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Commercial Real Estate Institute 2014 (16th Annual)


Speaker(s): Addison D. Braendel, Anthony Barsanti, Diana M. Brummer, Donald Frey, Elliot L. Hurwitz, Frank Carroll, Jacqueline Marcus, Janice Mac Avoy, Jessica Hoppe, Jill Hayman, Joelle L. Halperin, Kevin C. Jones, Kevin J. Connolly, Mitchell D. Haddad, Pamela Caruso, Paul D. Selver, Philip E. Karmel, Robert J. Bergson, Ronald D. Sernau, Steven G. Horowitz, Steven L. Wilner
Recorded on: Nov. 20, 2014
PLI Program #: 50528

Elliot L. Hurwitz is Chief Commercial Counsel for Chicago Title Insurance Company, New York, NY, where he has primary responsibility for complex commercial transactions in New York City, including structuring, underwriting and coordination.  Prior to joining Chicago Title, Mr. Hurwitz was a partner at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP, New York, NY.  Mr. Hurwitz has had extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, with a particular emphasis on mortgage loan originations, portfolio acquisitions, debt restructurings, sale-leasebacks, lease-backed financings, loan syndications and securitizations.  Mr. Hurwitz is a frequent lecturer and author on real estate-related matters, including “Real Estate for the Corporate Counsellor”, published in the fourth edition of The Corporate Counsellor’s Desk Book (Prentice Hall Law & Business 1992). Contributor to the New York Law Journal, Commercial Leasing Law & Strategy, Shopping Center Legal Update and the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel.  Chairman of PLI’s annual 2-day seminar for real estate attorneys, titled “The Commercial Real Estate Institute”.  Member of the New York State Bar Association, Association of the Bar of the City of New York and Title Insurance Rate Service Association (TIRSA) – Law and Forms Committee.


Frank Carroll is Regional Counsel for Fidelity National Title Group, and is the senior title insurance underwriter of New York and Connecticut for Chicago Title Insurance Company, Fidelity National Title Insurance Company, and Commonwealth Land Title Insurance Company. He is a graduate of LeMoyne College, Syracuse, New York, attended the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law, and has been admitted to practice in New York since 1981. He has worked in the title insurance industry since 1986.  He is a member of the New York State Bar Association (Real Property Section; Attorney Professionalism Committee; and Special Committee on Law Practice Continuity) and the Bar Association of Erie County (Real Property Committee; Banking Law Committee; CLE Advisory Committee; and Chair of the Professional Continuity Committee).  He is a past president of the Erie County Bar Foundation, and he is still active in Foundation affairs. He resides in Buffalo, New York with his wife, Cornelia Farley, an attorney.


Diana Brummer concentrates in a range of commercial real estate transactions, with particular emphasis on acquisitions, development, joint ventures, leasing, loan workouts and financings. She also has experience in public-private real estate partnerships, including being part of the Stroock team that has worked with the New
York Mets in successfully negotiating the leasing, construction and financing of the new ballpark.

Ms. Brummer also regularly counsels her clients on all aspects of managing distressed real estate assets. She represents a wide variety of client types, including pension funds, private real estate funds and public and private REITs, as well as their investment advisors.

Prior to joining Stroock, she was an associate at a major international law firm and spent more than two years in their Tokyo, Japan office. Ms. Brummer has lived and worked in Japan for a total of five years and is proficient in Japanese.

Honors and Awards

Real Estate New York Magazine named Ms. Brummer as one of its “Rising Stars” in the commercial real estate industry. She has also been nationally recommended by The Legal 500 United States.

Memberships

  • Co-Chair, Programs Committee, Association of Real Estate Women (AREW)
  • Member, Association of the Bar of the City of New York

    Admitted to Practice

    New York, 1999

Practice Group

Real Estate
Real Estate: Distressed Real Estate

Education

J.D., magna cum laude, Cornell Law School, 1998; Order of the Coif; Articles Editor, Cornell Law Review; Kerr Prize for Academic Excellence

B.A., with distinction, University of Illinois, 1994; Tyler Award for Excellence in East Asian Studies

Judicial Clerkship

Clerk, the Hon. Richard J. Cardamone, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit


Janice Mac Avoy is a member of the Real Estate Department and the Litigation Department, head of the Real Estate Litigation Practice Group and co-chair of the Firm's Pro Bono Committee.  Ms. Mac Avoy concentrates her practice in complex real estate-related transactions and disputes, commercial litigation and arbitration, complex commercial landlord tenant disputes and commercial fair market rent arbitrations.  She also has extensive experience in creditor’s rights, including complex commercial real estate mortgage foreclosures and UCC foreclosures, workouts and restructuring of real estate secured debt.  Ms. Mac Avoy works with the Firm’s Real Estate Department on transactions in order to resolve issues without resorting to litigation.

Among Ms. Mac Avoy’s recent noteworthy representations are:

  • Princeton Holdings LLC in the successful arbitration of a dispute regarding the acquisition of a 50% tenant-in-common interest in 14 Manhattan properties, valued in excess of US$450 million at the time of the agreement and currently worth significantly more.
  • RBC in its foreclosure action and subsequent restructuring of debt on the iconic Lipstick Building in New York City.
  • Lehman Brothers in connection with several foreclosure actions, including a significant development site adjacent to Hudson Yards in New York City.
  • Boston Properties in a potential rent reset arbitration that was successfully negotiated with the tenant without the need to resort to arbitration.

Ms. Mac Avoy’s clients include commercial landlords and tenants, lenders and investors, broker-dealers and multinational corporations as well as individuals involved in commercial disputes.  A significant amount of Ms. Mac Avoy’s practice includes advising clients on complex securitized debt in which the underlying assets are real estate, including the enforcement of lender’s rights, acquisition and divestitures of real estate secured debt and the restructuring of real estate secured debt.  She also advises clients in complex partnership and joint venture disputes.

Ms. Mac Avoy has created seminars and CLE presentations on, among other things, the basics of real estate restructuring and workouts, mezzanine loan foreclosures under the UCC and the parameters of the attorney-client privilege in the corporate context.  Ms. Mac Avoy has also published articles on lender liability claims, developments in the law of attorney-client privilege, electronic discovery and the appropriate use of email.

Ms. Mac Avoy received the "Commitment to Justice Award" for her extensive work on and long-term commitment to family law cases referred to her by Her Justice.

Ms. Mac Avoy is a member of the American Law Institute and the Association of Real Estate Women, a member of the board of directors of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Sanctuary for Families, as well as a member and voting representative of the CRE Finance Council.

Ms. Mac Avoy is a member of Fried Frank's Diversity Committee as well as the Women’s Forum Planning Committee, a representative group directing Fried Frank’s Firmwide women’s affinity group.

Ms. Mac Avoy received her JD from Columbia Law School in 1988, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and associate editor of the Law Review.  She received her BA, summa cum laude, from Washington University in 1985, where she was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society and has since been recognized as a distinguished alumna.  Ms. Mac Avoy is admitted to practice in New York; the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York; the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan; and the United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third and Ninth Circuits.


Joelle Halperin, Managing Director - Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.  Ms. Halperin joined Lehman in 2006 and is the senior real estate counsel for Lehman and a member of the Commercial Real Estate Executive Committee. Prior to joining Lehman, Ms. Halperin was special counsel in the New York office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Benjamin Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in New York.  Previously she was Vice President and Associate General Counsel of Bellmead Development Corporation and an associate at McCarter & English, LLP.  Ms. Halperin received a J.D. from Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, cum laude, an M.S. from Columbia University and a B.S. from New York University. She is admitted to the bar in New York and New Jersey.


Pamela Caruso is Senior Vice President-Real Estate Counsel of Vornado Realty Trust.  She joined Vornado in 2003.  In this position, Pamela serves as real estate counsel for the New York Office Division which includes approximately 24 million square feet of office space.  She runs the legal group for the Office Division and reports directly to the President of the Office Division.  She works with the in-house leasing brokers and the operations group on the day-to-day legal and operational issues in connection with Vornado’s extensive office portfolio. 

Pamela has been practicing real estate law for 24 years.  She started her career as an associate in Schulte Roth & Zabel’s real estate department where she worked on complex financing deals and office leases.  She was a partner at Wolf Block Schorr & Solis-Cohen and at Mintz, Levin, Cohen, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. where she represented landlords in connection with their real estate portfolios including acquisitions, financings, leasing and development and telecommunications projects and numerous corporate clients in connection with their office leasing, acquisitions and financing. 

During the 2008/2009 season, Pamela was an AREW Board Member and served as a co-chair of the membership committee. Pamela is currently a member of WX, Inc.

Pamela has a BA from Colgate University and a JD with distinction from Hofstra University School of Law where she was a member of the school’s Law Review. 


Philip E. Karmel is a partner at Bryan Cave LLP, a commercial law firm with twenty-eight offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.  His litigation practice includes environmental and real estate litigation, land use matters arising under environmental review statutes and zoning laws, and the defense of toxic tort actions.  He has tried a number of cases in federal and state courts and before administrative law judges and arbitrators and has briefed or argued motions or appeals in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Montana, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington, D.C., West Virginia and Wisconsin.  He also counsels clients on environmental matters, including environmental impact statements, environmental permitting, environmental compliance, investigations by governmental agencies, the redevelopment of brownfield properties, environmental aspects of corporate and real estate transactions, environmental insurance, insurance coverage disputes, and issues arising under the Clean Air Act, and federal and state superfund and oil spill statutes.  He has served as counsel for major energy, transportation and real estate development projects.

He has published articles and book chapters on a variety of topics, including environmental litigation, toxic torts, director and officer liability, fine particulate matter, cross-state air pollution, lead paint, asbestos, risk assessment, oil spill liability, consumer protection statutes, preemption, arbitration, natural resource damages, the tax assessment of contaminated properties and environmental impact review.  He is a member of the American Bar Association and serves as a long-time columnist of the newsletter published by the Air Quality Committee of the ABA Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources.  He is also a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he has served as a member of its Committee on Environmental Law.

Upon graduation from law school, Mr. Karmel clerked for the Hon. Edward R. Becker, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and thereafter served for five years as a Trial Attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C., where he received the Department’s Special Achievement Award for sustained superior performance of duty.  He received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the Law Review, and holds an M.Phil. in Economics from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. with Honors in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

He is listed in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business; Super Lawyers (Corporate Counsel Edition); and The Best Lawyers in America.  In 2005, he received the Scale of Justice Award from MFY Legal Services, Inc. for pro bono work.  In 2013, he received the New York County Lawyers Association’s Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal in recognition of an “extraordinary record of dedication” to the Association and “distinguished service to the legal profession.”


Ronald D. Sernau, co-chair of the Real Estate Department, has more than 25 years of experience in real estate law, representing sophisticated parties in particularly visible transactions involving trophy properties. The community has consistently recognized Ron as a member of the inner circle in New York's real estate industry.

Ron offers clients the insight he has gained by representing opposing interests in similar transactions. He has represented landlords and tenants, lenders and borrowers, purchasers and sellers, equity investors and developers, managers and owners, and brokers and principals. He draws on his experience to address legitimate interests that the opposing party must protect, and to minimize the negotiation of issues that the opposing party can compromise. Ron's clients, some of which have relied on his advice for decades, routinely involve Ron in their strategic decision making.

Ron's clients include a variety of enterprises that are involved with real estate. He represents some of the most prominent real estate developers in New York City in their investments in, and their development of, premier properties. Various businesses, from large publicly traded companies to boutique investment firms, engage Ron to address their real estate concerns. He also has substantial experience in providing general legal advice for luxury retailers, with a particular focus on real estate issues.

Ron created the Proskauer Commercial Leasing System, which automates the commercial leasing process, reducing the processing time for a commercial lease from several weeks to several days. Realcomm, a real estate technology trade organization, awarded Ron with its prize for the best use of technology in real estate law in 2004.

An avid speaker on real estate topics, Ron has appeared before groups sponsored by the Association of the Bar of The City of New York, the New York Hospitality Council, Inc., the New York State Bar Association, the Georgetown Commercial Leasing Institute, CB Richard Ellis, Inc., the Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate, Practising Law Institute, The Real Estate Board of New York, Inc and the American College of Real Estate Lawyers. He lectures at New York University and his articles have appeared in The New York Law Journal and The National Law Journal.

Related Practices

Real Estate

Real Estate Finance

Private Equity Real Estate

Health Care Industry

Education

Cornell Law School, J.D., 1986
magna cum laude
Order of the Coif

Editor, Cornell Law Review, 1985-1986

Ithaca College, B.S., 1981
summa cum laude

Bar Admissions

New York


SPECIALTY: Litigation, Real Estate

AREAS OF EMPHASIS

Complex Real Estate Litigation
Complex Commercial Litigation

EDUCATION

  • J.D., Brooklyn Law School, 1986
  • B.A., Queens College, C.U.N.Y., 1982

MITCHELL D. HADDAD is a Member of the Sills Cummis & Gross Litigation Department, and is resident in the Firm’s New York office. He focuses on complex real estate and commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, workouts and corporate litigation. He has first chaired numerous trials, argued appeals and participated in arbitrations and mediations on a wide variety of matters. He works with clients and the Firm’s Real Estate Department on transactions in order to resolve issues and disputes prior to and as a means to resolve potential litigation.

Mr. Haddad represents domestic and international companies, lenders, borrowers, real estate owners and developers, and commercial landlords and tenants. He prosecutes, defends and advises on complex commercial mortgage and UCC foreclosure actions, valuation proceedings, vendor-purchaser litigation, complex commercial landlord-tenant matters, Fair Housing Act and housing discrimination matters, not-for-profit and religious corporation transaction approval proceedings, zoning, title and land use issues, mechanic’s lien litigation, and general commercial torts, partnership, joint venture and corporate litigation and matters involving real estate entities.

Since joining Sills Cummis & Gross in 2006, Mr. Haddad’s major real estate related matters included defending an action seeking specific performance of a long-term lease for the development and operation of a midtown Manhattan hotel or, alternatively, $100 million in damages. In 2014, he obtained and collected upon a $25 million deficiency judgment following a 12-day hearing. In 2011, he obtained a $95 million judgment and a $45 million judgment in favor of two separate lenders, and defended a developer in an action to foreclose upon a $17 million second mortgage encumbering an entire city block in Brooklyn, New York. Mr. Haddad was trial counsel and obtained a preliminary injunction in the Eastern District of the United States District Court enforcing a non-compete and non-disclosure agreement in connection with a failed corporate merger, which was upheld on appeal by the Second Circuit. Mr. Haddad obtained summary judgment dismissing claims seeking $25 million in damages for breach of contract and fraud arising out of an oral joint venture agreement to develop real property, and successfully defended the Eastern Section of the United States Tennis Association in multiple state court proceedings to overturn an election of officers and directors.

Prior to joining Sills Cummis & Gross, Mr. Haddad spent thirteen years at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP, where, among other major matters, he successfully led teams of attorneys foreclosing upon a portfolio of commercial mortgages on behalf of a leading international lender, and repossessing a jumbo jet in Miami, Florida leased by an international airline. He coordinated and supervised outside counsel in successfully liquidating more than twenty recycling facilities in nine states pursuant to an assignment for the benefit of creditors on behalf of a secured creditor. He represented a major international corporation in arbitration to determine the fair annual market rental value for the last five years of a multi-floor lease term, in which the arbitrator determined that the value was $20 million less than the landlord had sought. Mr. Haddad succeeded at both the trial and appellate levels in a case in which the plaintiff sought – and was denied – various easements to a private park and a private street in lower Manhattan. He successfully led a team that obtained a judgment in excess of $24 million arising out of a development in Boston, MA, and represented a consortium of institutional lenders in prosecuting the foreclosure of membership interests in a limited liability company that owned and operated a power generating facility in Connecticut.

Mr. Haddad has been selected for inclusion in the 2012-2014 editions of New York Metro Super Lawyers®* published by Thompson Reuters under Real Estate.

*For ranking methodology, please see www.superlawyers.com.

RELATED AFFILIATIONS

  • Faculty Member, Practicing Law Institute (2011 – present)
  • General Counsel, United States Tennis Association, Eastern Section (2007 and 2008)

RELATED PUBLICATIONS

  • “Real Estate Litigation: A Toolkit for Transactional Lawyers,” Practicing Law Institute Publication, November 2011-2014

RELATED SEMINARS

  • “Real Estate Litigation: A Toolkit for Transactional Lawyers,” presented at the Practicing Law Institute’s 16th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute (November 2014)
  • “Real Estate Litigation: A Toolkit for Transactional Lawyers,” presented at the Practicing Law Institute’s 15th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute (November 2013)
  • “Real Estate Litigation: A Toolkit for Transactional Lawyers,” presented at the Practicing Law Institute’s 14th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute (November 2012)
  • “A Special Asset Officers Guide to Cure Options: Lessons Learned for Loan: Documentation Deficiencies Including Avoiding Lender Liability” presented at IMN’s 3rd Annual Bank and Financial Institutions Special Asset Executive Conference on Real Estate Workouts Conference (March 2012)
  • “Facebook: Get the Picture, Discovery and Admission of Internet Evidence in Personal Injury Defense Litigation” CLE presented to Travelers Insurance (March 2012) and presented at the Firm’s New York office to clients and potential clients (January 2012)
  • “Real Estate Litigation: A Toolkit for Transactional Lawyers,” presented at the Practicing Law Institute’s 13th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute (November 2011)

BAR ADMISSIONS

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit


Steven G. Horowitz is a partner based in the New York office.

Mr. Horowitz's practice concentrates on U.S. and international real estate finance and investment transactions, including joint ventures, mortgage finance, securitization and capital markets, restructuring and real estate-related merger and acquisitions. He frequently represents commercial and investment banks, foreign and domestic institutional investors, property owners and a wide variety of corporations in their real estate matters.

Mr. Horowitz has extensive experience in financing, acquisition and disposition of significant properties throughout the United States, Asia, Latin America and Europe. Transaction types encompass all forms of joint ventures, mortgage securitization, loan syndication, mortgage loan trading and subordinate debt, such as mezzanine loan and preferred equity funding.

In addition, Mr. Horowitz focuses on credit tenant and portfolio leasing, workout and bankruptcy matters, investment entity formation and tax-oriented finance transactions, and investments in non-traditional property types such as resorts and hotels, Indian gaming casinos, mines, timber, utilities, sports fitness clubs, hospitals and nursing homes.

Mr. Horowitz is internationally distinguished as one of the best real estate lawyers by Chambers USA, Expert Guides' The Best of the Best USA and Guide to the World's Leading Real Estate Lawyers, PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook, PLC Cross-border Corporate Real Estate Handbook, The Legal 500, The Best Lawyers in America, The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, The International Who's Who of Real Estate Lawyers and New York Super Lawyers magazine. Mr. Horowitz is Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School on real estate finance, and frequently presents at seminars on real estate-related topics, including those sponsored by the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, American Bar Association-American Law Institute, Practising Law Institute, Anglo-American Real Property Institute and the New York City Bar Association. He also regularly publishes articles, including most recently "Roommates" in The Deal Magazine (March 5, 2010) and "The Joint Venture as an Alternative Source of Capital" in the New York Law Journal (January 12, 2009).

Mr. Horowitz joined the firm in 1987 and became a partner in 1989. Previously he was a partner at Hill & Barlow in Boston, Massachusetts, specializing in real estate development and finance, land use and environmental law. He joined Hill & Barlow in 1981, became a partner in 1985 and Chairman of the Real Estate Department in 1986. Mr. Horowitz has also served as United States District Court Monitor, and as a law clerk, to the Honorable Joseph L. Tauro, both for the United States District Court, Boston, Massachusetts.


Steven L. Wilner is a partner at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP based in the New York office.

Mr. Wilner’s practice focuses on financial and corporate matters, ranging from global real estate acquisitions, dispositions, development and finance to international mergers and acquisitions and restructurings, including private equity investments and joint ventures.

Mr. Wilner is distinguished as one of the country's best real estate lawyers by Chambers Global, Chambers USA, The Legal 500 U.S., the PLC Corporate Real Estate guide and the PLC Which Lawyer? Yearbook. In 2011, he was named a "Most Valuable Practitioner" for real estate by Law360.

Mr. Wilner joined the firm in 1988 and became a partner in 1997. Mr. Wilner spent 2001-2005 as a partner in Tokyo. Mr. Wilner received a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law in 1988, where he was the 1987-1988 Blaustein Fellow of International Human Rights. He received his undergraduate degree from Tufts University in 1985.

Mr. Wilner is a member of the Bar in New York.


Robert J. Bergson earned his law degree from Boston University School of Law, where he was honored as a Paul J. Liacos Scholar.  Mr. Bergson received a B.S.B.A. degree in Economics from the University of Denver. Prior to forming AGMB, Mr. Bergson was a founding member of Margolis Bergson LLP.  He was also counsel to Herrick, Feinstein LLP and associated with the international firm of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.  Mr. Bergson’s practice focuses on business and corporate litigation matters, professional liability defense, real estate litigation, business divorce, and products liability defense. He also handles disputes concerning miscellaneous/not-for-profit insurance lines, securities litigation, intellectual property, unfair competition claims and errors and omissions matters.

Mr. Bergson lives with his wife and three children in Huntington, New York and works primarily from AGMB’s New York City office.

Representative Matters 

 

  • Won three week jury trial for one of Manhattan’s largest real estate developers concerning action for breach of contract, tortious interference, business defamation, conversion and unjust enrichment.
  • Won 10-day arbitration on behalf of 50% owner in hedge fund business divorce.
  • Won two week bench trial for real estate developer against former corporate officer for breach of contract and breach of duty of loyalty.
  • Won five week arbitration for investor concerning dispute arising from $26 million sale of office building.
  • Successfully defended attorneys in legal malpractice action brought by hedge fund alleging negligent due diligence regarding $60 million private offering.
  • Won motion to dismiss $6 million action against law firm for allegedly failing to advise purchasers of distressed debt about risk of fraudulent conveyance claims.
  • Won motion to dismiss legal malpractice and RICO claims against real estate attorney.
  • Won motion to dismiss action against attorney for alleged violations of federal banking and privacy laws.
  • Obtained pre-answer dismissal of multimillion-dollar legal malpractice action involving underlying maritime and products liability claims.
  • Successfully represented and defended real estate closing attorneys in connection with civil actions and administrative investigations involving allegations of mortgage related fraud.
  • Negotiated the favorable settlement of a multimillion-dollar action against law firm for allegedly failing to properly pursue judgment collection efforts.
  • Negotiated settlement of multimillion-dollar legal malpractice claim against securities lawyer.
  • Negotiated pre-answer settlement of hedge fund’s legal malpractice claim against law firm arising from alleged conflict of interest concerning private placement.
  • Developed strategy resulting in successful settlement of potential claim for legal malpractice arising from construction litigation.
  • Successfully defended and resolved FDCPA and TCPA claims.
  • Won motion to dismiss claim against coop board of directors for fraud and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with board refusal to consent to short sale of unit.
  • Successfully represented and defended multiple community association boards of directors in federal and state court and before administrative tribunals in connection with claims for unlawful discriminatory practices in violation of the Fair Housing Act, the New York Human Rights Laws and other civil and human rights legislation.
  • Defended board of directors against alleged violations of Mitchell-Lama Law.
  • Won pre-answer motion to dismiss fraud, forgery and conversion claims against banking institution and its officers and directors.
  • Obtained dismissals and successful settlements of numerous claims against insurance brokers concerning claims of unfair competition, breach of contract, negligence and tortious interference with business relations.
  • Obtained dismissal of NASD claim against securities broker for unsuitability, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise and fraud.
  • Defended major direct marketer against claims for breach of contract by former employee and product supplier.
  • Successfully defended through appeal real estate contract-vendor in connection with claims for specific performance.
  • Counsel for several former employees of corporation which unsuccessfully sought to enforce restrictive covenant/non-compete agreements.

 

Membership and Affiliations

American Bar Association

Association of the Bar of the City of New York

New York State Bar Association

Claims & Litigation Management Alliance


Mr. Connolly is the head of the real estate practice as JS Barkats PLLC. The practice is centered on the representation of “money partners” in distressed real estate transactions, but includes representation of owners, developers, contractors and design professionals in development transactions. Mr. Connolly is the editor of the mechanics’ lien chapter of Warren’s Weed New York Real Property and frequently advises participants in managing the risks of owning, operating and developing real estate.


Paul Selver is co-chair of Kramer Levin’s Land Use department. He has been engaged in the private practice of law in New York City since 1972. His practice encompasses all aspects of land use and development law, with a special emphasis on environmental, zoning and historic preservation. Mr. Selver has extensive experience counseling clients in the public and environmental review of complex and large scale projects. Over the past five years, he has coordinated the successful public approval and environmental review process for, among other projects, major waterfront rezonings in Queens and Brooklyn, the trans-Hudson rail tunnel and new train terminal for the (now cancelled) Access to the Region’s Core, and for the first transfers of “floating” Broadway theater development rights. He has also served as counsel for Landmarks Preservation Commission approvals of alterations and enlargements to buildings in, among other areas, the Greenwich Village, Ladies Mile and Upper East Side Historic Districts.

Among Mr. Selver’s current projects are the ongoing development of the southern six blocks of Riverside South, including the recently approved 3 million square foot Riverside Center; the redevelopment of Pier 17 at the South Street Seaport; the reconfiguration and repositioning of the retail space at the World Financial Center; a proceeding for the demolition of a designated landmark on the basis of “insufficient return”; and the development of One57, a 1,000 foot-tall hotel and residence opposite Carnegie Hall, and the International Gem Tower, including supervising the assemblage of the development rights used in and securing key zoning interpretations for each. He has supervised land use and environmental due diligence in connection with numerous purchases and financings of real estate; he has served as special counsel in litigation defending challenges to land use-related permits and approvals; and he has advised public as well as private sector clients.

Mr. Selver has received numerous honors including being ranked in Band 1 of Chambers USA (2005-2014), where he is described as having “fantastic knowledge” and being “smart, thoughtful and a good advocate.” He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2005 and was named “New York Area’s Land Use and Zoning Lawyer of the Year” in 2012. In 2013 and 2014, Legal 500 US named him a leading lawyer in real estate and construction — land use/zoning. Mr. Selver was profiled in the Commercial Observer’s Power Broker section in July 2014. He was recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers in New York” in 2009 and 2010 and he has been listed as a Super Lawyer from 2006 to 2014. He has been chosen as a leading lawyer in America by Lawdragon 3000, named a “NYC Elite Land Use Attorney” by The Real Deal and featured in Real Estate Weekly’s All Stars special supplement. He is listed in Who’s Who in America.

Education

  • J.D., Harvard Law School, 1972
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Harvard University, 1969

Bar Admissions

  • New York

Professional Affiliations

  • Real Estate Board of New York - Chairman, Zoning Committee, Member, Land Use and Environmental Committee
  • Mountain Lakes, New Jersey Planning Board
  • Board Member, Citizens Housing and Planning Council
  • Advisory Board, Cityland, a publication of the Center for New York City Law at New York Law School 
  • Advisory Committee, NYU Schack School of Real Estate


Jacqueline Marcus has concentrated her practice in business reorganizations, securitizations and secured transactions since joining the Firm in 1982. She has represented both creditors and debtors in a wide variety of restructuring and bankruptcy matters.

Ms. Marcus has an active debtor practice and is one of the lead attorneys representing Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. and its affiliates in its bankruptcy proceedings. She was one of the lead attorneys representing Extended Stay Inc. and its affiliates in its chapter 11 restructuring. Ms. Marcus also played a key role representing creditors in the chapter 11 cases of Black Diamond Mining Company, Tropicana Entertainment LLC, Epic Resorts, LLC and Food Barn Stores, Inc., as well as in many out-of-court restructurings. She works closely with members of Weil's Structured Finance practice.

In October 2010, Ms. Marcus was featured as AmLaw Daily’s “Dealmaker of the Week” for her representation of Extended Stay. Ms. Marcus is highly ranked in the field of Bankruptcy/Restructuring by Chambers USA. Ms. Marcus has contributed to publications and seminar materials on various restructuring topics.

Education

New York University (J.D., 1982)
University of Pennsylvania (B.A., 1979)


Jill Hayman has over thirty years of experience with large, complex commercial real estate transactions both in the United States and abroad. She is currently a Managing Director in the Legal and Compliance Division of Morgan Stanley where she heads a 12-person global legal practice unit which provides direct legal services and supervision of outside counsel with respect to a global Corporate Real Estate portfolio of 23 million square feet in 42 countries.  Jill is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Fordham University School of Law where she teaches a course in Real Estate Drafting.


Kevin C. Jones is General Counsel for Resorts World Casino New York City and Deputy General Counsel for Genting Americas Inc., each of which are divisions of the Genting Group (“Genting”).  He is also Secretary of Resorts World Casino New York City.  Genting is a $45 billion dollar company employing more than 50,000 people worldwide.  Resorts World Casino New York City is the highest grossing slot venue in the entire United States, attracting over 12 million visitors a year and generating over $930 million in New York State revenue within its first two years, $600 million of which has gone directly to the State’s education fund.  Mr. Jones has responsibility for all legal affairs relating to the New York State investments of the Genting and provides legal support for the company’s multi-billion dollar investments in places such as Las Vegas, Miami and the Bahamas.  Prior to accepting his current position with Genting, Mr. Jones practiced law in the Wall Street area office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where he worked on a broad range of general corporate and real estate transactions valued at over $30 billion dollars.  Mr. Jones has a Master’s of Theological Studies Degree from Boston University’s School of Theology (2007), a Juris Doctorate Degree from Harvard Law School (2006), a dual Master’s of Public Affairs Degree and Master’s of Urban and Regional Planning Degree from Princeton University (2002), and a Bachelor’s of Political Science Degree from Clark Atlanta University (1998).  Mr. Jones and his wife of 14 years (SuGinia Sears-Jones) have three daughters, and they live in Brooklyn, New York, where they attend Bethany United Methodist Church.


Don is Vice President of Real Estate Finance and Capital Markets at Simon Property Group.  Don’s chief responsibilities include executing and servicing Simon’s secured debt portfolio and capital markets activity.  Prior to his current role, Don was Senior Finance Counsel at Simon, where he is responsible for the legal aspects of real estate finance matters.  Don has had extensive experience in all aspects of commercial real estate, with a particular emphasis on mortgage loan originations.  Simon is a global leader in retail real estate ownership, management and development and a S&P100 company.  Prior to joining Simon, Don practiced law at Dechert LLP and Alston & Bird LLP in New York, where he represented banks and institutional investors in the origination, servicing, sale and restructuring of all manner of commercial real estate debt.


Jessica S. Hoppe is Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel of Genting Americas, Inc. Ms. Hoppe is responsible for U.S. legal affairs and oversees communication and advocacy efforts for Genting Americas. She has also served as General Counsel and Secretary of Resorts World Casino New York City since October of 2010. Prior to accepting her current position with Genting, Ms. Hoppe practiced law in the New York office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (“Cleary”).  Ms. Hoppe was a key member of the legal team which prepared and submitted Resorts World Casino New York City’s bid proposal for the license to operate a casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in New York.  Ms. Hoppe graduated cum laude from Tulane University School of Law in 2004 and the University of Michigan in 2001.