New York Judgment Enforcement Attorneys
"It wasn't an easy process. Quite frankly, someone with less resolve than J-Up or J-Up's attorney Mr. D’Orazio likely would have thrown up their hands at the kind of obstruction that the Safdiehs engaged in."United States District Court Judge William H. Pauley III, February 23, 2016
J-Up International Co., Ltd., v. Brooks Fitch Apparel Group LLC and Joseph Safdieh, Case No. 12 Civ. 1751(WHP), U.S. Dist. Ct., SDNY

Representative Cases

Frank Berisha v. 4042 East Tremont Café Corp. et al., Supreme Court of the State of New York, Bronx County

On June 29, 2017, we obtained a major victory in a complex post-judgment fraudulent transfer case involving the popular Tosca Café in the Throggs Neck section of the Bronx. Our client, the plaintiff in a Dram Shop action, won a Judgment against this large bar/restaurant, but by the time it was entered, “Eddie” Sujak, the owner of the business, had transferred it to two other corporations, supposedly owned by relatives. Through post-judgment discovery proceedings, independent factual investigations, and contempt of court applications, we built a compelling documentary record showing that Mr. Sujak continuously maintained control of this valuable business and that the transfers were a sham to avoid creditors and were not made for fair consideration. We then filed a CPLR 5225(b) “turnover” proceeding to set aside the transfers as fraudulent. We also asked the Court to exercise its discretion to appoint a post-judgment receiver (CPLR 5228), removing the Sujak family so that the Tosca Café could be operated for the benefit of our client so that his Judgment could be paid. The Court (Howard Sherman, J.) issued a detailed 23-page opinion examining the evidence and upholding all of our claims. The Court found the transfers were “replete with ‘badges of fraud’” and said that the evidence was “clear and convincing” that the transfers were made to “hinder, delay or defraud” Mr. Berisha and prevent enforcement of his Judgment. Finding no other way that the Judgment would be paid, the Court agreed that this was the rare case where the appointment of a receiver was appropriate. Finally, the Court held Mr. Sujak personally liable for our attorneys’ fees, as provided in N.Y. Debtor and Creditor Law § 276-a, based upon its finding that he had acted “to hinder, delay, or defraud” our client.

To read more, click here.

William Setters v. AI Properties and Developments (USA) Corp., Supreme Court, New York County

Our client was an injured construction worker who, through prior counsel, won a Judgment against the sponsor of a Tribeca luxury condominium project. The sponsor, who had no insurance coverage, sold all the condo units while the suit was pending, failed to retain a litigation reserve, and distributed the proceeds to the investors in the project without resolving the worker’s claim. We were retained as Judgment enforcement counsel and challenged the distributions as a fraud on creditors under the New York Debtor and Creditor Law, naming the individual members of the limited liability company as respondents.

The lower Court granted our motion and directed that the Judgment be paid in full by the LLC’s members. However, the lower Court then reversed itself, finding the members had raised an issue of fact on a novel Statute of Limitations defense based on a provision in New York’s Limited Liability Company Law. We immediately appealed this ruling and prosecuted it on an expedited basis.

We obtained a complete reversal and total victory in a unanimous decision from the Appellate Division, First Department, in May 2016, just three months later. The Statute of Limitations defense was rejected, thereby establishing an important appellate precedent. The final sweetener in what was a very satisfying victory was the Appellate Division’s direction that the LLC members pay the attorneys’ fees incurred in the fraudulent transfer litigation. Following the ruling, the underlying Judgment was paid in full, with interest.

To read more, click here.

Battlefield Freedom Group v. Zhuo, Supreme Court, Queens County

Here, we first domesticated a Virginia judgment for a commercial landlord who won a judgment in Virginia against a personal guarantor of a defaulted restaurant lease. After post-judgment discovery, we filed a fraudulent conveyance action against his spouse and family. The case went to trial before a referee, who ruled in favor of the defendants in her report. However, we persuaded the Judge to reject the referee’s report and to set aside the conveyance.

In March 2017, our victory in the trial court was unanimously affirmed by Appellate Division, Second Department.  The Appellate Division’s ruling also clarified an important principle of New York’s fraudulent conveyance law concerning shifting the burden of proof as to the insolvency of the debtor to the transferee where there was no consideration for the transfer.

To read more, click here and here.

Matter of Seung Ju International Corp. v. Zhiqing Social Day Care, Inc., Supreme Court, Queens County

We were hired to enforce a $300,000 Judgment for commercial rent arrears against a personal guarantor.  Our extensive efforts included a successful contempt of court prosecution and deep factual research that found the defendant’s ownership of another business.  We filed a turnover order proceeding to direct the monthly payments the debtor was to receive from his sale of that business to us and prevailed.

To read more, click here.

Analogic Corp. v. Manuelian, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

This action arose out of a crime perpetrated on our client by a corrupt United States Customs Broker, pursuant to which he was convicted and ordered to make restitution. We were engaged to enforce the restitution Judgment. After post-judgment discovery, we brought a fraudulent conveyance case against the perpetrator and his wife, seeking to set aside a deed the perpetrator had executed transferring the property to joint ownership. We won summary judgment, overcoming a substantial Statute of Limitations defense raised by the defendants with critical facts about the deed that were obtained in discovery.

To read more, click here.

Phoenix Asset Management v. X&Y Development Group, Supreme Court, Nassau County

We represented a real investor who assigned his contract to buy a prime development site in Flushing, Queens, to another developer. The assignee took title to the property and now is building a mixed-use project that will be the tallest building in Flushing when completed. After the closing, the assignee disavowed liability for the agreed-upon assignment consideration, contending that the contract contained unmet conditions precedent. In the ensuing litigation, we prevailed, winning summary judgment. The Court agreed with our interpretation of the contract. The decision was unanimously affirmed on appeal.

To read more, click here.

Rochdale Holding Corp. v. Neuendorf, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County.

This case involved collecting a large debt owed by a figure in the international art world. The defendant stopped paying rent on the town house in which he and his family lived and moved to Germany without satisfying a large money Judgment entered against him. The defendant was the Chief Executive Officer of a public company which, through a New York subsidiary, owned a website considered to be an authoritative reference source on art sales. He continued to work for the company from Germany and aggressively defended all actions to enforce the Judgment against him. We prevailed in this litigation, including an appeal, and ultimately obtained a full recovery for our client. An important decision we won concerning the scope of wage garnishment proceedings against non-residents of New York was the subject of a New York Law Journal article.

To read more, click here.

Reinli v. Davy, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County.

We represented an Australian citizen in a New York action to recover monies owed under a “Deed of Agreement,” a type of formal contract under Australian law. After we won summary judgment on liability, we resolved the case by a settlement for the full amount owed, including interest, costs and our attorneys’ fees.

To read more, click here.

Mashatt v. Fadel Al-Sahlani, Supreme Court, Queens County

No one is above the law, not even high holy men.  In this unusual case, we were hired to enforce a settlement reached in commercial litigation involving a prominent New York City Imam.  The Imam, who was a partner in a Rockaway, New York, gas station, claimed that he should be excused from making settlement payments because the gas station closed for months due to damage from a major storm.  We overcame that and several other defenses and, after a long battle, won the case and entered Judgment for our client.  Judgment enforcement is in progress.

To read more, click here.

Hearst Magazines v. Greenstone/Fontana, Supreme Court, New York County

The defendant here was a major advertising agency on Long Island. It went out of business and filed a Bankruptcy Court petition. The agency had placed advertising in Good Housekeeping magazine for one of its clients. The agency, which was acting as agent for the advertiser, received funds to pay for the ad but did not place the money into an escrow account and instead used the funds for its own purposes. We obtained an assignment of right from the advertiser and sued the principals of the company personally, asking the Court to hold them liable for on corporate tort claims, including breach of fiduciary duty and conversion. After a lengthy trial, we prevailed and entered a Judgment against the defendants.

Our victory at trial was unanimously affirmed by the Appellate Division, Second Department, in May 2016. The Court upheld our theory of the case and found the individual owners of the agency were personal liable for breaching fiduciary duties owed to their client, the advertiser.

To read more, click here.

Rentrak v. Video U.S.A., United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Our client is a national corporation that leased DVDs to regional video rental chains pursuant to a revenue-sharing arrangement. One of its customers went out of business. It ignored warnings to return the rented products, which were owned by our client, and instead liquidated the units and used the proceeds to pay other debts, including debts to creditors that the company’s principal personally guaranteed. None of the proceeds were remitted to our client. We sued the company’s president on corporate tort claims and won summary judgment holding him personally liable for breach of fiduciary duty and conversion. A damages trial is pending.

To read more, click here.

John Carey Cattle Company v. Air Cargo Associates, Inc., United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

After losing a federal court jury trial in a case by a cattle farmer seeking compensation for the death of cattle in transit to Puerto Rico, the defendant, a New York air cargo charter business, refused to pay the Judgment. It continued to operate its business with impunity for years. We were retained by the plaintiff, an elderly cattle farmer residing in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, as judgment enforcement counsel. After registering the Judgment in New York, made a demand for payment and served Restraining Notice on the debtor. Rather than pay, the debtor intentionally violated the Restraining Notice, moved funds out of its bank accounts, and set up a new company to continue to operate its business. After we filed an application to hold the debtor and the company’s principals in contempt of court, the Judgment was paid in full, with interest.

Sacardi v. Greenfield, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

Our client in this case was a Brazilian chef who prevailed at trial on wage claims against the restaurant where he was employed. By the time the Judgment was entered, the restaurant had closed and reopened under a new name and with new ownership. We were hired to collect the Judgment. After extensive post-judgment discovery, we filed fraudulent transfer litigation against the restaurant and its owners. The case went to trial. We reached a settlement before a decision was rendered.

Bogatz v. Herz, Supreme Court Kings County and United States Bankruptcy Court

Our client was a commercial landlord who won a Judgment years earlier against a party who guaranteed a defaulted lease. Although the Judgment was properly docketed as a Judgment lien on real property owned by the debtor, the property was transferred to various family members and eventually the mortgage thereon was refinanced. We thoroughly investigated the transactions and elected to proceed with an execution sale of the property, which we believe was still encumbered by our client’s Judgment lien even though now owned by others. We successfully defeated attempts to vacate the Judgment and stay the execution sale. We also won dismissal of the debtor’s Bankruptcy case and ultimately obtained full satisfaction of the debt owed to our client.

To read more, click here.

Fabio Sanchez v. Bennett Holding LLC , Supreme Court, New York County

Our client in this case was an injured construction worker who, through prior counsel, won a Judgment against the sponsor of a condominium project. The sponsor sold all the condo units while the suit went forward and then claimed there was no money left to pay the Judgment. Retained as Judgment enforcement counsel, we first conducted post-judgment discovery, which required contempt of court proceedings. Discovery revealed that the sponsor had improperly distributed monies from the condo sales to the investors in the project. We challenged those payments as fraudulent under the New York Debtor and Creditor Law in a special proceeding seeking a “turnover” order, naming the individual investors as respondents. The Court granted our application and directed that the funds be returned. The Judgment was ultimately satisfied.

To read more, click here.

Ziede v. Chow, Supreme Court of New York, Kings County, and Appellate Division, Second Department.

In this case, a real estate investor sought to set aside her winning bid at a Sheriff’s Execution sale for real property located in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. We put the property up for auction to satisfy a large judgment our client had obtained against the owner of the property. We defeated the bidder’s attempt to vacate the sale in the lower court and obtained a unanimous affirmance in the Appellate Division, Second Department. The Appellate Division held that the Sheriff’s sale was conducted appropriately and fairly and that the bidder’s claim that the sale should be set aside due to her mistake about what she was purchasing was without merit. Our client was awarded a Judgment against the defaulting bidder, which was paid in full.

To read more, click here.

71 Spring LLC v. Ontrend International, Inc. and Chih-Chin Sun, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County.

This case concerned the post-judgment legal obligations of a corporation and its officers. We obtained a judgment for unpaid rent against a corporation and a personal guarantor of a lease. The guarantor filed a personal Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Petition and refused to appear and produce records on behalf of the corporation in post-judgment discovery proceedings. The Court held the witness in contempt of Court and ordered her to appear and produce the documents, finding that she had continuing legal obligations as an officer of the corporation even though it had been dissolved and she personally was bankrupt.

To read more, click here.

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu , P.C. v. Kingridge LLC/UNorth, Civil Court of the City of New York, County of New York.

In this case we represented a law firm seeking to recover fees owed by a former client. The Court denied our motion for summary judgment on an account stated cause of action and ordered the case to trial. However, after a multi-day trial, we prevailed and won a judgment for the full amount of fees billed to the client, plus four years of interest, and court costs. The defendant appealed, but the Judgment was unanimously affirmed. We obtained full satisfaction of the Judgment after we restrained the debtor’s bank account and executed on it.

To read more, click here.

Pariser Industries v. T & T Laundry Corp., Civil Court of the City of New York, Richmond County.

We represented a manufacturer of industrial chemicals in an action to recover for goods sold and delivered. We sued several corporations which had been formed to operate a commercial laundry business. We took this case to trial and won a Judgment on a “piercing the corporate veil claim” against a new corporation that had assumed operation of the business. Our victory was reported in the New York Law Journal. We recovered the entire debt owed to our client, with interest.

To read more, click here.

Colgate v. Broadwall Management Corp., Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County.

We helped a tenant who, through prior counsel had won a rent overcharge case against her landlord. Years after she had given up hope of ever collecting, we took her case. We prevailed in proceedings to enforce her Judgment and fought off repeated attempts by the deep-pocketed defendant to vacate the Judgment, including prevailing on an appeal to the Appellate Division, First Department. We then prevailed in proceedings to recover our attorneys’ fees. We recovered the full amount of the Judgment, plus nearly 18 years’ interest and all fees and costs incurred.

To read more, click here.

American Banknote Corp. v. Daniele, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County.

In this case we defended an Argentine husband and wife in a New York case filed by the husband’s former employer. The plaintiffs, represented by a major New York law firm, obtained an attachment of the couple’s U.S. bank accounts at the start of the case. We contested jurisdiction and the attachment and, after extensive litigation, including two appeals, and a trial on the jurisdictional issues, won a dismissal of the case. Our clients’ funds were returned with interest and we were awarded our attorneys’ fees for the wrongful attachment.Read more about the decision after the trial... or the Appellate Division decision ...

Pointer (U.S.A.), Inc. v. H & D Food Corporation, United States District Court, Southern District of New York.

We defended a U.S. corporation and its owner in a federal court action filed by a large Chinese seafood exporter, a subsidiary of SinoChem, an industrial conglomerate owned by The People’s Republic of China. The plaintiff sought $2.8 million in damages and sought to hold the company’s owner liable on a “piercing the corporate veil” claim. After completing discovery, we sought and obtained a complete dismissal of all claims filed against the company’s owner on a motion for summary judgment.

To read more, click here.

United States v. Nolasco, litigation in various courts in New York and New Jersey.

We represented third parties who had millions of dollars wrongfully seized from their bank accounts by the federal government in connection with an arrest of a corrupt New York bank official. Acting as lead counsel for a group of similarly situated parties, we prevailed over the federal government and New York County District Attorney’s Office in complex litigation that moved from the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court of the State of New York, the New York State Appellate Division, First Department, and the New York Court of Appeals. Read more about ...

Miller v. United Welfare Fund, United States District Court, Eastern District of New York.

We represented the family of an elderly woman who survived dramatic surgery and then required private duty nursing care around the clock. Her family paid for the nursing care and sought reimbursement. We contested the denial of the claim in litigation that wound its way from a New York State court to a trial in federal court, at which we prevailed, followed by an appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The Second Circuit rendered a decision (75 F.3d 1066 (1995)), which is now a leading precedent in ERISA law. We ultimately obtained a full recovery for our client, including attorneys’ fees.

To read more, click here.

Hearst Magazines v. BCLD Media Group LLC, Supreme Court New York County and the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York.

We represented the publisher of Town & Country magazine in a case against an advertising agency to recover charges for publishing a special insert. We also sued the principal of the company on a “piercing the corporate veil” claim. This case went to trial, where we prevailed and won a judgment against the company’s former owner personally. When the debtor filed a petition in Bankruptcy Court, we successfully contested the discharge ability of the debt owed to our client.

To read more, click here.

Hearst Magazines v. Glaze, Inc., Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County.

We represented Good Housekeeping magazine in this heavily litigated breach of contract case against a company that was supposed to design a line of house cleaning products and accessories. After completion of discovery, we moved for and won a summary judgment for the full amount claimed and dismissal of defendant’s counterclaims.

To read more, click here.