Hunting Down Rogue Judgment Debtors
I’m pleased to announce that our litigation capabilities have been greatly enhanced with the hiring of Steven G. Yudin as Senior Counsel to the firm. Steve comes to us after a long and distinguished career as a commercial litigator, bringing the skills and instincts honed by years in the trenches, with experience handling and managing all phases of complex litigation, involving trials by judge and jury and appeals. You can learn more about Steve here.
As is typically the case with boutique firms, our core practice is focused on a pretty narrow field. We take great pride in having become the go-to firm in New York for judgment enforcement and substantial commercial debt collection matters. Hey, I know this may not sound like the most glamorous legal practice in the world, but you would be surprised by the challenging and important legal issues we have to deal with day-to-day. Plus, we get to know (and laugh about) New York’s colorful cast of judgment debtors, who we love to hunt and take down! You can’t make some of this stuff up. Plaintiff’s counsel in big-ticket litigation may get more glory, but we get take deep pride in getting the job done at the end of the day, when it turns out that that hard-won Judgment is hard to collect. Winning without collecting is no fun!And this is where real justice happens.
Unglamorous as some may think judgment enforcement work is, it is actually critically important to the integrity of our legal system. Debt collection litigation is the end-game of what we all do routinely, which is paying our debts. Without payment, there would be no credit. Without credit, our economic system would fail. Without a meaningful judicial process to aid creditors in enforcing obligations to pay debts, our courts fail us.
There are many honest debtors out there, we know and respect that. Some debtors cannot pay in full, even if they wanted to, due to business setbacks or other misfortune. Then there are the “rogue” debtors, dishonest actors who seek to hide or transfer assets to avoid paying a Judgment. They will not be tolerated by our office. We will build a case and spare no effort in going after this type of debtor. We do it for our clients, of course, and to earn our fees, but we also do it because it is right, taking pride in seeing justice done. We have probably handled (and won) more fraudulent transfer cases than any other litigation team in New York. These cases are not easy. They are fact-intensive and often require extensive discovery and digging for facts. But we are absolutely committed to taking all steps necessary to collect debts owed to our clients, within the bounds of the law, of course.
Our work calls for extreme tenacity in order to pin down a judgment debtor who is determined to avoid payment. We are well-versed in all New York judgment enforcement laws and procedures, which also apply to New York federal court judgments, some of which are not often invoked by creditors’ counsel. As a result, judges may not always be thrilled to see us come into their courtroom seeking to enforce our rights as judgment creditor. So be it. But we like to think we earn their respect when we pursue our client’s rights to the full letter of applicable law. As a case in point, we’re extremely proud of this mention in an opinion from U.S. District Court Judge William H. Pauley III:
“It wasn’t an easy process. Quite frankly, someone with less resolve than [the judgment creditor’s] attorney Mr. D’Orazio likely would have thrown up their hands at the kind of obstruction that the [judgment debtor] engaged in.”
If our law firm has a motto I suppose this would be it: in the face of the most stubborn obstruction, we simply refuse to quit.
I’ve known and respected Steve Yudin for a long time; in fact, we were law school classmates longer ago than I care to remember. Above all, what I respect about his lawyering is that he displays the same tenacity of purpose that I consider essential to our success. As such, I’m extremely excited that Steve has joined the firm so we can work together to ensure that justice prevails.