Richard handles all aspects of civil litigation, including trials and appeals, and represents clients in commercial, corporate, contract, real estate, employment, trusts and estates, commercial lease, and property disputes, and in the defense of lawsuits brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and related local statutes.  He also represents individuals in a range of business, real estate, and personal matters and transactions, and serves many businesses and organizations as outside general counsel.

Richard’s clients include companies involved in technology, industrial, factoring, construction, retail and service businesses, as well as property owners, real estate developers, and condominium associations and cooperative corporations. Richard also represents not-for-profit entities active in the New York metropolitan area and has a history of service as a Board member for such organizations.  

His reputation is one of responsiveness and close communications with clients, resolving problems and accomplishing client goals, through litigation when called for, and business acumen when possible.  With decades of experience, before state and federal courts and in arbitration and mediation before various alternative dispute resolution forums, he has a record of achieving good results and for establishing long-standing relationships with many clients.  

Richard began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in the New York County DA’s office under Robert Morgenthau.  During his more than forty-five years of practice he was, most recently, a partner at Phillips Nizer LLP, a Co-Managing Partner and chairman of the Litigation Department at Ellenoff Grossman & Schole, LLP for over 17 years, a founder of the firm of Berger & Kaye LLP, and, earlier, a partner and associate at several other New York City law firms. Outside of the practice of law Richard has a life-long devotion to naval history and contemporary naval affairs.  He serves on two prominent naval affairs/history national book award committees, writes in the field, and is a member of numerous maritime and naval organizations.

  • Represented the founder of a web-based business solutions provider against a partnership claim asserted by an independent contractor in a lengthy arbitration before JAMS resulting in an eve of hearing settlement in which the claimant withdrew his ownership claim.
  • Represented a national restaurant concession group in an action against a high profile New York City real estate developer for breach of contract and fraudulent misrepresentation of material commercial lease terms related to a commercial lease in a major Times Square entertainment venue and, upon a unanimous decision from the Appellate Division, First Department, reinstating  the fraud claims previously dismissed by a lower court, achieving termination of the lease, and reaching a settlement with monetary damages. 
  • Represented a group of cardiologists departing from a medical practice in the settlement on favorable terms of a contentious lawsuit with their former partner on the first day of trial and assisted them in the establishment of their separate medical practice.
  • After an evidentiary hearing which included testimony from a handwriting expert, vacating a bank’s $500,000 judgment against the client and obtaining recovery of all the client’s legal fees.
  • Successfully challenged an insurance carrier’s disclaimer of medical and nursing care expenses sought by the Guardian of his disabled wife totaling nearly a quarter million dollars and, in several proceedings before the American Arbitration Association, obtained settlements requiring the carrier to pay 100% of the claims and reimbursing the Guardian for his legal fees.
  • Represented a large, Florida based factoring company in numerous commercial litigations seeking payment of factored invoices assigned to it by its clients and the enforcement of judgments obtained.
  • Represented a private lender in a lawsuit against a defaulting real estate developer and, upon the defendant’s breach of a settlement agreement reached after a long, multi-session mediation, obtained and enforced a substantial seven-figure money judgment.
  • Represented a Shelter Island property owner in a complex property dispute over rights to a boat dock shared by three adjacent property owners which resulted in several lawsuits and a favorable settlement for the client.    
  • Represented various businesses, including restaurants and retail stores, in the defense of both physical premises and website accessibility claims against them in Federal lawsuits filed under The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), achieving cost-effective settlements.
  • Represented the purchasers of newly constructed condominium apartments in lawsuits against Sponsors for several buildings for breach of contract based upon defective construction resulting in extensive water damage, obtaining rescission of one of the purchases and recovery of money damages for another.  
  • Defended the owners of a West Village residential property against a contract purchaser’s lawsuit seeking termination of the transaction based upon an alleged title defect and, upon the client’s counterclaim, compelled plaintiff to discontinue its action and forfeit $730,000 representing 90% of the purchaser’s contract deposit to the owners.  
  • On behalf of two investors, sued a defendant engaged in a sports and entertainment ticket resale scheme and obtained a six-figure judgment.
  • Represented a literary agent in a lawsuit in Federal Court against his former employer to establish his entitlement to commissions for having brought to the defendant agency the English language publishing rights for one of the best-selling Japanese language non-fiction works ever published in the United States.
  • Represented the Chief Executive Office of a formal wear clothing company in an arbitration with his former employer seeking to enforce his severance pay right under an executive compensation agreement and, after a weeks long hearing before a three-member arbitration panel, obtaining and collecting on an award in excess of a million dollars.
  • AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Recognized as one of New York City’s top litigation attorneys by AVENUE Magazine in conjunction with LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell
  • Friends of the American Merchant Marine Museum, Kings Point, NY, Board member and Counsel
  • United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 07-04, Stamford, CT, Flotilla Staff Officer-Publications  
  • New York Commandery of the Naval Order of the United States, Treasurer, Judge Advocate, and member of Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Naval Literature Committee
  • Navy League of the United States, New York Council, member of Commodore John Barry Book Award Committee
  • Member, U.S. Naval Institute, Historic Naval Ships Association and
  • National Maritime Historical Society
  • Supporter of Rattlestick Theater, New York City
  • Arts & Minds, Inc., Board Member and Counsel, 2010-2023
  • Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, Board member and Counsel, 2008-2018
  • Board Member, White Plains Library Foundation, 2010-2013

““I try to resolve problems for my clients as effectively and efficiently as possible, and with a net positive result. Litigation can and may be the necessary and appropriate tool, but it need not always be the first or only tool employed. At the end of the day, clients want and deserve the successful and economical resolution of their situation. I consider my long-time working relationships with clients to be a hugely gratifying aspect of my practice.””