Jon is an experienced trial lawyer with a broad litigation background who focuses on general commercial litigation, including contract, fraud, judgment enforcement, and other business disputes. He represents a wide variety of businesses, including those dealing with employment law issues in the “gig economy,” with emphasis on the independent contractor status of drivers and other gig workers. He also handles a wide range of real estate disputes, including “business divorce” disputes among property owners, landlord/tenant disputes, and trial work.
Real Estate, Business Divorce, And Landlord/Tenant
Jon got his start in real estate litigation and trial work in the housing court, and has handled countless matters over the years ranging from simple non-payment cases to complex holdover and enforcement proceedings representing both landlords and tenants, many of which were litigated through trial and appeal. On the landlord-tenant side, he presently focuses on complex housing matters such as enforcement proceedings involving distressed buildings, disputes between co-op owners and their landlords, non-primary residence cases and commercial housing cases. In addition, he has a varied docket involving disputes over real estate ownership.
Employment Law And The Gig Economy
Jon has more than 27 years of experience representing ground transportation businesses, including black car dispatch bases, messenger businesses, airport transport businesses, and related trade organizations, in disputes before courts and administrative tribunals. Many of these disputes concern the independent contractor status of workers affiliated with small businesses. The issue is being presented with increasing frequency by the growing number of gig economy workers who pick up jobs in a range of industries.
Jon has served as lead counsel in numerous state court trials–both bench and jury–as well as in administrative hearings and arbitrations. He often becomes involved when cases are trial ready or otherwise considered unlikely to settle. As lead counsel, he helps set strategy, develops evidence, examines key witness and directs or participates in all aspects of trial, including by preparing key witnesses to testify. In addition, he acts as local counsel for out-of-state attorneys, and consults with other attorneys to help evaluate and develop trial strategies, identify and respond to evidentiary objections and prepare witnesses alongside lead counsel. He has also second-seated or assisted at many trials and evidentiary hearings, including trials in specialized courts such as in Criminal Court, Surrogates Court, and Bankruptcy Court.
- Who in the World Owns Financial Indexes?; Intellectual Property Litigation; Summer 2008;
- Intellectual Property: A Discussion, What Rights Do Index Providers Really Have?, Speaker at Panel Discussion; Journal of Indexes; July/August, 2007; Publication Link
- Going . . . Going . . . Gone? What Dow Jones v. ISE Means For Intellectual Property Rights In The Indexing Business; Journal of Indexes; November/December 2006; Publication Link
- Obtaining dismissal on summary judgment of black car dispatch bases alleged to be vicariously liable for the negligence of affiliated drivers, including one case which resulted in a leading Appellate Division, First Department decision finding that the affiliated drivers were independent contractors as a matter of law;
- Representing black car dispatch bases and other businesses in unemployment insurance proceedings and obtaining numerous dismissals and other positive results including on the ground that the claimant was an independent contractor;
- Representing trade organization for black car dispatch bases in a successful challenge to the constitutionality of a New Jersey statute imposing fees on for-hire vehicles registered in New York but picking up or dropping off passengers in New Jersey;
- Winning a $4.2 million judgment after trial and appeals in a “business divorce” case for the “fair value” of an individual’s share of a real estate holding company;
- Winning a $4.8 million judgment after trial in a “business divorce” case for the “fair value” of jointly held real estate holding companies;
- Representing a wide variety of landlords and tenants in disputes such as evictions, residual rent claims, disputes over alterations to buildings or individual units, disputes over pass-thru real estate taxes, and other types of “additional rent,” in Housing Court, Supreme Court, and before administrative tribunals;
- Representing manufacturers of sophisticated printing presses and other equipment through jury trial, damages trial, and appeal in suit against them for fraud and breach of contract seeking $10 million, resulting in the dismissal of one defendant and only nominal damages against the other;
- Representing Italian manufacturer of bakery equipment in a products liability action in federal court in Connecticut following a tragic accident in which a bakery worker was killed;
- Representing creditors in collecting significant sums of money, and seizing vehicles, and recovering valuable medical equipment and construction equipment.
Independent Contractor Issues – Self-Driving Vehicles, Panel Host and CLE Speaker.
- New York City Bar Association: Transportation Committee (Chairman 2013-2016; Member 2010-2013; 2016- ); Corrections Committee (Chairman of sub-committee on prison libraries) 2004-2007; Housing Court Committee 2000-2003
- Federal Bar Council
- New York State Bar Association
- American Bar Association
“I work closely with clients to develop a suitable strategy, then fight as aggressively and energetically as possible on their behalf.”