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Commercial Litigation

When the stakes are high, our team of experienced trial attorneys are unmatched in case preparation and prosecution. We specialize in complex commercial litigation disputes for both small companies and large multinational corporations.

Commercial litigation cases are legal disputes related to business issues including contract disputes. Commercial business dealings and relations often veer off course and result in costly litigation. When a party cannot resolve the issues through negotiation the party may find that litigation is the only way to bring final closure to the matter.
It is critical that your organization has capable legal counsel at its side so that you know your interests will be protected. We represent a wide range of companies around the world including: national corporations, small businesses, startups and individuals in the federal courts and in the state courts. Our top-rated trial attorneys can provide the strong representation your company needs.

Our mission is to cost-effectively resolve your dispute to avoid litigation. In the event that litigation is required, our trial team will vigorously guide you to resolution at a total cost below that of most other firms. As business owners ourselves, we understand your needs and will fight strategically to protect your interests.
We have you covered in the following areas:
Breach of Contract

Contract disputes are one of the most common dilemmas a business can face. These disputes can be taxing on your business, causing stress and quickly diverting time away from productivity and the bottom line. A contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. Contracts must be clearly written and understood by all parties involved. When the terms of a contract are broken, very often, the terms of the contract are not entirely clear.   In these cases, you’ll need a tight defense to ensure the contract was, in fact, breached. 

Our firm has prosecuted and defended thousands of breach of contract claims ranging from the simplest to the most complex. Below are a few examples of breach of contract claims we are currently handling:

    • Employment contract disputes arising out of severance agreements and non- competition, non-solicitation and non-disclosure agreement (NDA) claims.
    • Business vendor contract disputes arising out of vendor agreements between two parties covering the exchange of goods or services for compensation. 
    • Construction contract disputes arising out of work performed, change orders, delays, with respect to general contractor, sub-contractor, supplier, owners, public works, etc.
    • General breach of contract claims for money damages arising out of services rendered or goods provided.
    • Breach of contract claims for injunctive relief and specific performance on real estate contract.
    • Real estate contract disputes arise out of a breach of the terms agreed upon with the purchase and sale of real property. 

 

Partner Disputes (Business divorce)

Running a business can be a difficult and arduous process.  Business partners often find themselves disputing over certain issues and that is when proper legal representation is necessary. A partner, shareholder, member or owner of a business in New York is governed under the fiduciary duty and obligation imposed by New York Law. Fiduciary duties and obligations are owed between the owners of a business to one another. Fiduciary duty requires that partners interact with each other with good faith and loyalty when dealing with the business and especially with the business assets including the organization’s customers, contracts and bank accounts. These disputes can range from minor disagreements to major issues that disrupt business operations. 

Some examples of partner disputes include:

  • Breach of shareholder or operating agreement
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing
  • Diverting company funds
  • Misappropriation of business opportunity
  • Failure to provide accounting
  • Officer or Director misconduct
  • Breach of confidentiality agreement
  • Lock out/squeeze out of minority partner
  • Dissolution of Corporation
  • Dissolution of Partnership
  • Misappropriation of company assets
  • Misappropriation of company clients
  • Failure to pay or make distributions
  • Failure to allow access to books & records
  • Real property partition proceedings
  • Breach of non-compete agreement
  • Failure to declare a dividend
  • Dissolution of LLC
  • Inability of partners to agree
Copyright Infringement

At Pardalis & Nohavicka, we understand the time, effort, hard work, and creativity that goes into your artistic work. Unfortunately, you may come to find that your entire creation or some portion of it is being used somewhere without your license, knowledge and permission and without credit or payment to you as the creator. You are not alone. 

Copyright infringement is an issue that artists of all mediums and audience sizes face and we are prepared to handle any case. When proving copyright infringement, you must show that the alleged infringing work is substantially similar to your original work and also that the alleged infringing party had access to the work.

Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is 

  • Reproduced 
  • Distributed 
  • Performed 
  • Publicly displayed 
  • Made into a derivative work without the permission or license of the copyright owner.
Trademark Infringement

Trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services

Our firm works closely with businesses and individuals with respect to the creation, filing, publication and enforcement of both unregistered and registered trademarks. A trademark serves as a brand’s method of identification to that general public. 

Trademark Infringement claims assert that the other party’s use of a trademark including copying, reproduction, imitation and counterfeiting is likely to cause confusion or as to the creation, origin or source of the goods or services. Additionally, a Federal trademark registration entitles owners of marks to prosecute two separate causes of action for infringement under Section 32 and Section 43 of The Lanham Act.

Some factors that New York courts will consider in assessing the likelihood of a trademark  infringement include:

  • How easily recognized or popular the original mark is
  • How similar the actual good or services are to each other both functionally and aesthetically
  • Whether the physical real world market for the competing marks and products overlap.

If a trademark owner is able to prove infringement, the court may order:

  • An injunction that the defendant stop using the accused mark
  • An order requiring the destruction or forfeiture of infringing items
  • Monetary relief, including defendant's profits, any damages sustained by the plaintiff, and the costs of the action
  • An order that the defendant also pay the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees.
Trade Secrets

A trade secret is company information that is confidential. Trade secrets are vital to your business, not generally known to the public, and give your company an advantage over competitors. 

Trade secrets can include: client lists, leads, designs, patterns, information, or formulas. 

A key area in trade secret law in which our firm has expertise is employee mobility law dealing with restrictive covenants, unfair competition, works for hire, non disclosure agreements, non-solicitation agreements, non-competition clauses and the fiduciary duty of employees.

Business Torts

Business or economic torts protect people from interference with their business, profession or trade. Tortious interference with contract is the most common business tort theory and occurs when a tortfeasor (often a third party) convinces a party to breach that contract, or they intentionally disrupt the ability of a party to perform under the contract, thus causing a breach. 

Tortious interference with business relationships is also a common business tort theory and usually occurs when a party acts to prevent or hinder the plaintiff from successfully establishing or maintaining business relationships. Usually the tortfeasor acts to scuddle or prevent two parties from entering into a relationship that would otherwise have occurred.

An example of this is when false statements are made against a business or person’s reputation to drive business away usually with the intent of gaining economic advantage. Other theories include: contract interference, business defamation, misrepresentation, false advertising, unfair competition, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty.

Construction Litigation

Prior to becoming an attorney, Partner Taso Pardalis grew up in the construction business and knows the industry inside and out. He has worked on a variety of construction related positions including simple union laborer, scaffold worker, estimating, submittals and progress scheduling and office manager for 3 different organizations.

Taso, along with our team of construction legal experts are currently litigating on: 

  • Breach of construction contract issues (including owner failure to pay)
  • General contractor failure to pay subcontractor
  • Termination with cause
  • Termination without cause
  • Defective work
  • Quality of work
  • Project delay claims
  • Change order claims
  • Increased costs claims
  • Defective design
  • Defective specification
  • Unforeseen conditions

Our experienced team possesses in-depth understanding of on-site realities which allows us to immediately apply real world technical field knowledge and protect projects from the start by assisting with: contract drafting, negotiation, contract review, as well as appear on behalf of our clients at mediation and arbitration.

Other areas of specialty include: 

  • Prosecution and defense of Mechanics Lien claims (lien filing, foreclosure, removal, etc)
  • LEED litigation 
Non-Competes

A Non-Compete agreement usually involves an agreement in which one party (often the employee) agrees not to work in a similar profession, trade or field in direct competition against the other party (often the employer). 

Valued employees and upper level executives are usually asked to execute non-compete agreements either prior to or during their employment. The terms of non-compete agreements detail how one can conduct business with competitors of their current or former employer containing provisions that the employee will not engage in certain activities for a specified period of time from termination of employment.

New York law requires that the time and geographic restriction in the non-compete agreement be reasonable and not unduly burdensome upon the employee. The New York courts will not allow an overly restrictive agreement to be enforced so as not to hinder a person’s ability to work within their profession.

Since our inception Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation and Non Disclosure litigation have been a major part of our practice. Our knowledgeable and experienced team of Non-Competition, Non-Solicitation and Non Disclosure agreement experts have created, advocated and litigated on behalf of clients on both sides of the non-compete spectrum. 

Non-Solicitation

Non-Solicitation agreements and Non-Solicitation clauses are closely related to non-compete agreements. A non-solicitation agreement is used for the purpose of preventing an employee, former employee or independent contractor from soliciting employees, clients or customers away from a company.

Generally non-solicitation agreements require that an employee not solicit the employer’s customers after the employment relationship has ended, especially when the parties met or gained knowledge of each other while working for the employer.

Civil Rights

Civil Rights Law protects the rights of people to allow them to fully participate in life and in the state free from discrimination and oppression. Civil Rights Law protects the freedom of people from the unwanted and illegal infringement of their rights by government or other entities.

The Civil Rights Lawyers at Pardalis & Nohavicka are proudly committed to fully protect the rights of employees in New York City and help ordinary people in legal struggles with powerful entities.

We handle a myriad of claims in three main areas: Discrimnination, The Freedoms, and Police Misconduct.

Discrimination Claims

Discrimination cases fall under the Civil Rights Law which protects the rights of people and allows for them to fully participate in life and in the state free from discrimination and oppression. 

Our attorneys are experts with over 25 years of experience in litigating discrimination claims based on race, religion, gender, pregnancy, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity and national origin.

We represent individuals in Civil Rights matters dealing with privacy such as: 

  • Free speech
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of religion
  • Freedom of thought 
  • Freedom of the press

 

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can be defined as the unwanted advances or comments of a sexual nature (usually in the workplace). Sexual harassment claims involve intimidation, bullying, or coercive action by the offender and in many instances involve the promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors.

Sexual harassment offenses in these cases also include reverse discrimination (female to male), and same-sex harassment.

Many of the instances of sexual harassment we have handled involve: 

  • Unwanted touching
  • Verbal sex abuse
  • Inappropriate comments
  • Obscene gestures
  • Restriction on movement
  • Sexually inappropriate letters, notes, emails, cartoons, pictures and videos

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states: “It is unlawful to harass a person because of that persons sex”. In New York City, sexual harassment cases fall into two categories: hostile environment and quid pro quo. 

Hostile Environment cases occur when an employee or group show that a class was subject to severe sexual harassment which had a direct effect on the condition of employment with the employer’s knowledge. Quid Pro Quo is defined as “something given or received for something else”. In Quid Pro Quo sexual harassment cases, an employee is usually forced or leveraged into choosing to submit to the unwanted sexual advances of a superior. 

Employment / Labor

Partner Joseph D. Nohavicka heads the firm’s Labor and Employment Law practice representing individuals, plaintiff classes and businesses in the fields of New York Employment Law and New York Labor Law. With over 25 years of trial experience, Nohavicka is a highly respected attorney and offers the highest quality of legal representation in litigation, arbitration and/or negotiation.

In the current economic climate, many employees are concerned with their job security and fear the risk of complaining about illegal labor practices, wage and hour violations.  It is imperative that all employees have a voice and are treated fairly.  Nohavicka along with our experienced team of litigators ensure our clients are not discriminated against in the workplace. 

We handle various claims including:

  • Wrongful termination
  • Employment contracts
  • Wage & hour and overtime
  • Failure to pay commissions
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Retaliation
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)
  • Executive compensation and severance agreements
  • Restrictive covenants: non compete, non disclosure, non solicitation, whistleblower claims and grievances.

Our clientbase includes employers that are implementing employment procedures in order to foster a healthy work environment and to strengthen employee relations.

We specialize in: 

  • Employment contracts
  • Non-compete, non-disclosure (NDA), and non-circumvention agreements
  • Sales agreements and service contracts
  • Drafting of employee handbook (regular updates available to comply with changing laws)
  • Compliance with Labor Law and insurance requirements
  • Labor and employment litigation defense
  • Harassment & discrimination litigation defense
Breach of Fiduciary

Many business relationships are so close that they create certain (fiduciary) obligations between the parties involved.

A fiduciary duty is one of the highest standards of care in the law, requiring the fiduciary to act loyally for the benefit of the trusting party. Typical breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits involve disputes between partners or shareholders in a business. Other instances of breach of fiduciary claims include directors to shareholders, agents to principals, and even accountants and lawyers to clients.

In New York, the party claiming breach of fiduciary duty must show that a fiduciary relationship existed between the plaintiff and defendant, that defendant breached that duty and that damages exist as a result of the breach.

Yellow Taxi Medallion

Yellow Taxi Medallion is a New York City law which allows taxicab vehicles to operate and pick up passengers if they have a medallion fixed to the vehicle.

The medallion system was created by the government to set a limitation on the supply of taxicabs by requiring that a medallion be purchased in order to obtain the right to operate a taxi. These medallions must be renewed every 2 years, 30 days prior to its expiration date.

Insurance Litigation

Insurance Litigation covers the representation of insurers, policyholders, and other stakeholders in disputes over unjust insurance practices. Both businesses and individuals alike purchase insurance with the intent of protecting themselves and/or their employees if an unfortunate event strikes. When insurers fail to uphold the agreed upon policy/contract terms, the insured can pursue legal measures against them and enter into litigation. 

Disputes in the insurance arena can involve underwriting issues, questions about coverage, and interpretation of an insurance policy, performance of policy conditions, and, most importantly, the feasibility of an insurer’s claim handling and decisions.

Our attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable trial experts who have handled a wide range of complex insurance matters including: two-party disputes between the insurer and policyholder, multi-party disputes between a policyholder and multiple insurers, and in multi-party disputes between insurers.

 

Real Estate Dispute

Real estate disputes generally stem from any disagreement or arguments over interest in a real property.

Real estate disputes can cover a wide range of topics such as: 

  • Landlord/tenant disputes
  • Non-payment proceedings
  • Holdover proceedings
  • Real estate transactions
  • Real estate financing
  • Leasing and subleasing
  • Real estate contract disputes
UCC-Related Disputes

UCC related disputes deal with the Uniform Commercial Code, a collection of legal rules concerning commercial activity, including business and contract matters. The UCC generally applies to those exchanging a sale of goods.

There are 11 articles within the UCC covering:

  • General provisions
  • Sales
  • Leases
  • Negotiable instruments
  • Bank deposits and collections
  • Funds transfers
  • Letters of credit
  • Bulk transfers/bulk sales
  • Documents of title
  • Investment securities
  • Secured transactions
Estate Litigation

Estate litigation involves estate planning and management as well as carrying out the estate plans, trusts, and/or wills when a loved one passes away. Once the plan is set in place, the beneficiary has the right to take legal action if they are concerned that the estate has been compromised or if disputes between the beneficiaries occur over the will or trust. 

Typical estate litigation matters include:

  • Challenging or contesting the validity of a will or trust
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • Surviving spousal litigation
  • Kinship proceedings
  • Claims against the estate
  • Guardianship proceedings
Appellate Litigation

Appellate Litigation covers appeals that are brought before the New York State Court of Appeals. An appeal is the process taken to correct errors and ensure a fair system of justice for all, so it is important to have a strong appeals attorney in order to help you get the justice you deserve. 

Therefore, the appeals process differs from the trial process, as the brief of a trial has a significant impact on an appeal’s strength. Our team of attorneys conduct extensive case research in order to powerfully and effectively fight for the results you deserve. 

Maritime / Admiralty

Maritime and Admiralty law happens to be an area our firm excels in , not only nationally but on a global scale. 

This area of law covers all marine activities and practices as the law for injuries and accidents on the water differs from those that occur on land. While it applies to major oceans, Maritime/Admiralty law can also apply to other bodies of water (lakes and rivers) that facilitate commerce between states.

Maritime/Admiralty law involves situations of: 

  • Navigation and shipping
  • Collisions
  • Mass disasters
  • Personal injury
  • Compensation for workers
  • Cargo loss
  • Insurance coverage for vessels and other offshore equipment.

Our seasoned maritime law attorney Eleni Melekou published a chapter on Salvage Awards, Towage, and Quantum Meruit Recovery in “Damages Recoverable in Maritime Matters,” a manual for attorneys on how to deal with maritime and admiralty matters. 

In this chapter, she touches upon the 4 different categories of salvage (pure, life, contract, and environmental salvage), analyzes the damages a salvor can recover depending on the factual circumstances, and includes a comparative analysis of different approaches that the U.S. District Courts have adopted.

Shareholder Disputes

Shareholders play an important role in a business and guide operations with the necessary funding. However, it is not uncommon for shareholders and businesses of any size to have disagreements.

Common reasons for shareholder disputes are: 

  • Breach of shareholder responsibilities and agreements
  • Abuse of majority power
  • Breach of fiduciary duties
  • Buyouts of a person’s shares
  • The buying and selling of company stock
  • Succession planning.

When starting or expanding a business, it is imperative to set up in-depth shareholder agreements that clearly cover what each shareholder’s role is in the company. This should include everything from what their position is, to the specific rules and guidelines they should follow, as well as what to do if a dispute occurs. 

It is essential for your business’ well-being to work with an attorney and have all details in writing in order to ensure these guidelines are clear and understood by all parties involved. Only an experienced attorney will be able to protect your company against the possibility of any future disputes by creating a tight contract that eliminates loopholes and vague wording that may and can be used against you.

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