Appellate Practice

Landau, Davis, Nimetz & Borrelli - Appellate Attorneys in Westchester

The McCarthy Fingar Team

McCarthy Fingar’s lawyers are considered among the best appellate attorneys in Westchester and throughout the New York metro region. Our Appellate Practice group represents clients in civil appeals in many areas of the law, in both Federal and New York courts. Clients who have endured the difficulties of litigation may face the ultimate challenge when their cases go to the appellate courts. Those who have won their cases must defend their success. Those who have lost face the even greater challenge of reversing an unfavorable outcome. Successful appellate advocacy requires the highest level of legal experience and expertise. Many attorneys who are fully competent to represent their clients through trial recommend that their clients retain specialized counsel to handle appeals.

The Appeals Process

Civil appeals are among the greatest challenges attorneys face. McCarthy Fingar, a Westchester law firm rich in experience in handling appeals, takes pride in the strength of our Appellate Group. Before an appeal goes forward our lawyers carefully study the record in the lower court and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the lower court decision. Based upon that review, our appellate lawyers, usually working with lawyers in one or more of our various specialty practice groups, counsel a client as to the probable merits of an appeal, whether a client is seeking to defend or reverse a lower court decision. If we agree to represent a client and seek a reversal of a lower court decision, we then proceed with the arduous task of developing the record on appeal, working only from the lower court record. If we are seeking a reversal, we proceed to the critical task of writing a concise appellate brief to explain to an appellate court the flaws in the lower court decision and why the appellate court should reverse. One of our experienced appellate lawyers will argue the case before the appellate court, if oral argument is required.

Contact Us

McCarthy Fingar’s Appellate Practice lawyers are dedicated to our clients’ success. If you think you may require our assistance or have any questions, please contact James K. Landau by email (jlandau@mccarthyfingar.com) or phone (914-385-1030).

06/30/2020

Landau Elected President of White Plains Bar Association

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis LawCommercial 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 DonelliJoseph P. Harrington, Martin Drazen and John G. McQuaid, all of whom served as WPBA President.

06/19/2020

Kutzin Named as Co-Chair of NYSBA Task Force on Remote Notarization and Witnessing of Estate Planning Documents

Michael S. Kutzin

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.

06/18/2020

Kutzin Wins Appeal on Guardianship Matter Involving Dispute Between Divorced Parents

Michael S. Kutzin

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.

06/04/2020

Landau Speaks on Litigation Trends in Cannabis Industry

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis LawCommercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, spoke on “Litigation Trends in the Cannabis Industry”, in a program sponsored by the Westchester County Bar Association

04/09/2020

Gebhardt Elected as Vice President of the Westchester County Bar Association

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, a member of our Appellate Practice, Cannabis Law, Collaborative Law and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was elected to a second term as a Vice President of the Westchester County Bar Association (WCBA). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WCBA’s 2020-2021 slate of officers and directors were sworn in via Zoom. WCBA, established on February 11, 1896, is a not-for-profit corporation with a voluntary membership of more than 2,000 lawyers. WCBA’s purpose is to promote the ends of justice, cultivate jurisprudence, afford access to the courts to all who seek redress, facilitate the administration of justice, elevate the standards of integrity, honor, competence and courtesy in the legal profession, and participate with all members of society in seeking and perfecting the common good. Dolores has been active in the WCBA for many years and served as Secretary from 2017-2019 and Vice President from 2019-2020.

03/13/2020

Landau in Panel Discussion on Attorneys in Social Media

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis LawCommercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, was part of a webinar panel discussion for a program entitled “Attorneys in Social Media” sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute.

02/28/2020

Landau Speaks on Litigation Trends in Cannabis Industry

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis Law, Commercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, spoke on “Litigation Trends in the Cannabis Industry “, in a program sponsored by the Westchester Black Bar Association.

02/27/2020

Gebhardt & Miller Speak on Parent Education in Custody Cases

Dolores Gebhardt Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Dolores Gebhardt and Hon. Sonda M. Miller, both members of our Matrimonial & Family Law, Appellate Practice and Collaborative Law groups, presented “Mandatory Parent Education in Custody Cases: The Pilot Program” at the Westchester County Courthouse. This CLE program, sponsored by the Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association, described the requirements of the new initiative in which judges must refer divorcing parents to OCA-approved classes that assist the parents in putting their children first.

02/25/2020

Borrelli Lectures on Ethics & Diversity Training

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured on “Ethics” and “Diversity Training” at a program sponsored by the Yonkers Lawyers Association.

02/17/2020

Borrelli Lectures on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured in Manhattan on “Judicial Ethics Update – 2020”, at the Annual Convention for the New York State Association of Towns, as part of its Town and Village Justices Program.

02/01/2020

Michael S. Kutzin Joins Firm as Partner

Michael S. Kutzin

We are pleased to announce that Michael S. Kutzin has joined the firm as a partner and is a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesSurrogate’s Court LitigationAppellate PracticeExempt OrganizationsTaxation and Charitable Gift Planning groups. Michael joins McCarthy Fingar from Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP, where he had been a partner for 17 years. Michael has extensive experience with all forms of Surrogate’s Court and Guardianship proceedings, from the most routine to the most complex and contentious. He has appeared in Westchester matters for years, as well as Surrogate’s Court and Guardianship cases in New York City.

01/29/2020

Landau Speaks on Cannabis Law & Enforcement Issues in Various States

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis LawBusiness Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, spoke on “Commercial Litigation Issues to Date, Enforcement Issues, and Experience in Other Jurisdictions”, in a program entitled, “Budding Cannabis and CBD Litigation: Are You Ready for the Green Wave Heading Towards New York?”, sponsored by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association. Jim’s presentation and the presentation of other speakers are in the news, as the New York State Bar Association adopted a report from its Committee on Cannabis Law that supports the legalization of adult recreational marijuana use in New York.

01/07/2020

Borrelli Lectures to New Judges on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our  Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups,  lectured at the NYS Judicial Institute in White Plains, New York on “Judicial Ethics”, for the Unified Court System Certification Program for Newly-elected Town and Village Justices.

12/06/2019

Borrelli Lectures on Judicial Ethics for New Judges

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured in Albany, New York on “Assuming the Bench – Judicial Ethics”, for the Unified Court System Certification Program for Newly-elected Town and Village Justices.

11/26/2019

Borrelli Lectures to Law Students on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups,  was a guest lecturer in White Plains, New York at a Professional Responsibility class at Pace Law School (Elisabeth Haub School of Law), speaking on “How Judicial Ethics Issues impact your Law Practice”.

10/01/2019

McCarthy Fingar’s “Super Lawyers”

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio Kathleen Donelli Dolores Gebhardt Douglas S. Trokie James K. Landau

Six of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the field of Family Law. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the field of Family Law. James K. Landau has again been selected in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Appellate, and has again been selected for the Top 25 in Westchester County for Super LawyersFrank 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.

09/18/2019

Borrelli Lectures on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York on “Judicial Ethics”, at the Annual Meeting for the NYS Association of Supreme Court Justices.

09/17/2019

Borrelli Lectures on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured in Lake Placid, New York on “Judicial Ethics Update – 2019”, at the Annual Convention of the NYS Magistrates’ Association, as part of its Justices’ Advanced Certification Program.

09/11/2019

Borrelli is Dinner Speaker for Association of Supreme Court Justices

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, was a dinner speaker for the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the City of New York in Queens, New York.

06/18/2019

Landau & Trokie Speak on Impending Legalization of Cannabis

Douglas S. Trokie James K. Landau

James K. Landau and Douglas S. Trokie, both members of our Cannabis Law group, spoke at a CLE program entitled, “Impending Legalization of Cannabis 2019: The Buzzz for Businesses.” This program was co-sponsored by the FPA Greater Hudson Valley Chapter, the Westchester County Bar Association and the Westchester Chapter of the New York State Society of CPAs.

06/03/2019

Landau Attends Symposium Hosted by Justices of Appellate Division, Second Department

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis LawCommercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, and Co-Chair of the Appellate Practice Committee of the Westchester County Bar Association, attending a symposium for bar leaders hosted by Justices Connolly, Cohen and Duffy of the Appellate Division, Second Department.

05/29/2019

Judge Borelli Speaks to Judges and Judge Candidates on Campaign Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family Law, Appellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, chairs the Judicial Campaign Ethics Subcommittee of the NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. In that capacity, Judge Borrelli served on a panel at the NYS Judicial Institute in the taping of the “2019 Judicial Campaign Ethics Online Training Video.” All candidates for election to Judicial Office this year, including incumbent judges running for re-election (except Town and Village Justices), are required to timely complete this program during his/her candidacy.

05/23/2019

Landau & Trokie Speak on Legalization Status of Cannabis & Hemp in New York & Connecticut

Douglas S. Trokie James K. Landau

James K. Landau and Douglas S. Trokie, both members of our Cannabis Law group, spoke on “Legalization Status of Cannabis and Hemp in New York & Connecticut.” This program was co-sponsored by BOHCA (Business Owners Hemp Cannabis Association).

05/14/2019

Gebhardt Elected to Board of Directors of Alumni Association for Cornell University’s ILR School

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate PracticeCollaborative Law and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association for Cornell University’s ILR School. Her three-year term begins in June 2019. The ILR School of Cornell University is the leading college of the applied social sciences focusing on work, employment, and labor policy issues and practices of national and international significance. ILR’s mission is to prepare leaders, inform national and international employment and labor policy, and improve working lives. As the world of work evolves, the school’s focus broadens to keep pace with that change.

05/08/2019

Landau Speaks on Cannabis Law

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis LawCommercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, gave an overview on recent decisions in cannabis law in a CLE program entitled, “Impending Legalization – Hot Topics in Cannabis Law.” The program was sponsored by Celesq and hosted by the West LegalEdcenter.

05/01/2019

Gebhardt Elected Vice President of Westchester County Bar Association

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate PracticeCollaborative Law and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was elected as a Vice President of the Westchester County Bar Association (WCBA) at its Annual Meeting on March 7, 2019; she was sworn in on May 1, 2019. WCBA, established on February 11, 1896, is a not-for-profit corporation with a voluntary membership of more than 2,000 lawyers. WCBA’s purpose is to promote the ends of justice, cultivate jurisprudence, afford access to the courts to all who seek redress, facilitate the administration of justice, elevate the standards of integrity, honor, competence and courtesy in the legal profession, and participate with all members of society in seeking and perfecting the common good. Dolores has been active in the WCBA for many years and served as Secretary from 2017-2019.

04/17/2019

Donelli & Pennessi Win Appeal in Constructive Emancipation Case

Kathleen Donelli Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kristen Pennessi & Kathleen Donelli won an appeal in the Appellate Division, Second Department (Mitarotonda v. Mitarotonda, ___ A.D.3d ___ (2d Dep’t 2019) in which the lower court denied a post-divorce judgment motion, brought by the noncustodial parent (the “father”), to stop paying the custodial parent (our client, the “mother”) child support based on constructive emancipation. Under the doctrine of constructive emancipation, New York courts have held that child support payments may be suspended where the “custodial parent unjustifiably frustrates the noncustodial parent’s right of reasonable access.” Kristen and Kathleen successfully argued that our client, the custodial parent, did not deliberately frustrate or actively interfere with the father’s relationship with his children. Therefore, the court ordered that the father continue to pay child support even though his children refused to have meaningful contact with him.

03/26/2019

Borrelli Speaks at Dinner of Association of Supreme Court Justices

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our  Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, was a speaker in Staten Island at a dinner of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the City of New York.

03/15/2019

Landau Speaks on Ethics in Social Media

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis LawCommercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, was part of a panel discussion in Manhattan on a program entitled “Ethics in Social Media 2019” sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute.

02/01/2019

Landau Co-Authors Article on Cannibis Law

James K. Landau

With the expected legalization of marijuana in New York, McCarthy Fingar’s corporate and litigation lawyers are gearing up to represent clients as to the legal issues presented by such legalization. One of our lawyers, James K. Landau, a member of our Cannabis LawCommercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, co-authored an article in in the February, 2019 issue of Westchester Lawyer, published by the Westchester County Bar Association, entitled, “The Expected Legalization of Cannabis for Adult Use in New York Will Bring New Challenges for Attorneys.”

02/01/2019

Gebhardt Featured in Q & A in Westchester Lawyer

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate PracticeCollaborative Law and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was featured in the February, 2019 issue of Westchester Lawyer, published by the Westchester County Bar Association. Dolores “tells all” in the article, including how, when she is not in court for her clients, she teaches a “spinning class” at New York Sports Club! She says: “Join me Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., Sundays at 8:15 and 9:15 a.m. for the ride of your life! You’ll sweat, you’ll suffer, you’ll thank me later.”

04/13/2018

Judge Borrelli Speaks to Judges on Judicial Ethics

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, lectured on “Judicial Ethics” at a program of the New York State Unified Court System entitled “Taking the Bench – Spring, 2018” for newly-elected and recently appointed Town and Village Justices from around the state. The program was held in Albany, New York.

03/28/2018

Gebhardt Re-Elected Secretary of Westchester County Bar Association

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate PracticeCollaborative Law and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was re-elected as Secretary of the Westchester County Bar Association (WCBA). WCBA, established on February 11, 1896, is a not-for-profit corporation with a voluntary membership of more than 2,000 lawyers. WCBA’s purpose is to promote the ends of justice, cultivate jurisprudence, afford access to the courts to all who seek redress, facilitate the administration of justice, elevate the standards of integrity, honor, competence and courtesy in the legal profession, and participate with all members of society in seeking and perfecting the common good. Dolores has been active in the WCBA for many years and served as Secretary in 2017-2018.

03/28/2018

Landau Elected to WCBA Board

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Commercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, was elected to the Board of Directors of the Westchester County Bar Association.

03/20/2018

Landau Speaks on Debt Collection Issues for NYSBA

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Commercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, lectured in Mt. Kisco, New York on CPLR Article 52 Enforcement Devices as part of an all-day program entitled “Debt Collections and the Enforcement of Money Judgments” for a program sponsored by the Business Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

03/16/2018

Landau on Panel Discussing Ethics for Attorneys in Social Media

James K. Landau

James K. Landau, a member of our Commercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, was part of a panel discussion in Manhattan on a program entitled “Ethics for Attorneys in Social Media” sponsored by the Practicing Law Institute.

03/12/2018

Nimetz Joins Firm as Associate Attorney

Irma K. Nimetz

We are pleased to announce that Irma K. Nimetz has joined the firm as an associate attorney and is a member of our Appellate PracticeCommercial Litigation and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups.  Prior to joining McCarthy Fingar, Irma was an attorney with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where she received the Louis J. Lefkowitz Memorial Award for outstanding performance by an Assistant Attorney General. Irma has experience handling governmental investigations against individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations, as well as defending actions and Article 78 proceedings brought against the State of New York and its agencies.

02/19/2018

Judge Borrelli Presents for Unified Court System on Ethics Issues

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, served on the faculty of the New York State Judicial Institute and New York State Unified Court System, Office of Justice Court Support sponsored Continuing Judicial Education Program at the NYS Association of Towns Annual Convention in New York City. Judge Borrelli presented on two topics: 1) 2018 Judicial Ethics Updates and 2) Ethics: Civic Participation Limitations

01/25/2018

Judge Borelli Joins Firm

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

We are please to announce that Judge Edward P. Borrelli has joined the firm as Counsel in our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups. Judge Borrelli joins the firm following an illustrious 40 year career in the New York State Unified Court System, where he has presided over a very wide variety of proceedings, including Civil and Criminal jury trials and non-jury trials, high exposure Supreme Court Civil litigation, matrimonial, parental and grandparental child custody, visitation, child relocation, child support, domestic violence, elder law, adult guardianship and guardianship compliance enforcement proceedings.

01/09/2018

Judge Borrelli Part of Panel Discussion on Rules Governing Judicial Conduct

Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judge Edward P. Borrelli, a member of our Trusts & EstatesMatrimonial & Family LawAppellate Practice and Mediation & Arbitration Practice groups, was part of a panel presentation by the New York State Judicial Institute entitled, “Rules Governing Judicial Conduct”, as part of a seminar for new judges.

06/02/2016

Dolores Gebhardt Receives “Pace Setter” Award

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate PracticeCollaborative Law and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was selected as the “Pace Setter” and received this award at the annual “Above the Bar” awards on June 2, 2016. This prestigious honor is the highest award granted in the Above the Bar Awards, which are co-sponsored by the Westchester Business Journal and Citrin Cooperman. The Pace Setter Award is awarded to an attorney who exemplifies overall excellence in professional and community work and prominence in the Westchester legal profession. 

01/25/2016

Gebhardt Receives NYSBA’s Kay Crawford Murray Award

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate PracticeCollaborative Law and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, received the Kay Crawford Murray Award. The Kay Crawford Murray Award is given by the New York State Bar Association to honor women in the profession who recognize the value of diversity in the legal profession and have dedicated their time to advancing the professional development of women attorneys.

11/06/2014

Gebhardt Lectures on Appellate Practice in Manhattan

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate Practice and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, lectured in Manhattan on November 6, 2014 on “Fundamental Appellate Practice” for the New York County Lawyers Association.

11/01/2014

Pozin, Smith, Steinman & Georgiou Join Firm and Start up Municipal Law & Land Use Group

Clinton B. Smith Lester D. Steinman Daniel Pozin

We are pleased to advise that Daniel PozinClinton B. Smith and Lester D. Steinman have joined the firm as partners and Anna L. Georgiou has joined the firm as counsel. They are all members of the firm’s newly created Municipal Law & Land Use group.

10/01/2014

Boggio, Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt, Miller & Streng Selected as Super Lawyers

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio Howell Bramson Kathleen Donelli Dolores Gebhardt Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Seven of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Howell Bramson has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has again been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Frank W. Streng has been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation and Estate Planning & Probate. 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.

06/08/2014

Gebhardt Elected President of White Plains Bar Association

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt was sworn in as President of the White Plains Bar Association (WPBA) on June 18, 2014. A member of the WPBA Board of Directors since 2003, Dolores previously served as Treasurer and Secretary. Dolores joins current and former McCarthy Fingar attorneys Joel M. Aurnou, Kathleen Donelli, Joseph P. Harrington, Martin Drazen and John G. McQuaid, all of whom served as WPBA President.

06/04/2014

Miller Authors Article on Prenuptial Agreements for New York Law Journal

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who has a national reputation on family law issues and leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice group, authored an article for the New York Law Journal on Prenuptial Agreements entitled, “Come Live With Me and Be my Love…But Sign This Prenup!

11/14/2013

Gebhardt Moderates NYSBA Program on Appellate Practice & Lectures on Motion Practice in Appeals

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate Practice and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was the moderator of the bi-annual program on New York Appellate Practice on November 14, 2013 in White Plains, sponsored by the New York State Bar Association‘s Comittee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction. Dolores also lectured at this program on Motion Practice in the Appellate Division.

10/01/2013

Boggio, Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt & Miller Selected as Super Lawyers

Gail M. Boggio Howell Bramson Kathleen Donelli Dolores Gebhardt Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Six of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Howell Bramson has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has again been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. 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.

01/22/2013

Judge Miller Receives Kay Crawford Murray Award

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

We are pleased to announce that Judge Sondra M. Miller, who leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice group, received the Kay Crawford Murray Award on January 22, 2013. The award is given by the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Law to celebrate “an individual who, in the spirit of Ms. Murray, recognizes the value of diversity in the legal profession and has committed to advancing the professional development of women attorneys.”

11/08/2012

Donelli Speaks at Webinar for NYS Judicial Institute

Kathleen Donelli

Kathleen Donelli presented at a live broadcast (from 1 to 2 p.m.) to satellite viewing sites for judges and court attorneys throughout New York State on “Maintenance and No Fault Issues In Matrimonial Actions” with the Hon. Richard Dollinger, ASCJ. This lunch and learn program will be kept on the NYS Court Intranet website that hosts the New York State Judicial Institute’s continuing legal education programs for judges and court attorneys throughout New York State. However, Storm Sandy resulted in the temporary loss of technological resources for the courts, and the need to reschedule the program. Stay tuned to our web site for the new date for the program.

10/01/2012

Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt & Miller Selected as Super Lawyers

Howell Bramson Kathleen Donelli Dolores Gebhardt Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Five of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Howell Bramson has been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Joe Brophy has also been selected as one of Westchester’s top 25 lawyers. 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.

08/08/2012

Judge Miller Co-Chairs Judicial Seminar on Social Media & Criminal & Family Law Cases

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice group, and Co-Chairs the New York State Family Violence Task Force, co-chaired a judicial seminar entitled: “’Friend’ or Foe: Social Media and the New Cyber-Landscape of Criminal and Family Law.” The seminar was part of a summer series of web casts offered by the New York State Judicial Institute for judges and non-judicial staff. The program was presented live at the Judicial Institute in White Plains, at group-viewing sites in each of the New York City counties, and on-line.

12/01/2011

Judge Miller is Recipient of 2011 Judge Learned Hand Award

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

On December 1, 2011 Hon. Sondra M. Miller was the recipient of the 2011 Judge Learned Hand Award by the Westchester Region of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). This was the first time that the Judge Learned Hand Award was presented by AJC’s Westchester Region. The award ceremony took place at Chappaqua Crossing (the former Reader’s Digest site), in Chappaqua, New York. AJC is the oldest and most respected human relations organization in the United States. AJC builds bridges, advances security, promotes human rights, supports Israel and strengthens Jewish life. For over fifty years, AJC has taken great pride in publicly acknowledging the accomplishments of outstanding members of the legal community who excel in their field and give generously of themselves to the larger community.

11/18/2011

Gebhardt is Moderator of New York State Bar Association CLE program & Lectures on Matrimonial Appeals

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt, who is a member of our Appellate Practice and Matrimonial & Family Law groups, was the moderator of the bi-annual Continuing Legal Education program on Appellate Practice sponsored by the New York State Bar Association‘s New York State Bar Association‘s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction. Dolores also lectured at this program on “Special Considerations in Matrimonial Appeals”. Click at Outline to see Dolores’ written presentation for this program.

06/15/2011

Gebhardt Discusses Her Term as President of Westchester Women’s Bar Association

Dolores Gebhardt

In finishing her one year term as President of the Westchester Women’s Bar Association, Dolores Gebhardt spoke at the annual dinner on June 15, 2011 about WWBA’s accomplishments during her term. She also had this to say about her original goal to increase the number of men in WWBA: “One of the goals of my presidency was to increase the involvement of men in the WWBA. Despite the difficult economic climate, our membership was similar to last year’s. In fact, as of this writing, we had over 600 members, and kept our ten delegates to WBASNY. Better yet, nearly 70 members are men . . . more than last year!”

04/28/2011

Judge Miller Receives the “Above the Bar” Award & Selected as “Pace Setter”

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was selected as the “Pace Setter” and received the “Above the Bar” award on April 28, 2011 in White Plains, New York.

01/19/2011

Judge Miller Speaks at Induction Ceremony of Justice Linda J. Christopher

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller spoke at the Rockland County Courthouse in New City at the induction ceremony of newly elected Justice Linda J. Christopher.

10/27/2010

Brophy & Donelli Selected as Super Lawyers

Kathleen Donelli

This year for the first time, two of our partners have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Kathleen Donelli has been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Joe Brophy has been selected for the fourth straight year in the field of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice. 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. Super Lawyers has a rigorous selection process; only five percent of all lawyers in each state are eligible for consideration, and far fewer are selected.

06/17/2008

Judge Miller Interviewed by New York Law Journal on “No Fault” Divorce

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was interviewed by the New York Law Journal as a spokesperson for various state and local bar groups who lobbied Albany legislators for an amendment of divorce law to permit “no fault” divorce. Judge Miller, who is also the Director of the Office of Family Services for the Office of Court Administration, organized the event in Albany, to remind legislators of the need to change the divorce laws and to highlight the near-unanimous support that the no-fault option has among bar groups. In her interview, Judge Miller also spoke of the difficulties the no-fault option faced in the current legislative session, since no-fault divorce is just one of a myriad of items vying for attention. In the interview, Judge Miller said: “They are not focused on this issue. And we, as a group, are at a disadvantage because we are not lobbyists.”

04/01/2007

Miller Interviewed on Recommendations of Matrimonial Commission

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Hon. Sondra M. Miller  In the aftermath of the recent bribery conviction of former state Supreme Court Justice Gerald P. Garson, there has been substantial media coverage of the manner in which matrimonial and family law cases are litigated in the court system. Judge Miller, who headed the Matrimonial Commission formed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, was interviewed by The Institute for Judicial Studies for both her observations on the case and efforts to implement the recommendations of the Matrimonial Commission. For excerpts of that interview, click at Interview. Click at Report to see the recommendations of the Matrimonial Commission.

01/01/2006

Judge Sondra Miller Joins Firm and Leads the Firm’s Appellate and Mediation and Arbitration Practice Groups

Hon. Sondra M. Miller

We are pleased to announce that Judge Sondra M. Miller, retired from the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, as of January 1, 2006, has joined our Firm as Chief Counsel. Judge Miller is a member of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation and Matrimonial & Family Law groups and will lead the Firm’s appellate practice.

Matter of A.A. v. A., 2020 NY Slip Op 03468 (1st Dep’t 2020)

Michael S. Kutzin

Michael S. Kutzin

Guardianship Practice – Guardianship of Adult Child – Dispute Between Divorced Parents

McCarthy Fingar lawyers represent clients in the most difficult guardianship cases, including disputes over a guardianship of an adult child. While most people understand issues involving the care and custody of children is often front-and-center in a divorce case, sometimes even adult children with disabilities become collateral damage of a divorce as parents battle over guardianship of an adult child. This can happen for myriad reasons, including where well-meaning but ill-advised parents have a different vision for what kind of care the disabled child should receive. In Matter of A.A. v. A., 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 the 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. The father had fought to become his daughter’s guardian and appealed the lower court decision, arguing that the daughter’s incapacity was brought on by the anti-psychotic medication that she was taking. The father further argues that he should have the right to take his daughter to a physician of his own choice, in his effort to demonstrate that it was the medicines that caused her illness. The mother, who had already prevailed in Family Court against such allegations when she obtained custody while the child was a minor, was named guardian in the lower court proceeding. 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. The First Department uphold the lower court decision, finding that the mother “had been diligently caring for [the daughter] for years and appropriately attended to her needs, and the absence of any evidence supporting plaintiff’s claims of improper medical treatment . . . “

[Read in full]

Mitarotonda v. Mitarotonda, ___ A.D.3d ___ (2d Dep’t 2019)

Kathleen Donelli, Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Kathleen Donelli Kristen Mackay Pennessi

Matrimonial & Family Law – Child Custody – Appellate Practice – Constructive Emancipation

Our matrimonial lawyers often represent clients on financial issues relating to child custody. Here, Kristen Pennessi & Kathleen Donelli won an appeal in the Appellate Division in which the lower court denied a post-divorce judgment motion, brought by the noncustodial parent (the “father”), to stop paying the custodial parent (our client, the “mother”) child support based on constructive emancipation. Under the doctrine of constructive emancipation, New York courts have held that child support payments may be suspended where the “custodial parent unjustifiably frustrates the noncustodial parent’s right of reasonable access.” Kristen and Kathleen successfully argued that our client, the custodial parent, did not deliberately frustrate or actively interfere with the father’s relationship with his children. Therefore, the court ordered that the father continue to pay child support even though his children refused to have meaningful contact with him.

[Read in full]

Mamaroneck Coastal Environmental Coalition v. Village of Mamaroneck Board of Appeals ___ A.D. 3d __ (2d Dep’t July 26, 2017).

Lester D. Steinman

Lester D. Steinman

Municipal Law & Land Use  – Appellate Practice – Defending Land Use Board Decision 

Developing a proper record and articulating detailed findings are the keys for our Municipal Law & Land Use lawyers to successfully defending local land use board decision making, both in the lower court and in the appellate court. Here, Petitioner brought an Article 78 proceeding challenging the ZBA’s determination to grant a special permit to the Hampshire Club to conduct nonmember events on its property as arbitrary, capricious and contrary to law. Representing the ZBA, Lester D. Steinman and Anna L. Georgiou successfully argued that the ZBA’s determination was rationally based and supported by substantial evidence in the record. The Supreme Court, Westchester County, (Jamieson, J.S.C.) agreed dismissing the Article 78 proceeding. On appeal, the Supreme Court’s determination was affirmed by the Appellate Division, Second Department.

[Read in full]

Matter of Imperato, 149 A.D.3d 1072 (2d Dep’t 2017)

James K. Landau

James K. Landau

Appellate Practice – Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Property Turnover Proceedings – Statutes of Limitations

Our firm’s Surrogate’s Court Litigation group represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in Property Turnover Proceedings, and statutes of limitations issues frequently arise in such cases. Here, James K. Landau, who is also a member of our Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation  groups, convinced the Appellate Division, Second Department, to reverse the Surrogate’s Court order that had granted the executor’s motion for summary judgment against Mr. Landau’s client in an action alleging conversion, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and the imposition of a constructive trust and denied Mr. Landau’s client’s cross-motion for summary judgment dismissing the petition. In reversing, the Second Department agreed with Mr. Landau’s argument that petitioner had failed to meet her prima facie burden of establishing her entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on the causes of action alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and seeking the imposition of a constructive trust. The Second Department also agreed with Mr. Landau’s argument that his client’s cross-motion to dismiss the conversion cause of action in the petition should have been granted because it was not commenced within three years of the alleged conversion.

[Read in full]

Village/Town Scarsdale v. Kreuter, 144 A.D.3d 1033 (2d Dep’t 2016)

Lester D. Steinman, Daniel Pozin

Lester D. Steinman Daniel Pozin

Municipal Law & Land Use – In Rem Tax Foreclosure – Appellate Practice

Our Municipal Law & Land Use lawyers know that attention to procedural details is critical for the exercise of municipal rights. Here, the Appellant challenged the Village of Scarsdale’s in rem tax foreclosure proceedings on the basis of, among other things, inadequate notice. Representing the village, Daniel Pozin and Lester D. Steinman, as special counsel to the village, persuaded the Appellate Division, Second Department, that the Appellant’s arguments were wrong, and the Second Department dismissing the appeal and the case.

[Read in full]

Contest over Finder’s Fee for Sale of Commercial Real Estate

Dolores Gebhardt, Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Dolores Gebhardt Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Appellate PracticeCommercial Litigation – Reduction on Finder’s Fee for Commercial Real Estate Sale

Our lawyers sometimes represent clients in disputes over finder’s and brokerage fees on real estate and business transactions. Here, Dina M. Aversano, together with Judge Sondra M. Miller and Dolores Gebhardt, wrote and prepared the appellate brief in the Appellate Division, Second Department, to seek to overturn the Supreme Court, Nassau County’s award, following a bench trial, of a $500,000 finder’s fee on a commercial real estate transaction. We argued that no such fee was warranted because of the lack of any causal relationship in the “finder’s” role in facilitating the eventual transaction. The Appellate Division Second Department awarded a downward modification of the fee.

Pickens v. Castro, 55 A.D.3d 443 (1st Dep’t 2008)

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt

Matrimonial & Family Law – Appellate Practice – Award of Counsel Fees to Client Upheld; Adversary Filed Frivolous Motion – Appointment of Receiver to Sell Marital Residence Upheld

 

Legal fees in matrimonial cases are often an important economic issue for both sides. Pickens is a complex case in which, among other things, defendant husband appealed Order Appointing Receiver of marital residence on the ground that the Order empowered the receiver to encumber the property. Defendant husband also appealed the trial court’s award of counsel fees and costs to Dolores Gebhardt‘s client as a sanction for the defendant making a frivolous motion. Dolores, representing the wife, successfully persuaded the Appellate Division, Second Department, to uphold the lower court determination on appeal.

 

[Read in full]

Sylvan Development Corp. v. Westchester Joint Water Works, 853 N.Y.S.2d 918 (2d Dep’t 2008).

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Tax Certiorari & Condemnation – Appellate Practice – Prior Negative Declarations Support Long, Hard Look

As part of their work, Tax Certiorari and Condemnation lawyers must understand environmental issues and their impact on a property’s valuation. Representing Westchester Joint Water Works (WJWW), Stephen Davis successfully upheld WJWW’s condemnation against attack from an alleged failure of WJWW to undertake adequate environmental considerations. Exercising its original jurisdiction, the Appellate Division sustained the argument that WJWW properly relied upon three prior negative declarations for the affected subdivision in discharging WJWW’s obligation to take and consider the required long, hard look at the project’s effect upon the environment.

[Read in full]

Herlitz-Ferguson v. Herlitz-Ferguson, 48 A.D.3d 418, 851 N.Y.S.2d 272 (2d Dep’t 2008)

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt

Matrimonial & Family LawAppellate PracticeDecision Relieving Client of Payments for Additional Child Support & Private School

Child support obligations are often a contested issue in divorce actions and the work of our matrimonial lawyers. Here, the parties had a separation agreement that required Dolores Gebhardt‘s client to pay 31% of his income toward his child support obligations upon finding employment; and obligated the plaintiff wife to be solely responsible for paying for the children’s extracurricular, health insurance and medical expenses. However, the lower court ruled against Dolores Gebhardt‘s client. The Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed the lower court ruling, finding that the trial court had erred in directing Dolores’ client to pay 48% of statutory add-ons and to contribute 30% of private school tuition and costs for the parties’ two daughters.

[Read in full]

Molloy v. Molloy, 33 A.D.3d 892, 823 N.Y.S.2d 209 (2d Dep’t 2006).

Dolores Gebhardt

Dolores Gebhardt

Matrimonial & Family LawAppellate PracticeDivorce on Ground of Abandonment Denied

McCarthy Fingar’s lawyers are leaders in the legal community, and our Matrimonial & Family Law lawyers have been strong proponents of no-fault divorce. In fact, Judge Sondra M. Miller was an influential voice in the passage, in 2010, of the new no-fault divorce law. In Molloy, Dolores Gebhardt’s client was denied a divorce on the ground of abandonment. The decision became the basis for Dolores Gebhardt’s article on the law of abandonment entitled, “Justice Abandoned: Forty Years of Stalemate in Actions for Divorce on the Ground of Abandonment” 27 Pace Law Review 605 (2007).

[Read in full]

Davis v. Willinger, 31 A.D.3d 429 (2d Dep’t 2006)

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Post Nuptial Agreement Contest – Replacing Condo Unit Triggers Ademption

Our lawyers represent clients on dispute on prenuptial and post  nuptial agreements. Here, in a declaratory judgment action involving an esoteric point of law, Stephen Davis and Joel M. Aurnou achieved an abatement of a surviving spouse’s contract with her husband to bequeath the proceeds of sale of the couple’s Miami Beach oceanfront condominium residence to her late husband’s daughter. Applying the ademption concept, the trial court – unanimously affirmed by the appellate court – ruled that the promise to bequeath pertained only to the condominium owned by the couple at the time of the promise, notwithstanding that they replaced their original condominium with another in the very same Collins Avenue condominium building.

[Read in full]

Keiser v. Todd, 290 A.D.2d 492, 736 N.Y.S.2d 255 (2d Dep’t 2005)

Robert H. Rosh

Robert H. Rosh

Appellate Practice  – Commercial LitigationReal Estate Transactions – Option to Purchase Real Estate

If a dispute as to a real estate transaction cannot be settled, lawyers need skill and experience to win a case in court. In this matter, Robert H. Rosh successfully defended our client at both the lower court and appellate levels, in an action brought by a tenant to enforce a purported option to purchase our client’s real property. Rob moved for, and obtained, an order dismissing the tenant’s complaint. In support of its dismissal, the court held that the draft option agreement between the parties did not identify the property to be conveyed with sufficient particularity to satisfy New York’s Statute of Frauds, General Obligations Law §5-703(2), and was therefore unenforceable.

Following our client’s victory, the tenant refused to vacate the premises and Rob successfully pursued on our client’s behalf a proceeding that resulted in the eviction of the tenant from the premises.

[Read in full]

Frankel v. Ford Leasing Dev. Co., 7 A.D.3d 757, 776 N.Y.S.2d 905 (2d Dep’t 2004)

Robert H. Rosh

Robert H. Rosh

Commercial Litigation – Appellate Practice – Statute of  Frauds on Real Estate Transaction

Our lawyers defend clients on unwarranted lawsuits for enforcement of alleged contracts. Here, Robert H. Rosh successfully defended an action that was brought against his client for specific performance of a contract to sell real property. Rob moved for and was awarded summary judgment dismissing the action. On appeal, the lower court’s decision was affirmed, finding that the parties never had a meeting of the minds, and that the documents which had been relied upon by the plaintiff in support of his claim had omitted essential terms of a contract; and, thus, the claim was barred under the statute of frauds. The appellate court also found that the actions taken by the plaintiff were not unequivocally referable to a contract of sale so as to constitute part performance sufficient to defeat the statute of frauds, and were merely steps taken in contemplation of a future agreement.

[Read in full]

Amari v. Molloy, NYLJ 8/8/00, p. 23, col. 5 (Kings County Sup. Ct. 2000), aff’d, 293 A.D.2d 431 (2d Dep’t 2002)

Kathleen Donelli

Kathleen Donelli

Matrimonial & Family LawAppellate PracticeChild Custody

Sometimes, child custody issues cannot be resolved by the parties without a trial. In this case, Kathleen Donelli persuaded the trial court and appellate court to award child custody to her client.

Papadopolous v. Goldstein, Goldstein & Rikon, P.C., 283 A.D.2d 649, 725 N.Y.S.2d 364 (2d Dep’t 2001), appeal denied, 97 N.Y.2d 677

Robert H. Rosh

Robert H. Rosh

Commercial Litigation – Appellate Practice – Attorney Fee Dispute

In this case, Robert H. Rosh and Robert M. Redis successfully represented two (2) individuals at both the lower court and appellate levels in a fee dispute with their former counsel involving a condemnation proceeding. The dispute arose after the individuals discharged their former counsel and negotiated a sale of their properties on their own. The court held that the individuals had the right to settle their case on their own, and that their former counsel were only entitled to recover in quantum meruit for the legal services rendered to the individuals in connection with the condemnation proceeding.

[Read in full]

Matter of Marsh, 265 A.D.2d 253 (1st Dep’t 1999), app. denied, 95 N.Y.2d 755 (2000), app. dismissed, 95 N.Y.2d 956 (2000), cert. denied, 532 U.S. 1038, 121 S. Ct. 1999, 149 L.Ed.2d 1002 (2001)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court LitigationAppellate Practice – Contested Accountings

Our lawyers often represent beneficiaries in contested accountings of executors and trustees. In one such case, Frank W. Streng and Robert M. Redis succeeded at the trial court level and obtained a surcharge against a former executor in excess of $1.6 million and an award of attorneys fees against that former fiduciary in the amount of $250,000. Bob and Frank then succeeded in upholding the Surrogate’s Court’s determinations on all appeals.

[Read in full]

Hudson Communities Coalition, Inc. v. New York State Office Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation, 251 A.D.2d 504, 673 N.Y.S.2d 595 (2d Dep’t 1998)

Robert H. Rosh

Robert H. Rosh

Commercial Litigation – Appellate Practice – Article 78 Proceeding – Nursing Home

Our lawyers represent clients in disputes over different types of real estate matters. Here, Robert H. Rosh and Robert M. Redis intervened on behalf of St. John’s Riverside Hospital and successfully defended it in the lower court in an Article 78 proceeding, and on an appeal to the Appellate Division, Second Department. In this case, a coalition sought to overturn certain administrative determinations as to the siting and design of St. John’s proposed nursing home facility in Yonkers, New York.

[Read in full]

Matter of Marsh, 236 A.D.2d 404 (2d Dep’t 1997)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Will & Trust Contests

McCarthy Fingar often represents clients in Will & Trust Contests. Frank W. Streng, as counsel to the named executor, successfully defended against objections to the filing of a Codicil to the Decedent’s Will. At trial, a jury upheld the Codicil to the Decedent’s Will and threw out objections made to such Codicil by one family member. On appeal, we persuaded the Appellate Division, Second Depatment, to uphold the trial judge’s refusal to set aside the jury verdict.

[Read in full]

Tropea v. Tropea, 87 N.Y.2d 727, 665 N.E.2d 145, 642 N.Y.S.2d 575 (1996)

Kathleen Donelli

Kathleen Donelli

Matrimonial & Family LawAppellate PracticeChild Relocation

Custody of minor children is sometimes an issue that continues after the parents obtain their divorce and have reached agreement on visitation issues. Sometimes, the custodial parent seeks to change his or her location, and the noncustodial parent cries foul and seeks to prevent or oppose that relocation. In Tropea, Kathleen Donelli prevailed in a child relocation case in New York’s highest court, the New York State Court of Appeals. Tropea established the prevailing law in New York on relocation.

[Read in full]

Frayne v. Frayne, 234 A.D.2d 545 (2d Dep’t 1996)

Kathleen Donelli

Kathleen Donelli

Matrimonial & Family Law – Appellate Practice – Child Relocation

One of the most satisfying things our Matrimonial & Family Law lawyers do is to get a favorable outcome for a client on a child custody issue. Kathleen Donelli won the landmark New York State Court of Appeals decision on child relocation in Tropea v. Tropea, and has frequently lectured on child relocation issues. In a child relocation case, Kathleen successfully persuaded the Appellate Division, Second Deparment, to permit her client, the custodial parent, to relocate.

[Read in full]

1185 Avenue of the Americas Associates v. The Resolution Trust Corp.

Kathleen Donelli

Kathleen Donelli

Commercial Litigation – Appellate Practice – Landlord/Tenant Issues

After prevailing in the Federal District Court, Kathleen Donelli successfully convinced the US Court of Appeals, for the Second Circuit, to affirm the District Court’s denial of landlord’s claim for $7 million in unpaid rent.

[Read in full]

Route 22 Associates v. Cipes, 204 A.D.2d 705 (2d Dep’t 1994)

Kathleen Donelli

Kathleen Donelli

Commercial Litigation – Appellate Practice – Real Estate Easements

Having prevailed in the lower court, Kathleen Donelli persuaded the Appellate Division, Second Department to affirmed the trial court’s decision, declaring the validity of an easement.

[Read in full]

Lefkowitz v. The Bank of New York as Preliminary Executor of Estate of Irene B. Marsh et al., 996 F.2d 600 (2d Cir. 1993)

Howell Bramson

Howell Bramson

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Taxation – Spousal Consent – Challenge of Beneficiary Designation on Qualified Plan

Our lawyers often represent clients in dealing with beneficiary designations on pension and qualified plans. In one such case, Howell Bramson, Robert M. Redis and other lawyers at the firm successfully represented a surviving spouse’s estate and persuaded the lower court to invalidate a beneficiary designation on a qualified plan for the Decedent’s child (to the exclusion of the decedent’s spouse) on the grounds that the beneficiary designation violated the spousal consent rules under ERISA. The trial court’s determination was upheld, on appeal, by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal also deal with significant legal questions, such as the applicability of ERISA to controlled foreign corporations and whether these sufficiently implicated the Interstate Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

[Read in full]

Matter of Marsh, 173 A.D.2d 336 (1st Dep’t 1991), app. dismissed, 78 N.Y.2d 990, mot. for lv. to appeal denied, 79 N.Y.2d 751

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Fiduciary Removal – Business Issues

Our lawyers often represent beneficiaries that suffer financial injury through improper actions of executors and trustees. Here, Frank W. Streng represented a beneficiary at a trial to obtain the removal of a preliminary executor who had acted improperly in the administration of the estate. The removed fiduciary appealed, and Frank and other McCarthy Fingar lawyers, Robert M. Redis and Deborah Yurchuck McCarthy, successfully persuaded the appellate court to affirm the trial court’s decision to remove the fiduciary.

[Read in full]

Matter of Hickok, 140 Misc. 2d 650 (Surr. Ct., Orange 1989), affirmed, 158 A.D.2d 690 (2d Dep’t 1990), mot. for lv. to appeal denied, 76 N.Y.2d 712

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice –Contested Accountings – Interpretation of Decedent’s Will

Often, there are issues on the interpretation of a Decedent’s Will that can have large effect on the Decedent’s testamentary plan.  In this case, Frank W. Streng, and other lawyers at  the firm represented children of a Decedent’s first marriage in litigation against the Decedent’s surviving spouse where the surviving spouse sought (unsuccessfully) to obtain an interpretation of her husband’s Will which would have effectively excluded the Decedent’s children as beneficiaries under the Will. The other side appealed, and the appelate court affirmed the lower court ruling.

[Read in full]

Jaffer v. Miles, 134 A.D.2d 572 (2d Dep’t 1987)

Kathleen Donelli

Kathleen Donelli

Commercial Litigation – Appellate Practice – Real Estate Contract

In this case, Kathleen Donelli persuaded the Appellate Division, Second Department to reverse the trial court’s denial of summary judgment to seller, finding that the memorandum between the seller and purchaser was not an enforceable contract.

[Read in full]

Southern Westchester Associates v. Assessor of City of Yonkers, 122 A.D.2d 212 (2d Dep’t 1986)

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Tax Certiorari & Condemnation – Appellate Practice – Cooperative Apartment Conversion Valued By Imputing Rental Value

Tax Certiorari and Condemnation cases almost always involve the use of experts to establish value. Here, Stephen Davis successfully used an expert to establish rental value for apartments in a cooperative apartment buildling conversion as part of the capitalization of income process. At the taxpayer’s behest, the court applied a remedial statute designed to avoid use of sales prices for each unit, the effect of which would make the sum of the parts worth more than the whole, i.e., worth more than a neighboring similar apartment building. Instead, the rental value, rather than the so-called conversion value, was considered to be the best measure of value. Then, Steve convinced the Appellate Division to affirm the lower court ruling.

[Read in full]

Matter of McKinney, 117 Misc. 2d 173 (Surr. Ct., Westchester 1982), affirmed, 101 A.D.2d 477 (2d Dep’t 1984), mot. for lv. to appeal denied, 63 N.Y.2d 607

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Taxation – Interpretation of Decedent’s Will – Allocation of Estate Taxes

Sometimes, the tax apportionment clause – an often overlooked clause in a will – has a huge impact on the actual distributions under a will. In this case, Frank W. Streng and others at the firm successfully represented a major health care institution in a contested accouting proceeding in which we challenged the executors’ interpretation of the decedent’s tax apportionment clause in her Will. The charitable beneficiary would have been deprived of hundreds of thousands of dollars of its proper share of a multi-million dollar estate had the executors’ interpretation been adopted. The lower court opinion was affirmed by the appellate court.

[Read in full]

Sear, Roebuck & Co. v. Assessor of City of White Plains, 66 A.D.2d 777 (2d Dep’t 1978)

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Tax Certiorari & Condemnation – Appellate Practice – User Owned Building Valued By Rental Value, Not Cost

The valuation technique used by Tax Certiorari & Condemnation lawyers is the key to success or failure of their cases. Here, Stephen Davis successfully obtained a tax assessment reduction for property owned by the user department store permitted by capitalizing rental value. He did so through the use of expert testimony on rental values, rather than employing a cumbersome reconstruction cost methodology that would have likely resulted in a higher valuation for the client’s property. Steve then won on the appeal.

[Read in full]

Almar Realty Corp. v. Sockolof Bros., 35 A.D.2d 986 (2d Dep’t 1970), aff’d, 29 N.Y.2d 735 (1971)

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Commercial Litigation – Appellate Practice – Landlord/Tenant – Tax Base Mutual Ignorance Fails To Support Reformation

Stephen Davis and Joel M. Aurnou prevailed in a reformation action by distinguishing mutual ignorance from mutual mistake of fact.  The result was their client’s warehouse tenant paying a  real estate tax escalation rental over a base of a vacant land assessment and not against a base assessment of the completed warehouse building.

[Read in full]

Ercolani v. Sam & Al Realty Co., 17 N.Y.2d 299 (1966)

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Commercial Litigation – Appellate Practice – Foreclosure – Surplus Monies for General Creditors

Representing a creditor, Stephen Davis successfully persuaded the Court of Appeals to reverse a decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department. Upon reversal, the lower court was compelled to recognize the right of general creditors to intervene in opposition to a referee’s report of sale, in order to restore what should have been surplus moneys from which the creditors’ claims could then be paid.

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James K. Landau

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Practicing Law Institute

03/13/2020
James K. Landau
James K. Landau

Litigation Trends in the Cannabis Industry

Westchester Black Bar Association

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Dolores Gebhardt
Dolores Gebhardt
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Mandatory Parent Education in Custody Cases: The Pilot Program

Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association

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Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

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Yonkers Lawyers Association

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Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics Update – 2020

New York State Association of Towns

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James K. Landau
James K. Landau

Budding Cannabis and CBD Litigation: Are You Ready for the Green Wave Heading Towards New York?

Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association

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James K. Landau
James K. Landau

The Developing Commercial Cannabis Case Law

Committee on Cannabis Law of the New York State Bar Association

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Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics

NYS Judicial InstituteUnified Court System Certification Program for Newly-elected Town and Village Justices.

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Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Assuming the Bench – Judicial Ethics

Unified Court System Certification Program for Newly-elected Town and Village Justices

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Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

How Judicial Ethics Issues impact your Law Practice

Pace Law School (Elisabeth Haub School of Law)

11/26/2019
Dolores Gebhardt
Dolores Gebhardt

What’s It Worth to You?: The Valuation of a Business in Corporate and Divorce Settings

Westchester Women’s Bar Association

11/04/2019
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics

NYS Association of Supreme Court Justices

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Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics Update – 2019

NYS Magistrates’ Association

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Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Dinner Speaker

Association of Supreme Court Justices of the City of New York

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Douglas S. Trokie
Douglas S. Trokie
James K. Landau
James K. Landau

Impending Legalization of Cannabis 2019: The Buzzz for Businesses

FPA Greater Hudson Valley Chapter, Westchester County Bar Association and Westchester Chapter of the New York State Society of CPAs

06/18/2019
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

2019 Judicial Campaign Ethics Online Training Video

NYS Judicial Institute

05/29/2019
James K. Landau
James K. Landau

Impending Legalization – Hot Topics in Cannabis Law

Celesq and West LegalEdcenter

05/08/2019
James K. Landau
James K. Landau

Impending Legalization – Hot Topics in Cannabis Law

Cannibas Law Committee of the Westchester County Bar Association

04/11/2019
James K. Landau
James K. Landau

Ethics in Social Media 2019

Practicing Law Institute

03/15/2019
James K. Landau
James K. Landau

What’s New in the Second Department

Westchester County Bar Association

10/16/2018
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

Judicial Ethics

New York State Unified Court System

04/13/2018
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli
Hon. Edward P. Borrelli

“Judicial Ethics Updates” “Ethics: Civic Participation Limitations”

New York State Judicial Institute

02/19/2018
Dolores Gebhardt
Dolores Gebhardt

Fundamental Appellate Practice

Manhattan, New York County Lawyers Association

11/06/2014
Dolores Gebhardt
Dolores Gebhardt

Motion Practice in Appeals

New York State Bar Association‘s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction

11/14/2013
Dolores Gebhardt
Dolores Gebhardt

Special Considerations In Matrimonial Appeals

New York State Bar Association‘s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, Tarrytown, New York

11/18/2011
Dolores Gebhardt
Dolores Gebhardt

Departing Comments, Completion of Term as President of Westchester Women’s Bar Association

Mamaroneck, New York, Westchester Women’s Bar Association

06/15/2011
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

“Who Owns Your DNA: Property, Privacy and the Cancer Battle”

Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Manhattan

11/10/2010
Hon. Sondra M. Miller
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Keynote Speaker

New York, New York, The Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York

11/08/2007
Kathleen Donelli
Kathleen Donelli

“Taking and Defending Depositions”

Westchester Women’s Bar Association

04/24/2002