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Vincent J. Syracuse



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syracuse@thsh.com
Phone: 212-508-6722



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Vincent J Syracuse

Bio

Vincent J. Syracuse joined Tannenbaum Helpern during the summer of 1979 and founded the firm's litigation department and is currently its Chair. As a general litigator for over 40 years, Vince has earned a reputation as a problem-solver, strategizer, tactician and aggressive advocate for his clients. Recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the New York Metro area, he represents a variety of clients in commercial litigation in all New York State and Federal Courts on the pre-trial, trial and appellate levels and in various alternate dispute resolution forums including mediation and arbitration. He is also a mediator in the Commercial Division of the New York County Supreme Court.

Vince has been active for many years in numerous bar association activities and frequently chairs or participates as a faculty member in continuing legal education programs on various commercial litigation subjects, including the New York State Bar Association's extremely successful program on ethics and civility in litigation which he has chaired for over fourteen years. Vince has been a member of the NYSBA's House of Delegates. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the NYSBA's Commercial and Federal Litigation Section since 1994. He was the Section's Chair in 2009-2010, having previously served as Chair-Elect, Vice-Chair and three terms as the Section's Treasurer. The Section honored Vince with its nominations in 2007 and 2012 for the NYSBA's Attorney Professionalism Award recognizing him as a "tireless advocate for ethics and civility in New York." In March 2010, Vince was appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to the Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System which monitors the annual financial disclosure statements within the judicial branch of the New York State government. Vince is also a member of the NYSBA's Committees on Attorney Professionalism and Continuing Legal Education. He writes the monthly Attorney Professionalism Forum in the NYSBA Journal.

As a member of the Advisory Committee for the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and a former Chair of the Commercial Division Committee, Vince has helped shape the development of the Commercial Division since its inception in New York and Monroe Counties, and subsequent expansion to several counties throughout the State of New York. The Advisory Committee acts as liaison between the bar and the Commercial Division and has created a mechanism that allows practitioners in the Commercial Division to express their views about the structure of the Commercial Division, and comment on various matters of Commercial Division practice, including the definition of a "commercial case." Vince has been directly involved in the drafting of the Commercial Division rules that have refined the criteria for the assignment and retention of cases in the Commercial Division, and govern practice in the various Commercial Division venues.

Vince has been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 every year that selections were made.

Significant Matters

  • Board of Managers of the York River House Condominium vs. Kinney York Avenue, Inc, Central Parking Corporation and Central Parking System Realty of New York, Inc., Appellate Division, First Department, December 5, 2006. Representation of Central Parking Corporation in the successful defense of a challenge to its $210 million merger with the Kinney Parking System. The court affirmed the dismissal of claims made by the Board of Managers of a Manhattan condominium that the merger triggered its right of first refusal because the merger changed the ownership of a Kinney garage located in its building.
  • The Hartz Consumer Group, Inc. et al v. JWC Hartz Holdings, Inc. et al., Appellate Division, First Department, October 31, 2006. Successful representation of Leonard Stern's Hartz Consumer Group in litigation arising from Stern's $300 million December 2000 sale of The Hartz Mountain Corporation to Boston-based J. W. Childs, L.P. The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the New York County Commercial Division's dismissal on summary judgment of the buyer's $50 million indemnification claim that Stern guaranteed the success of certain product lines. The case reinforced the principle that indemnification agreements are strictly construed and that business risks identified during due diligence must be specifically addressed in the parties' contract.
  • Representation of a major international law firm in litigation that was instituted in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York where it was alleged by a non-client lender that the law firm issued a false and fraudulent opinion letter in connection with a secured loan transaction and then assisted its client in the formulation and implementation of certain fraudulent transfers in violation of the lender's rights
  • Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation, Inc. v. 29 East 64 th Street Corp., 297 A.D.2d 258, 746 N.Y.S.2d 482 (1st Dept., 2002). Representation of a cooperative corporation in a complex dispute with a commercial proprietary tenant regarding corporate governance issues and the imposition of sub-let fees
  • Irvine v. Murad Skin Research Laboratories, Inc., 194 F.3d 313 (1 st Cir. 1999). Representation of a manufacturer of skin care products in a dispute with a distributor in Puerto Rico that arose from the airing of an infomercial in Puerto Rico that allegedly violated the rights of the distributor and its principal
  • ADT Operations, Inc. v. Chase Manhattan Bank, N. A., 173 Misc. 2d 959, 662 N.Y. S. 2d 190 (N.Y. Sup. 1997). Represented ADT Operations, Inc. in a complex litigation that was commenced in the Commercial Division in connection with the attempted hostile takeover of ADT where it was alleged that Chase had a banking relationship with ADT and violated its obligations to ADT when it provided funding for the tender offer and other assistance to another customer
  • Bor Corp. v. ADT Automotive, Inc. (SDNY 1996). Represented ADT Automotive, Inc. in connection with purchase price adjustment claims arising from the acquisition of motor vehicle auction business
  • Matter of FBN Food Services, Inc., 82 F.3d 1387, 35 Collier Bankr.Cas.2d 1193, 29 Bankr.Ct.Dec. 29, 7 th Cir. (III.), May 02, 1996 and In re FBN Food Service, Inc., 175 B.R. 671, 32 Collier Bankr.Cas.2d 1316, Bankr.N.D.III., Dec 06, 1994. Representation of East River Savings Bank and its affiliates in the defense of RICO claims, a fraudulent conveyance action and related litigation in the Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the courts of the State of Illinois that arose from $7 million in loans made by East River Savings Bank to the operators of group of Taco Bell and Sizzler restaurants and the lender's subsequent participation in a mediation that was conducted in Chicago, Ill under the auspices of JAMS/Endispute
  • Hartz Mountain Corp. v. Allou Distributors, Inc., 173 A. D.2d 440, 570 N.Y.S.2d 66 (2 Dept. 1991). Representation of a manufacturer of pet supplies in dispute with a distributor concerning the sale of gray market goods.
  • Won one of the first cases in New York City that sustained the co-op flip tax.
  • U.S. v. Clinton Capital Corp., 748 F.Supp. 231 (S.D.N.Y. 1990). Representation of SBIC lender in receivership issues
  • Represented lenders and debtors in foreclosures/workouts in the New York State and Federal Courts involving hundreds of millions of dollars
  • Management Assistance Inc v. Edelman, 584 F. Supp. 1016 (SDNY 1984). Represented a client alleged to have violated Section 13(d) of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. The favorable decision was the first ruling by any court that a limited partner could be immune under the securities laws because of the limited liability that a limited partner has under New York Law.

Vincent Syracuse has or will serve as a speaker, moderator, event chair or panelist for the following events:

  • Ethics 101 for In-House Counsel | THSH CLE Program | October 21, 2014
  • Information Technology Law Institute 2014: Cybersecurity, Mobile Payments, Cloud Computing, Big Data and the Internet of Things | PLI Information Technology Law Institute |April 10, 2014
  • Nonparty Discovery in Commercial Litigation- Different Departments, Different Rules | Appellate Division Second Department | April 9, 2014
  • Basic Lessons on Ethics & Civility | NYSBA | April 25, 2014
  • What's New in Ethics and Civility | THSH CLE Program | December 3, 2013
  • Introductory Lessons on Ethics and Civility 2013 | NYSBA | April 26, 2013
  • Civility in Civil Practices – Update on the Rules of Civility and Tips for Deal with an Uncivil Adversary | NYWBA | January 16, 2013
  • Symposium on Ethics and Civility | NYSBA Commercial and Federal Litigation Section | May 18-20, 2012
  • Basic Lessons in Ethics and Civility in Every Day Lawyering 2012 | NYSBA CLE Program | April 20, 2012
  • Legal Ethics in an Electronic World | PLI Information Technology Law Institute | April 18, 2012
  • What's New in Ethics and Civility for 2012 | prNew York | March 15, 2012
  • How To Win (and Lose) an Injunction in New York State and Federal Court | Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Spring Meeting | May 23, 2010
  • Presentation of Report on Immigration Appeals in the Second Circuit to NYSBA House of Delegates and Executive Committee | New York State Bar Association | January 28 and 29, 2010
  • Presentation of Report on Sealing Documents in Business Litigation | NYSBA Executive Committee | January 28, 2010
  • Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Spring Meeting | May 1-3, 2009
  • Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Annual Meeting | January, 2008
  • Local Chair and Faculty Member of the NYSBA's MCLE program on ethics and civility in litigation | Spring 2013 | Spring 2012 | Spring 2011 | Spring 2010 | Spring 200 | Spring 2008 | Spring 2007 | Spring 2006 | Spring 2005 | Spring 2004 | Fall 2002 | Spring 2001 | Fall 1999 | Fall 1998
  • Deposition Practice and Practicalities in State and Federal Court | Fall 1997 | Fall 1995
  • Litigating a Commercial Case: A Comparison of Strategies in Federal and State Court Commercial and Federal Litigation Section | Spring 1996
  • The Commercial Parts: One Year Later | Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Annual Meeting | 1994
  • Introduction to Commodities Law | 1983
  • Law Clerk Videoconference On State Civil Procedure Rules Relevant to Federal Court Practice | Federal Bar Council | October 2003
  • Conversations With the Long Island Commercial Division | October 2006
  • Luncheon With the Justices of the Queens County Commercial Division | November 2006

Areas of Expertise:

  • Complex commercial litigation
  • Appellate practice
  • Corporate
  • Real estate
  • Law firm liability
  • Attorney malpractice
  • Professional responsibility
  • Lender liability
  • Staffing
  • Employment law matters

Education:

Law School:

  • Brooklyn Law School , 1969, J. D.

Honors:

  • Member, Brooklyn Law Review

College:

  • Brooklyn College, 1966, B.A.

Prior Affiliations:

  • Kaye Scholer LLP 1973-1979
  • Law Clerk to John F. Scileppi, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York 1970-1973
  • Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York (Appeals Bureau) 1969-1970
  • Arbitrator in the Civil Court of the City of New York and in the Prudential Securities litigation (SEC v. Prudential Securities Incorporated)

Memberships:

Professional:

  • Member, Independent Judicial Screening Panel of the Judiciary Committee of the New York County Democratic Party, 2013
  • Commissioner, the Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System, 2010-
  • Member of the New York County Advisory Committee for the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York
  • Member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Attorney Professionalism, 2010-
  • Member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Continuing Legal Education, 2012-
  • New York State Bar Association (Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Chair 2009-10, Chair-Elect 2008-2009, Vice Chair 2007-2008, Treasurer 2004-2007)
  • Member of the Executive Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, 1994-
  • Chair, Commercial Division Committee, 2003-08
  • Chair, Committee on Complex Civil Litigation, 1995-2003
  • Member, Committee on Business Torts, 1989
  • Member, Committee on Commodities and Futures Law, 1983-1985)
  • The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, (Member, Committee on the State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction, 1985-1988)
  • American Bar Association (Member, Litigation and Dispute Resolution Sections)
  • Federal Bar Council
  • Nassau County Bar Association
  • Respect for Law Alliance (Member of the Board of Directors and Vice President for Membership)

Civic:

  • Trustee and Deputy Mayor of the Incorporated Village of Munsey Park, Manhasset, NY, 1994-2006
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of Mitchell College, New London CT, 2004-

Others:

  • Member, Manhasset Bay Yacht Club

Bar Admissions:

  • New York State
  • United States District Courts
  • Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals Second and Seventh Circuits
  • United States Tax Court
  • United States Supreme Court

Award Recognitions:

  • Super Lawyers: 2006 - 2013
  • Super Lawyers: Top 100 Lawyers in New York Metro 2013
  • Martindale-Hubbell: AV Pre-eminent Rating
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