General Litigation

Trial Attorneys Serving Businesses in New York and Across the Country

The New York attorneys of Klapper & Fass maintain a broad and versatile commercial litigation practice. Among other areas, we handle lawsuits involving commercial landlord-tenant matters, real estate disputes, shareholder derivative lawsuits, equipment leasing, and claims based on antitrust and unfair business practices. Real property is often a significant asset for our clients. Whether you are trying to sell, buy, expand, or lease, you usually will rely on a written contract. However, these agreements do not protect against all potential risks of transactions involving real estate. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and persuasive writers who can step in at an early stage of a business dispute to prevent it from escalating. If this measured approach does not achieve your goals, we have the necessary tenacity to protect your rights in the courtroom.

Conflicts Among Commercial Entities Require Dedicated Advocacy

Many types of commercial litigation arise out of a disagreement about a written document, a contract, a lease, or a shareholder or partnership agreement. In New York, the court rarely substitutes its own judgment for the intent of the parties as expressed in the language of a written agreement. However, there may be provisions of the contract that are ambiguous. Unforeseeable events also can make it necessary to terminate or adjust the rights and responsibilities created under an agreement.

For example, if you own a piece of real estate in New York that you lease to a commercial tenant under a long-term agreement, there are a number of circumstances you may not anticipate. If your tenant’s business fails or proves to be less profitable than expected, it may neglect to pay the rent or breach a term of the lease.

Under New York state law, you can end a lease if a tenant fails to keep up with the rent or abide by other terms of the lease. Summary proceedings are the primary way that landlords or other owners of real property evict a tenant or subtenant. These are either holdover proceedings based on a termination of the tenant's right to possess the real property or nonpayment proceedings based on the tenant's default in paying rent. If you are the party initiating the summary proceeding, you are the "petitioner." The tenant or subtenant that you try to remove is the "respondent." Once the lease is terminated, you can start eviction proceedings.

On the other hand, a commercial tenant can use several defenses in a lawsuit for nonpayment of rent. Some of these may include arguing that the building was unfit for occupancy, or that the landlord intentionally interfered with proper and customary business services. A tenant can also raise objections to an eviction if the landlord committed waste by allowing the building to decay, failed to offer services essential to its use, or did not provide proper notice. However, many of the rules that protect residential tenants do not apply to businesses renting real property in New York, such as the prohibition against retaliatory evictions.

Irreconcilable Disputes Among Business Owners Necessitates Experienced Legal Counsel

Disputes among owners of a business can be difficult and time consuming, especially where original plans and expectations do not happen the way planned. Matters become especially troublesome when partners or shareholders of a business enterprise do not have a written agreement. The problems could arise from an equity owner in the business who tries to take more money out of the company than agreed or who appropriates business opportunities for personal gain to the harm of the other owners and the business. When this happens the task is to unwind the business or get your client out of a bad business arrangement with the most gain and the least exposure. The New York trial attorneys of Klapper & Fass have extensive experience in business disputes, partnership and shareholder litigation, derivative lawsuits and dissolution proceedings. If you are experiencing a business dispute with your equity partners, and have exhausted all reasonable approaches you need to consult with our experienced staff of New York trial attorneys in order to protect your rights to the fullest extent of the laws of New York.

Prevent a Seller, an Ex-Partner or Key Employee from Stealing Your Business

There is nothing more unfair and aggravating to a business owner who after buying a business or buying out a partner is later faced with the seller, ex-business partner or ex-key employee setting up shop across the street and competing with you. Insult is added to injury when these persons also hire your employees, solicit your customers, use all of the contacts and expertise that you own and ignore a written restrictive covenant. Under New York law, where there are reasonable limitations, restrictive covenants can be enforced against ex-partners and key employees who unfairly compete. Indeed, even if there is no written agreement, under New York law a seller of a business is restricted from unfairly competing as is an ex-key employee who appropriates confidential trade secrets. Additional areas of protection include non-disclosure and trade secret agreements. At the New York law firm of Klapper & Fass, our experienced trial attorneys have successfully handled many of these types of cases, offering our clients expert legal advice and where necessary protected the rights of our client’s businesses in court.

Consult a New York Attorney for Your Litigation Needs

Businesses must make many difficult choices to develop and thrive. They often must enforce their rights for goods, services, or payment to be successful. While some disputes may be resolved amicably, there are many complex areas of law in which it can become necessary to bring in a trial attorney. The business lawyers at the New York firm of Klapper & Fass represent Fortune 500 banks, insurance companies, equipment lenders and finance companies in addition to large and medium-sized companies in industries that include textile, construction, transportation, and credit. Our clients come from throughout New York, including Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, or Staten Island, while others come from Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange or Dutchess Counties. Moreover, we provide diligent legal services to businesses across the nation, such as in Illinois and California. Contact us at 914.287.6466 or via our online form.