In a case of first impression in New York, Schlam Stone & Dolan partner David Katz obtained a preliminary injunction in favor of a former employee of Checker's Drive-In Restaurants whose stock options were about to expire, tolling the exercise deadline of his options. The injunction was granted pending the adjudication of the claimant's breach of contract claim alleging that his employer had breached a shareholder agreement provision requiring the employer to provide him with certain financial information so he could make an informed decision about whether to exercise his options. New York County Commercial Division Supreme Court Justice Melvin Schweitzer ruled that the Schlam Stone & Dolan client had demonstrated that he was likely to succeed on the merits of his breach of contract claim and that he would suffer irreparable harm if the exercise deadline was not tolled. The case settled shortly after the preliminary injunction was granted.
Schlam Stone & Dolan lawyers Michael Battle, Bradley Nash and Raffi Melkonian have secured a preliminary injunction directing a D & O insurance carrier to advance legal defense fees to a corporate officer, despite a guilty verdict against him in a criminal trial. New York County Commercial Division Justice Shirley Kornreich ordered Scottsdale Insurance Company to advance the attorneys' fees, holding that the fact of conviction was insufficient to trigger the policy's exclusions.
Martindale-Hubbell has named Schlam Stone & Dolan as one of the New York area's top law firms. This elite rating is based upon the number of the Firm's lawyers who were rated "preeminent" by their peers in surveys of professional merit and integrity.
Schlam Stone & Dolan partners Richard Dolan, Harvey Stone and Elizabeth Wolstein, together with counsel Ronald Russo, are representing controversial radio host and blogger Harold "Hal" Turner as he appeals his 2010 conviction for threatening three Chicago-area federal judges when he criticized, in a commentary on his website, the Court's decision upholding two local gun ordinances. At oral argument on May 15, 2012, Mr. Dolan urged the Second Circuit to overturn Mr. Turner's conviction, arguing that his comments communicated no threat of imminent harm and were therefore protected by the First Amendment.
A lawsuit brought in New York State Court by Schlam Stone & Dolan lawyers John M. Lundin and Samuel L. Butt on behalf of victims of a Ponzi scheme is gaining international press coverage. The Complaint in the lawsuit accuses almost 40 defendants located in Europe, the Far East, the Middle East and the United States of a variety of wrongs, including racketeering, fraud, unjust enrichment, fraudulent transfers and conveyances, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract. The focus of the lawsuit is a family of entities named Montague Morgan Slade, MMS and Mo-Mo Mama operated by Britons Anthony Heald and Gordon Spedding and American Michael L. Brown.
A motion to dismiss Schlam Stone & Dolan client AXA's lawsuit against ING Insurance International was denied by New York County Commercial Division judge Eileen Bransten. AXA alleges that ING misled it about the financial condition of a Mexican insurance company AXA bought from ING for $1.5 billion in 2008. Although AXA’s claim for punitive damages as well as another minor claim were dismissed, the lawsuit's core allegations of misrepresentation and breach of contract survive, as does AXA's request for a declaratory judgment concerning potential future losses. Schlam Stone & Dolan's AXA team is lead by partners Jeffrey Eilender, who argued the motion, John Lundin, and Erik Groothuis. AXA is also represented by attorneys from Mayer Brown, LLP.
Middleweight Marco Antonio Rubio filed an official protest against the result of his February 4, 2012, WBC championship bout. Rubio requests that the bout's result be set aside based upon the WBC's failure to drug test either boxer despite suspicious circumstances, specifically Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr.'s 22 lb weight gain in the 24 hours between the weigh-in and the fight. Rubio argues that such a large weight gain is evidence of use of prohibited diuretics. The protest has attracted media coverage in both the U.S. and Mexico.
Schlam Stone & Dolan partner David Katz was cited in a December 20, 2011 blog post in Truth On The Market written by Professor Larry Ribstein, the nation's foremost academic expert on the law of LLCs and other closely held entities. The article reports on the New York Court of Appeals' decision involving the fiduciary duties owed by organizers of New York LLCs to those they solicit to invest in the LLCs. Mr. Katz successfully convinced the Court of Appeals not to adopt a sweeping ruling reached by the lower appeals court holding that organizers of New York LLCs always owe fiduciary duties to those they solicit to invest in the LLCs based solely on their status as "promoters" of the LLCs.
Schlam Stone & Dolan partner Elizabeth Wolstein represents independent journalist Sergio Hernandez in a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) action that seeks to shed light on the process used by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to select publishing executive Cathie Black as New York City Schools Chancellor. The Mayor's Office denied a request by Mr. Hernandez, who at the time wrote for the Village Voice, for emails exchanged between the Mayor and Ms. Black (or their respective representatives) before the Mayor announced Ms. Black's selection in November 2010. Upon Schlam Stone & Dolan's filing of the case, Mr. Hernandez recounted in the Village Voice his efforts to obtain the records and the City's repeated and unexplained denials of his request.
On April 27, 2011, Schlam Stone & Dolan partner David J. Katz participated in an oral argument before the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. The case is likely to redefine and clarify a significant issue in business law: the circumstances under which a fiduciary can void, on public policy grounds, a general release executed in favor of said fiduciary. In this case, Mr. Katz argued, the fiduciary failed to comply with his duty of disclosure prior to the execution of the release, and that voids the release. This is an issue that has divided New York's lower courts and that will have significant ramifications for the enforceability of settlements executed by New York fiduciaries. To view the twenty-minute oral argument, click the hyperlink below.