Representing the Village of Pelham, several of McCarthy Fingar’s municipal attorneys (Jim Landau, Clinton Smith and Lester Steinman) recently obtained the dismissal of an Article 78 proceeding commenced by an unsuccessful bidder for a garbage hauling contract who was found by the Village not to be a responsible bidder under the General Municipal Law. In dismissing the petition, the Supreme Court, Westchester County, determined that the Village had demonstrated 7 different ways that it rationally determined the unsuccessful bidder to not be responsible.
Representing the County of Westchester, an interdisciplinary team of litigators at McCarthy Fingar, which included James K. Landau, Edward P. Borrelli and Frank W. Streng, won an appeal in Matter of Merestead in the Appellate Division, Second Department. In Merestead, the Second Department upheld a lower’s denial of an attempt by a neighboring landowner to intervene and dismiss a petition filed by the firm on behalf of its client, the County of Westchester. By the petition, the County seeks to modify or extinguish certain restrictions on the use of Merestead, 130 acres of property donated to the County so that Merestead can better carry out the original intentions of the family that donated the property for various uses, including as a park.
Six of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Susan Taxin Baer has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning & Probate. Gail M. Boggio has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Michael S. Kutzin has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning & Probate, Estate & Trust Litigation and Elder Law. James K. Landau has again been selected in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Appellate. Frank W. Streng has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation and Estate Planning & Probate. Douglas S. Trokie has again been selected in the fields of Business/Corporate, Closely Held Business, Real Estate, Business and Civil Litigation. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Michael S. Kutzin, a member of various groups, including our Guardianship Practice, Taxation and Trusts & Estates groups, has Co-Authored an article entitled, “How “SECURE” Are You About Planning With Your Clients With Retirement Accounts? A Guide to Estate and Special Needs Planning After the SECURE Act”, published by the Elder Law and Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association.
James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis Law, Commercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, was recently quoted in an article entitled “Cannabis is Poised to Rescue the Economy From Collapse“. Jim had this to say about the impact of tax rates on the ability of a cannabis business to operate successfully: “such high tax rates coupled with the lack of available deductions and prohibitive license fees make it virtually impossible for a cannabis business to operate successfully in the legal marketplace,” Jim said. “Intelligent regulation is needed at both the federal and state level if we are going to be successful in bringing the legacy cannabis market above-ground.”
James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis Law, Commercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, was sworn in as President of the White Plains Bar Association (WPBA). A member of the WPBA Board of Directors since 2014, Jim previously served as Vice President and Secretary. Jim joins current and former McCarthy Fingar attorneys, Dolores Gebhardt, Joel M. Aurnou, Kathleen Donelli, Joseph P. Harrington, Martin Drazen and John G. McQuaid, all of whom served as WPBA President.
McCarthy Fingar’s Surrogate’s Court Litigation lawyers represent clients in Will and Trust Contests. In Matter of Burrows (Surr. Ct., Herkimer County 2020), Robert H. Rosh and Howell Bramson, representing the decedent’s surviving spouse and the decedent’s financial advisor, won a summary judgment motion, upholding the decedent’s Will and his separate Revocable Trust Agreement. Here, Robert demonstrated, through voluminous documentary and testimonial evidence, that the decedent was cognitively alert, oriented, and otherwise fit and able to execute the disputed instruments, and that the instruments were not the product of undue influence or duress.
McCarthy Fingar lawyers represent clients in the most difficult guardianship cases. In Matter of A.A. v. A., 2020 NY Slip Op 03468 (1st Dep’t 2020), Michael S. Kutzin, a partner of the firm whose areas of concentration include guardianship and trusts & estates, represented, on a pro bono basis, the mother of an incapacitated child in an appeal to the Appellate Division, First Department, of a lower court decision in which, after a divorce, the mother had been named the guardian for her daughter, J.A. Michael succeeded in having the father’s appeal denied on the grounds that the lower court had properly exercised its discretion in naming the mother as guardian and that he had no independent right to have his adult child brought to a physician of his choice to prove his case.
During the COVID-19 health care crisis, McCarthy Fingar lawyers have remotely supervised the execution of many Wills, Trust Agreements and related documents. We are pleased to announce that Michael S. Kutzin, a member of various groups, including our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & Estates and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups, has been named as a co-Chair of the NYSBA Joint Elder Law and Trusts & Estates Sections Task Force on Remote Notarization and Remote Witnessing of Estate Planning documents.