Rosenberg Fortuna & Laitman LLP 666 Old Country Road, Suite 810, Garden City, NY 11530
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Practice Areas
Commercial Litigation Practice
Corporate Practice
Emerging Companies/Data & Privacy
Real Estate Practice
Employment Practice
Appellate Practice

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Lee E. Riger, Esq.

Selected Reported Decisions and Additional Representative Matters

Citimortgage v. Pantoja, 176 A.D.3d 655; 111 N.Y.S.3d 584 (1st Dept. 2019)(Obtained reversal of trial court's award of summary judgment in foreclosure action and additional finding by appellate division that bank's mortgage was "invalid.")

Empire National Bank v. Genard Group, Inc., 170 A.D.3d 959; 96 N.Y.S.3d 689 (2d Dept. 2019)(Obtained reversal of the trial court's denial of summary judgment in action to enforce a promissory note and guaranty by demonstrating, inter alia, that the lower court improperly accepted the Guarantor's testimony concerning alleged oral modifications.)

Lombard v. Yacoob, 168 A.D.3d 919; 92 N.Y.S.3d 398 (2d Dept. 2019)(Obtained reversal of summary judgment and procured an equitable lien of approximately $500,000 against real property by asserting claims under the doctrine of equitable subrogation after the client was assigned a mortgage in which the underlying deed had previously been declared void due to fraud. Preserved the client's lien by demonstrating the traceability of the proceeds underlying the assigned mortgage to the release of a lien against the premises at the time of a fraudulent closing though multiple assignments and refinances over a fourteen year litigation involving nearly twenty parties.)

Salazar v. Pantoja, 137 A.D.3d 511; 29 N.Y.S.3d 249 (1st Dept 2016) (Sustained summary judgment in action for fraud and to cancel deed of real property transferred by disbarred attorney's shell corporation to disbarred attorney).

Fidelity National Title Insurance Company of New York v. Lite & Russell, 132 A.D.3d 802; 18 N.Y.S.3d 660 (2d Dept 2015)(Obtained reversal of summary judgment on behalf of title insurer in legal malpractice action pertaining to defendant law firm's representation of hard money lender in real estate transaction in which law firm wired to a Swiss bank account controlled by persons impersonating the purported borrowers.)

Harris v. Pitts, 109 A.D.3d 790; 971 N.Y.S.2d 120 (2d Dept 2013)(Sustained summary judgment on behalf of property owner vested with title from grantor alleged to have acquired property by exerting undue influence).

Gilday v. Suffolk County National Bank, 100 A.D.3d 690; 954 N.Y.S.2d 109 (2d Dept 2012)(Represented issuing bank regarding its refusal to honor a letter of credit presented after a sale of assets of a bankruptcy debtor in which the letter of credit was issued pursuant to the terms of a bankruptcy court order which provided that after a sale of assets the letter of credit would be terminated).

Ocampo v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., 93 F.Supp.3d 109 (E.D.N.Y. 2015)(Obtained dismissal on behalf of Chase against mortgagor alleging improper securitization of mortgage and securities fraud).

Done v. Wells Fargo, N.A., 2013 U.S. Dist LEXIS 100650; 2013 WL 3785637 (E.D.N.Y. 2013)(Obtained dismissal of claims asserted by previously foreclosed homeowner against present homeowner under the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine).

Commercial Disputes and Business Divorce

• Represented sibling managing member (50% owner) of a limited liability company which owned a multimillion dollar building against claims by the non-managing member sibling (50% owner) that revenue generated by the building was converted and the building was improperly maintained. Obtained settlement resulting in the client's receipt of approximately $600,000 more of the building sale proceeds than the non-managing member plus attorney's fees of nearly $75,000 by demonstrating that the non-managing member's allegations in forcing a sale of the building and making the further management of the building impractical resulted in a significant loss of long term income opportunity of the LLC.

• Tried a matter in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, as Defense counsel representing a corporation and its principals in an action alleging breach of a shareholder agreement concerning control of an equity stake in the corporation. Settlement agreed upon for approximately 10% of the Plaintiff's pre-trial demand.

• Tried a matter in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, Nassau County, regarding a partnership dispute concerning a real estate advisory and mortgage brokerage firm. Recovered profits owed to Plaintiff wrongfully withheld by Defendant.

• Secured approximately $350,000 for a large commercial landlord in the United State Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York for rent owed by a defense contractor occupying a 65,000 square foot facility in Nassau County during the course of a contractor's bankruptcy and acquisition.

• Represented a well-known delicatessen in a lease dispute with a large notoriously aggressive property management company regarding the deli's tenancy within the food court at the Roosevelt Field Mall in which settlement was accepted for less than 1/3 of the mid six-figure amount demanded prior to mediation conducted by the Court.

• Represented a large failed mortgage lender during its dissolution and wind-up in several suits pertaining to its lending practices in State and Federal Court all of which resulted in dismissal or nominal settlements for nuisance value.

• Obtained judgments in excess of $5,000,000 against diner operators on behalf of investor who financed the purchase and improvement of a venerable Long Island diner.

• Enforced a commercial lease in favor of a building purchaser recovering approximately $125,000 from a pharmaceutical company which had improperly vacated the premises.

• Represented a military ordnance supplier in a contract dispute with a weapons manufacturer resulting from the manufacturer's failure to meet the purchasing government's requirements.

Real Estate

• Represented a private lender in litigation with regard to a purchase money mortgage secured by a gas station on the North Fork of Long Island for which the borrower alleged environmental contamination pertaining to buried oil tanks as a defense to foreclosure. Was able to force a sale of the gas station and recovered the full amount outstanding on the loan and accrued interest in excess of $800,000 plus legal fees of approximately $100,000.

• Successfully foreclosed upon a mixed use, partially constructed, multi-million dollar building in Staten Island. Following foreclosure and sale of the building and settlement with guarantors, double the appraised value of the building was recovered as well as a judgment in excess of $2,500,000 against a non-participating guarantor.

• Successfully represented a residential property owner in action to reclaim a tract of land which the Town of Brookhaven had previously designated as a paper street and then abandoned. Subsequent to the abandonment, a prominent real estate developer acquired land adjacent to the client's residence and conveyed property with a metes and bounds description which included the tract. Judgment obtained to reform the deeds in order to reclaim the tract for the client.

• Represented the lessee of a "bay house" on Sexton Island in the Great South Bay in an Article 78 proceeding alleging that the Town of Islip violated General Municipal Law §72-P because the lease required by the Town improperly arbitrarily denied assignments by tenants to non-family members. Immediately upon answering the petition, the Town settled for the entirety of the relief demanded and the client's succession rights to the bay house were secured even though the Town had previously ignored the client's inquiries.

• Appeared before the Town of Oyster Bay Zoning Board of Appeals and was able to successfully oppose the application for a variance by a developer who wished to subdivide a residential lot.

Judgment Enforcement

• Enforced a $900,000 judgment by simultaneously pursuing a judgment debtor and the debtor's attached real property through two litigations in state court and in bankruptcy court over a four year period.

• Obtained a $250,000 settlement in the course of enforcing an equitable lien held by a title insurer on a case which the client sought to close the file due in part to the failed prior attempts of previous counsel.

• Recovered in excess of $200,000 by pursuing a deceased judgment debtor's guarantor's estate and distributees through three litigations over a course of approximately five years.

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Rosenberg Fortuna & Laitman, LLP
Located at 666 Old Country Road, Suite 810, Garden City, NY 11530.
Phone: (516) 228-6666.
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