- Richard J.J. Scarola
- Alex Zubatov
- Edmund A. Schaffzin
- Jonathan M. Landers
- Stephen J. Riegel
- Robert J. Shansky
- Daniel J. Brooks
- Bart J. Eagle
- Cassandra Porsch
- Harry J. Petchesky
- Janet G. Lazar
- 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, appeals and arbitrations.
Mr. Scarola 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), Chairs is it Sub-Committee on constitutional requirements for funding New York State’s courts and has been the Chair of its Court Reform Sub-Committee. He also 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 has also 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 laude, Phi 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).
Mr. Landers’ 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.
Mr. Landers 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.
Stephen J. Riegel is a graduate of Princeton University (A.B., 1979, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa), of Stanford University (M.A., American History, 1982), and Stanford University Law School (J.D., 1984), where he received the Hilmer Oehlmann, Jr., Award for Legal Research and Writing and had his Master’s thesis in legal history published in the American Journal of Legal History. After law school, Mr. Riegel served as a law clerk to the Hon. Frederick B. Lacey and the Hon. Harold A. Ackerman of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Mr. Riegel has extensive and diverse experience in commercial and civil litigation acquired over 35 years in practice, including representing companies, government clients as well as individuals before federal and state courts, with a specialty in appellate practice and complex motion practice.
Mr. Riegel served for 11 years as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, where he represented the United States, its agencies, a member of Congress and other government officials and agents in federal trial and appellate courts, litigating high profile cases involving the civil RICO statute, asset forfeiture, mail fraud, civil rights and constitutional law. Mr. Riegel specialized in the novel applications of newly enacted forfeiture laws, mail fraud, money laundering and civil RICO cases.
He later served as senior counsel and head of the appeals and motions unit at Weitz & Luxenberg where he represented plaintiffs in cases and appeals involving New York and New Jersey asbestos and product liability law, negligence and labor law, and removal of state court cases to federal courts.
Mr. Riegel’s extensive appellate work has included briefing in the United States Supreme Court for plaintiff investors in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988), the landmark case establishing the “fraud on the market” theory for recovery and the standards for public disclosure of merger negotiations in securities fraud litigation. Other prominent appeals Mr. Riegel has prevailed in include X-Men Sec., Inc. v. Pataki, 196 F.3d 56 (2d Cir. 1999), which upheld the First Amendment rights of a Congressman to make critical comments about an organization that was the subject of proposed legislation, and U.S. v. Sasso, 215 F.3d 283 (2d Cir. 2000), which established the right of the government in civil RICO cases to have defendants disgorge moneys to pay for trusteeships and other equitable remedies to prevent similar violations in the future.
For the past 11 years, Mr. Riegel’s practice has focused on appellate litigation, and also litigation of all aspects of controversies in a wide array of commercial law practice areas in federal and state courts, including shareholder and derivative disputes, employment discrimination and civil rights cases, landmark preservation disputes, civil RICO cases, United States and state constitutional law controversies, challenges to administrative agency actions, labor law controversies, personal injury matters and claims against federal, state and city governments and their officials.
Mr. Riegel has pursued his interest in history and writing outside of the law, recently publishing his first book, Finding Judge Crater: A Life and Phenomenal Disappearance in Jazz Age New York (Syracuse University Press 2021), which examines and provides an explanation for a famous unsolved missing persons case involving a judge in 1930.
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).
Mr. Shansky 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.
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.
Bart J. Eagle is a commercial litigator and a counsellor in business matters and also a trained and experienced neutral serving as a mediator and arbitrator.
Mr. Eagle is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States, and the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and is a member of the Bar of the State of New York. Mr. Eagle is a graduate of the University of Miami School of Law, where he was a member of the Moot Court Board and served as an instructor in its Advanced Moot Court program and a graduate of Queens College of the City University of New York.
Mr. Eagle currently serves as co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s Mediation Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee and ADR in the Courts Committee of the Dispute Resolution Section, is member of the NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, a member of the Southern District of New York’s Mediation Advisory Committee, and a member of the New York City Bar Association’s Council on Judicial Administration, ADR Committee, and Legal History Committee.
As a litigator, Mr. Eagle has handled a wide range of business disputes including matters arising from commercial financing relationships; shareholder and partnership disagreements; fiduciary relationships; license and distribution agreements; employment relationships; the purchase/sale of a business; and a myriad of other business issues. Mr. Eagle has represented victims in notable cases of fraud, securities fraud and Ponzi schemes.
As a neutral, Mr. Eagle serves on the Southern District of New York’s Mediation Advisory Committee and his work includes service on the roster of mediators and roster of arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association, the panel of mediators of the federal court in New York’s Southern District, and the rosters of mediators of the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York in New York County, and the Coop and Condo Panel of the NYCBA.
In addition to his experience as a litigator, Mr. Eagle has experience negotiating and drafting commercial agreements including factoring, license, employment, severance, distribution, asset purchase, collaboration, service, shareholder, operating and partnership agreements. Before entering private practice in 1988, Mr. Eagle was an Assistant District Attorney in Queens County, New York for six and one-half years. As a member of the Homicide Trial Bureau, the Major Offense Prosecution Program, and a Supreme Court Trial Bureau, he investigated, tried and obtained convictions for murder, other armed and violent felonies and economic crimes. In addition to practicing law, Mr. Eagle was a Trustee and Vice Chair of Children’s Aid and currently serves as Trustee Emeritus.
Cassandra Porsch is a graduate of Yale University (2001, B.A. with distinction), Georgetown University Law Center (J.D., 2005), and the New York University Stern School of Business (M.B.A., 2012).
Ms. Porsch is a commercial litigator who has successfully handled matters at all stages, from pre-litigation through appeals, including matters in alternative dispute resolution forums. After law school, she spent ten years in the New York City office of Andrews Kurth LLP before moving to boutique law firm practice. She has practiced in state and federal court in a wide array of commercial, class and derivative actions and multi-district litigation.
Ms. Porsch has particular expertise in handling business disputes involving breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, restrictive covenants/non-competes, trade secrets, professional negligence, breach of contract and disputes concerning partnerships. Her clients have included individuals, small businesses, investment funds and large corporations. She has also represented investors in securities class actions and creditors in bankruptcy proceedings.
Ms. Porsch has been selected to New York Metro Super Lawyers for litigation. (Selection criteria available at www.superlawyers.com.) She is very active in the New York City Bar Association, serving on the Litigation Committee as well as chairing the Litigation Subcommittee of the Small Law Firm Committee, in addition to participating as faculty on several Bar-sponsored CLEs. She is a 2021 recipient of the Leadership Award from the New York Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in the Law for excellence in legal practice and advocacy for women in the profession, and serves on the Grants Committee of Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert. Ms. Porsch is admitted to practice law in both New York and New Jersey.
Harry J. Petchesky is a graduate of Cornell University, A.B. 1959, and Columbia Law School, L.L.B. 1962. Mr. Petchesky’s practice and expertise includes extensive work in public and private securities offerings, representation of clients in SEC, NASDAQ, New York Stock Exchange and FINRA investigations and disciplinary proceedings, the formation and sale of business entities and of cooperative and condominium apartment housing entities, commercial leasing, purchases and sales of commercial and residential real estate, trusts and estates matters and probate and administration, family law, as well as trial and appellate litigation in all of these fields.
Mr. Petchesky has also filled numerous professional roles beyond his core practice. He served as the pro bono Guardian for the children of a 9/11 victim in litigation in the United States and abroad through success at the appellate level. He is a long-time member of the New State Bar Association’s Committee on Trusts and Estates, has lectured at the New York University Institute of Real Estate on the purchase and sale of brownstone properties and has served as a judge at the Yale Law School mock trial competition and, for the last 20 years, at the Columbia Law School Stone Moot Court competition at the preliminary and semi-final rounds. Mr. Petchesky has also been an American Stock Exchange arbitrator.
Most recently, Mr. Petchesky represented an estate in four separate litigations involving contracts made by the decedent on behalf of two corporations of which the decedent was the sole shareholder. The litigation spanned 8 years. One aspect of the case was reported as a front-page story in the New York Law Journal. The litigation included three separate appeals, each of which was argued by Mr. Petchesky with each resulting in a favorable outcome (two affirmances of trial court successes and reversal of an adverse trial court decision). The most recent appeal granted the client summary judgment in the appellate court dismissing a claim that would have allowed the adverse party to purchase valuable commercial real property for a small fraction of its value. The remaining cases were settled on the eve of the trial, two after jury selection.
In addition to his active practice, Mr. Petchesky is a life member of the Cornell University Council and has served on the Boards of Poly Prep Country Day School, including a term as a Chair from 1990-98, the Manhattan Theater Club, The Jewish Guild for the Blind, JBJ International and the Harmonie Club.
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.
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.
Avalon Grace is a Yale College student, Class of 2024.
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.
Caia Frances (Not Admitted to the Bar) is an aspiring attorney and brings her enthusiasm and energy and rapidly growing skills to everything asked of her.
December 20, 2019
With love and respect for a dear friend and a colleague whose warmth and talents seemed to have no bounds …
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.”