Leonard F. Lesser

Leonard F. Lesser

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Business Litigation Attorney in New York, NY

Simon•Lesser PC
 | 355 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Phone: 212-599-5455
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1992
Practice Areas:
  • Business Litigation (60%),
  • General Litigation (40%)
Attorney Profile

Len Lesser prosecutes and defends business litigation in federal and state courts around the country, and arbitration tribunals administered by JAMS, AAA, ICDR, FINRA, and other ADR providers. He focuses on business torts; copyright, trademark, trade secret and unfair competition claims; partnership, joint venture, shareholder, and LLC member disputes; corporate transaction, post-closing, and busted deal disputes; contract and UCC disputes; financial services litigation; securities litigation; insurance disputes; real estate disputes; and employment litigation. He also prosecutes and defends toxic tort, product liability, premises liability, and personal injury claims. 

Recent trial victories include a Court confirmed multimillion-dollar arbitration award and judgment against an oil and gas tycoon in a complex joint venture dispute, and subsequent contempt judgment against the judgment debtor for violation of an antisuit injunction, affirmed on appeal with appellate attorneys' fees and costs awarded. L&R Exploration v. Grynberg, 927 N.Y.S.2d 816 (Sup. 2011), aff'd,90 A.D.3d 538, 934 N.Y.S.2d 707 (1st Dep't 2011); see also Grynberg v. L&R Exploration Venture, 261 P.3d 731 (Wyo. 2011).  Following the New York judgments entered against the tycoon, Len successfully tried an alter-ego and fraudulent conveyance case in Colorado against the tycoon’s businesses, resulting in another multimillion dollar judgment and attorney fee award, affirmed on appeal.  L&R Exploration v. Grynberg, 2014 Colo. App. LEXIS 175 (Colo. App. Jan. 30, 2014), cert. denied, 2014 Colo. LEXIS 1153 (Colo. Dec. 22, 2014).  

In Asset Management Associates of New York, Inc. v. Emerson Telecommunication Products, LLC, 08-cv-2128 (U.S.D.C., E.D.N.Y.), Len successfully represented the seller of telecommunication products businesses in defense of post-closing claims asserted by the buyer, including claims that seller misrepresented the value of inventory as part of the sale.  After defeating the buyer's claim for fraud based rescission of the entire transaction, as well as the agreement's arbitration provision (Asset Mgmt. Assocs. v. Emerson Telcom. Prods. LLC, 08-CV-2506, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9434 [E.D.N.Y., Jan. 25, 2011]), the dispute was arbitrated in 2013 before a forensic accounting examiner.  The Arbitrator ultimately rejected the buyer's claims which included $100 million in alleged punitive damages, and found in favor of Len's client on its claims for a post-closing adjustment.  In 2014, the Court entered Judgment against the buyer for $1.9 million.  Asset Mgmt. Assoc. of N.Y., Inc. v. Emerson Telecom. Prods. LLC, 2014 NY Jury Verdict Review LEXIS 5 (E.D.N.Y., Jan. 9, 2014).  Then, in 2015, following a separate federal court trial in a related breach of contract action, Len obtained another Judgment and attorney fee award of $2 million against the buyer. Emerson Electric Co. v. Asset Management Associates of New York, Inc., 08-cv-1489, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98401 (E.D.N.Y., July 28, 2015).

Recent defense verdicts include Marchetti v. Branson Ultrasonics Corp., Case No. 126010929 (CT Sup. Ct., Danbury), where Len obtained a defense verdict after jury trial in May of 2014 on behalf of a global developer, manufacturer, and distributor of plastic joining, industrial cleaning, and ultrasonics processing equipment.  The plaintiff claimed she suffered traumatic brain injuries and other damages resulting from an accident on the defendant's property.  After trial, the Court granted directed verdict to the defense on 3 of 5 counts, and the jury then rendered a defense verdict on the two remaining counts. Jury Rejects Security Guard’s Claim After Deer Cause Accident, CT Law Tribune (Dec. 3, 2014).

Recent appellate victories include Gray v. Denny's Corp., 535 Fed. Appx. 14 (2d Cir. 2013)(reversing summary judgment awarded to Denny's restaurants on tort claims asserted by a patron who was criminally assaulted by a group of other patrons); Flores v. Velez, 111 A.D.3d 599, 974 N.Y.S.2d 134 (2d Dep't 2013)(reversing preclusion order in a case claiming negligent supervision of a church volunteer who allegedly committed sexual misconduct); Lisbey v. Pel Park Realty, 99 A.D.3d 637, 952 N.Y.S.2d 882 (1st Dep't 2012)(reversing summary judgment awarded to a building owner in connection with claims asserted by a tenant who was injured by a ceiling collapse); Spielman v. Grace Gospel Church of Suffolk, Inc., 77 A.D.3d 816, 910 N.Y.S.2d 105 (2d Dep't 2010), leave denied, 17 N.Y.3d 703, 929 N.Y.S.2d 94 (2011)(reversing denial of motion to dismiss claims asserted against a Church in connection with alleged adult sexual misconduct by a pastor); and Yeshiva Ohr Torah Community School, Inc. v Zurich Am. Ins. Co., 78 A.D.3d 686, 910 N.Y.S.2d 517 (2d Dep’t 2010)(reversing summary judgment awarded to an indemnitor in connection with the claims of indemnitee and its subrogee for reimbursement of defense costs).

Other reported decisions and verdicts include: NML Capital, Ltd. v. Republic of Argentina, 727 F.3d 230 (2d Cir. 2013); Stein v. KPMG, LLP, 486 F.3d 753 (2d Cir. 2007); Freedom Card, Inc. v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., 432 F.3d 463 (3d Cir. 2005); Ehrens v. Lutheran Church, 385 F.3d 232 (2d Cir. 2004); Berkovitz v. Home Box Office, 89 F.3d 24 (1st Cir. 1996); Wilson, et al. v. Austin, 11-cv-4594, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 104210 (E.D.N.Y., July 28, 2014); Floyd v. Liechtung, Fed. Sec. L. Rep. (CCH) P97,343 (S.D.N.Y. 2013); In Touch Concepts v. Cellco P'ship, 949 F. Supp.2d 447 (S.D.N.Y. 2013); Wilson v. Austin, 11-cv-4594, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 89191 (E.D.N.Y. 2013); Emerson Electric Co. v. Asset Management Associates of New York, Inc., 08-cv-1489, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39442 (E.D.N.Y. 2012); First Roumanian American Congregation v. GuideOne Mutual Ins. Co., 862 F. Supp. 2d 293 (S.D.N.Y. 2012); Wilson v. Austin, 11-cv-4594, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123067 (E.D.N.Y. 2012); WNET, et al. v. Aereo, Inc., 871 F. Supp. 2d 281 (S.D.N.Y. 2012); Asset Mgmt. Assocs. v. Emerson Telecom. Products, LLC, 08-cv-2506, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9434 (E.D.N.Y. 2011); Gary Friedrich Enterprises v. Marvel Enterprises Inc., 08 Civ. 1533, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30685 (S.D.N.Y. 2011); Leibowitz v. Aternity, Inc., 10-cv-2289, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70844 (E.D.N.Y. 2010); Kruse v. Wells Fargo Home Mortg., Inc., 02-cv-3089, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26092 (E.D.N.Y. 2006); United States v. Stein, 452 F. Supp. 2d 281 (S.D.N.Y. 2006); Pitts v. Allied Interstate, Inc., 04-cv-3151, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22646 (S.D.N.Y. 2004): Freedom Card, Inc. v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., 333 F. Supp. 2d 239 (D. Del. 2004); Axcelis Technologies, Inc. v. Applied Materials, Inc., 01-10029, 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9908 (D. Mass. 2003); Baxter Diagnostics, Inc. v. Novatek Med., Inc., 94-cv-5220, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15093 (S.D.N.Y. 1998); State Wide Photocopy, Corp. v. Tokai Fin. Servs., 909 F. Supp. 137 (S.D.N.Y. 1995); Brown v. General Instrument Corp., 93-cv-7907, 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5472 (S.D.N.Y. 1995); Braun v. Abbott Laboratories, 895 F. Supp. 530 (E.D.N.Y. 1995); In re GT Brands Holding LLC, 05-15167, 2005 Bnkr. LEXIS 2807 (Bnkr. S.D.N.Y. 2005); L&R Exploration Venture v. CCG, LLC, 351 P.3d 569 (Colo. App. 2015); Huang v. St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 129 A.D.3d 1053, 12 N.Y.S.3d 232 (2d Dep't 2015); Young v. Brown, 113 A.D.3d 761, 978 N.Y.S.2d 867 (2d Dep't 2014); East Midwood Jewish Ctr. v CNA Ins. Co., 72 A.D.3d 877, 898 N.Y.S.2d 662 (2d Dep’t 2010);Desena v. Federated Dept. Stores, Inc., 65 A.D.3d 662, 884 N.Y.S.2d 765 (2d Dep’t 2009); Hernandez v. Bethel United Methodist Church of N.Y., 49 A.D.3d 25, 853 N.Y.S.2d 305 (1st Dep’t 2008); Thompson v. Steuben Realty Corp., 31 A.D.3d 746, 820 N.Y.S.2d 285 (2d Dep’t 2006); Dowd v. Alliance Mortgage Co., 32 A.D.3d 894, 822 N.Y.S.2d 558 (2d Dep't 2006); L&R Exploration Venture v. Grynberg, 804 N.Y.S.2d 286 (1st Dep’t 2005); L&R Exploration v. Grynberg, 271 P.3d 530 (Colo. App. 2011); Simon v. Mehryari, 16 A.D.3d 664, 792 N.Y.S.2d 543 (2d Dep’t 2005); Corneroli v. Borghi, 11 A.D.3d 409, 783 N.Y.S.2d 572 (1st Dep’t 2004); Robinson v. Viacom Int'l, 242 A.D.2d 481, 663 N.Y.S.2d 817 (1st Dep’t 1997); R.C. Layne Constr. v. Stratton Oakmont, 228 A.D.2d 45, 651 N.Y.S.2d 973 (1st Dep’t 1996); Amico v. Graphic Arts Leasing, 231 A.D.2d 596, 647 N.Y.S.2d 815 (2d Dep't 1996); CB Richard Ellis, Inc. v. Daily Racing Form, LLC, Index No. 112466/2010, 2013 NY Jury Verdict Review LEXIS 247 (N.Y. Sup. Dec. 11, 2013); Nimir v. Nassau Univ. Med. Center, Index No. 8934/2008, 2012 NY Jury Verdict Review LEXIS 157 (Nassau Sup. Jan. 20, 2012); Tierney v. Frey, 2012 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 4056 (N.Y. Sup. 2012); Priya Hospitality LLC v. Patel, 2011 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2768 (N.Y. Sup. 2011); Egar v. Congregation Talmud Torah, 23 Misc. 3d 1111A, 885 N.Y.S.2d 711 (N.Y. Sup. 2009).

About Leonard Lesser

Admitted: 1992, New York

Professional Webpage: http://www.simonlesser.com/attorneys-leonard.html

Honors and Awards:

  • Copyright Lawyer of the Year (New York), ACQ5 Global Awards, 2016
  • Excellence in Trade Secret Litigation, Corporate LiveWire, 2016
  • 2015 Litigator Award Winner™, Trial Lawyers Board of Regents, LLC™, 2016
  • AV-Preeminent® Rated, Martindale-Hubbell®, 2016
  • Copyright Lawyer of the Year in New York, Corporate Live Wire Global Awards, 2015
  • Copyright Lawyer of the Year - New York, Corporate Intl Magazine, 2015
  • Copyright Lawyer of the Year, ACQ (Acquisition Finance) Magazine, 2015
  • Copyright Lawyer of the Year - New York, ACQ (Acquisition Finance) Magazine, 2014
  • Copyright Lawyer of the Year in New York, Corporate Intl Magazine Global Awards, 2014
  • Copyright Lawyer of the Year in New York, Global Law Experts, 2013

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • New York Bar, 1992
  • Connecticut Bar, 1991

Verdicts and Settlements:

  • Obtained a $2.35 million settlement in a premises security case where the plaintiff was brutally raped in her apartment by an intruder , 2016
  • Marchetti v. Branson Ultrasonics Corp., Case No. 126010929 (CT Sup. Ct., Danbury).  Obtained defense verdict after jury trial on behalf of a global developer, manufacturer, and distributor of plastic joining, industrial cleaning, and ultrasonics processing equipment.  The plaintiff claimed she suffered traumatic brain injuries and other damages resulting from an accident on the defendant's property.  After trial, the Court granted directed verdict to the defense on 3 of 5 counts, and the jury then rendered a defense verdict on the two remaining counts.     , 2014
  • Wilson, et al. v. Patrick Austin, 11-cv-4594 (USDC, EDNY).  Successfully prosecuted an action for fraud and related claims, and obtained a $6.5 million Judgment, inclusive of $500,000 in punitive damages, against the defendant., 2014
  • Asset Management Associates of New York, Inc. v. Emerson Telecommunication Products, LLC, 08-cv-2128 (U.S.D.C., E.D.N.Y.).  Successfully represented seller of businesses in defense of post-closing claims asserted by the buyer, including claims that seller misrepresented the value of inventory as part of the sale.  After defeating the buyer's claim for fraud based rescission of the entire transaction, as well as the agreement's arbitration provision (Asset Mgmt. Assocs. v. Emerson Telcom. Prods. LLC, 08-CV-2506, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9434 [E.D.N.Y., Jan. 25, 2011]), the dispute was arbitrated in 2013 before a forensic accounting examiner.  The Arbitrator ultimately rejected the buyer's claims for $3.9 million and found in favor of seller on its claims for a post-closing adjustment.  On January 9, 2014, the Court entered Judgment against the buyer for $1.9 million., 2014
  • CB Richard Ellis, Inc vs. Daily Racing Form, LLC, Index No. 112466/210 (NY Sup., NY Co.).  Successfully defended business against claims for brokerage commissions claimed by commercial real estate brokerage firm in connection with lease of commercial space in NYC.  After the close of discovery, the plaintiff agreed to discontinue the case with prejudice., 2013
  • Nimir v. Nassau Health Care, No. 8943/08 (Nassau Sup. 2012): Successfully represented the estate of a 15-year old boy who, while remanded for in-patient psychiatric treatment and evaluation at a New York hospital pediatric psychiatry ward, and on suicide observation, was left alone in the boy's shower room wearing and carrying hospital pants with drawstrings which he used to strangle himself., 2012
  • L&R Exploration v. Grynberg, 31 Misc. 3d 1219A,927 N.Y.S.2d 816 (N.Y. Sup. 2011), aff'd, 90 A.D.3d 538, 934 N.Y.S.2d 707 (1st Dep't 2011): Successfully represented partners in defense of claims asserted against them by an oil and gas tycoon and managing partner of their joint venture for declaratory judgment and unjust enrichment, and obtained a multimillion arbitration award and judgment against the managing partner for breach of fiduciary duty in failing to properly account for partnership proceeds.  Further obtained a contempt order and judgment for attorneys’ fees after the judgment debtor, in response to subpoena for deposition in judgment enforcement proceedings, sued partners and counsel in violation of an antisuit injunction. Following the New York contempt citation against the tycoon, Len successfully tried an alter-ego and fraudulent conveyance case in Colorado against the tycoon’s businesses, resulting in another multimillion dollar judgment in 2013., 2011
  • Priya Hospitality LLC v. Patel, 2011 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2768, 2011 NY Slip Op 31564U (Queens Sup. 2011): Successfully defeated application for injunction made by removed managing member of hotel development and management LLC for reinstatement as a result of documented claims that removed managing member allegedly committed fraud and embezzlement during hotel construction and initial management phases., 2011
  • Cash Money Records, Inc. v. Music Video Distributors, Inc., 08-cv-9769 (S.D.N.Y.):  Successfully defended national media distribution company against copyright infringement claims concerning sale and distribution of rap music film., 2011
  • Spielman v. Grace Gospel Church of Suffolk, Inc., 77 A.D.3d 816, 910 N.Y.S.2d 105 (2d Dep't 2010), leave denied, 17 N.Y.3d 703, 929 N.Y.S.2d 94 (2011): Obtained dismissal following appeal, of claims asserted against a Church in connection with alleged adult sexual misconduct by a pastor., 2011
  • East Midwood Jewish Ctr. v CNA Ins. Co., 72 A.D.3d 877, 898 N.Y.S.2d 662 (2d Dep’t 2010):  Obtained declaratory judgment affirmed on appeal against insurer for indemnification in connection with disposition of personal injury lawsuit, 2010
  • Christopher v. PharmaStem Therapeutics, Inc., 12 Misc. 3d 1186A, 824 N.Y.S.2d 761 (Westchester Sup. 2006): Succesfully prosecuted action for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and deceptive business practices against umbilical cord blood preservation company which issued communications to obstetricians around the nation threatening them with claims for patent infringement if they collected cord blood for patients who intended to preserve such cord blood with other companies., 2008
  • Zapolski/Rudd, LLC v. The Setai Group, LLC, 08 Civ. 5445 (S.D.N.Y.):  Obtained and collected substantial judgment on breach of contract claims involving financing agreement for hotel and commercial development property, 2008
  • The Shoe Factory, Inc. v. ALPI USA, Inc., No. 1996/06 (Queens Sup. 2008):  Successfully defended international freight forwarder against multimillion dollar claim for damages; obtained dismissal of affirmative claims and judgment for attorney’s fees on defendant’s counterclaims., 2006
  • Kruse v. Wells Fargo, 02-cv-3089, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26092 (E.D.N.Y. 2006):  Obtained summary judgment dismissing putative class action alleging “overcharges” and “mark ups” for mortgage settlement services in violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)., 2006
  • Joseph Phelps Vineyards v. Castello Di Borghese, 05-cv-2855 (E.D.N.Y. 2005):  Obtained an injunction and damages on behalf of one of Napa Valley’s premier vineyards against a New York winery for trademark infringement and unfair competition., 2005
  • Freedom Card, Inc. v. JP Morgan Chase & Co., 432 F.3d 463 (3d Cir. 2005): Member of team that obtained summary dismissal, affirmed on appeal, of claims for trademark infringement and unfair competition in connection with credit card product., 2005
  • Joseph Simon v. Marvel Characters, Inc., 00 Civ. 1393 (S.D.N.Y.):  Part of team that successfully represented one of the creators of the Captain America superhero character in the protection of his copyrights., 2004
  • Timothy Butler v. First Baptist Church Of Westbury, Index No.  14544/04 (N.Y. Sup., Nassau Co.): Obtained summary judgment for Church in Nassau County on claims in defamation and slander against a board member., 2004
  • Corneroli v. Borghi, 11 A.D.3d 409, 783 N.Y.S.2d 572 (1st Dep’t 2004): Obtained a directed verdict after framed issue trial, affirmed on appeal, for prominent New York City art dealer against claims for fraud, RICO and conversion., 2004
  • Ehrens v. Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 385 F.3d 232 (2d Cir. 2004):Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the Lutheran Church-Atlantic District on negligent hiring and supervision claims pertaining to an alleged sexual assault on a minor by a retired pastor., 2004
  • Barnes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Index No. 27734/00 (NY Sup, Suffolk): Obtained a directed verdict after trial on behalf of a national mortgage lender on fraud and deceptive trade practices claims in connection with the sale of FHA-financed homes, 2004
  • Rema Tip Top/North America Inc. v. G-Mills Development LLC, 01 CV-0930 (N.D. Ga.):  Successfully represented a global industrial products company against a former manager for self-dealing and tortious interference with contract., 2001
  • Thermo Wisconsin v. Langbein & Engelbracht GmbH, Index No:  99-CV-165 (Wisconsin Circuit Court, Outagamie Co.):  Obtained a TRO on behalf of Fortune 500 industrial products corporation against its former senior managers that left the company for a competitor and then raided their former employer’s senior sales staff and customer sales information., 2000
  • Boyd v. Loeb Partners Corp., 00 Civ. 7052 (U.S.D.C., S.D.N.Y.):Obtained a defense verdict after trial on behalf of a premier New York City investment firm on claims for fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and unfair competition in connection with the acquisition of a British technology company, 2000
  • Robinson, et al. v. Viacom Int’l, et al., 663 N.Y.S.2d 817 (1st Dep’t 1997):Obtained summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, on behalf of Viacom and MTV Networks dismissing plaintiff’s claims for copyright infringement and alleged theft of an idea for a television sitcom., 1997
  • R.C. Layne, Inc. v. Stratton Oakmont, Inc., 651 N.Y.S.2d 973 (1st Dep’t 1996):Obtained a landmark decision from the First Department which upheld punitive damages awarded in a securities fraud arbitration on behalf of a corporate client against a New York City brokerage firm., 1996

Representative Clients:

  • Abt SRBI Inc., Adventist Risk Management, Inc., Allied Interstate, Arlington Capital Partners, Aternity, Inc., Baxter Diagnostics, Boston Infrastructure Investments, Inc., Branson Ultrasonics Corporation, Chubb Insurance Group, CME, LLC, Daily Racing Form, LLC, Dean & DeLuca, Diagnosys Systems, Inc., Eastern Capital Development, Emerson Electric Co., GuideOne Insurance, IAC/InterActiveCorp, Ideal Hospitality LLC, Innova L.P., Interstate Chemical Corp., Loeb Partners Corporation, Main Line Broadcasting, Music Video Distributors, Inc., Priya Hospitality LLC, Reprise Media, Inc., SCS Eneregy, Sequa Corporation, Sports Information Group, Syntex Corp., Vertiv Co. 
Office Location for Leonard F. Lesser

355 Lexington Avenue
10th Floor
New York, NY 10017

 

Leonard F. Lesser:

Last Updated: 2/2/2017

Page Generated: 0.31852507591248 sec