Representation of executors and beneficiaries of deceased 25 percent partner’s estate in real estate company consisting of a 270 unit apartment complex in New York City against surviving 75 percent partners in action for accounting, breach of fiduciary duties and mismanagement resulting in fair market value (as opposed to lower statutory date of death valuation) negotiated sale of entire partnership property for $39.5 million and payment of 25 percent fair market value share of sale proceeds to beneficiaries of deceased partner’s estate. Supreme Court, Nassau County, Commercial Division.
Defended majority partner in New York general partnership that owns unsold shares in cooperative corporation for apartments in Manhattan in complex litigation against allegations by minority partner for mismanagement, conversion, and breach of fiduciary duty resulting in settlement of all claims and negotiated sales of unsold units to the public and distribution of profits to partners. Supreme Court, New York County, Commercial Division.
Representation of property owner in lawsuit against Encompass, Division of Allstate Insurance Company, under insurance policy after major water damage to property. The Appellate Division, Second Department, reinstated the claims against Encompass for damages under New York’s General Business Law Section 349 and violations of New York Insurance Law Section 2601 for deceptive business practices through a general policy of denying, delaying and defending against such claims with respect to plaintiff and other similarly situated policy holders in order to force property owner and other policy holders into woefully inadequate claim settlements and upholding claim for punitive damages. Ural v. Encompass, Supreme Court, Nassau County and Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, 97 A.D.3d 562; 948 N.Y.S.2d 621 (2d Dept. 2012); as reported in NYLJ July 9, 2012, Court Decisions at pg.18, col.5. This precedent setting case in New York has been followed by other courts. View Ural v Encompass Case & Blog Citations
Obtained $8,708,490 Judgment, including $3 million in punitive damages, plus prejudgment interest, from a Manhattan jury after an 11-day trial in a legal malpractice case where an attorney and his clients defrauded plaintiff 50 percent shareholder out of her rightful share and control of a family owned Manhattan real estate company, reported in The New York Jury Verdict Reporter. NY Jury Verdict Reporter Verdict
Representation for five years of Federal Receiver over National Heritage Life Insurance Company, in liquidation, appointed by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Mr. Wotman recovered, through a number of federal and state court civil litigations, millions of dollars in stolen assets from Sholam Weiss and his cohorts who were disgraced members of the Hassidic Satmar Religious Sect of Borough Park, Brooklyn. Mr. Weiss stole over $450 million from National Heritage Life through various “mind numbing” schemes including falsified real estate appraisals, leases and mortgages. National Heritage had issued life insurance policies to over 30,000 residents of the State of Florida and was placed into liquidation by Delaware State Regulators. National Heritage was the nation’s largest ever insurance fraud according to the New York Daily News. Mr. Weiss was ultimately convicted and sentenced by the United States District Court in Orlando, Florida to 180 years in a federal penitentiary, one of the longest white-collar sentence ever imposed in the history of the United States. The case was the subject of a segment piece on CBS’s “Sixty Minutes,” CNBC’s “American Greed” and various articles in The New York Times. Donna Lee Williams, Insurance Commissioner of The State of Delaware v. LPDA Acquisition Corp., et al., United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Representation of buyer of antique art work in William J. Jenack Estate Appraisers and Auctioneers, Inc. v. Rabizadeh, 99 A.D.3d 270, 952 N.Y.S.2d 197 (2d Dept. 2012) which held that New York State law requires that buyers of artwork be given names of sellers in post-auction paperwork for the auction sale to be become binding, reversed, 22 N.Y.3d 470, 5 N.E.3d 976, 982 N.Y.S.2d 813 (NY 2013)(absentee bid satisfied Statute of Frauds); as reported on the front page of the Arts Section of The New York Times, “Lawyers Fight to Keep Auction Sellers Anonymous.“ The case has been cited in numerous art and auction industry articles in the United States and abroad, blogs and books on auctions and art law as well as by law firms active in the field and cited in subsequent cases. View Jenack Citations List
Defense of heavy weight boxer ranked number two in the world in action by former trainer who previously trained Sugar Ray Leonard for breach of contract in connection with bouts against Mike Tyson. Janks Morton v. Donovan “Razor” Ruddock, et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Defended heavy weight boxer ranked number two in the world in action by world famous boxing promoter for breach of contract. Don King Productions v. Donovan “Razor” Ruddock, et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Representation of Parts Authority, Inc., nationwide auto parts supplier, in connection with prosecution of bankruptcy litigation against Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 debtors and analysis of bankruptcy filings.
Representation of law firm partners in connection with dissolution and winding up of law firm partnership.
Representation of hundreds of sub-dealers in wireless communications industry in litigation against Master Dealer and Nextel for non-payment of commissions resulting in 100 percent distribution to priority creditors and 44 percent distribution to general unsecured creditors. In re M&M Wireless Communications, Inc.; Pergament v. Nextel of New York, Inc., et al, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York.
Representation of prominent Long Island manufacturer against office manager for long term theft of hundreds of thousands of dollars through falsified check writing scheme, falsification of accounting records and destruction of corporate banking records resulting in recovery of substantially all stolen corporate funds through use of attachments of bank accounts and notice of pendency on defendants’ properties. Supreme Court, Suffolk County.
Representation of worldwide buyer and seller of used medical diagnostic imaging equipment in lawsuit against key employees for breach of confidentiality and non-compete clause in employment contracts and theft of confidential database information resulting in settlement agreement at trial prohibiting former employees from using database information and contacting suppliers. Supreme Court, New York County, Commercial Division.
Representation of Manhattan commercial real estate brokerage leasing company against employee for theft of confidential proprietary business leads information.
Representation of individual defendant managing director of apparel manufacturer licensee relating to dispute between owner of Bon Jour trademark for line of apparel and licensor in lawsuit resulting in complete dismissal of third party action against individual managing director. Supreme Court, New York County, Commercial Division.
Defense litigation on behalf of various commercial real estate owners, builders and warehouse operators in large personal injury and labor law lawsuits where commercial property liability insurance carriers denied coverage and defense of action; prosecution of declaratory judgment actions against insurance carriers for improper denial of coverage.
Representation of commercial electrical contractor in successful defense of claims by Hilton Hotel in Manhattan Hotel for fire damage through use of Cause and Evaluation Experts.
Surrogate’s Court litigation, including conduct of discovery and turnover proceedings to recover monies and assets stolen from decedents on behalf of estates, removal of executors, trial of will contests, estate tax matters, fiduciary income tax matters, recovery of monies owed to estates.
Probate of Estates in New York Surrogate’s court, administration and sale of assets and distributions to beneficiaries.
Representation of prominent jewelry designer for prestigious international luxury jeweler in Manhattan in lawsuit regarding breach of joint venture agreement to buy and sell diamonds and design jewelry worth millions of dollars. Supreme Court, New York County.
Construction litigation on behalf of large steel fabricator of commercial buildings in New York in connection with defense of claims by subcontractors and removal of mechanics’ liens.
Representation of employers in connection with litigation involving claims against New York worker’s compensation group self-insurance trusts.
Representation of claimant before New York State Liquidation Bureau as ancillary receiver of Home Insurance Company in liquidation resulting in payout of claim from Liquidation Bureau Fund substantially close to limits of underlying claims made insurance policy.
Counseled Approved Fire Prevention Corp., fire suppression, testing and inspection company, in dispute resolutions with property owners, construction companies and insurance carriers over insurance coverage issues, and origin and cause investigations of water damage and fire claims.
Representation of Art Dealer in claims against Sellers for misrepresentations as to provenance and authenticity; worked extensively with qualified art experts.
Prosecuted lawsuit on behalf of United States art dealer against prestigious European auction house for selling an antique that was a forgery.
Represented buyer of business in lawsuit to set aside seller’s note and mortgage issued in connection with acquisition of business based upon misrepresentations concerning financial and physical condition of business resulting in cancellation of note and mortgage and damages. Supreme Court, Westchester County.
Representation of various construction companies in Queens, New York in various actions in Queens Supreme and Civil Court relating to construction jobs.
Representation of union members of Building Service 32BJ Legal Services Fund in various litigations and real estate matters.
Mr. Wotman was an integral part of litigation team in representing a major newspaper company in lawsuit against manufacturer of newspaper processing equipment regarding substantial defects resulting in favorable settlement. U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Mr. Wotman was a principal member of the corporate/litigation team that defeated Victor Posner in his attempt to stop the merger of Peabody with The Pullman Company, a subsidiary of Allied-Signal. This lawsuit on behalf of a target company against an insurgent stockholder for federal securities law violations and attempted bribery resulted in a five-year standstill agreement and sale of stock interest by the insurgent stockholder. Peabody International Corporation v. Victor Posner, et. al., U.S. District Court, D. Conn.; Wall St. J., at 1, col. 2
Mr. Wotman was an integral member of the litigation team that won the Sam Heyman/GAF Proxy contest wherein the first insurgent shareholder unseated an existing board of directors of a major U.S. corporation. This action was on behalf of a dissident stockholder against the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors for violations of federal proxy solicitation rules and mismanagement for purposes of perpetuating control that resulted in the election of dissident slate of directors. Samuel J. Heyman v. GAF Corporation, et. al., U.S. District Court, SDNY; N.Y. Times, at 2, col. 5, Section D
Prosecution of appeal in products liability action on behalf of Mobil Oil resulting in reversal of Appellate Term’s order denying motion to dismiss cause of action against Mobil. New York Telephone Company v. Mobil Oil Corp., et. al., 99 A.D.2d 185, 473 N.Y.S.2d 172 (1st Dept.); N.Y.L.J., at 1, col. 6.
Mr. Wotman was an integral member of the trial team during a 30-week trial on behalf of 52 pilots and engineers against TWA and Saudi Arabian Airlines for breach of lifelong employment contracts resulting in favorable verdicts and settlement. Benjamin Frank Cain, et. al. v. Trans World Airlines, Inc., 549 F. Supp. 963, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Mr. Wotman was member of the defense trial team during a ten-week trial on behalf of co-defendant Robert Pierce, executive of Mego International Toy Company, resulting in acquittal on charges of tax evasion and mail fraud. United States of America v. Martin B. Abrams, et. al., 543 F. Supp. 1184, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York; N.Y. Times, at 16, col. 1, Section D.
Mr. Wotman conducted and argued appeal as youngest member of Second Circuit’s Criminal Justice Act Panel on behalf of defendant from conviction for armed robbery. United States of America v. Arthur Sullivan, 694 F.2d 1348. U.S. Court of Appeals, 2d Cir.
Defense of appeal from District Court judgment against DuPont for tortiously interfering with contract between Prentice-Hall and Zilg, author of book entitled DuPont: Behind the Nylon Curtain for listing with the Book-of-the-Month Club. Gerald Colby Zilg v. Prentice Hall, Inc. and E.I. DuPont De Nemours & Co., Inc., 717 F.2d 671, U.S. Court of Appeals, 2d Cir.; N.Y. Times, at 17, col. 1, Section A.
Preparation and conduct of trial for attorneys’ fees in trust and estates action resulting in favorable decision. Mound v. Bartos, Supreme Court, New York County.
Prosecution of appeal in breach of sales contract action resulting in affirmance of bankruptcy court’s disallowance of supplier’s claim. R.A. Gilbert, Trustee v. S ‘n S Inc. (In re The Washington Group, Inc.), U.S. Court of Appeals, 4th Cir.
Action of behalf of movie producer against motion picture company, distributors and limited partnership syndication for breach of financing agreement, improper sale of copyrights and distribution rights in several motion pictures. Leone International Films, Inc v. Allied Artists Pictures Corporation, et al., Supreme Court, New York County.
Actions by reinsurance company against primary insurance company for breach of reinsurance agreements. Savoy Reinsurance Company, Ltd. v. CNAC, U.S. District Courts, New Mexico, Texas and Florida.
Defense of action against pita bread manufacturer by competing pita bread manufacturer for trademark infringement. Royal Pita, Inc. v. Mediterranean Pita, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.
Defense of action by one shareholder against another for violations of buyout agreement. Sussal v. Executive Button, Supreme Court, Nassau County
Prosecution of claim against Prudential Bache Securities, Inc. on behalf of Securities Brokerage Firm for breach of clearing agreement, violations of securities laws and RICO. Sandhurst Securities v. Prudential Bache Securities (In re Sandhurst Securities), U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Prosecution and Trial of Several Will Contests on Behalf of Contestants in Surrogate’s Court Resulting in Successful Settlements.
Mr. Wotman was integral part of litigation team in connection with prosecution of action by foreign bank against investment banking house for participation with retailer in submitting false financial statements of retailer to induce bank to lend funds to buy out principals of investment banking house of interests in retailer. Copenhagen Handelsbank v. Drexel, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Representation of Chartwell Realty Partners, Real Estate Syndicator, in Defense of Fraud Claims by Limited Partners in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Defense of president of general partner of real estate limited partnerships against federal securities fraud charges. Morin v. Trupin, et al., U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Prosecution of claim for margin calls on behalf of West German brokerage house resulting in favorable settlement. Orimex Trading Corp. v. Berman, Supreme Ct., New York County; Appellate Division 1st Dep’t.
Prosecution of claim for return of illegal foreign kick back payments on behalf of principal against agent resulting in sizable settlement. Halley Optical Corp. v. Jagar International, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Prosecution of action on behalf of investment banking advisor against public company for failure to honor investment banking agreement resulting in favorable settlement. Sobel v. Mizlou Communications, United States District Court, SDNY.
Defense of air courier company, its principals and attorneys in RICO action resulting in dismissal of virtually all causes of action in forty (40) page court decision after four amended complaints. Garner v. May Courier America, Ltd., et al., U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.
Prosecution of trademark infringement action for unlawful use of trade name. Sports News Network v. Mizlou Communications, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Defense of principal officers of brokerage house in securities fraud action by investors. Castelazo v. Vallen, U. S. District Court, Southern District of New York.
Prosecution of action on behalf of borrower for lender liability claim against bank. Glazier v. Crossland Savings Bank, Supreme Court, Kings County.
Representation of general partner against other general partner, construction company and lender for fraudulent and unauthorized Chapter 11 filing seeking to unlawfully remove general partner’s interest and participation in development and operation of marina complex. North Unity Corp., et al. v. Carlyle Northport Marina Associates, Carlyle Construction Corp., Citibank, N.A., et al. (In re Northport Marina Associates), U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York.
Defense of one general partner against claim by other general partner for breach of partnership agreement. Carlyle Northport Marina Associates v. North Unity Corp., American Arbitration Association (New York Office).
Defense of individual guarantors against mortgage foreclosure proceedings. Citibank, N.A. v. Joseph Weinstein, Allen Weinstein, Paul Lawrence, Robert Lawrence, North Unity Corp., et al., Supreme Court, Suffolk County.
Defense of supplier in preference action by debtor/manufacturer. Maxway v. New Era Knitting Mills, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of North Carolina.
Prosecution of proceedings by substantial personal injury claimant against bankrupt hospital resulting in agreement to allow claimant to recover against hospital’s medical malpractice trust fund and to lift automatic stay to allow trial of medical malpractice action in U.S. District Court to proceed forward. Burg v. Brunswick Hospital (In re Brunswick Hospital), U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of New York.
Prosecution of RICO action against executrix and beneficiaries of estate). Slater v. Carnevale, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York.
Antitrust review and compliance in connection with acquisition by Raytheon of microwave computer chip manufacturing division of Texas Instruments.
Prosecution of breach of independent power producer’s contract with NYS Public Electric Utility Company. Sithe Energies Corp. v. Mohawk Power Authority, Supreme Court, New York County.