Bruce H. LedermanPartner
Bruce H. Lederman is the head of the firm's litigation practice. Mr. Lederman has extensive trial and appellate experience before both the Federal and New York State Courts. He handles all aspects of commercial litigation. He has particular expertise in construction disputes, mechanic's liens, real estate contract enforcement and down payment disputes, real estate title issues, brokerage, employee restrictive covenant issues and intellectual property cases.
At the appellate level, in 2015, Mr. Lederman obtained a determination by the Appellate Division, First Department, that the sponsor of a newly built condominium is not under any duty to sell all units and may retain rental units within the condominium building, as well as a decision that a condominium purchaser waived its right to rescission by later entering into a renovation agreement which reaffirmed the original purchase agreement. In 2015, Mr. Lederman also obtained a reversal from the Appellate Division, First Department, dismissing claims against a condominium sponsor for alleged errors in a condominium offering plan. In 2013, Mr. Lederman obtained a modification of the law from the New York State Court of Appeals in an important case involving priority of mechanics' liens over consolidated acquisition and construction financing. Also, in 2013, Mr. Lederman obtained a reversal from the Appellate Division, First Department, in a case where the City of New York had improperly denied a developer 421-a tax benefits valued at approximately $3 million. In 2012, Mr. Lederman successfully obtained a unanimous reversal by the New York State Court of Appeals of an Article 78 proceeding where the New York State Department of Labor improperly attempted to hold a general contractor liable for the unpaid wages owed by a subcontractor. In 2011, Mr. Lederman argued a major case before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in a landmark case involving the Interstate Land Sales Act. Mr. Lederman has also successfully argued a wide variety of other appeals involving specific performance and down payment disputes for real estate contracts, mechanic's liens, foreclosures and other business related issues.
At the trial level, Mr. Lederman has extensive experience arguing complex motions, trying cases and appearing in arbitrations. In 2014, Mr. Lederman through an Article 78 proceeding successfully challenged a New York City agency's determination denying a developer's entitlement to valuable J-51 tax benefits, which had a long term projected value of $2.4 million. In 2013, Mr. Lederman obtained summary judgment (which was later affirmed by the Appellate Division) dismissing finder's fee claims of over $6 million against the New York City Regional Center in connection with EB-5 financing of the Brooklyn Navy Yard, Steiner Studios and Barclay's Arena. In trials and hearings, Mr. Lederman has successfully represented an employee at a trial involving unpaid wages and counterclaims for breach of fiduciary duties, a flooring contractor in the foreclosure of a mechanic's lien and counterclaims of defective installations, numerous private property owners in enforcement of contracts and restrictive covenants issues and various manufacturers and retailers in trademark and copyright disputes.
Mr. Lederman has recently submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States representing public school teachers in the case Friedrichs v. California Teachers, which involves funding of public employee unions and is considered one of the most important cases before the high court in 2016. Mr. Lederman is also presently counsel in an Article 78 proceeding challenging whether the way the State of New York began rating teachers in 2012 was arbitrary and capricious. That case has been subject of feature pieces in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Albany Times Union, as well as CBS and Al Jazerra nightly news.
Other notable cases involve the successful recovery for a client of over $6 million from a major law firm after an associate attorney embezzled funds from the firm's escrow account and fled the country. In that case, Mr. Lederman closely coordinated with the New York District Attorney to extradite the attorney back to the United States, where he was sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison. In 2008, Mr. Lederman represented a large group of victims of an $80 million mortgage fraud ponzi scheme and acted as special real estate counsel to the creditor's committee in the bankruptcy case involving the liquidation of a portfolio of over 20 properties for the benefit of the defrauded creditors and investors. In that case, Mr. Lederman also coordinated with the United States Attorney resulting in the perpetrators being sentenced to over five years in prison.
On the transactional side, Mr. Lederman has represented numerous developers in the acquisition and sale of multi-family properties, with both traditional and private placement financing. Mr. Lederman has closed many individual properties as well as large portfolio refinances (involving up to approximately $100 million), including securitized and Fannie Mae transactions and defeasance transactions. In 2007, Mr. Lederman represented the seller of the East Harlem Portfolio, one of the largest residential portfolio sales in Harlem's history, consisting of 49 separate properties with a combined sales price in excess of $200 million.
Mr. Lederman's clients include First American Title Insurance Co., Old Republic Title Insurance, Royal Abstract, The Moinian Group, Sackman Enterprises, The RE Group (the Kessner Family), C&K Properties (Meir Cohen and Ben Korman), El Ad Properties, Dabby Investments (Roni Ben-Dov), Dennis Herman, L&M Development, Simone Development, Haruvi Holdings, Richard Maidman, ODA Architecture (Eran Chen), O&D Builders (Nick DeSarno) and toy manufacturer Kids of America/Magic Power Company. Early in his career, Mr. Lederman represented Louis Vuitton in trademark counterfeiting cases and Mitsubishi Motors in product liability cases.
Mr. Lederman has written articles about time of the essence and closing issues which have appeared in the New York State Bar Association Journal as well as articles on condominium sponsor liability and mechanic's liens which have appeared in Real Estate Weekly and federal preemption articles that appeared in the New York Law Journal. He has given CLE lectures for the New York State Bar Association on real estate contracts and on construction defect litigation. He has also give CLE lectures on mechanic's liens for First American Title Insurance Co.
J.D., New York University, 1984
Executive Editor, The Review of Law and Social Change
B.A., University of Pennsylvania, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, 1981
B.S.E., University of Pennsylvania, The Wharton School of Business, 1981
Bar AdmissionsNew York State Bar, 1985
New Jersey State Bar, 1985
United States District Courts, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1985
United States District Court, District of New Jersey, 1985
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Supreme Court of the United States
PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONSNew York State Bar Association
Member of the Construction Law Subcommittee of the Real Estate Property Section