their clients, community, public affairs, and diversity. With offices in Albany, Garden City, Manhattan and Washington, D.C., the firm provides legal advice in a wide array practice areas. For more information, visit www.msek.com.

 


A. Thomas Levin Named Co-Chair of NYSBA’s International Section Cuba Task Force

Meyer Suozzi is proud to announce A. Thomas Levin has been named Co-Chair to the new Cuba Task Force of New York State Bar Association’s International Section.

The purposes of NYSBA’s Cuba Task Force is to stay current on issues regarding the legal profession and legal system in Cuba, by initiating and maintaining a dialogue and relationships with Cuba and Cuban attorneys under applicable US regulations, to assist the New York State Bar Association and its members.

Mr. Levin is a Member of the law firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein P.C. located in Garden City, Long Island, N.Y.  In addition to serving as General Counsel to the firm, he is Chair of the firm’s Local Government, Land Use and Environmental Compliance practice and the Professional Responsibility practice.


Meyer Suozzi Wins “Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year” at 2021 Turnaround Atlas Awards

(Garden City, N.Y.) Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. is pleased to share that it has been named the winner of the “Chapter 11 Restructuring of the Year Award” for small to middle market companies at the Global M&A Network’s 13th Annual Turnaround Atlas Awards for its representation of Rubie’s Costume Company, Inc. and its petitioning affiliates in their Chapter 11 cases. The Turnaround Atlas Awards is one of the most prestigious, independently governed awards to honor the best value-creating transactions, outstanding firms, professionals, and leaders from the restructuring, investing, insolvency and turnaround communities.

Spearheaded by Kevin Schlosser, Chair of Meyer Suozzi’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department, Meyer Suozzi has served as general counsel to Rubie’s and represented it in all manner of legal and business issues since 2002 throughout the United States and internationally, including in protecting its valuable intellectual property, in litigation, on mergers and acquisitions, employment and banking.  With Meyer Suozzi’s legal guidance, Rubie’s grew to a worldwide leader in the costume industry, with operations in 15 countries and sales in 52 countries.  When presented with the challenges of COVID-19 and an uncertain business environment for its core business, Rubie’s turned to Meyer Suozzi to guide it through the turbulent financial road ahead.  Edward J. LoBello, Chair of the Bankruptcy & Reorganization group at Meyer Suozzi, stated, “Notwithstanding the global pandemic and doubts regarding whether there would even be a Halloween season in 2020 and beyond, we helped Rubie’s consummate a sale transaction, preserve enterprise value, generate a meaningful distribution to creditors, and save over 100 jobs, resulting in a confirmed Chapter 11 plan.”

In addition to Messrs. Schlosser and LoBello, Meyer Suozzi attorneys Howard B. Kleinberg, James D. Garbus, Jordan D. Weiss, Steven T. Cheng and Matthew Marcucci were instrumental in this award-winning representation.

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About Meyer Suozzi

Founded in 1960, Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. is a distinguished provider of legal services, with a reputation for integrity, insight and excellent client service. With offices in Garden City, New York City and Washington, D.C., the firm provides legal advice in a wide array of practice areas. For more information, visit www.msek.com.


Meyer Suozzi Awards Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship to University of Buffalo School of Law Student

July 14, 2021, (Garden City, NY), Renee Toney, a student at the University at Buffalo School of Law, has been selected as the 2021 recipient of the Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship. Established in 2004, the scholarship is funded by Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C. and administered by The New York Bar Foundation. The $5,000 scholarship is awarded annually to second-year law students in New York State who excel in legal writing and advocacy.

To be considered for the Scholarship, applicants must submit an essay that demonstrates technical writing skills, critical thinking, and advocacy. Ms. Toney’s winning paper is entitled “The Need for a National Monitoring Body for Mandatory Immigration Detention.”

In accepting the award, Ms. Toney stated: “I am truly honored and humbled to be chosen as a recipient of the Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship. Judge Meyers’ work is inspirational and I am happy to be a part of a community that advocates for those who are unable to advocate for themselves. I am grateful to the New York Bar Foundation and Meyer Suozzi for the recognition and their generosity.”

Ms. Toney anticipates on receiving her J.D. from the University at Buffalo School of Law in 2022.

The Scholarship Selection Committee, which judges the essay submissions in a blind reading, was comprised of Meyer Suozzi Members Andrew J. Turro and Hon. Randall T. Eng, and Gioia Gensini, Chair of the Fellows of the New York Bar Foundation.

 

About Hon. Bernard S. Meyer

Judge Meyer practiced law in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and New York until his election in 1958, as a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, where he served for 14 years. Judge Meyer was an Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals from 1979-1986 and practiced with Meyer Suozzi from 1987 through 2005. The Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship was established in his memory, to serve New York State’s legal profession.


Patricia Galteri Named 2021 New York’s Top Rated Trusts & Estates Lawyer By New York Magazine and The New York Law Journal

New York Magazine and the New York Law Journal named Managing Attorney and Chair of the Wills, Trusts & Estates practice, Patricia Galteri among its 2021 listing of New York City’s top-rated trusts and estates and family attorneys.

This honor recognizes Ms. Galteri for being among the best of the legal profession and is based on New York Magazine and the New York Law Journal’s collaboration with Martindale-Hubbell and its highly regarded peer-reviewed, legal rating system. All of the attorneys listed are AV Preeminent Attorneys and Top-Rated Attorneys, which are the highest ratings given in the legal profession.

Ms. Galteri’s practice includes the development of estate and family business plans to ensure the tax efficient transfer of wealth to the next generation while meeting the specific personal goals of her clients.  She implements such plans through the use of wills and grantor trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, generation skipping trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts and other arrangements designed to transfer property at little or reduced gift tax cost to selected beneficiaries. Nomination of agents under Powers of Attorneys and Health Care Proxies also play an important role in effecting her clients’ intentions.

 

Click here to view on New York Magazine


Andrew Turro Quoted in “Rice Can Continue Training After Receiving TRO”

Stay from N.Y. court halted implementation of three-year suspension, $50K fine.

Linda Rice will be able to continue to train and operate her New York-based racing stable after receiving a temporary retraining order June 9 in Schenectady Superior Court.

The stay will allow Rice to continue training until all of her legal options are exhausted or her attorneys reach a settlement with the New York State Gaming Commission over a three-year suspension and $50,000 fine that went into effect June 7.

After a five-month hearing earlier this year, state regulators in New York had revoked Rice’s license for her role in what officials say was a “corrupt” scheme to gain an edge with her horses from 2011-15 by obtaining the names of entries in races from racing office employees before the cards became final.

Prior to filing the stay, Rice’s attorney, Andrew Turro, said, “We are very troubled by the commission’s determination with respect to the racing office information issue because it is incorrect in a number of material respects.”

Rice has two horses entered on the June 10 card at Belmont Park, three June 11, and five June 12.

“NYRA will comply with the temporary restraining order while determining additional options that may be available,” said the organization’s senior director of communications Pat McKenna.

Since beginning training in 1987, Rice has 2,112 wins and earnings of $86.1 million—most by a North American female trainer. Her earnings rank 31st all-time among all trainers.


Andrew Turro Quoted in “Rice granted temporary restraining order, will continue to train”

A court in Schenectady, N.Y., has granted a request by the trainer Linda Rice for a temporary injunction that will allow her to continue to train as she appeals the license revocation that was made official by New York regulators earlier this week, according to her attorney.

Andrew Turro, the attorney, said that the County of Schenectady Supreme Court approved the request early Wednesday afternoon, two days after the New York Gaming Commission issued the order to revoke Rice’s license and deny her access to racetracks in the state.

“We are very happy about today’s decision,” Turro said. “The court’s order restores Ms. Rice’s ability to get back to racing and training immediately. We also look forward to challenging the commission’s order in the court and ultimately vindicating Ms. Rice’s rights.”

The granting of the temporary injunction was not surprising given the stakes involved and previous New York court rulings on similar actions in the past. In 2011, a court granted a temporary injunction to trainer Rick Dutrow after he was banned for 10 years by the gaming commission, and Dutrow continued to train for two years until his appeals ran out.

Turro had argued in his request for a temporary injunction that the order to revoke Rice’s license would cause “irreparable harm” to Rice’s business.

“In the absence of injunctive relief,” Turro wrote, “Ms. Rice’s training business, the result of a very successful 34-year career, will be irreversibly destroyed before the court can hear this case and determine Ms. Rice’s application for a stay/preliminary injunction.”

The gaming commission revoked Rice’s license based on a hearing officer’s report that concluded Rice had “received regular, continual, and improper access to the confidential names and other information” of horses that were entered to race at tracks operated by the New York Racing Association from a period between late 2011 and early 2015. The report said that the “misconduct was knowingly and intentionally improper.”

Turro had argued during eight days of hearings late last year in front of the hearing officer that the racing office routinely gave out similar information to other trainers, and that the New York Racing Association had no formal rule in place that considered the information she was given at the time to be confidential. The request for a temporary restraining order lays out similar arguments in advocating that Rice will be exonerated in civil court “on the merits of the case.”

Rice has won several training titles at NYRA tracks, and she has finished in the top five in the trainer’s standings on the NYRA circuit each year since 2013. She is also a prolific starter of horses at the NYRA tracks, averaging nearly 500 starts a year at Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga over the past four years.

Rice has two horses entered on the Thursday card at Belmont – though both are on the also-eligible list – and three at Belmont on Friday. Barring any action by NYRA, the horses are expected to start.

“NYRA will comply with the temporary restraining order while determining additional options that may be available,” said Patrick McKenna, a spokesman for NYRA, on Wednesday afternoon.


Andrew Turro Quoted in, “Linda Rice Will Continue To Train After Court Grants Temporary Restraining Order”

The County of Schenectady Supreme Court has granted a temporary restraining order to Linda Rice, just two days after the New York State Gaming Commission officially issued the order to revoke her training license for three years, reports the Daily Racing Form. As a result, Rice will be allowed to continue to train horses in the state of New York.

Andrew Turro, Rice’s attorney, had argued that without injunctive relief, “Rice’s training business, the result of a very successful 34-year career, will be irreversibly destroyed before the court can hear this case and determine Ms. Rice’s application for a stay/preliminary injunction.”

Regarding Wednesday’s decision, Turro told DRF: “The court’s order restores Ms. Rice’s ability to get back to racing and training immediately. We also look forward to challenging the commission’s order in the court and ultimately vindicating Ms. Rice’s rights.”

Licensees in New York are entitled to appeal a finding of a hearing officer to the appropriate court, and it is common for stays of suspensions to be issued while the appeals process plays out.

Rice had seen her license revoked officially on June 7, two weeks after the NYSGC voted to uphold a hearing officer’s recommendation that Rice’s license be revoked with the condition she could not reapply for licensure for at least three years. She had also been ordered to pay a fine of $50,000 and was to be denied all access to New York gaming commission-sanctioned properties.

Rice is accused of receiving information from the racing office about which horses were entered in which races prior to the official close of entries. The alleged information exchange took place over a period of 2011 and 2014, and the commission first brought a complaint against Rice in 2019. A series of hearing dates took place in late 2020, during which the commission and Rice’s attorney presented information to a hearing officer along with numerous volumes of data and interview transcripts.


Michael Antongiovanni Obtains Appellate Victory Reversing Lower Court’s Dismissal of Plaintiff Claim

Partner, Michael J. Antongiovanni, recently obtained an appellate victory in the Appellate Division, Second Department, reversing the lower court’s dismissal of plaintiff’s claim for a private nuisance and declaration that noise emanating from a neighboring property’s air conditioner condensing units exceeds permissible sound levels of the noise code.  Mr. Antongiovanni successfully argued that the lower court’s exclusive focus on the residential character of the source of the disturbance, rather than the disturbance itself, was contrary to settled principles of nuisance law.  The Appellate Division agreed and, in so doing, parted from an earlier decision that the lower court had interpreted as establishing a general rule that a residential condensing unit can never, as a matter of law, serve as a source of a nuisance.


A. Thomas Levin Quoted in NYLJ, ‘Behind the Curtain’: Down to Six Judges, New York’s Top Court Starts Sidelining Cases

The court is operating with six judges as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to put forward his nominees to succeed Feinman and outgoing Judge Leslie Stein, who is expected to retire from the court in less than a month.

By: Ryan Tarinelli

Cases at New York’s highest court are being put on the back burner as the court tries to push forward with only six members following the death of Judge Paul Feinman.

The state Court of Appeals has ordered reargument for at least six fully argued cases in the weeks since the judge stepped down from the court in March due to health concerns.

It’s unknown why the seven-person court decided the cases will be reargued, but New York attorneys say it could be a sign there’s a deadlock among the judges.

In all six cases, oral arguments took place before the court. Most of the cases were argued without Feinman. In one of those cases, Judge Rowan Wilson recused himself, leaving only five judges to hear oral arguments.

The court is operating with six judges as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has yet to put forward his nominees to succeed Feinman and outgoing Judge Leslie Stein, who is expected to retire from the court in less than a month.

The embattled governor has blown past a statutory deadline for choosing a nominee for Stein’s seat, despite saying weeks ago that he would shortly be making his pick to fill the position.

A spokesman for the Court of Appeals declined to comment on why the cases are going to be reargued.

The reargument orders indicate that judges are finding difficulty in reaching an agreement, said A. Thomas Levin, a Long Island attorney who has argued before the court. The most logical conclusion is that the bench is in a 3-3 deadlock on many of those cases, particularly since it’s rare to have a reargument at the Court of Appeals, he said.

“But who knows what goes on behind the curtain,” said Levin, a former president of the state bar association.

Steven Mintz, a founding partner and general counsel of Mintz & Gold, agreed and said it appears there’s a 3-3 vote on many of those cases.

Sharon Stern Gerstman, former president of the New York State Bar Association and counsel to Magavern Magavern Grimm, said there might not be a 3-3 split in the cases, but there’s enough of a difference among the judges that they decided to wait until a seventh judge can hear arguments.

Attorneys say there are other reasons the court could be delaying decisions, unrelated to any potential 3-3 divide, such as a new issue in a case that judges want to hear play out in oral arguments.

Observations about the reargument orders underscore the divided nature of the current bench. In recent years, there has been a larger ratio of dissenting opinions on the court.

Last year, there were 55 dissenting opinions as the court decided 96 appeals. In 2013, during former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman’s tenure, the Court of Appeals issued 81 dissenting opinions and decided 259 appeals.

In 2000, while former Chief Judge Judith Kaye was on the bench, the court decided 170 appeals, and there were 13 dissenting opinions.

The Court of Appeals is staying quiet on why the six cases were pushed to reargument. All six of the decisions feature the same line and do not expand on the reasoning behind it: “Reargument ordered for a future Court session.”

 

Click here to view New York Law Journal article.