Sahn Ward was proud to be a sponsor of the Vision Long Island Smart Growth Summit, which was held on December 1 at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. Over 1,000 people, including elected officials, attended. The event featured 20 topics and approximately 130 speakers discussing topics related to housing development, pedestrian safety, downtown revitalization, and infrastructure investment.
Adam H. Koblenz, a Member of the Firm, and Associate Joseph D. Brees discuss issues that arise when small business co-owners decide to part ways. It can be a difficult process and often leads to litigation.
Michael H. Sahn, the Firm’s Managing Member, had a conversation with Partner Joshua Brookstein, Senior Counsel Eugene Martin, and Associates Chris DeNicola, Stelios Karatzias, Emili Klom, and Alexis Majano about their roles as mentors to elementary and middle school students throughout Nassau County.
Danielé D. De Voe, a Partner with the Firm, has been named as one of the 2023 Power Women of Long Island by Schneps Media. Power Women of Long Island honors those fearless females who make Long Island the thriving and vibrant place it is to work, live and do business. A ceremony honoring Ms. De Voe will take place on Tuesday, November 14 at Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury, starting at 6 p.m.
Elisabetta T. Coschignano and John L. Parker, Partners with the Firm, and Michael H. Sahn, the Firm’s Managing Member, coordinated a joint committee meeting at the Nassau County Bar Association’s (NCBA) headquarters on October 25th to discuss best practices in compliance with SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act).
The Firm was proud to sponsor this year’s Land Use Training Program for Municipal Planning and Zoning Officials, which was held on October 20 at The Wilbur F. Breslin Center for Real Estate Studies at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. Members of the Firm attended the program.
The Catholic Lawyers Guild of Nassau County and the Diocese of Rockville Centre presented Robert A. Abiuso, a Partner with the Firm, with the Denis Dillon “Apparitor Fidelis” Award during the Red Mass and Dinner at Chaminade High School on October 16.
Michael H. Sahn Esq., Managing Member of Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz Coschignano PLLC, and Partner Joshua D. Brookstein guided Jonis Realty in obtaining a special use permit and variances from the Village of Roslyn Board of Trustees and the Board of Zoning Appeals to open a Van Leeuwen Ice Cream store in the Village. The store will be located at 1382 Northern Blvd. and will bring the famous Van Leeuwen ice cream, whose products can be found in scoop shops and grocery stores nationwide, to local residents while promising to be a great new addition for Village families.
Ah, the pursuit of love and companionship is one many embark on. As ABC and its beloved “Bachelor” series has most recently capitalized on, this quest is not just for the young, but for the young at heart, at any age. Yet, when there is a marriage later in life, the financial considerations are often different as there are likely other factors involved in the overall marital situation – such as complying with the financial requirements of a prior divorce decree, or making provisions for adult children and/or grandchildren, or addressing how health care decisions are to be made or ensuring what happens if one spouse passes away before the other.
Michael H. Sahn, Managing Member with Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz Coschignano, PLLC, wrote an article entitled “With the House At Stake, NY’s Redistricting War Rages” for the October 16th issue of InnovateLI. In the article, Mr. Sahn explains how the Republicans and the Democrats each want the congressional district map drawn to favor their candidates in the next congressional election.
Fifteen attorneys from the Firm were recognized by Super Lawyers for 2023. Super Lawyers is an exclusive list, with no more than 5% of the attorneys in the state being chosen. All four Managing Members of the Firm were selected, including the Managing Member, seven Partners, one Associate, two Counsel Attorneys and one honored as a Rising Star.
Danny De Voe, Esq. of Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz Coschignano PLLC wrote about a recent NLRB decision, McLaren Macomb, that places strict limits on the use of non-disparagement clauses in an employment context. With some exceptions, employers will now need to narrowly tailor their non-disparagement agreements, to curtail only speech that is “made with knowledge of their falsity or with reckless disregard for their truth or falsity.” The decision also does not cover employees who are exempt from NLRA protections, such as employees in a supervisory position.
Firm Associate Stelios E. Karatzias attended the Hellenic Lawyers Association Judiciary Night. The event honored and recognized the contributions of Helen Voutsinas, Associate Justice, New York State Appellate Division, Second Department.
As a member of the Hellenic Lawyers Association, Mr. Karatzias is committed to strengthening his connection, and that of his peers, within the Hellenic community.
Wayne G. Edwards, a Partner with the Firm, and Eugene J. Martin, the Firm’s Senior Counsel, represented affiliates of Ben Elias Industries Corp. in connection with the sale of ten industrial buildings in Inwood, Nassau County, totaling 500,000 square feet near John F. Kennedy International Airport to a private investment firm.
Mr. Edwards and Mr. Martin successfully guided the seller in closing the transaction on August 22, 2023 — less than 90 days from the execution of the purchase and sale agreement
“Eugene and I are proud to close this significant transaction,” Mr. Edwards said. “The most fulfilling moment of the closing was how happy our client was when it closed and thanked us for our representation.”
SWBK Partner Danny D. De Voe, Esq. sponsored Associate Emili Kilom,Esq. to be admitted to the Federal Bar during a special ceremony held at U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York on August 16, 2023. Ms. Kilom was sworn in by U.S. Magistrate Judge James Wicks. Ms. Kilom’s ceremony had special meaning to Ms. De Voe as it was held in the courtroom of the late Honorable Arthur D. Spatt where Ms. De Voe tried her first-ever federal court case.
Thomas McKevitt, Counsel Attorney with the Firm, wrote an article “I Have a Park to Sell You” for the September 2023 issue of Nassau Lawyer. In the article, he examines the challenges that may arise from selling parkland to another entity.
Since parkland is owned by a local government, Mr. McKevitt said, it is considered public land and the sale of parkland is not an easy process. Selling a public property to a private owner may require the drafting and passage of state legislation, but that produces problems of its own, either because one of the state legislators does not agree with the sale, or the governor will veto the bill.
John Parker, a Partner with the Firm who leads the Firm’s Environmental, Energy and Resources Practice Group, published an article titled “Summer of 2023: Long Island Reacts to the Impacts of Changing Climate” in the September 2023 issue of Nassau Lawyer.
In the article, Mr. Parker noted the impact of climate change was felt on Long Island and New York during the Canadian wildfires. He also discussed how the state’s passage of the Community Leadership and Climate Protection Act will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and push the state towards renewable energy. However, the installation of these alternative energy systems are running into issues such as siting and permitting issues, environmental issues, community concerns and costs.
Michael H. Sahn, the Managing Member of the Firm, and Firm Associate Meaghan Hassan wrote “Leveraging The Power of AI: A Municipal and Land Use Attorney’s Guide to Enhanced Efficiency and Effectiveness” for the September 2023 issue of Nassau Lawyer.
Mr. Sahn and Ms. Hassan explained how artificial intelligence (AI) can be beneficial to municipal and land use attorneys because of its predictive analysis that can provide numerous results from land use scenarios. It can also save time in the due diligence process. However, they reminded their readers that AI is not a substitute for legal expertise.
Mr. McCabe concentrates his practice on civil and commercial litigation and appeals, municipal law and legislative practice and real estate law and transactions. He has litigated hundreds of cases in state and federal courts involving complex issues of law. He also has substantial experience litigating cases involving administrative and municipal proceedings and construction contract disputes, including mediation and arbitration proceedings. Mr. McCabe also has vast experience in real estate transactions and the complexity of contractual negotiations.
Michael H. Sahn, Managing Member with the firm, published the article “The Climate’s Already Changed. Will LI Land-Use Laws?” in the August 11th issue of InnovateLI. In the article, Mr. Sahn writes, with higher temperatures, rising sea levels and more greenhouse gas emissions, Long Island should come up with a climate-change plan while preserving Long Island’s quality of life.
Partner John Farrell secured an approval for financial assistance from the Nassau County IDA for Gesher Center LLC. Gesher Center is proposing a major redevelopment of a property on Middle Neck Road in the Village of Great Neck. The project includes the demolition of seven rundown and outdated structures and replacing them with a new 60-unit apartment complex. The facility will have a full-time doorman and amenities including a gym, community room, storage facilities for residents and parking for 90 vehicles. As part of the Nassau IDA approval, the project will also include nine units of workforce housing.
Alexis Majano, an Associate with the Firm, received the “30 Under 30” award from Long Island Business News at a special ceremony at The Mansion at Oyster Bay on August 8. Mr. Majano concentrates his practice on corporate law, real estate law, transactions and land use and zoning.
The 30 Under 30 Awards honor the bright and dynamic young professionals who are under the age of 30, who contribute to the Long Island community through public service and who have made significant strides in business.
Meaghan Hassan, a new associate with Sahn Ward, was admitted as an attorney in New York State on July 27. Sahn Ward hosted Ms. Hassan, her family and colleagues from the Firm as she took the oath for her admission.
Almost every day, there are impaired-driving reports, DWI accidents, more carnage. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 37 people die every day in the United States in drunk-driving-related automobile accidents, while here in New York, roughly one-third of all vehicular crash-related fatalities involve drunk drivers. In 2019, there were 307 alcohol-impaired driving fatalities across the state –with 21 of those victims under the age of 21.
Construction of a new, 20,000 square foot Athletic and Wellness Center at Portledge School and other improvements to the School’s approximately 60-acre campus are underway. Firm attorneys, Michael Sahn, Joseph Bjarnson, and Elisabetta Coschignano, were privileged to collaborate with Head of School Simon Owen-Williams, Board of Trustees President Mary-Ellen “Mel” Mooney, Board Vice-President Lindsey Barnett and other School representatives, and a talented development team of design and construction professionals to obtain approvals and permits from the Village of Matinecock Board of Zoning Appeals and other agencies for this terrific new addition to the campus. The AWC will contain a gymnasium, fitness center, locker room facilities, classrooms, and office space. Associated improvements include new parking facilities, an interior roadway system to more safely serve the School’s needs, significant landscaping with berms, and repositioned athletic fields.
Firm attorneys, led by Jon Ward and Elisabetta Coschignano, are representing East Hampton homeowners opposed to new pickleball courts in a Village of East Hampton park adjacent to their homes. The proposed courts would disturb the quiet use and enjoyment of their homes. The Village has now stated that it has no current plans for pickleball in the Park. We are continuing our efforts for the homeowners in case the Village’s plans change.
Wayne Edwards and Eugene Martin guided our client in purchasing the Westlake Marina in Montauk. This was a complex $14,000,000.00 transaction that involved acquiring 104-boat slips, a waterfront restaurant that can seat up to 100 people, two apartments, a house, and an office.
We were proud to be named a Top Long Island Law Firm and our Member and Partner, Adam H. Koblenz, was named as Top Lawyers of Long Island in the area of litigation, by Richner Communications, Inc./ The Herald Community Newspapers.
We were honored to sponsor the VIP Reception at the Nassau County Bar Association Annual Gala Dinner, and to participate with the distinguished recipients in recognizing their dedicated service to the legal profession.
On May 12, 2022, the New York City Human Rights Law was amended to require pay transparency in job advertisements effective November 1, 2022. Governor Kathy Hochul followed suit on December 22, 2022, when she signed into law New York State’s new Pay Transparency Law.
In January, the Judicial Committee of New York State Senate failed to approve Governor Hochul's nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle, the Presiding Justice of the Second Department of the Appellate Division, to be the next Chief Judge of the State of New York. The following month, the full Senate rejected LaSalle by a margin of thirty-nine to twenty. This is the first time in the state's history that the New York Senate has rejected a governor's nomination to New York's highest court.
We are pleased to announce that on April 26, 2023, John Parker, who leads our Environmental, Energy and Resources practice will convene an event entitled Meeting the Challenges of New York’s Energy Future, A Discussion with Key Sectors of the New Energy Economy, as Chair of the Annual Legislative Forum of the Environmental and Energy Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The Earth Week Forum will bring together Government leaders, Legislative leaders, and industry experts to discuss progress on meeting the State’s clean energy commitments, the practical challenges of an energy system in transformation, and will look at energy and environmental law issues facing our communities as the transition moves forward.
In a haunting scene from 1968’s iconic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” sentient computer HAL 9000 turns off two astronauts’ life-support systems so it can assume command of their spacecraft. Here in 2023, just the start of the real-life generative artificial intelligence era, the sentient computers are taking it a little slower – though machine-learning systems such as ChatGPT, Sparrow and Microsoft’s VALL-E already have impressive cognitive capabilities that allow them to make decisions, control data access, conduct surveillance and replicate human voices. To think.
The governor is now proposing to build 800,000 new homes in the next 10 years, part of a statewide strategy she calls “The New York Housing Compact.” This would double the number of units built in the last decade.
In 2022, the governor proposed overriding single-family zoning laws to promote affordable housing and permit accessory dwelling units in single-family dwellings, or in separate buildings on the same lot as single-family homes, to end what the governor called “restrictive” zoning laws perpetuating segregated communities and blocking new construction needed to address statewide housing shortages.
In her 2023 State of the State message, Gov. Kathy Hochul rekindled the debate on accessory dwelling units and affordable housing, which she sparked last year.
Are you a car enthusiast? Do you love corvettes? Have you seen the docuseries “The Lost Corvettes”? Well, if you love cars, especially corvettes, the owners of Dream Car Restorations will want your dreams to come true. Recently, the Town of Oyster Bay Town Board approved a Special Use Permit for Firm Client, Dream Car Restorations Inc., to operate a boutique car restoration operation in the Town of Oyster Bay. Dream Car Restorations is a very special operation that gave back to the community of veterans in our country when undertaking to restore 36 Corvettes that were abandoned since 1989 after a sweepstakes giving them away to one winner. The Corvettes turned hands several times, first to a German Artist and then to a group of investors. Over the years, the Corvettes were stored in a New York City garage and deteriorated significantly. The original cars dated back to 1953 when the first Corvette was produced, and the winner received one corvette for each year thereafter until 1989 totaling 36 Corvettes. Dream Car Restorations was called in to assess the Corvettes and what it would take to restore them to their original condition...some vehicles took 40-50 hours of labor to restore and some took upwards of 4000 hours but to Chris Mazzilli, one of the owners of Dream Cars, this was a labor of love. Once restored, the cars and their restoration became part of a Docuseries entitled “The Lost Corvettes” and a sweepstakes was held to give away all 36 Corvettes to 36 different winners this time. The proceeds of the sweepstakes went to charity to benefit United States Veterans through the National Guard and Stand for the Troops. Now that our application to the Town of Oyster Bay Town Board for a Special Use Permit was granted, Dream Cars will operate in their new location restoring all types of Dream Cars…incidentally you may want to stay tuned on Discovery+app for some more special cars restored and worked on by Dream Cars for the Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr….Downey’s Dream Cars is set to air later this year.
The electricity market is being transformed. It involves solar and wind power but it also includes battery energy storage systems to ensure reliability and cost effectiveness.
In 2019, the Community Leadership and Climate Protection Act set ambitious climate change goals in New York state law. Among the legal mandates is a 40% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 and an 85% reduction by 2050. The law requires that 70% of the State’s energy is to come from renewable energy sources by 2030, and 100% emission free electricity by 2040. The law also required 3 gigawatts of energy storage by 2030. For context, a single gigawatt is about equivalent to two coal fired powerplants and can power 750,000 homes. The state’s Climate Action Council is developing plans to achieve these substantial reductions. It completed its final scoping plan in December 2022. At the same time, the State has denied new permits for three fossil fuel power plants.
The FTC has proposed a new rule that will end most Non-Compete Agreements. Non-Compete Agreements have existed for hundreds of years. The first known case challenging the enforceability of a Non-Compete Agreement was the Dyer Case in 1414 wherein John Dyer, an apprentice, promised his master tradesman that he would not work in the town for six months after his training. Although the judge refused to enforce the Non-Compete Agreement, it was only because the master tradesman failed to show up at the hearing. The first reported decision upholding the enforceability of Non-Compete Agreements came in 1621. Our current standard for enforceability came in a decision handed down in 1711 which stated that a Non-Compete Agreement would only be enforced if it was limited in time, scope and geography.
2022 was a year of growth and achievement for the New York City Land Use and Development Practice Group, despite developing softness in the market. Member and Partner, Daniel Braff, with the assistance of associate, Christopher DeNicola, as well as the Firm’s Real Estate Practice Group, represented purchasers and developers as land use counsel in connection with several high-profile transactions in New York City. The group was zoning counsel to the developer of two hotels totaling over 200k square feet near JFK airport in connection with the refinancing of loans of nearly $100M; represented the developer of a 45,000 square foot vacant site in Brooklyn in connection with the acquisition of the property, financing of nearly $100M, and permitting for a new over 250,000 square foot mixed-used building; acted as zoning counsel in connection with the $50M acquisition of a shuttered hotel and development rights from an adjoining property in Queens; and conducted extensive zoning due diligence on behalf of a national real estate company for the purchase of a 38-story partially constructed hotel in Midtown, among others.
Once again, Sahn Ward Braff Koblenz Coschignano, PLLC was a supporting sponsor of this year's Marcum Workplace Challenge, which was held on July 25 at Jones Beach State Park. A large contingent of the Firm took part in the 3.5-mile run/walk.
Approximately 5,100 participants from more than 120 local companies were in attendance. Participating organizations included businesses, non-profits and governmental agencies, representing almost every industry in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. Proceeds from the event went to benefit the Long Island Children's Museum, Children's Medical Fund of New York, Long Island Cares, Inc. — The Harry Chapin Food Bank and The Nassau County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Since its inception, the Marcum Workplace Challenge has raised over $1.2 million.