Network Firm News

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Congratulations are in order for Garden City's Joe Ortego and Glen Vogel (and NP alum Donald MacDougall) for a hard fought victory in one of the longest trials in the office's history. Joe, Glen, and Don represented plaintiff Laura Candela over a nearly three month period last fall at a bench trial in the commercial part of Nassau County Supreme Court.

The case involved claims of breach of an executive employment contract, breach of a shareholders agreement, constructive discharge, fraud and declaratory relief in the form of voiding a restrictive covenant contained in both the employment and shareholders agreements. The defendants counsel -- often referred to by the judge as "the back bench" consisted of eight lawyers from three separate large reputable Long Island law firms. Joe and Glen first had to fend off 5 separate motions for summary judgment over an accelerated briefing schedule during the 2 months prior to trial (August and September) and then egaged in an uphill battle over the next three months of trial dealing with a plethora of evidentiary hurdles -- including the Dead Man's Statute and the authenticity/admissibility of handwritten documents by the deceased former president of the company.

To add some intrigue, the case also had some underlying issues/allegations involving a pilfered safe, corporate tax fraud, cheating customers of over a half a million dollars, and an estate worth in excess of $30 million.

After a massive post trial brief and additional motion, Joe and Glen achieved a massive victory for the client. In a 70 page opinion Judge Warshawsky carefully crafted what is hopefully an appellant-proof opinion awarding in excess of $ 4.5 million in damages to our client. With interest at 9%, the judgment may well be in excess of $8 million. The opinion also contained some interesting asides from the judge regarding certain members of "the back bench."

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