Higgins & Trippett LLP and its principals, Thomas P. Higgins and Lewis P. Trippett, have been involved in numerous noteworthy cases. Some of those cases are listed below.
Paradise v. Wood, 64 Misc.3d 880, -- N.Y.S.3d -- (Sup. Ct. Westchester Co. 2019): Court granted summary judgment to our client, prospective purchaser of a cooperative apartment, who sought the return of her downpayment from the prospective seller. The board of the cooperative had approved the purchase by plaintiff, but only if plaintiff added her parents to the share certificates as owners. The conditional nature of the board's approval compelled a return of the downpayment to plaintiff. This case has been the topic of professional commentary. See, e.g., S. Mollen, Real Estate Law Digest, New York Law Journal (Sept. 11, 2019).
Amalgamated Bank v. Fort Tryon Tower SPE LLC, 140 A.D.3d 599, 35 N.Y.S.3d 14 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 2016): The First Department affirmed the trial court's denial of summary judgment of foreclosure in favor of the lender, and against our client, a developer. There were issues of fact concerning the lender's refusal to process the developer's draw request under a $95 million construction loan agreement, a refusal that brought construction to a halt and caused the alleged default by the developer.
Meissner v. Yun, 126 A.D.3d 565, 6 N.Y.S.3d 47 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 2015): Appeal to First Department of order denying motion for summary judgment on claim for breach of fiduciary duty.
Hudson Related Retail LLC v. Liberty of Roosevelt Island Corp., Civil Court, New York County, Decision and Order dated June 19, 2014, reported in the New York Law Journal, July 9, 2014: After a two-day traverse hearing in this commercial holdover case, the court found in favor of our client, the petitioner-landlord, based inter alia upon the untruthful testimony of the respondent-tenant's principal.
Board of Managers of Brightwater Towers Condominium v. Cheskiy, 109 A.D.3d 944, 971 N.Y.S.2d 349 (App. Div., 2d Dept. 2013): Successful appeal to Second Department, which reversed the trial court and granted our client, the Board of a condominium, summary judgment in a common charge lien foreclosure suit filed against a unit owner in arrears.
Fuisz v. 6 East 72nd Street Corporation, Supreme Court, New York County Order April 18, 2013, reported in the New York Law Journal, May 8, 2013: Trial court denied motion to dismiss and found that our complaint against a cooperative, its board of directors, and its agents stated claims for, inter alia, breach of duty to cooperative shareholders.
MCC Development Corp. v. Perla, 81 A.D.3d 474, 916 N.Y.S.2d 102 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 2011): The First Department confirmed Commercial Division's decision below, which granted our client's motion for summary judgment and dismissed complaint against all defendants based upon plaintiff contractor's failure to comply with conditions precedent in an AIA construction contract.
Board of Managers of Bayside Plaza Condominium v. Mittman, 50 A.D.3d 718, 855 N.Y.S.2d 230 (App. Div., 2d Dept. 2008): Appeal to Second Department by condominium's Board of Managers concerning the scope of a commercial unit owner's express easement over the condominium's common areas.
Daniel Perla Assoc. L.P. v. 101 Kent Associates, Inc., 40 A.D.3d 677, 836 N.Y.S.2d 630 (App. Div., 2d Dept. 2007): Successful appeal to Second Department, which reversed trial court, applied the Statute of Frauds, and granted summary judgment to foreclosing mortgagee on appeal.
Truong v. American Bible Society, 367 F. Supp.2d 525 (S.D.N.Y. 2005): Court dismissed lawsuit that sought to compel our client to place “warning stickers” in copies of the Bible.
Barbour v. Knecht, 296 A.D.2d 218, 743 N.Y.S.2d 483 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 2002): Successful appeal by Board members and cooperative corporation to First Department, which reversed trial court’s granting of summary judgment in favor of a disgruntled shareholder. This opinion was the "Decision of the Day" in the New York Law Journal and the subject of commentary in such publications as the New York Real Estate Reporter.
Baisi v. Gonzalez, 97 N.Y.2d 694, 739 N.Y.S.2d 92 (Ct. App. 2002): Successful appeal to the Court of Appeals, the highest court in the State of New York, which unanimously reversed two courts below and held that a landlord could be held liable for injury caused by tenant’s pit bulldog.
Knecht v. Horrigan, 290 A.D.2d 222, 736 N.Y.S.2d 5 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 2002): Appeal in action between cooperative shareholders where one party sought specific performance of contract for sale of shares under a right of first refusal contained in the shareholders' agreement.
Wheeler v. Andriani, 29 Housing Ct. Rptr. 122C, New York Law Journal, March 19, 2001 (App. Term, 1st Dept.): Appeal in action between residential tenant and landlord over commingling of security deposit and purported damage to unit after end of lease.
Michael Werner, Inc. v. L&B 595 Madison, Inc., 28 Housing Ct. Rptr. 66A, New York Law Journal, February 20, 2000 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co.): Successful motion for summary judgment resulting in dismissal of claims against commercial landlord, managing agent and broker.
Lewis v. Triborough Bridge & Tunnel Authority, 77 F. Supp.2d 376 (S.D.N.Y. 1999): Successful opposition to defendants’ motion to dismiss federal sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit on variety of theories.
Schippers v. Mass, 27 Housing Ct. Rptr. 100B, New York Law Journal, February 24, 1999 (Civ. Ct. Kings Co.): Successful motion for award of attorneys’ fees on behalf of rent stabilized tenant. Substantive decision dismissing petition against tenant also reported (see below).
Schippers v. Mass, 26 Housing Ct. Rptr. 599A, New York Law Journal, November 4, 1998 (Civ. Ct. Kings Co.): Successful motion for dismissal of personal use holdover proceeding commenced against rent stabilized tenant. Landlord’s acceptance of rent waived effect of prior Golub notice.
DiGeronimo v. Amrod, 248 A.D.2d 652, 673 N.Y.S.2d 914 (App. Div., 2nd Dept. 1998): Successful appeal of decision holding that a cooperative shareholder had breached his proprietary lease. By vacating the decision below, the appellate ruling permitted the shareholder to have a trial of the issue in landlord-tenant court.
L&B 57th Street, Inc. v. E.M. Blanchard, Inc., 143 F.3d 88 (2d Cir. 1998): Comprehensive and frequently-cited decision concerning a “Good Guy” guarantee of a commercial lease.
Planned Systems Installers Co., Inc. v. Network America Systems, Inc., 175 Misc.2d 958, 670 N.Y.S.2d 709 (Civ. Ct., N.Y. Co. 1998): First reported decision under statute providing for immediate judgment if tenant fails to deposit rent during pendency of a summary proceeding. Trial court ruled in favor of our client and summarily evicted the commercial tenant.
Living Springs Retreat, Inc. v. County of Putnam, 248 A.D.2d 681, 670 N.Y.S.2d 317 (App. Div., 2d Dept. 1998): Successful defense of religious corporation against quantum meruit claim by contingent fee attorney handling tax exemption application.
L&B 595 Madison, Inc. v. Ravagnan, 242 A.D.2d 413, 662 N.Y.S.2d 29 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 1997): Successful appeal on behalf of commercial landlord resulting in reversal of trial judge who misapplied Statute of Frauds to lease dispute.
111 Tenants Corp. v. Stromberg, 168 Misc.2d 1014, 640 N.Y.S.2d 1018 (Civ. Ct., N.Y. Co. 1996): A decision that shows what can happen when a shareholder refuses to give the cooperative corporation the key to her unit.
Nantucket Investors II v. California Federal Bank, 61 F.3d 197 (3d Cir. 1995): Multi-level appeal from bankruptcy court to Third Circuit on behalf of holder of second mortgage who opposed bankruptcy court’s lifting of a stay in favor of holder of first mortgage.
In re Executive Life Insurance Co., 38 Cal. Rptr. 2d 453 (Cal App. 2 Dist. 1995): Representation of bank as indentured trustee in appeal concerning one of the largest insolvent insurance company proceedings in history.
Scaccia Concrete Corp. v. Hartford Fire Insurance Company, 212 A.D.2d 225, 628 N.Y.S.2d 746 (App. Div., 2d Dept. 1995): Representation of public works contractor in action for payment under bond. Obtained judgment that bond was a “common law” bond, allowing actions to be commenced within longer statute of limitations.
Rent Stabilization Association of New York v. Dinkins, 5 F.3d 591 (2d Cir. 1993): Constitutional challenge brought on behalf of RSA, New York’s preeminent landlord association, to invalidate rent stabilization’s “hardship” adjustments.
In re Johns-Manville Corporation, 920 F. 2d 121 (2d Cir. 1990): Representation of the Trustees of the Manville Property Damage Trust in complex bankruptcy proceedings.
New York Telephone Company v. Mobil Oil Corporation, 99 A.D.2d 185, 473 N.Y.S.2d 172 (App. Div., 1st Dept. 1984): Obtained reversal of order dismissing cause of action against supplier of gasoline for damage caused by leak of underground tank.
New York Telephone Company v. City of New York, 95 A.D.2d 282, 466 N.Y.S.2d 56 (App. Div., 2d Dept. 1983): Represented utility against City of New York for costs of relocation of utility equipment.
Bahor v. New York Telephone Company, 91 A.D.2d 756, 458 N.Y.S.2d 24 (3d Dept. 1982): Obtained reversal of award by Workers Compensation Board with court finding that there was no substantial evidence supporting the award.
United States v. Clark, 624 F.2d 3 (2d Cir. 1980): Successfully defended utility against claim of unlawful surveillance.