Robert J. HowardOf Counsel
During his 20 year career, Mr. Howard has successfully litigated and defended numerous cases in federal and state court, and has achieved successful results in arbitration and mediation involving a wide range of areas, including complex business disputes, corporate litigation, partnership and LLC disputes, dissolutions, real estate contracts and mortgage foreclosures, banking litigation, fraud, bankruptcy litigation, employment disputes, class actions, construction matters, and commercial lease disputes.
Before entering private practice, he was an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the New York City Law Department, Commercial and Real Estate Litigation Division, where he represented and advised institutional and municipal clients on capital project litigation and administrative policy.
Mr. Howard has a B.A. in economics, with honors, from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He received his J.D., with honors, from Touro College Law School. He is admitted to the Bars in the State of New York, the U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts, and the United States Court of Federal Claims.
Representative matters include:
In a decision published by the New York Law Journal as the “Decision of the Day,” successfully advocated for the novel expansion of the doctrine of equitable subrogation to the owner and developer of a condominium and golf course regarding the payment rights of a municipality under a payment and performance bond given to the municipality by a subcontractor-excavator. Hamlet at Willow Creek Dev. Co., LLC v. North East Land Dev. Corp., 64 A.D.3d 85, 878 N.Y.S.2d 97 (2d Dept. 2009);
Successfully appealed in the Appellate Division, Second Department, from a lower court order which erroneously denied a motion to vacate a million dollar default judgment against a commercial construction and public improvement contractor. Berardi Stone Setting, Inc. v Stonewall Contr. Corp., 170 A.D.3d 934, 96 N.Y.S.3d 318 (2d Dept. 2019);
Successfully obtained the dismissal and affirmance on appeal in the Appellate Division, First Department, of a complaint demanding the return of a contract downpayment, and seeking damages for misconduct against the escrow agent, pursuant to the terms of the contracted mortgage contingency clause and conditional right to cancel. Shi v. Alexandratos, 137 A.D.3d 451, 26 N.Y.S.3d 523 (1st Dept. 2016);
Successfully represented the minority Members and Managers to force the buy-out of an interest in a domestic Limited Liability Company licensed to grow and sell medical marijuana in the State of New York following the wrongful freeze out merger with a publicly traded company by the majority Members and Managers.
Advocated for the reversal of an order confirming a referee’s report and granting a deficiency judgment against a commercial mortgagor in a foreclosure action where the mortgagee failed to establish, prima facie, the market value of the property at the time of the auction sale. N.Y. Commercial Bank v. 18 RVC, LLC, 134 A.D.3d 787, 20 N.Y.S.3d 633 (2d Dept. 2015);
Obtained the dismissal and affirmance on appeal of an action seeking specific performance of a commercial real estate contract and granting the vacatur of a Notice of Pendency on the grounds that the purchaser failed to appear for the closing on the stipulated law day, and a proposed modification extending the time to close title had not been finalized or agreed to by the buyer and seller. Sutphin Mgmt. Corp. v. REP 755 Real Estate, LLC, 73 A.D.3d 738, 900 N.Y.S.2d 428, 430 (2d Dept. 2010);
In an action by a military weapons subcontractor against a commercial bank for breach of customer account agreement requiring “two signatures” from the contractor and subcontractor for the purpose of protecting the subcontractor’s right to payment, obtained the reversal of a lower court order in the Appellate Division, Second Department, and secured summary judgment in favor of the subcontractor based on the bank’s “gross negligence” based on the bank’s failure to “exercise even slight care” or exercise “slight diligence” in its role as custodian when it permitted the contractor to make unilateral withdrawals without the consent of the subcontractor. DRS Optronics, Inc. v. N. Fork Bank, 43 A.D.3d 982, 843 N.Y.S.2d 124 (2d Dept. 2007); and
Successfully settled and obtained the discharge of a residential mortgage for less than half of the mortgagee’s demand based the bank having failed to follow proper procedure.