The Firm has extensive experience in every phase of litigation and arbitration in a broad range of contested matters. The Firm combines large firm expertise with small firm service and individualized attention. Representative Reported Cases illustrate the breadth of the Firm’s civil litigation practice.
In addition to commercial disputes, the Firm has engaged in civil litigation and arbitration matters involving Entertainment and sports law, Family Law, Health care law, and Defamation, privacy, & the Internet.
The Firm’s approach to contested matters is keyed to promptly achieving a clear understanding of the underlying facts and the potential strengths and weaknesses of the client’s position, analyzing the applicable law, and working closely with the client to maximize efficiency without sacrificing quality.
Although many disputes settle before trial, the Firm’s extensive preparation is geared to positioning its clients to achieve the strongest possible negotiating position in settlement negotiations, and obtaining a favorable result at trial if the matter proceeds.
Defending Individuals and Companies in Federal and State Courts and Arbitration Proceedings
The firm defends individuals and business entities accused by government agencies and adverse parties of contract breaches, tortious conduct, and criminal behavior. Our experience with these cases is diverse and multi-faceted, including:
- Representation of an accountant whose major public company audit client perpetrated one of the largest financial frauds in United States history. The client was never found to have committed any misconduct, despite intensive investigation, a multi-billion dollar class action lawsuit, an SEC proceeding, and a federal criminal prosecution of various other participants in the audit.
- Advising a public company and its Board of Directors in a Martin Act proceeding brought by the New York State Attorney General in connection with a public offering of a subsidiary. The matter was resolved with no admission of wrongdoing or liability and no penalties against any client.
- Counseling a university professor accused of sexual misconduct involving a graduate student. Despite the lack of any opportunity for either discovery or motion practice under the university rules and significant restrictions on the confrontation of witnesses, the professor was fully exonerated after an evidentiary hearing.
- Defending a doctor at a teaching hospital who was accused of substandard medical practice by a colleague. Following extensive factual development by our firm, all charges were withdrawn, and the doctor was promoted to professor emeritus status upon the unequivocal recommendation of his former accuser.
- Litigating on behalf of trustees of a health insurance plan who were investigated by the United States Department of Labor and charged with violations of ERISA in a federal class action lawsuit. The Labor Department issued a "no action" letter, and the lawsuit was settled with no admission of wrongdoing or liability and no personal liability on the part of any of the trustees.
- Representation of an entertainment industry personality accused of violations of federal statutes in litigation in two federal district courts in different circuits. The firm achieved dismissal of all claims in all courts in decisions rendered and joined in by all of the district and circuit judges to whom the issues were presented.
The Firm has been actively involved in every aspect of Criminal Law, state and federal, from investigations to trial to appeals. Many of the cases involve parallel civil and regulatory proceedings, and the Firm responds to those as well.
Mr. Berger is a former Assistant District Attorney for New York County, serving under Frank Hogan and Robert Morgenthau, and has served as counsel to indigent defendants under the Federal Criminal Justice Act.
In addition to trying the first civil RICO jury trial ever tried in the New York State Courts, Mr. Berger has been involved as counsel in several of the largest financial fraud litigations in the United States. The Firm routinely conducts Internal Investigations on behalf of commercial and non-profit entities that have concerns about compliance and possible staff misconduct.
The Firm utilizes forensic accountants, private investigators, and other professionals to conduct investigations of alleged wrongdoing. The Firm welcomes confidential inquiries from the Bar and potential clients.
In addition to engaging in Civil Litigation and Criminal Law matters on behalf of employers and employees, the Firm provides employment advice to banks, financial service companies, entertainment companies, and a variety of other institutions. Such matters include counseling on hiring and firing, preparation of employment manuals and contracts, and advice on compliance with applicable law.
The Firm is also extensively involved in issues relating to the existence, scope, and extent of non-compete, non-solicitation and other restrictive covenants.
Enforcement of Plaintiffs’ Rights
The Firm routinely represents wrongfully terminated employees and other victims of contract breaches and tortious behavior. The Firm has obtained millions of dollars through jury verdicts, arbitration awards, and settlements. Such matters include:
- Representation of one of the founders of a multi-billion dollar company who was wrongly accused of breaching his contractual duties to the company and was threatened with the forfeiture of company stock and other benefits. Following months of intense negotiations, the client received all compensation and benefits due to him, totaling over $175 million.
- Enforcing the rights of an executive in a multi-national company who was wrongfully terminated and falsely accused of various forms of misconduct. Following almost two years of discovery, motion practice, and multiple arbitration sessions, the client achieved a settlement of over $15 million.
- Counseling two theater executives who were forced out of a joint venture to acquire a theater chain. After over three months of trial, the clients were paid $5 million to settle their claims.
- Advising a financial services executive who was terminated and deprived of his bonus on the basis of the company’s claim that he breached his duty of loyalty to the company. Following months of arbitration and negotiations, the executive received his bonus and other benefits totaling over $2.5 million.
- Representation of a senior executive in a multinational company who was wrongfully terminated based on false accusations of misconduct. After several years of litigation and a two week jury trial, a unanimous federal jury awarded the executive $2,000,000, representing his entire salary for the remainder of his working life.
- Representation of a newspaper publisher who was fired and accused of mismanagement. After more than a year of litigation, all claims against the client were withdrawn, and he received a settlement of over $1 million.
- Representation of an administrator and co-publisher of musical compositions by an artist in a federal litigation. In one decision, the court determined all issues in favor of the firm’s client, finding that the defendant was in breach of an earlier settlement, ruling that his claim that he did not read the governing agreement was insufficient as a matter of law, and dismissing his counterclaims. In a second decision, the court enjoined the defendant from pursuing an end run by litigating in the courts of another country, and imposed monetary sanctions on the defendant.
Health Care Law
The Firm’s healthcare clients include a variety of healthcare professionals and organizations confronting a broad range of legal issues. Such representation has included:
- Representing doctors and other healthcare providers in contract negotiations, civil litigation, hospital and university investigations, administrative and regulatory proceedings, and disciplinary and criminal matters.
- Advising individual patients regarding insurance coverage in complex, protracted, and sharply contested disputes.
- Counseling practice groups in matters involving coding, record-keeping, and other issues and disputes with carriers denying reimbursement, seeking recoupment, or otherwise disputing the particulars of the healthcare that was provided.
- Representation of doctors and practice departments in matters involving hospital and university affiliations, compensation, staff privileges, and coverage obligations.