Yankwitt LLP Brings Home the Gold
Although litigation will never become an Olympic event, Yankwitt LLP managed to bring home the gold in nearly every category in the first half of 2021. The firm came out of the gate strong and has been picking up speed ever since. As we mark the half-way point of the year, we are excited to share some firm highlights and are looking ahead to an exciting second half.
Yankwitt LLP Named to the Most Prestigious Lists & Rankings
Yankwitt LLP was named to Chambers USA, one of the most coveted law firm rankings in the country. Yankwitt was ranked in the category of Litigation: General Commercial, sharing the podium with top New York, national and international law firms. We also threw our hat in the ring for the Best Companies to Work for in New York and were selected in the small business category. And last but definitely not least, Counsel Michael Reed was inducted into the Business Council of Westchester’s 2021 class of Rising Stars. The Council’s list of 40 Under 40 features the county’s most accomplished professionals.
Female Litigators Lead the Team: Promotions in 2021Y
Yankwitt LLP promoted two skilled litigators and trial attorneys: Partner Dina Hamerman to Executive Director and Counsel Alicia Tallbe to Partner. Dina is the firm’s first Executive Director, a role that adds greater oversight of the firm’s operations to her litigation partner responsibilities.
According to Dina and Alicia, transitioning from big New York City law firms to Yankwitt LLP afforded them opportunities to grow in ways they never expected. Yankwitt LLP fostered their advancement as attorneys by allowing them to handle complex matters and try cases, all while maintaining part-time schedules and flexible work arrangements.
Please join us in congratulating Dina and Alicia on their promotions.
2021 Cases: Newsworthy & Noteworthy
On the litigation front, the first half of 2021 featured a stellar roster of cases that were newsworthy, noteworthy or both.
In Westchester County, the firm is representing Million Air in the largest lawsuit in the county. On behalf of Million Air, we are suing the county for $30-plus million in damages for refusing to allow construction of a second hangar at Westchester County Airport in breach of the parties’ lease agreement and other obligations.
In Suffolk County, Yankwitt LLP served as local counsel to Walgreen Co. in the massive New York state opioid litigation consolidated in Suffolk County Supreme Court. The trial, which is ongoing, is the first opioid litigation in the U.S. to be tried to a jury. Walgreens entered into a confidential settlement on the morning of the first day of trial with Yankwitt LLP continuing to work with lead counsel Bartlit Beck on New York law-related issues as they arise.
Other notable cases that resolved over the past six months include:
- An overtime class action lawsuit against a family-owned business in Westchester County that settled on favorable terms for our client. The settlement enables the client to keep their business on sound financial footing as going to trial could have bankrupted them.
- A business dispute and subsequent litigation with an employee of a local construction company who asserted a partnership interest in the company after he was terminated for cause. We settled the case and extracted our client from all business dealings with this former employee.
- Defense of a casino in a case in which the plaintiff, a self-proclaimed gambling addict, filed a series of claims in New Jersey federal court against several casinos, social media platforms and electronic gaming providers, alleging – in effect – that they failed to protect him from himself and prevent him from gambling and experiencing monetary losses and mental anguish. After receiving our motions to dismiss, the plaintiff agreed to dismiss the case.
- A dram shop (liquor liability) case in which we represented a New Jersey restaurant in a consolidated action brought by three plaintiffs who were injured by a drunk driver. Armed with a strong defense, we offered and ultimately settled the case for a nuisance value payment, an outstanding resolution of a potentially high-value case.
Giving Back: Another Gold Medal Finish
Yankwitt LLP’s culture, which is founded on giving back to the community, has been exceptionally impactful this year. The firm endowed a newly established scholarship at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University – the Yankwitt LLP Immediate Impact Scholarship – awarded to an incoming first-year student of color who expresses interest in social justice and demonstrates financial need. The scholarship seeks to encourage racial and ethnic minority students to apply to law school and to promote diversity within the legal sector, in which minorities are significantly underrepresented. In addition, Russell Yankwitt serves on the law school’s Board of Visitors and the firm offers summer and school-year internships for qualified Pace students.
Other organizations supported in the first half of 2021 include:
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as a sponsor of Singer’s Heroes, Douglas Singer’s bid for Man of the Year
- ArtsWestchester as a sponsor of the Ralph Martinelli Memorial Golf Outing
- Gideon’s Promise and the Ian Yankwitt Memorial Fund
And last but not least… Yankwitt LLP gave back to its own, gifting its entire team – attorneys and professional staff – Peloton bikes and the exercise app for one year as a thank you for everyone’s hard work and dedication during the pandemic. The bikes are also intended to promote wellness and camaraderie. If you would like to ride with us, we encourage you to join the team using hashtag #YankwittTough.