Attorney Profiles

 
Richard J. J. Scarola
 
 
Alex Zubatov
 
 
Edmund A. Schaffzin
 
 
Jonathan M. Landers
 
 
Robert J. Shansky
 
 
Susanna S. Fodor
 
 
Daniel J. Brooks
 
 
Steven C. Bennett
 
 
Janet G. Lazar
 
 
Aristargos (Harry) Christodoulou
 
 
James M. Haddad
 
 
Andrew Rotstein
 
Richard J.J. Scarola is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., cum laude, 1979) and the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., cum laude, 1982).  Mr. Scarola founded the Firm’s earliest predecessor in 1991.  Mr. Scarola is a litigator admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth and Ninth Circuits and numerous Federal District Courts, and has successfully litigated a wide array of cases in trials and appeals.  He currently serves as a Member of the Council on Judicial Administration of the New York City Bar Association (having previously served two three-year terms on the Council), has been the Chair of its Court Reform Sub-Committee, has served on the Association’s Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction and has worked with numerous other Bar committees dedicated to the improvement of the courts and the profession.  He recently served a three-year term on the Board of Directors of University Settlement House, the first settlement house in the United States and the oldest organization of its kind in this country.  Mr. Scarola practiced with Reboul, MacMurray, Hewitt, Maynard & Kristol (now a part of Ropes & Gray) after law school.  In addition to his practice in litigation and pre-dispute counseling in corporate and commercial matters, Mr. Scarola also serves as general outside counsel to the Estate of Duke Ellington in its ongoing business affairs.  Mr. Scarola is the Managing Member of the Firm.
Alex Zubatov is a graduate of Yale University (B.A., summa cum laudePhi Beta Kappa, 1997), where he received the E. Francis Riggs Prize for Excellence in the Humanities, and Harvard Law School (J.D., cum laude, 2000).  Mr. Zubatov was Law Clerk to Hon. David G. Trager of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  Mr. Zubatov practiced at Debevoise & Plimpton after his clerkship.  Mr. Zubatov is a commercial litigator.
Edmund A. Schaffzin is a graduate of Brown University (B.A., 1961) and Yale Law School (L.L.B., 1964).  Mr. Schaffzin’s practice includes corporate and securities law, real estate law and international commercial transactions.  Mr. Schaffzin was formerly the General Counsel of two substantial multinational corporations with business in diverse fields such as agricultural development projects, supermarkets, hotels, shopping centers and poultry.  His real estate experience is devoted to the purchase and sale of commercial and residential property, refinancings, commercial leasing and the conversion of commercial property to cooperative and condominium ownership.  He is a member of the New York City Bar Association where he is a member of the Law and Technology Committee and the New York State Bar Association where he is a member of the International Section.  He is currently Of Counsel to the Firm, and has been with the Firm and its predecessors since January 1, 2000, including as a partner for a number of years.
Jonathan M. Landers is a nationally recognized authority and practitioner in corporate bankruptcy and restructuring, insolvency and litigation matters.  He graduated from Colgate University (A.B., Phi Beta Kappa, 1962) and from Harvard Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 1965; Harvard Law Review).  His diverse experience includes bankruptcy, insolvency-related corporate restructuring, financing transactions, purchase and sale of assets and business enterprises, and litigation matters; representing debtors, lenders and lender syndicates, large creditors, litigation trustees and defendants, and asset sellers and purchasers.  He has also served as a corporate independent Director dealing with substantial litigation issues, as a mediator in several substantial cases (and is a member of the United States Bankruptcy Courts’ mediation panels in S.D.N.Y., E.D.N.Y. and D. Del.) and has been an expert witness on corporate, bankruptcy and related issues.  He has served as lead counsel in numerous cases, including Boston Gen (for the Committee), Strauss Auto (for the Debtor, as litigation plaintiff), Hoop (for the Debtor operating as Disney Stores), Odyssey Group (then owner of the North Face and Head Sportswear), Insilco (for the Lending Group), Champion Homebuilders (for the Committee, as litigation plaintiff), Finova (for the Debtor), Enron (for a large creditor), Adelphia (for a large creditor/agent), Placid Oil (for a large lender), Penrod (for a large lender), Greyhound (for a contract party), and Bergner Stores (for a contract party).  His clients have included Wells Fargo Bank, Crocker National Bank, Dial Corporation, Merrill Lynch, and Citibank (in the bankruptcies of large law firms including Heller Ehrman, Thelen, and Brobeck).  Mr. Landers is the co-author of three books and the author of more than 35 published articles on bankruptcy and related issues in corporate law and civil procedure; a former partner for 23 years with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP; a former professor/visiting professor at the Universities of Chicago, California, Illinois, San Francisco and Kansas; a frequent speaker at conferences on bankruptcy and litigation issues; one of 65 members of the National Bankruptcy Conference and a fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy (founding class); and has been recognized repeatedly in New York Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.
Robert J. Shansky is an experienced and widely respected transactional real estate lawyer.  He graduated from the University of Wisconsin (B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, 1968), and the Harvard Law School (J.D., 1971).  He was elected a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the premier organization of United States real estate lawyers, he was included in the 22nd Edition of the Best Lawyers in America (c) in Real Estate Law, and has been repeatedly selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers (2006-16).  Mr. Shansky is an active member of many professional organizations including the American Bar Association (Section on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, participating in the Leasing Group Committee on Emerging Issues and Specialized Leases, Retail and Industrial Leasing Committees, Chair of the Retail Leasing Group 2015-16) and the New York State Bar Association (Environmental Law Committee and Real Property Section, Member of the Executive Committee, Committee on Commercial Leasing (currently Co-Chair of this Committee)).  He has spoken frequently on real estate issues at ABA, ACREL, New York State Bar and PLI programs and was a contributing editor to the treatise Commercial Leasing (Second Edition), published by The New York State Bar Association in 2010.  Mr. Shansky’s practice includes transactions in a wide array of complex real estate and corporate matters, including acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, financing and development of commercial, industrial, warehouse and residential projects.  He represents financial institutions, corporations, hedge funds, private equity funds and retail companies, as well as individuals.  His experience includes representing a major financial institution in connection with leasing over 2.5 million square feet of midtown office space and the sale and partial leaseback of its office buildings.  He has been responsible for the real estate aspects of major corporate and private equity transactions, including a number of acquisitions and financings for companies in many different businesses and industries.  Mr. Shansky practiced for 27 years with the New York office of Jones Day, where he was a partner.
Susanna S. Fodor is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received her B.A. and J.D. degrees.  Ms. Fodor is a highly regarded practitioner in both real estate and construction law.  She is one of three attorneys in the United States with the distinction of being elected both a Fellow of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers (1987) and a Fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers (1992).  Her dual skill set, coupled with a pragmatic business sense, has made her counsel of choice to a diverse client base undertaking transactions in the real estate and construction spaces throughout the world.  Among the clients for which she has acted as legal counsel are The New York Yankees, Citibank, Estée Lauder, Sotheby’s, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, J. Crew, Park Tower, Verizon, Regeneron, Madison Square Garden, The Cathedral of St. John The Divine, J.P. Morgan Chase, Flagstone Property Group, Canadian Imperial Bank, Edison Properties, AXA and The WTC Memorial Foundation.  She also has a long-standing “ad-hoc” and “administered” arbitration practice and serves on the American Arbitration Association’s Large Complex Case Panel.  Her recognitions are numerous and include repeated listings in The International Who Is Who of Construction Lawyers, Real Estate Lawyers and Business Lawyers, Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers, New York’s 50 Top Women Super Lawyers (All Practice Areas), Chambers USA’s Leader in the Field In Real Estate and Construction Law, Chambers Women in Law Awards — Real Estate Lawyer of the Year 2013, Guide to the World’s Leading Women in Business Law, and Legal 500.  She writes and lectures for the Practicing Law Institute, New York State Bar Association, CoreNet, New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, American Bar Association and New York Law School, and Chaired the NYS Bar Association’s Construction Law Committee.  Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Fodor was a partner at Jones Day for 26 years, at Shea & Gould for four years and at Weil, Gotshal & Manges for five years, and was counsel to UDC/Empire State Development Corporation for three years.  She is admitted to practice in the States of New York and Wisconsin and speaks Hungarian and French.
Daniel J. Brooks is a graduate of Columbia College (B.A., 1968) and Yale Law School (J.D., 1973).  He is a commercial litigator whose practice focuses on securities, copyright and employment litigation and arbitration.  Mr. Brooks has first-chaired many trials and arbitrations and argued dozens of appeals in a wide array of substantive areas, including in the financial industry (representing financial institutions and financial industry professionals in matters ranging in scope from defending customer fraud claims, to broker compensation disputes, to employee raiding and contractual non-compete disputes, as well as claims of trading on insider information); in class action litigation (defending corporations, officers and directors against shareholder actions); and in intellectual property law.  In the copyright area, Mr. Brooks represented the plaintiff in a leading art appropriation case that produced a major decision on the fair use defense to copyright infringement.  He has written and lectured extensively on copyright law at several law schools and to bar association committees.  Mr. Brooks has served on the New York City Bar Association Committees on Securities Regulation and Federal Courts.  He is a member of the arbitration panel at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and of the Commercial Panel at the American Arbitration Association.  Mr. Brooks also serves on the Board of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, an organization advocating for women’s reproductive rights.  He is frequently recognized as a New York Super Lawyer and New York Top Rated Lawyer.  Mr. Brooks was a partner for 12 years at Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis and, prior to that, a founding partner of Layton Brooks & Hecht, a litigation boutique.
Steven C. Bennett is a graduate of Macalester College (B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1979), and New York University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1984), where he was an editor of the NYU Law Review.  Mr. Bennett served as a Law Clerk for Carl McGowan of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.  After practice as an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, including service as Chief of the Tax and Bankruptcy Unit for the Civil Division of that Office.  Mr. Bennett was a partner at Jones Day for nearly 20 years, and a partner at Park Jensen Bennett LLP, a litigation boutique, for five years.  Mr. Bennett is a commercial litigator, with extensive experience in arbitration and mediation, bankruptcy, construction, electronic discovery and international disputes.  Mr. Bennett serves as an arbitrator and mediator on the Commercial Panel for the American Arbitration Association and as a member of the Advisory Committee on Large, Complex Cases for the AAA.  He is a member of the New York International Arbitration Club and the New York/London Commercial Litigators Forum.  Mr. Bennett has served as Hearing Officer and Election Officer in two settled Civil RICO cases: United States v. Local 14/14B IUOE (E.D.N.Y.) and United States v. District Council of Carpenters (S.D.N.Y.).  Mr. Bennett taught Arbitration Law at Brooklyn Law School for nine years. He is the author of Arbitration: Essential Concepts (Am. Law Media) and The Path To Partnership (Praeger), co-author of Commercial Settlement Agreements: Line-By-Line (Thomson) and author of 11 chapters in other texts.  Mr. Bennett co-authored the New York Law Journal column on Arbitration Law for eight years and has published more than 200 articles in the areas of arbitration, bankruptcy, construction law, e-discovery, international disputes, mediation, privacy, professional responsibility and technology disputes.  Mr. Bennett is a member of the New York State Bar Association and has served on the Executive Committees of the Association’s Dispute Resolution and Commercial/Federal Litigation sections.  Mr. Bennett has served as an Adjunct Professor at: Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn College, Fordham Law School, Hofstra Law School, Hunter College, Hebrew University Law School, Manhattan College and New York Law School, and as a guest lecturer at various other colleges and law schools.  Mr. Bennett served as a Founding Member of the Sedona Conference Working Group on International Discovery.  He is a frequent Continuing Legal Education lecturer for the American Law Institute, the Practicing Law Institute and a variety of other providers.  Mr. Bennett debated at the high school and college levels, and has coached debate and mock trial at both levels.  He is on the Advisory Committee for the New York Urban Debate League.  He is a frequent guest instructor for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.  Mr. Bennett is regularly listed as a New York “Super Lawyer.”

Of Counsel (Trust & Estates Law)

Janet G. Lazar is a graduate of Princeton University (B.A., 1976) and the University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1979).  She also attended the LL.M. program in taxation at New York University School of Law.  Ms. Lazar is a former Law Clerk to Hon. Renee R. Roth of the New York County Surrogate’s Court.  She is a member of the Essex County Bar Association (Committee on Tax, Trusts and Estates).  She is a former member of the New Jersey State Bar Association (Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section; Taxation Law Section (Committee on Estate Planning)); the New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estate Law Section (Committee on Estates and Trusts Administration; Committee on Estate Litigation; Committee on Surrogate’s Court)); and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Committee on Estate and Gift Tax; Committee on Trusts, Estates and Surrogates’ Courts).  Ms. Lazar practiced at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler after law school.  Ms. Lazar is admitted to the Bar in New York and New Jersey, and her practice includes estate planning and the preparation of wills and trusts.

Counsel

Aristargos (Harry) Christodoulou  is an international corporate and commercial attorney, litigator and mediator, having litigated in the United States, Europe, Africa and Australia.  He is a former equity partner and head of the insolvency and business rescue department of the global law firm DLA Piper (its former group firm in South Africa), where he was appointed as the firm’s sole insolvency law specialist in South Africa and was tasked to head up its insolvency and business rescue department.  Harry has handled high-profile corporate bankruptcies and complex commercial matters during his career, such as the liquidation of Hyundai Motors in Africa.  Harry has represented government and quasi-government departments in business and litigation matters and advised several international banks including a government reserve bank.  His legal work has spanned a wide variety of business sectors including aviation, banking, construction, consumer products, courier, education, entertainment, environment, financial services, food, beverage & tobacco, government, health & beauty, industrial automation, investment banking, insurance, manufacturing, mining, parking, petroleum, public organizations & institutions, publishing, retail & wholesale, security & protection services, steel, trading distribution & logistics and transportation.  As a mediator, Harry successfully mediated a billion dollar plus joint venture mining dispute between international joint venture parties and also recently mediated a $500 million commercial real estate dispute.  Harry is a certified mediator and is appointed to the neutrals roster of the New York State Supreme Court’s Commercial Division in New York County, as well as the neutrals roster for the Southern District of New York.  He is the former Chair of the New York Peace Institute’s Mediator Advisory Board where he coached, mentored and taught in the Institute’s advanced civil court mediation training.  He has also appeared as a panelist in the Institute’s Mediation Settlement Day Event held annually in court, and serves as an arbitrator for the New York County Lawyers Association.  Harry is admitted to the New York State Bar and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.  He is a graduate of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (B.Com. (1997); L.L.B. (1999)).
James M. Haddad  is a graduate of Brown University (A.B., 1986) and Fordham University School of Law (J.D., 1993).  Mr. Haddad is a commercial litigator with experience in a broad range of insurance industry matters.  From 2011-13, he served as a member of the Standing Committee on Commercial Law & Uniform State Laws of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York.  Today, he serves as an appointee of the Mayor of New York City as a Trustee of the Queens Borough Public Library.  Mr. Haddad has worked as in house counsel for a major insurance company as well as at Edwards & Angell (in New York City) and at Lustig & Brown, LLP.  He is admitted to the Bar of the States of New York and Pennsylvania (inactive), of the District of Columbia, and of the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Andrew Rotstein is a graduate of Columbia University (B.A., 1973), where he was awarded the Chanler Historical Prize for 1973 by Columbia College, and of the Columbia Law School (J.D., 1994 (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, 1992-94)), where he was a Senior Editor of the Columbia Law Review.  He is admitted to practice in the State of New York, and numerous Federal District Courts and Circuit Courts of Appeals.  After law school, Mr. Rotstein practiced at Sullivan & Cromwell and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  He is a commercial litigator.

Legal Assistants

Anne Ames Power is a 2016 graduate of Harvard University where she earned an A.B. in Classics.  She also holds a Master’s in Classics from Trinity College Dublin.
Craig Witmer is a 2016 graduate of Seton Hall University where he earned a B.S. in Diplomacy and International Relations with a Minor in French.

Intern

Esther Summerson (Not Admitted to the Bar) is a product of the legal system of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and brings her experience as a valued source of wisdom.