Webster Szanyi LLP obtains favorable decision in Capizzi v. Brown Chiari LLP, et al.

Kevin Szanyi recently obtained a favorable decision on behalf of Samuel Capizzi in the first phase of his lawsuit against Brown Chiari LLP and partners James Brown and Donald Chiari.  Mr. Capizzi was a partner in Brown Chiari LLP until he withdrew from the partnership in January 2016.  Pursuant to New York Partnership Law, Mr. Capizzi’s withdrawal from the firm results in a dissolution of the firm.  Mr. Brown and Mr. Chiari, however, denied that Mr. Capizzi was an equity partner and asserted that, as a result, the firm was not dissolved.  By his lawsuit, Mr. Capizzi requested an order declaring the firm Brown Chiari LLP was dissolved effective January 8, 2016 and that defendants are required to wind up the affairs of the firm and provide a complete accounting of firm assets, liabilities, income and expenses to Mr. Capizzi.  The case is pending before Honorable Timothy J. Walker, who bifurcated the trial and limited the first phase to the sole question of whether Mr. Capizzi was an equity partner in the firm at the time of his withdrawal.  Following a non-jury trial over the course of 20 days, Justice Walker ruled in favor of Mr. Capizzi and ordered and declared that as of the date of his resignation from Brown Chiari LLP, Mr. Capizzi was an equity partner in the...

Webster Szanyi obtains dismissal of False Claims Act action

Charlie Roberts recently obtained the dismissal of a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by the United States against Kenneth Carter.  The Government alleged Mr. Carter, who has since passed, was part of a fraudulent scheme with Lee Strock, Cynthia Ann Golde, and Strock Contracting to set up a company, Veteran Enterprises Company, Inc. (“VECO”), as a service-disabled veteran owned small business (“SDVOSB”) in order to obtain and profit from construction contracts set aside for SDVOSBs.  The Government alleged VECO was a sham and Mr. Strock, who is not a disabled veteran, controlled the day-to-day and long-term business operations.  Mr. Roberts filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit against Mr. Carter on the grounds that the Government failed to sufficiently allege a False Claim Act claim against Mr. Carter.  Judge Geraci, Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of New York, agreed and dismissed the claims against Mr. Carter.  Judge Geraci found the government’s general group allegations against the “defendants” were insufficient to show that Mr. Carter personally knew that any representations as to VECO’s SDVSOB status were false.  Judge Geraci also agreed the government did not allege Mr. Carter obtained any financial benefits from contracts performed by VECO – an allegation that might suggest a motive for committing...

Division of Human Rights Issues No Probable Cause Finding Dismissing Claim of Disability Discrimination

The New York State Division of Human Rights (“SDHR”) issued a “no probable cause” finding on a claim that a County employee was discriminated and retaliated against because he had a disability.  Heather Dechert represented the County against allegations that the employee was harassed, treated differently than similarly situated employees, and denied a reasonable accommodation for his disability.  The Complainant also claimed that he was retaliated against by being given unwanted or dangerous assignments, being subject to unwarranted disciplinary action and being constructively discharged.  Based on its investigation, the SDHR determined that the evidence did not support Complainant’s allegations of harassment, disparate treatment and denial of a reasonable accommodation.  The SDHR further found that the record did not support Complainant’s contention that he was constructively...

Webster Szanyi attorneys recognized by Best Lawyers

Webster Szanyi LLP congratulates Thomas S. Lane, Michael P. McClaren, and Kevin A. Szanyi on having been selected by their peers for inclusion in the 26th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America.  Mr. Lane was selected in the areas of Commercial Litigation and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, Mr. McClaren in the area of Commercial Litigation, and Mr. Szanyi in the areas Commercial Litigation, Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, Personal Injury Litigation – Plaintiffs, and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants. We are also pleased to share that due to the extremely high feedback Best Lawyers received, Mr. Szanyi has also been recognized by his peers as one of the 2020 “Lawyer of the Year” award recipients for his work in Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants in Buffalo.  Only a single lawyer in each practice area and community is honored with a “Lawyer of the Year” award. For more information on this prestigious award, please visit...