Practice Areas

Transportation Liability

Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC is a recognized leader in the automobile transportation industry. Our transportation/automotive liability group has represented transportation companies, municipalities and their employees in a countless number of accident claims involving trucks, buses, ambulettes and private vehicles. Along with consistently obtaining excellent results through litigation, we have also advised clients with respect to minimizing future losses, better risk management and as to their insurance needs.

Our close working relationship with insurance companies and their insureds is unparalleled. For example, we are immediately notified upon the occurrence of a potentially high exposure accident, and are at the scene within hours of the accident, and sometime minutes. By becoming thoroughly involved in the accident from the onset, we are able to more accurately predict outcomes, mitigate exposures and protect the interests of the insurers and insureds.

Securities Compliance

With the recent passages of new laws and financial turmoil and scandals, the securities regulatory landscape has become more complex with greater consequences for noncompliance. In today’s emphasis on enforcement, businesses need sophisticated representation to assist them in navigating the ever changing regulatory environment. We at Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC have the sophistication, resources and experience to provide clients with clear guidance on a wide range of securities compliance issues.

We advise clients in the latest regulatory changes and in timely fulfilling their reporting and disclosure requirements mandated by the SEC, states, FINRA and exchanges. We regularly assist clients in securities matters such as:

  • Preparing annual, quarterly and other Exchange Act reports
  • Insider trading rules, liabilities and reporting requirements
  • Preparing proxy statements
  • Preparing registration statements and private placement documents

If a client, including those in the securities industry, encounters securities related problems with investors, customers, regulators or shareholders, we protect our client’s interests in civil litigations, FINRA arbitrations and administrative proceedings.

Real Estate & Construction Litigation

Our attorneys’ extensive experience regarding all aspects of real estate development has been instrumental in helping to resolve disputes and avoid litigation where possible, and in successfully litigating where necessary, all in a cost effective way.  Partnering with the firm’s real estate group and backed by our broad-based industry knowledge, we provide clients the advantages of our wide-ranging experience to develop strategic approaches and innovative solutions.

Our experience extends to all phases of the life cycle of a real estate project.  We have assisted clients in defeating efforts by community groups and others seeking to impede or delay development, in enforcing or defeating enforcement of preliminary agreements (such as letters of intent) between joint venturers in real estate development, and in enforcing or defeating enforcement of rights of first offer and first refusal.  We regularly assist real estate investors; owners; developers and sponsors of co-operative, condominium and other residential and commercial real estate developments; general contractors and construction managers; subcontractors; architects; and engineers in a wide variety of matters that arise before, during and after the completion of the development process.

In short, our attorneys have extensive and valuable experience in handling litigation and arbitration  arising out of disputes relating to the following:

  • Real property development
  • Construction and mechanic’s liens
  • Condominium and co-operative offering plans, the New York Martin Act and the Interstate Land Sales Full Disclosure Act
  • Adverse possession, easements, air rights and land use
  • Real estate brokerage
  • Land sales
  • Real estate lending
  • Real property workouts and other restructuring
  • Property management
  • Commercial leasing

Notable representative real estate and construction litigation matters handled by the firm’s attorneys include:

  • In a leading case (Brown v. Cara, 420 F. 3d 148 (2d Cir. 2005)) concerning enforcement of preliminary agreements for real estate development, represented interests of property owner and real estate developer in defeating enforcement of a memorandum of understanding with another developer which created a joint venture to develop real property, enabling development of a 230-unit condominium by our client.
  • Represented a contractor and its surety against the NYC School Construction Authority in an action seeking damages for the improper termination of the contractor from a school construction project.  A settlement with the SCA was reached shortly before trial, pursuant to which the contractor and the surety received $7.75 million.
  • Successfully defended commercial property owner against claims of fraud, mutual mistake, negligent misrepresentation and commercial impossibility in action for refund of downpayment in failed $50 million real estate sale.
  • Successfully defended the architect of the Chelsea Piers Sport and Entertainment Complex against defective design claims in a third-party action brought by the structural engineer at the project.  The case was settled with no contribution from the client.
  • Successfully defended developer against multiple attempts by community organizations in federal and state courts to halt construction of a Manhattan affordable housing development.
  • Successfully represented the interests of a real estate developer of a luxury condominium and the general contractor in an arbitration against claims for payment by a subcontractor, resulting in denial of any award for the subcontractor and a substantial award of damages for faulty construction in favor of our client.
  • Successfully represented commercial landlord in a federal court dispute with its tenant, obtaining summary judgment directing the tenant to participate in an appraisal proceeding to determine the fair market rental of a lease renewal term.
  • Successfully represented a contractor in connection with construction disputes arising out of exterior restoration of a New York courthouse.  Following a six-day trial, the jury rendered a verdict rejecting the claims asserted by the general contractor and another subcontractor, and awarding virtually all the damages sought by the client.
  • Successfully represented the construction manager in an arbitration involving disputes arising out of the construction of the Chambers Hotel in Manhattan.  After sixteen days of hearings before the American Arbitration Association, the Arbitrator denied the owner’s counterclaim in its entirety and awarded all the construction management fees sought by the client.
  • Successfully represented an architect in an arbitration arising out of a dispute with the owner of a luxury condominium.  After eight days of hearings before the American Arbitration Association, the Arbitrator denied the owner’s counterclaim in its entirety and awarded almost all the architectural fees the client had sought.

Real Estate

The real estate practice at Silverman Shin & Byrne offers comprehensive client service across the spectrum of business needs: land acquisition and development, cooperative and condominium development and conversions, construction and financing, commercial and industrial leasing, purchase and sale transactions, development rights (“air rights”) transfers, joint ventures and litigation support.

Our firm’s real estate clients include owners, developers, property management companies, contractors, brokers and investors, as well as businesses and corporations of all sizes in need of advice about particular real estate transactions or disputes.

Our lean staffing and focus on results can help ensure prompt and cost-effective representation throughout the engagement.

Our clients benefit from our experience and professional approach to such situations as:

  • Office or retail lease agreements or renewal issues
  • Condominium and cooperative development and conversions
  • Brokerage issues
  • Ownership structuring
  • Joint ventures
  • Operating and partnership agreements
  • Development for industrial, commercial or institutional uses
  • Residential development, sales and leasing
  • Insurance and liability issues
  • Construction and permanent financing
  • Section 1031 like-kind exchanges
  • Development (“air rights”) transfers

Commercial real estate clients benefit as well from our litigation and dispute resolution capacity. Whether you need to hold another party to its contractual commitments or defend current land uses before a local zoning board, our trial attorneys can protect your interests in court, agency hearings or private arbitration.

Premises Liability

The professionals at Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC has represented real estate developers, municipalities, co-op boards, building owners, retail businesses, restaurant owners and managing agents in a wide variety of matters including trip and falls, building security issues, lead paint, property damage, food-borne illnesses and “sick building” cases.

Our attorneys have vast experience in servicing this diverse set of clients and meeting their individual needs and expectations. By rejecting a cookie cutter approach to these matters, we consistently achieve excellent results while protecting our clients’ business relationships and reputations.

Mergers and Acquisitions

The professionals of Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC have extensive experience in a full range of merger and acquisition transactions of all sizes.  The breadth of our practice areas and multi-industry representations allows us to provide a client with resources unmatched by our peers, while our intimate understanding of a client’s business enables us to focus on achieving the unique goals and needs of our client in a pragmatic way.

We represent private and public, financial and strategic, buyers, sellers and other stakeholders in mergers, acquisitions, divestures and spin-offs in industries from technology to transportation and from manufacturing to media.  We provide invaluable advice in structuring both stock and asset acquisitions and divestures, and assist clients in the initial negotiations through the successful execution of the transaction.

The more complex the transaction might be, the more our clients stand to benefit from our experience with substantive issues, due diligence and documentation.  We advise clients on the details of such fine-grained considerations as management, regulatory risks, contingent liabilities, employment matters, environmental problems and other factors beyond the balance sheet that will determine if the acquisition will succeed.  If selling a business or spinning off a subsidiary, we help our clients avoid risks and solve problems related to disclosure obligations, buyer’s financial strength and future relationships, if any, with the enterprise after the divesture.

Insurance Law

The Insurance Law Department of Silverman Shin & Byrne provides a variety of client tailored insurance coverage, claims and defense services to insurance carriers, transportation companies, third party administrators, real estate developers, construction companies, insurance agents and brokers, professionals, other businesses and individuals.

We are results oriented, but firmly believe that excellence cannot be achieved without a thorough understanding of our clients’ needs.   That understanding can only be gained though listening and maintaining open lines of communication.

Our collective experience in handling matters involving automotive liability, construction defect and accident claims, insurance coverage, premises liability, professional liability, municipal liability, workers compensation and cyber liability allows us to provide a level of predictability as to the outcome of claims.

As trial attorneys, we take pride in our readiness and ability to cost effectively litigate serious and complex claims.  The plaintiffs’ Bar is on notice that Silverman Shin & Byrne is always prepared to proceed to trial and appeal, and that we will not recommend settlement without good reason and sound judgment.  This reputation enhances our ability to resolve claims within established reserves and obtain beneficial results.

Our practice areas within the insurance law department include:

Insurance Coverage

Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC’s  insurance coverage group is well positioned to handle and resolve a wide variety of insurance matters.  Our attorneys have experience in matters involving various insurance lines, including commercial general liability, professional liability, property and casualty, automobile liability, officers and directors liability, business interruption, employment practices liability and fiduciary liability, and have litigated coverage disputes in state and federal courts nationwide.

The firm is experienced in handling and monitoring insurance coverage issues involving construction accidents and disputes, bad faith, business interruption, class actions, products liability and shareholder derivative actions.  In addition, our lawyers have handled matters relating to claims against attorneys, real estate brokers and agents, accountants, mortgage brokers, architects, engineers, computer consultants, securities brokers, directors and officers and manufacturers.

We are often asked by insurance companies and third-party administrators to provide insurance coverage opinions.  And, often asked by our corporate clients to assess their insurance programs and comment on any perceived weaknesses.  In this regard, our attorneys work with the client’s insurance broker in reviewing and drafting insurance binders, coverage forms and endorsements to make sure that the client is receiving the intended coverage

By utilizing all of its resources to understand each client’s business, Silverman Shin & Byrne is uniquely qualified to assist clients on a cost-effective basis from implementation of an insurance program through inception of a claim, coverage analysis and ultimately litigation.

Estate Planning & Administration

Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC offers a full range of estate planning, estate administration and trust administration services tailored to the specific needs of our individual and institutional clients. Contact us to learn how you can benefit from the range of our attorneys’ experience.

Our trusts and estates practice is based on an accurate understanding of each client’s circumstances and objectives. We draft wills and trusts that reflect your interests with respect to wealth transfer, probate avoidance, tax exposure, Medicaid planning, care for vulnerable relatives or family business management succession.

No matter what your circumstances might be, you stand to benefit from our lawyers’ advice concerning powers of attorney and advance directives to health care providers. These instruments can help avoid confusion or conflict within a family while protecting your assets during periods of incapacity or at the end of life.

Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC’s probate lawyers offer efficient client service in estate administration, trust administration, and probate litigation across the full range of issues. We handle the probate of wills, marshalling of assets, the distribution of estates, intestate succession and disputes between beneficiaries and fiduciaries under both wills and trusts.  We take pride in our ability to administer estates in a timely and cost efficient manner.

EPLI / Employment Law – Defense & Compliance

The employment lawyers at Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC understand that best workplace practices, effective compliance, and intelligent risk avoidance of employee-related claims are key enhancements to the operations of a productive business. Our philosophy is that business resources are most wisely invested and reinvested back into the business for prevention and sustainability on the front end, not expended out to defense of employment practices claims on the back end when cost control is less predictable. We value our relationships with our clients, and we want to serve your business needs for the long term, not the short term, so we can earn, and keep, your trust.

Litigation drains resources. When a dispute or claim does arise despite best avoidance practices, early evaluation and cost containment are crucial. We defend claims vigorously, and we do so in a way that balances practical business needs without compromising our aggressive approach and integrity. We are strong proponents of alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, as a valuable tool of early resolution. We appear routinely in federal and state courts at the trial and appellate levels, and also before federal and state administrative fair employment practice agencies, including the EEOC, NYSDHR, NYCCHR, and NJDCR. While a very small percentage of employment practices claims survive the gauntlet of proportionate tailored discovery, early resolution efforts, and (if necessary) well-timed motions, the seasoned trial lawyers of Silverman Shin & Byrne  collectively bring decades of trial experience to the table to defend a case at trial. Our broad range of experience defending Employment Practices Liability (EPL) and other employment claims includes:

  • discrimination based on race, national origin, age, disability, gender/sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, transgender, marital status, veteran status, and criminal background
  • whistleblower retaliation
  • family and medical leave
  • breach of non-compete agreements and other restrictive covenants
  • misappropriation of trade secrets and other confidential information
  • breach of contracts and employee handbooks
  • wage and hour violations

Preventive compliance benefits a business through decreased claims and increased employee morale and retention. To assist with compliance, we provide counseling for management on day-to-day issues, including hiring decisions, disciplinary actions, promotions, demotions, compensation, leaves of absence, workplace complaints, harassment, restructuring, wage/hour pay and classifications, employee agreements, independent contractor agreements, noncompete agreements, protection of proprietary information, and separations from employment. We also prepare policies and handbooks, conduct audits of best practices, and offer guidance and training for internal workplace investigations by human resources or supervisory personnel.

We collaborate closely with in-house counsel, human resources personnel, and D&O/EPLI carriers to craft defense strategies and solutions that are smart, practical, and realistic. We recognize the importance of remaining mindful of the wide-lens “bigger picture” in a claim landscape to protect the client’s interests: seeing the dynamics and interrelationships among clients, vendors, business partners, insureds, claim analysts, underwriters, and brokers. We know that prompt responsiveness and notice of developments to clients and carriers are essential to business productivity, team collaboration, client satisfaction, and, at the end of the day, a strong successful defense.

Corporate Finance

Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC helps businesses of all sizes secure the capital they need to grow, operate and succeed. Our willingness to understand the business and needs of our client, coupled with our thorough knowledge of various equity and debt solutions and of public and private financings, can expand a client’s practical options while avoiding risks and unforeseen complications.

We have assisted clients with financings at all levels of capital structure. Our experience extends to:

  • Equity, including preferred stock, offerings
  • Shelf registrations and takedown
  • Bond and other debt securities
  • Convertible debt securities
  • Mezzanine financings
  • Asset based lending and other bank financings
  • Receivable financings through factoring
  • Equipment financings
  • Sale-and-leaseback transactions
  • Exchange offers
  • Debt restructurings

By understanding our client’s capital structure and financial needs, we can assist small and large companies alike, at all stages of development, in developing solutions to fund current operations, future growth or special projects.

Corporate & Securities

The corporate and securities attorneys of Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC offer comprehensive legal services to a diverse group of clients from national public ventures to closely held private companies.  We actively participate in structuring new business entities and in completing mergers and acquisitions. We have negotiated billion dollar contracts and assisted start-ups with angel and venture financing which enabled them to develop into large national companies.

We offer a full range of services to our corporate and securities clients including corporate governance, private placements, public offering of equity and debt securities, securities law compliance and reporting, bank financing, asset sales and acquisitions, and corporate restructuring.

We counsel clients in all stages of business development, from organization through financing, and ongoing federal, state and individual compliance in today’s complex environment.

We pride ourselves in providing practical, results-oriented, quality advice comparable to larger national firms but at a much lower cost.  No matter how large or small, each of our clients receives the same high level of personalized attention and service.

Our practice areas within the corporate and securities department include:

Construction & New York Labor Law

The construction practice group at Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC has represented real estate developers, owners, construction managers, contractors and subcontractors as well as construction professionals, including architects and engineers. We also directly represent and advise insurance carriers in all manner of construction accident claims, including claims under the New York Labor Law and construction defects litigation.  Along with providing the efficient defense with respect to the liability and damages, we are adept at analyzing and enforcing the contractual relationships between parties in order to extricate our clients from litigated claims at the earliest possible opportunity.

Our construction litigation group is comprised of dedicated attorneys assigned to various carriers and insureds to maximize our responsiveness and in-firm knowledge about our client’s particular needs.

We also are often called upon by developers, owners, contractors and insurance carriers to assist them in drafting construction-related agreements, indemnification agreements, waiver of subrogation provisions and insurance endorsements to better protect them in future disputes.

Company Representation

As a full-service law firm, Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC provides a one-stop shop for the comprehensive legal needs of our clients. We are the primary outside counsel, and often act as outside general counsel, to many of our clients, large and small. We are dedicated to learning our clients’ operations in order to provide the day-to-day advice needed in today’s complex and multifaceted business and legal environment. Our clients can rely on us to be a part of their team and to deliver prompt and responsive legal service that is focused on efficiency and results.

We are able to draw upon the expertise of attorneys across our varied practice areas to assist our clients in everything from formation to divesture and from coverage to litigation. We advise clients on matters such as:

  • Entity formation and structure
  • Corporate governance
  • Fiduciary obligations of directors and officers
  • Shareholder agreements
  • Employment agreements
  • Equity and debt financings
  • Registration of securities
  • Federal, state and exchange reporting and disclosure requirements
  • Proxy statements and shareholder meetings
  • Administrative and regulatory compliance
  • Mergers, acquisitions and divestures
  • Insurance coverage
  • Regulatory investigations

Commercial Litigation

Silverman Shin & Schneider PLLC maintains a diversified civil litigation and arbitration practice, representing corporate, institutional and individual clients in a variety of commercial areas.  We practice before federal and state trial and appeals courts, and in administrative proceedings, arbitrations and mediations, throughout the United States.  Our litigators have extensive expertise in the commercial practice areas listed below.

We are experienced and highly successful trial attorneys.  We believe, though, that in most circumstances, litigation or arbitration should be utilized only after exhausting the possibility of all other reasonable solutions.  We counsel our clients on litigation avoidance by anticipating potential problems and developing workable long-term strategies.  Where conflict cannot be avoided, we are committed to considering all means of prompt resolution, with the objective of obtaining the best possible outcome for our clients.  Our creative approaches to dispute resolution often lead to favorable results without the need for protracted litigation or arbitration.  Nonetheless, based on our reputation and strong results in cases, our adversaries recognize that we are prepared to try cases if other efforts fail, which places us in the best possible position to negotiate and accomplish the most favorable possible resolution for our clients.

The close interaction that characterizes our attorney-client relationships adds significant value for the parties we represent in civil litigation.  Our clients benefit not only from our experience as successful trial lawyers, they also gain from our familiarity with their specific business objectives and their operations.

We will effectively represent you or your business in litigation or arbitration in the following areas, among others:

  • Breach of contract and other business disputes
  • Real estate
  • Construction
  • Corporate and partnership disputes among business owners
  • Shareholder and limited liability company derivative actions
  • Employment
  • Securities
  • Severance, non-compete and non-disclosure agreements
  • Unfair competition, trademark and copyright
  • Bankruptcy, fraudulent conveyance and insolvency
  • Entertainment

Longstanding transactional and litigation experience in such industries as transportation, construction, real estate and insurance adds further depth to our strategies for companies in these industries.

For further information about the ways our corporate and commercial litigation practice can advance your company’s interests, contact us at any of our offices.