John Christopher remains active in the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”), Young Lawyers Section (“YLS”). He continues to serve as a member of the Executive Committee of the YLS, holding the position of Co-Representative for the 10th Judicial District (consisting of Nassau and Suffolk Counties). In addition, at the NYSBA Annual Meeting on January 23, 2013, John was elected to the position of YLS Co-Liaison to the Real Property Law Section. In furtherance of the YLS charitable initiatives, on December 6, 2012, John and his co-representative, Andrea M. Brodie, Esq., organized a holiday party for the 10th District of the YLS, in conjunction with the Nassau County Bar Association, Young Lawyers Committee, to raise donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Program. In response to the collaborative efforts of both bar associations, nearly all those who attended brought a donation for the Toys for Tots Foundation and many toys were collected at the party. We applaud John’s dedication to this important organization.
Michael H. Sahn is featured in Long Island Business News annual Who's Who guide for 2012. The Who's Who guide is a compilation of profiles of the region's top business leaders in the fields of real estate, law, accounting, environmental, construction/building services, healthcare, banking, education and green industries. Michael is featured in the Who's Who in Commercial and Residential Real Estate Law based upon his contributions and insight on some key issues in that area of the law that shaped the year.
Chris J. Coschignano was selected as a recipient of a Leadership in Law Award by Long Island Business News. Long Island Business News created the Leadership in Law Awards to recognize individuals whose dedication to excellence and leadership, both in the law and in the community, has had a positive impact on Long Island. Awardees were selected by a committee of business leaders based on the biographical information submitted to Long Island Business News that reflected their professional accomplishments. SWCB Partner and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris J. Coschignano and a distinguished group of awardees were honored at a special gala dinner on November 29, 2012 at The Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
Dan Braff continues to be an active member of UJA's Real Estate Executives (REX) group. The group consists of leading young professionals in New York's real estate world, including developers, attorneys, owners, financiers and investment strategists. Dan serves on the REX Event Committee, which plans two annual REX events. The first is the REX Premier event in the fall, and the second is the REX Gala event in the spring. The REX Premier event, which will be held on October 25, 2012 in Manhattan, brings together hundreds of prominent real estate professionals, and is considered one of the most exclusive real estate networking events in the industry. Attorneys Adam Koblenz and Jason Horowitz from the firm will also be joining Dan at the REX Premier event.
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC has joined as pro-bono co-counsel for the Plaintiffs in David, et al. v. Signal International, LLC et al., No. 08-cv-1220 (E.D. La.). The firm will be represented by Joseph R. Bjarnson, Esq. who will join attorneys from the law firm of Crowell & Moring LLP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, and the Louisiana Justice Institute in representing the Plaintiffs.
The allegations in the lawsuit charge that Signal International, LLC ("Signal"), a marine industry company with shipyards in Mississippi and Texas, and a network of recruiters and labor brokers engineered a scheme to traffic and defraud nearly five hundred workers and coerce them to work in Signal's facilities.
The complaint alleges that Signal used the federal H-2B guestworker program to import the Plaintiffs, and hundreds of other Indian men, to work as welders, pipefitters and shipfitters. The workers paid recruiters as much as $20,000 or more for travel, visa, recruitment and other fees after they were told it would lead to good jobs, green cards and permanent U.S. residency. But, when the workers began arriving at Signal's facilities in early 2007, they discovered they wouldn't receive the green cards as promised. Instead, they received 10-month H-2B visas, and were forced to live in crowed, on-site labor camps designated solely for Signal's Indian workforce.
For Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC, its participation in the lawsuit reflects its ongoing commitment to serving the community and individuals in need through pro bono services and community involvement efforts.
For more information on this case, or other litigation matters, please contact us.
On October 18 and 19th, John Christopher attended the New York State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section ("YLS") Fall Meeting at the State Bar headquarters in Albany, New York. John was in attendance as a member of the Executive Committee of the YLS and currently serves as the Co-Representative for the 10th Judicial District (consisting of Nassau and Suffolk Counties). Among the items discussed at the meeting, were various pro bono and charitable initiatives in which the YLS is actively involved. This Holiday Season, the YLS will be raising donations for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Program. In support of this program, the 10th Judicial District will be asking those who attend our Annual Holiday Party to bring a toy to donate to the Toys For Tots Program. We applaud John for his contribution over the years to YLS and its important initiatives.
Elaine M. Colavito was recently installed on the Board of Directors of the Nassau County Women's Bar Association. Elaine will serve in this distinguished position through 2014. We congratulate Elaine for her leadership on this important committee.
Miriam Villani and Jason Kaplan attended the New York State Bar Association Environmental Law Section's Fall Meeting on Oct. 12-14th in Lake Placid, NY. Miriam, the current editor-in-chief of the Section's Journal The New York Environmental Lawyer, and Jason, the Co-Chair of the Section's Membership Committee, engaged in such topics as SEQRA Reform and Environmental Regulation in the Adirondack Park.
For the third year, the firm is pleased to be the Presenting Sponsor of the annual Town of Oyster Bay Supervisor's 5K Run, held on Saturday, October 13th. Supervisor John Venditto's 5K Run kicks off the 29th annual Oyster Festival and is conducted under the auspices of the Town of Oyster Bay Department of Parks. Race management services are provided by the Greater Long Island Running Club (GLIRC).
For the third consecutive year, Michael Sahn has been named by Super Lawyers magazine as one of the top 5% land use and zoning lawyers in the New York metro area for 2012. The selections for Super Lawyers are made by the research team at Super Lawyers, a service of the Thomson Reuters Legal division. Each year, the research team at Super Lawyers undertakes a rigorous multi-phase selection process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, independent evaluation of candidates by the attorney-led research staff, a peer review of candidates by practice area, and a good-standing and disciplinary check. The objective is to create a comprehensive list of outstanding attorneys that can be used by attorneys and consumers seeking superior legal counsel.
In Estrada v. Metropolitan Property Group, Inc., Andrew M. Roth, Esq., a partner at Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC, represented Victoria Hughes, a real estate appraiser being sued for, inter alia, fraudulent misrepresentation. In a recent decision, granting summary judgment for the firm’s client, the court held that, in a real estate transaction, a buyer is required to conduct his own due diligence by the exercise of ordinary intelligence to discover the true nature of the transaction. See Decision/Order, Estrada v. Metropolitan Property Group, Inc., et al., No. 110123/11, at 4-5 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. Jul. 30, 2012).
To read the Decision/Order, click here.
Environmental law associate Jason Kaplan was interviewed by Long Island Business News for an article examining the hazardous waste contamination at the Port Washington Landfill and the attempts by the major responsible parties to recover environmental costs from Long Island businesses who may have disposed at the landfill over 30 years ago. He notes that these businesses should not ignore the settlement demand letter made by these parties as it could lead to costly litigation. Rather, these business should consult experienced environmental counsel to determine whether they are in fact liable.
To read the article, click here.
On August 16, 2012, John Christopher attended the New Student Orientation Barbeque at Touro Law Center on behalf of the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”). The Dean of Touro Law Center, Patricia Salkin, sponsored all new students with a one year membership to NYSBA. John, who is an active member of NYSBA, was asked to attend on behalf of the Bar Association to accept membership applications from the students and to answer any questions they may have had about NYSBA.
Daniel Braff, Counsel to the firm, secured approval from the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) for a variance to allow the construction of a new chapel for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The new chapel will be located in Flushing, and will serve three different local congregations. Daniel guided the application through a complex approval process within 9 months, notwithstanding significant community interest, and opposition and participation in the proceeding.
On August 9, 2012, attorneys and interns from Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC attended a young professionals networking event held by the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Young CPAs Committees of Nassau and Suffolk Counties, in conjunction with the New York State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section 10th Judicial District. The event was held at 56th Fighter Group in East Farmingdale, New York and was a great success, with over 125 young professionals in attendance. John Christopher from our office is the Co-Representative for the Young Lawyers Section 10th Judicial District.
SWCB Partner and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris J. Coschignano hosted the 11th Annual Clean-Up Syosset Day on Saturday, May 12, 2012. The event brought together many local organizations in a concerted effort to help beautify the Syosset community. This is the 11th year that Chris has organized the Clean-Up, and he is proud of how local residents work together to make Syosset a better, cleaner place. Chris, who has served as a Town Councilman since 2002, applauds the great effort made by local residents and local organizations who give their time and energy to this civic event.
A new casebook from Aspen Publishing entitled Domestic Violence: Legal and Social Reality, by D. Kelly Weisberg (2012), includes excerpts from an article written by Adam H. Koblenz. The article was originally published as "Jewish Women Under Siege: the Fight for Survival on the Front Lines of Love and the Law" by the University of Maryland Law School in the Journal of Race, Religion, Gender & Class (Volume 9; No. 2; 2009). We congratulate Adam for his contribution to this important casebook.
To read the article as originally published, click here.
To learn more about the book, visit the Aspen Publishing website by clicking here.
SWCB Partner and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris Coschignano was an invited guest at a recent lecture on the digital information age hosted by LIU Post. Richard Torrenzano, bestselling author of Digital Assassination: Protecting Your Reputation, Brand, or Business Against Online Attacks, spoke about the power of the internet. Chris was pleased to be recognized by Paul Forestell, Provost of LIU Post, who thanked him for attending the informative event.
Michael Sahn joined a distinguished panel of speakers at the Town of North Hempstead's "Buildings Department Conference," held on April 30 at the Harbor Links Golf Course in Port Washington. The Conference brought residents and industry professionals together to review current policies and procedures to help residents and businesses move through the application process more smoothly while maintaining adherence to zoning standards. Michael took part in a panel discussion concerning the Board of Zoning and Appeals (BZA) processes. The panel will be moderated by Gerard Terry, BZA Counsel, and members of the panel included BZA Chairman David Mammina, Planning Commissioner Michael Levine, Town Attorney Richard Finkel and two other zoning attorneys. To read more, click here.
Every month, Elaine Colavito writes the "Bench Briefs" column for The Suffolk Lawyer, an official publication of the Suffolk County Bar Association. She reviews decisions of interest and briefs those that she finds pertinent to Suffolk County attorneys in a variety of practice areas. Readers of her column appreciate being kept up-to-date with new significant decisions that are relevant to their respective practices. To read the latest edition of The Suffolk Lawyer, click here.
Partner and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris Coschignano served as the Master of Ceremonies for the 56th Annual Lincoln Day Dinner to benefit the North Syosset-Woodbury Republican Club. More than 650 guests, including officials and community members, gathered at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, the largest number of attendees in the history of the Lincoln Day Dinner.
The Lincoln Day Award was presented to The Honorable Louis G. Savinetti, President and Republican Commissioner of the Nassau County Board of Elections, in recognition of his many years of public service. The Outstanding Leader in Business Award was presented to William and Clifford Chabina of the William J. Chabina Company, Inc., Syosset, NY. George and Rose Melillo of Laurel Hollow were honored with The Humanitarian Award for their charitable work with the Melillo Foundation, which works to improve the quality of life for people with autism.
To see more photos, click here.
Adam Koblenz is a committee member for a Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament to benefit the construction of the Children's Medical Fund Center for Specialty Care, part of the Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York.
Adam Koblenz has been involved with the Children's Medical Fund of New York for many years. He currently serves as one of the Vice Presidents of the Men's Division and is Co-Chair of the tennis portion of the annual golf and tennis classic, held on June 11th at the Glen Oaks Club. We applaud Adam's dedication to this important organization. To learn more about the organization, click here.
Associate Elaine Colavito, as one of the leaders in the firm's matrimonial practice, is an active member of the Nassau County Women's Bar Association Matrimonial Committee. Elaine will attend a program on April 25 entitled "Reading and Understanding Tax Returns for Matrimonial Attorneys." A presentation by forensic accountants will explore issues including undisclosed assets, unreported income, and other red flag items that matrimonial attorneys should look for when evaluating tax returns. To learn more about the Nassau County Women's Bar Association Matrimonial Committee, click here.
Wayne Edwards has represented a national fitness business, SoulCycle®, before the Board of Zoning Appeals of the Town of North Hempstead to obtain the necessary approvals for a large and unique sign that will be prominently displayed at the spin studio's first location in Nassau County.
The sign, in the shape of a large bright yellow bicycle wheel, will be affixed to the building which is located on the South Service Road of the Long Island Expressway at Willis Avenue in Roslyn Heights. The building, formerly home to a ski store, is being repurposed and will house the SoulCycle® center and an upscale spa and salon. SoulCycle® is the first tenant in the building, which is visible from the Long Island Expressway.
SoulCycle® is a growing fitness company that has transformed spin classes. Studios are located throughout Manhattan and Los Angeles, in Westchester and on Long Island's East End.
Daniel Baker, Co-Chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Real Property Law Committee, moderated a program entitled "Successful Closings in a Distressed Real Estate Market" on Wednesday, March 14th. The program focused on important considerations for successful real estate closings in today's market of cautious lenders and sellers in distressed economic circumstances.
Partner Miriam Villani and Jason Kaplan gave a presentation on the benefits of solar energy for the agribusiness sector at the New York Agri-Women's Second Annual Conference in Riverhead on March 3. The Conference was an all-day event centered on agriculture and farming.
Miriam and Jason discussed the impact of climate change on agriculture in New York State, renewable energy sources, and the viability of solar power systems to balance the volatility of the electric market. They discussed future New York State legislation, which will promote solar power in New York, and federal, state and local incentives for solar systems. For a copy of their presentation, contact Miriam Villani at the firm's office.
For the second year in a row, Dan Braff was invited to represent the firm at NYU Law School's "Finding Your Professional Niche" Career Fair, held on February 29th. The event provided a forum for 2nd and 3rd year law students to learn about opportunities and discuss professional development with NYU Law School alumni who represent a select group of sophisticated smaller firms, local offices of large firms headquartered elsewhere, and foreign based firms with a U.S. presence.
Dan is a dedicated NYU Law School alumnus and enjoys his role as a mentor to NYU Law School students, who benefit from his willingness to share his personal experience and career path. We congratulate Dan on extending the firm's spirit of generosity to future lawyers.
The Oyster Bay/Cold Spring Harbor Protection Committee was created in January 2010 with a $60,000 grant that will be exhausted in June. The committee is asking local municipalities in surrounding counties, towns, cities and villages for small grants from each so that no one municipality bears the entire financial burden. The OB/SCH Protection Committee works to help municipalities curb pollution from storm water and runoff and meet federal and state pollution mandates. It also identifies model codes and best management practices used by other governments in protecting harbors and waterfronts, offers outreach and education programs for the public, and provides environmental training for municipal employees and consultants.
The committee is already working with area not-for-profits including Friends of the Bay and other environmental group. It was spearheaded by The Town of Oyster Bay, to protect and enhance fish and wildlife habitats that are focal points for the recreational and economic vitality of the region.
SWCB Partner and Town of Oyster Bay Councilman Chris J. Coschignano was honored to serve as the Master of Ceremonies at the 2012 Town of Oyster Bay Induction Ceremony for Town Supervisor John Venditto, Councilman Joseph D. Muscarella, Councilman Anthony D. Macagnone, Councilwoman Rebecca M. Alessia, Town Clerk Steven L. Labriola and Receiver of Taxes James J. Stefanich. More than 500 people attended the ceremony, including dignitaries and elected officials. Among them were Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano, Police Commissioner Thomas V. Dale and Nassau County Republican Committee Chairman Joseph N. Mondello, as well as many Village Mayors and New York State legislators and representatives.