SWCB announced that Michele A. Pincus and John C. Farrell, Partners with the firm, successfully represented a North Fork oyster farmer in an Article 78 proceeding in Suffolk County Supreme Court against the Village of Greenport. The Court struck a condition in the village’s grant of a required wetlands permit which sought to limit the farmer’s activities at the site.
Chris Coschignano, a Partner with the firm, successfully represented a commercial real estate company in obtaining Nassau County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) grants for a residential/retail project in the Village of Great Neck Plaza.
Nemat Homes of Great Neck proposed construction of a four-story, 46,100-square-foot building at 5-9 Grace Avenue consisting of 30 rental apartments, with 10 percent of the first floor devoted to retail use. On November 13, the Nassau IDA granted the developer $229,350 in sales use and mortgage recording tax savings for the $12.2 million project. Mr. Coschignano said the project will create many construction jobs and represent a substantial economic contribution to the tax base.
This was reported in Long Island Business News. To read the article, click here.
On November 10, Homes For Our Homecoming Heroes provided its first-ever house for Shafquat Nasi, a returning veteran, and his family at 77 Thorman Avenue in Hicksville. Mr. Nasi served during the Iraq War as a member of the U.S. Navy for eight years. The house was dedicated in the memory of Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a Long Island resident and a Navy SEAL who was killed in combat in 2005. Chris Coschignano, a Partner with the firm, provided pro bono legal assistance to help form the non-profit group.
The organization broke ground on November 14, 2013 to build the 1,900-square-foot house. The land was acquired through Nassau County and the plans to build the house were approved by the Town of Oyster Bay. Members of Carpenters Union 290 volunteered their time and their services during construction.
Homes For Our Homecoming Heroes, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) voluntary charitable trust whose mission is to build housing for veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Qualified veterans will be selected by lottery and, once chosen, pay for the cost of construction with no down payment required. Chris Coschignano, a Partner with the firm, was responsible for handling the legal work required to form the non-profit organization in 2009 pro bono.
“We are proud to see Homes For Our Homecoming Heroes provide its first home to a returning veteran and his family and dedicate the house in the memory of a local Congressional Medal of Honor winner who gave his life in combat,” Mr. Coschignano said.This event was covered by News 12. To watch the segment, click here.
Jon A. Ward, Andrew M. Roth, and Joseph R. Bjarnson successfully defended the Biener Auto Group (Biener), an Audi dealer located in Great Neck, New York, in a commercial litigation commenced in Nassau County Supreme Court by a competing Audi dealer located in Lynbrook, New York. The Lynbrook dealer sought to enjoin Audi of America, the U.S. importer of new Audi vehicles from Germany, from allowing Biener to open a new Audi dealership in Westbury, New York, bringing claims against Audi of America and Biener under New York's Franchised Motor Vehicle Dealer Act (the Dealer Act) as well as common-law contract and tort claims.
In a 29-page decision of first impression, Justice Vito DiStefano of the Commercial Division of the Nassau County Supreme Court dismissed all of the statutory claims, finding that recent amendments to the Dealer Act governed the dispute and allowed for the opening of a new Audi dealership in Westbury since it would be located more than six (6) miles away from the Lynbrook dealership and, therefore, outside of its protected “relevant market area” under the Dealer Act. The Court also dismissed all of the tort claims against Biener.
This was reported by Long Island Business News. To read the article, click here.
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC has announced that Louis DeVito and Melissa Forgas-Gartland of the law firm DeVito & Gartland, P.C. in East Islip have joined the firm as Of Counsel.
Ms. Gartland and Mr. DeVito concentrate their practice in the areas of estate planning and administration; estate and trust litigation; asset protection planning; elder law and special needs planning; guardianships; real estate and business law.
“We are pleased to establish this new relationship with two very accomplished attorneys, such as Melissa and Louis,” said Michael Sahn, Managing Partner, Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC. “Their experience and depth of knowledge in trusts and estates, estate litigation and special needs planning adds another important dimension to our firm’s practice areas.”
Miriam Villani, a Partner with the firm, was named one of Long Island Business News’ “Ones to Watch” in Green. Ones to Watch is featured each week in LIBN, highlighting six people who stand out in their respective fields.
The firm has announced that The Honorable Edward G. McCabe, Special Counsel with the firm, and John Christopher, an Associate with the firm, have been selected by Long Island Business News to receive the “Leadership in Law” Award. Justice McCabe will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and Mr. Christopher will be recognized in the category of Associate. The awards ceremony will take place on November 13 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.
Michele A. Pincus, a Partner with the firm, recently served on the Sponsorship Committee for the inaugural Long Island Pink Aid Charity Luncheon, which was held on October 22 at Marshs in Huntington. The luncheon featured a Best of Fall Fashion Show and a keynote speech by author Geralyn Lucas.Founded by the Mitchell family, the owners of Marshs in Huntington, Pink Aid helps underserved local women survive breast cancer treatment by providing grants for support programs. All of the money raised from the luncheon went to benefit Pink Aid to provide screenings to women in need, cover their non-medical expenses and provide support to established hospital foundations, national nonprofits and smaller grass roots organizations.
St. Edward Confessor School in Syosset honored Chris Coschignano, a Partner with the firm, and his wife Elisabetta at its 15th Annual Golf & Tennis Classic, which took place on October 20 at Mill River Country Club in Upper Brookville.
Mr. and Mrs. Coschignano received this honor for their ongoing commitment and involvement in the school and in Catholic education. He coordinates St. Edward Confessor Church’s annual festival and serves as an usher. Elisabetta was president of the school board and on the school’s Executive Committee. In addition, their three children attend the school.
Dan Braff, a Partner with the firm, was named as one of Long Island Business News’ “Ones to Watch” in Commercial Real Estate/Architecture/Engineering/Construction. Ones to Watch is featured each week in LIBN, highlighting six people who stand out in their respective fields.
Christian Browne, a Partner with the firm, was named one of Long Island Business News’ “Ones to Watch” in Law. Ones to Watch is featured each week in LIBN, highlighting six people who stand out in their respective fields.Click here to read the article.
Daniel J. Baker, a Partner with the firm, was co-chair of Touro Law Center’s 12th Annual Golf Classic, which was held on September 15 at The Sewane Club in Hewlett Harbor. This year’s honorees were The Honorable Jeffrey A. Goodstein, a judge with the New York State Court of Claims and an acting justice for Nassau County Supreme Court, and Buddy Harrelson, owner of the Long Island Ducks.
Mr. Baker, a 1992 graduate of Touro Law Center, has been an active member of the law school’s alumni. In addition to being golf tournament co-chair, he is currently a member of Touro Law’s Land Use & Sustainable Development Law Advisory Board, along with John Farrell, another Partner with the firm, and is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board.
Miriam Villani, a Partner with the firm, discussed in Long Island Business News "Closing Argument" section the need for environmental due diligence in commercial transactions, especially when it comes to gas station conversions.
Four attorneys from Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC have been selected to the 2014 New York Metro Super Lawyers list and six more attorneys from the firm have been selected to the 2014 New York Metro Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list. No more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Rising Stars is a more exclusive list, recognizing no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state.
Wayne Edwards, a Partner with the firm, recently represented a client which converted a building at the site of the former Gulf gas station at 300 Powerhouse Road in East Hills into a Dunkin Donuts. The new 1,600-square-foot facility is located and now open at the end of the 8,000-square-foot shopping center.
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC has announced that Christian Browne, a Partner with the firm, successfully represented the Atlantic Beach Club against two local residents who claimed the zoning variances granted to the establishment would result in injury, or damage, to their property due to traffic congestion or overcrowding.
Ralph Branciforte, an Associate with the firm was selected to perform pro bono work for the Nassau County District Attorney’s office. In this role, he was deputized as an Assistant District Attorney to handle the appeal of a criminal sentence on behalf of District Attorney Kathleen Rice’s office.
The Defendant-Appellant sought to set aside his enhanced sentence after a plea of guilty. Mr. Branciforte argued on behalf of the People that the Defendant’s sentence was correctly imposed and was in all respects fair and appropriate. Mr. Branciforte’s case awaits oral argument at the New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department.
Daniel Baker, a Partner with the firm, has been appointed Tenth Judicial District representative to the Real Property Law Section (RPLS) of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). In his new role, Mr. Baker will participate in RPLS Executive Committee activities, coordinate local NYSBA programs and functions and advise the Executive Committee on emerging real estate law issues affecting Long Island. The Tenth Judicial District is comprised of both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Mr. Baker concentrates his practice in the areas of real estate transactions, zoning and land use planning, corporate law and transactions, tax certiorari and condemnation/property valuation, and civil litigation.
In addition to recently serving as co-chair of the Nassau County Bar Association Real Property Law Committee, he is an active member of the Touro Law Center Alumni Association and is a member of the Center’s Land Use & Sustainable Development Law Advisory Board and the Dean’s Advisory Council. He is an appointed member of the State of New York Commission on Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled’s Surrogate Decision Making Committee (SDMC) Program and serves on the Advisory Board of the Chicago Title Insurance Company. Mr. Baker is also a Trustee of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Long Island Chapter.
He is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and before the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He is a member of the American, New York State and Nassau County Bar Associations.
Mr. Baker earned his undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Albany and his law degree from the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center at Touro College.
Michele A. Pincus, a Partner with the firm, was recently reappointed and sworn in as a board member of the Women’s Economic Developers of Long Island (WEDLI). The term is for two years. In addition, she will serve as co-chair of the Membership Committee.
Ms. Pincus previously served on its board of directors from 1998 to 2008 and again from 2010 to 2014, and held the position of president of the organization from 2004 to 2006.
WEDLI is a unique and specialized organization whose membership is selected from top-level executives in the fields of banking, finance, accounting, commercial real estate, real estate development, marketing, government and law. The organization fills a professional need for women in the various fields of economic development so that a forum for interaction exists where business contacts can build and advance the objectives of a prosperous and growing Long Island
Michele A. Pincus (sixth from right), along with WEDLI officers and board members, are pictured following
their induction by The Honorable Stephen L. Ukeiley (left), Acting Suffolk County Court Judge.
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC was one of the participating sponsors for this year’s Marcum Workplace Challenge, which took place July 29 at Jones Beach State Park. A large contingent of the firm took part in the 3.5-mile run/walk.
Nearly 10,000 participants from over 200 local companies were in attendance. Participating organizations included businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies, representing almost every industry in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
Proceeds went to benefit the Long Island Children’s Museum, Long Island Cares — The Harry Chapin Food Bank and the Children’s Medical Fund of New York.
The attorneys and staff members of Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC join together for a photo before
taking part in the 2014 Marcum Workplace Challenge. In addition to its participation, the firm was also a sponsor
of the event..
Elaine Colavito, an Associate with the firm, was sworn in for a second term as Treasurer of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association (NCWBA) on June 12. Each term runs for one year. Associate Justice Peter Skelos of the Appellate Division, Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, swore in Ms. Colavito in a special ceremony. As part of her duties, Ms. Colavito will be responsible for the organization’s finances. In addition to her position as NCWBA’s treasurer, she serves on the group’s board of directors.
The mission of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association is to promote the advancement of the status of women in society and the legal profession; to promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and to act as a unified voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to all women, and to female attorneys in particular.
On July 14th, Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker co-sponsored the Town of Oyster Bay's Music Under the Stars Concert, featuring Bret Michaels. The concert was held at the John J. Burns Park in Massapequa and was attended by thousands of local residents.
Pictured left to right: Town Clerk James Altadonna, Councilwoman Michelle Johnson, Bret Michaels, Chris J.
Coschignano, Michael H. Sahn, Supervisor John Venditto, Nassau County District Court Judge William O'Brien,
District Court Judge Colin O'Donnell, and District Court Judge Rhonda Fischer.
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PPLC, is pleased to announce that its partner, Jon Ward, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Challenger Athletics, Inc. (“Challenger”), a New York not-for-profit corporation that was established to, among other things, promote, foster and encourage children with special needs to participate in the sport of lacrosse. The organization holds lacrosse practices and games for disabled children in Bay Shore, New York. The program, now in its second season, has over 70 athletes from all over Long Island participating in lacrosse practices and games. The athletes are assisted by over 100 student “buddy” volunteers and adult volunteer coaches, all of whom generously devote their time to the program. Challenger also co-sponsors a summer sports camp for disabled children with St. Anthony's High School in Melville, New York.
Jon grew up playing lacrosse on Long Island and played college lacrosse at Yale University. He has coached girls and boys lacrosse in Bay Shore for many years. He became involved in Challenger when a friend and co-PAL coach asked Jon and SWCB to assist him in establishing a youth lacrosse program for special-needs children.
SWCB provided pro bono legal services to the organization. Erik Zaratin, an associate of the firm, prepared the corporate formation documents as well as the organization’s application for tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service, which was granted on May 2014. Erik also handled the registration process with the Charities Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. All donations to Challenger are now tax-deductible by the donor.
SWCB and Jon are proud to be associated with Challenger.
On June 9, several members of the firm, including Adam H. Koblenz and John Christopher, attended the Burton Awards for Legal Achievement at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Founded by William C. Burton and now in its 15th year, the Burton Awards recognizes and rewards legal writing and scholarship by partners and counsel from the nation’s law firms, members of the Judiciary and legal educators. It has become recognized as one of the premier annual events that brings together leaders in the legal community. Over 500 people attended the 2014 gala, including U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
For more information, visit www.burtonawards.com.
Adam H. Koblenz (pictured, front row, sixth from left in picture below), a Partner with Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC, was Tennis Co-Chair for the Children’s Medical Fund of New York’s 39th Annual Golf and Tennis Charity Classic, which was recently held at the Glen Oaks Club. He currently serves as one of the Vice Presidents of the Men’s Division.
Mr. Koblenz has been involved in the CMF for many years, having also chaired the “Cycle for CMF” event. Children’s Medical Fund of New York is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising funds for the Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children’s Medical Center of New York. Through a wide network of friends, volunteers and deeply committed donors, CMF has raised over $85 million to help build, equip and secure ongoing funding for programs that are vital to the needs of seriously ill children and their families.
On June 1, 2014, John P. Christopher, an Associate with the firm, was appointed Secretary of the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA). As Secretary, Mr. Christopher serves as one of the four Officers of the Section. In addition, Mr. Christopher serves on the Executive Committee of the YLS, holding the positions of Tenth District Co-Representative, Chair of the Nominating Committee, YLS Delegate to the NYSBA House and Liaison to the Real Property Law Section.
Christian Browne, a partner with the firm, successfully represented a commercial property owner in an Article 78 proceeding in New York State Supreme Court against the Town of Hempstead’s Zoning Board of Appeals. The court overturned the Board’s decision to impose a five-year durational time limit on a special use permit for a Uniondale laundromat. The court held that the zoning board lacked the authority to impose a time limit on the life of the special permit. This decision marks a significant victory for business property rights.
As Nassau Community College commences its search for a new President, The Honorable Norma L. Gonsalves, Presiding Officer of the Nassau County Legislature, has appointed SWCB Partner Chris J. Coschignano to the Search Committee.
"It is truly an honor to be part of the process to select a new President for such a wonderful institution," Coschignano said. "Nassau Community College has been doing a fine job of educating our young people since 1959 and is the largest single-campus community college in New York State. I wish to thank the Presiding Officer and her colleagues for placing their faith in me."
When asked about her choice for a Committee Member, Presiding Officer Gonsalves said, "I have known Chris Coschignano for many years and I know how dedicated he is to the community and to the residents of Nassau County. I expect that he will handle this position with the dedication and integrity that he has demonstrated in the past."
Coschignano has served on the boards of various organizations and is presently a Councilman in the Town of Oyster Bay. Nassau Community College is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) education system.
Wayne Edwards, a Partner with the firm, recently obtained a parking variance for Mio Sushi, a newly constructed 5,500-square-foot Japanese steakhouse and sushi restaurant located in the Elwood Shopping Center on Jericho Turnpike in Elwood.
Mr. Edwards helped the restaurant’s owner obtain a variance in which the restaurant’s owner was able to have 28 parking spaces installed in the shopping center’s parking lot. The variance also allowed the owner to finish all necessary renovations. Upon completion, the restaurant will be able to seat 106 people.
The restaurant is scheduled to open in October 2014.
John Farrell, a Partner with the firm, was named by Long Island Business News as one of the “Ones to Watch in Law.” Ones to Watch is featured each week in the publication, highlighting six people who stand out in their respective fields.
Michele Pincus, a partner with the firm, was named Long Island Business News’ “Ones to Watch” in Commercial Real Estate. Ms. Pincus was recently named as a board member of the Real Estate Institute at Stony Brook University.
Ones to Watch is featured each week in the publication, highlighting six people who stand out in their respective fields.
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC has announced that Jenna Gallagher has joined the firm as an Associate. She graduated magna cum laude from the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center at Touro College in Central Islip in June 2013 and has since been admitted to the Bar. Ms. Gallagher resides in Dix Hills, New York.
“We are very pleased to have Ms. Gallagher join the firm,” said Michael Sahn, Managing Member, Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC. “Our clients will benefit from her diligence and thoughtful approach to legal issues.”
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC has announced that Nicholas J. Cappadora has joined the firm as a new Associate. He received his J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University in May of 2013. He previously worked at the firm as a law clerk.
“We are pleased to have Mr. Cappadora join our growing law firm,” said Michael Sahn, Managing Partner, Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker, PLLC. “His well-rounded background will be valuable in many of our practice areas. He is a perfect fit for our firm.
John Farrell and Adam H. Koblenz have been promoted to Partners in the firm, having previously served as Associates. Mr. Farrell, who joined the firm in 2010, concentrates his practice in the areas of zoning and land use planning, environmental law, litigation and appeals, municipal law and legislative practice. Mr. Koblenz, a New York Metro Super Lawyers' "Rising Stars" in the General Litigation practice area, concentrates his practice in the areas of litigation and appeals and labor and employment law.
John Christopher, Miriam Villani and Elaine Colavito took part in the “Bridging the Gap” program, which was presented by the New York State Bar Association’s (NYSBA) Young Lawyers Section. The two-day program took place on January 31 and February 1 during the NYSBA’s weeklong annual meeting, which was held at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York City.
Mr. Christopher was the Program Co-Chair for the NYSBA’s Young Lawyers Section’s Bridging the Gap MCLE program. This is a transitional program in which newly admitted attorneys who attended the two-day course received 16.0 credit hours.
Mr. Christopher — who concentrates his practice in the areas of municipal law, zoning and land use planning, commercial and real estate transactions and commercial and landlord/tenant disputes — is the 10th Judicial District Co-Representative to the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of the New York State Bar Association and the YLS Liaison to the Real Property Law Section.
Ms. Villani spoke during the first day of the program. In her presentation “Environmental Law — It’s Good to be Green,” she discussed environmental law practice, with an emphasis on the various areas of the law that may require environmental law consultation.
In her presentation “I Want A Divorce! How to Advise Your Clients in Matrimonial Proceedings,” Ms. Colavito discussed child support under the Domestic Relations Law.
Sahn Ward Coschignano & Baker attorney Christian Browne recently won a summary judgment on behalf of Rockaway Hunting Club to have a claim filed by the plaintiffs, Alex Kostovetsky and Marietta Chernerko, dismissed. Mr. Kostovetsky and Ms. Chernerko claimed that a parcel of land that abutted the golf course belonged to them because of the improvements they made to the property and that the golf club tried to block their access to the property by making their own enhancements.
The plaintiffs contended that, since December 1998, they beautified the property by landscaping, planting trees and installing lawn sprinklers and also enjoyed use of the land by sunbathing, hosting parties and letting their children play football. They claimed that they were never informed that piece of land belonged to the defendant and, as such, they had no right to perform such work on the land. On August 2, 2011, a surveyor alerted the plaintiffs that part of the property - where beautifications were made - belonged to the defendants.
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