Neal M. Eiseman

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Construction Litigation Attorney in New York, NY

Goetz Fitzpatrick LLP
 | One Pennsylvania Plaza, New York, NY 10119
Phone: 212-695-8100
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1982
Practice Areas:
  • Construction Litigation: Business (50%),
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (40%),
  • General Litigation (10%)
Attorney Profile

For more than three decades, commercial litigator Neal Eiseman has provided legal counsel to a wide variety of corporate clients in the construction and real estate industries. Representing real estate developers, lenders, owners, construction managers, contractors, sureties, manufacturers and design professionals, he advises clients in both the transactional and litigation aspects of commercial and real estate law.

Best Lawyers selected Neal as the 2017 “Lawyer of the Year” in New York City for “Litigation-Construction Law” and Super Lawyers named him as one of the “Top 100 Lawyers” in 2016 and 2017 in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Neal’s commitment to his practice extends beyond the courtroom. He represents clients in arbitration proceedings and also serves as a neutral on the Panel of Construction Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”), including its Construction Arbitration Master Panel. He also serves on the Panel of Arbitrators for the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. He has served as an arbitrator for New York City’s Civil Court and founded the Bergen County Bar Association’s Construction Law Committee.

Neal represents clients in all types of commercial mediations. He is a member of both the AAA’s Construction Master Mediator Panel and the Panel of Mediators of the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. Several times, Neal has taught an intensive five-day AAA mediator training program entitled “Essential Mediation Skills for the New Mediator.”

As an Adjunct Professor at New York University, he teaches masters courses in construction and real estate law and negotiation and dispute resolution. In 2015, Neal received NYU’s School of Professional Studies “Award for Outstanding Service.” He is a regular guest speaker at events held by the American Bar Association (“ABA”), the AAA and various construction trade associations. In the recent past, Neal (i) appeared before more than 200 New York City School Construction Authority project managers and spoke about dispute resolution; (ii) spoke as part of a national AAA webinar on “The Overuse of Discovery in Arbitration Proceedings”; (iii) lectured about project delay and scheduling at the ABA’s New York Regional Program entitled “The Fundamentals of Construction Law”; (iv) participated on a panel of experts on “New York’s Prompt Payment Act: An Underutilized Tool for Getting your Client Paid” at New York County Lawyers’ Association; (v) spoke before the New York County Lawyers’ Association on “The Use of ADR in Construction Cases: What the Industry Forms Say about ADR”; and (vi) lectured at the ABA’s Annual Litigation Conference about “Best Practices to Maximize the Benefits of Your Next Arbitration.” He also recorded a “Sound Advice” segment for the ABA’s national website.

Earlier this year, in a decision that received national coverage, Neal represented a number of unpaid telecommunication companies who sued Wells Fargo Bank in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York for the diversion of monies funded by certain public entities to pay for the subcontractors’ work. The lawsuit, certified as a class action, was tried before Judge Leonard D. Wexler who issued a decision awarding the subcontractors 100% of their claims totaling, including interest, $2.7 million.

Neal also obtained a $1 million-plus arbitration award, which included attorney’s fees, against the sponsor of a Manhattan condominium project on behalf of various unit owners who claimed the fair market value of their apartments had been reduced by virtue of the sponsor’s actions. Neal also obtained a unanimous reversal of an adverse decision of a New York federal trial court when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals held that a “Residential Exclusion” rider in a comprehensive general liability insurance policy does not permit a contractor’s insurance company to disclaim coverage because the project in question involves the construction of a residential condominium project.

Neal writes extensively about construction and commercial issues for various legal publications. In 2015, his opinion piece on how proposed legislation in New York undermines the arbitration of business disputes appeared in the New York Law Journal. In 2015, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review published his article, “Stiffing the Arbitrators: The Problem of Nonpayment in Commercial Arbitration.” In 2013, Neal co-authored an article entitled “A Tale of Two Lawyers: How Arbitrators and Advocates Can Avoid the Dangerous Convergence of Arbitration and Litigation” for Cardozo Law School’s Journal of Conflict Resolution. His opinion piece, titled “Who Will Step Up to Protect Policyholders?”, appeared in the April 19, 2012 edition of the New York Law Journal. Neal is also the author of Practical Law‘s Guide to Construction Projects in New York.

A member of the American and New York and New Jersey State Bar associations, the New York County Lawyers’ Association and ABA Sections in Construction and Litigation, Neal is currently Chair of the ABA’s Committee on Arbitration. He is a member of the New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate/Construction Management Advisory Board, a Member of the AAA’s Arbitrator National Advisory Committee, and a Fellow and Board and Executive Committee Member of the College of Commercial Arbitrators. He is also a Member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

Neal’s expertise has been widely recognized by publications and fellow attorneys. He is a peer-selected “Best Lawyer in America®,” rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell; recognized for ten years as a “Super Lawyer®” in construction; and listed by “Who’s Who Legal” as “one of the world’s leading practitioners” in construction. Neal was also named one of Bergen County, New Jersey’s “Top Lawyers” in (201) Magazine. Chambers USA has referred to Neal as “very intelligent” and “a breath of fresh air,” praising him for his ability to “bring to the table a pragmatic approach.” Recently, Chambers noted that Neal “is the consummate professional, understanding the details and getting to the bottom of things very quickly.”

 

 
Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Construction Litigation (50%): Construction Defects

Alternative Dispute Resolution (40%): Arbitration, Mediation

General Litigation (10%): Litigation

Focus Areas

Construction Litigation: Construction Defects

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Arbitration, Mediation

General Litigation: Litigation

Selections

Selected to Super Lawyers for 11 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2007 - 2017

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About Neal Eiseman

Admitted: 1982, New York

Professional Webpage: http://www.goetzfitz.com/professionals/neal-m-eiseman/

Honors and Awards:

  • Best Lawyers "Lawyer of the Year" in New York City Litigation-Construction Law, 2017
  • Award for Outstanding Service, New York University School of Professional Studies, 2015
  • Fellow, College of Commercial Arbitrators, 2013 to present; Member; CCA Board of Directors, 2016 to 2019; CCA Officer, 2017-2019.
  • Super Lawyers "Top 100 Lawyers" in the New York Metropolitan Area, 2016 and 2017
  • Named as one of Bergen County, New Jersey’s “Top Lawyers” in (201) Magazine
  • AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • "Best Lawyers In America" in the specialty of Construction Law, 2011 to present.
  • "Super Lawyer" in the field of Construction Law, 2007 to present. 
  • "One of the World's Leading Practitioners" in Construction, Who's Who Legal

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Member, Arbitrator National Advisory Committee, American Arbitration Association, 2015
  • Fellow and Board and Executive Committee Member of the College of Commercial Arbitrators
  • Member, New York University Schack Institute of Real Estate/Construction Management Advisory Board
  • Member, Panel, Arbitrators for the International Centre for Dispute Resolution, American Arbitration Association
  • Member, Bergen County Bar Association, Construction Law Committee
  • Arbitrator, New York Civil Court, 1987-1991
  • American Bar Association, Committee on Arbitration, Chair, Sections of Litigation and Construction
  • American Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New York County Lawyers Association
  • Member, Construction Master Mediator Panel, American Arbitration Association, 2015
  • Member, American Arbitration Association Panel of Arbitrators and Roster of Mediators
  • U.S. District Court, SDNY, 1982
  • New Jersey, 1981
  • New York, 1982
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1985
  • U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, 1984
  • U.S. District Court, New Jersey,1981
  • U.S. District Court, EDNY, 1982

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • “Challenges to the Authority of an Arbitrator,” New York State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section 2017 Fall Meeting, New York, N.Y., October 26, 2017
  • “AAA Red Flags & Risk Areas: Challenges to Arbitrator Authority,” American Arbitration Association, New York, N.Y., October 25, 2017, Faculty
  • “Navigating the Unique Aspects of Construction Arbitration,” New York Law School, New York, N.Y., June 22, 2017;
  • Speaker, American Bar Association (“ABA”)
  • Adjunct Professor, New York University
  • "Construction Law," New York University Summer Institute in Construction Project Management, New York, N.Y., Summers of 2004 through 2010
  •  "Playing the Role of the Advocate at Mediation: Seven Quick Tips Worth Considering," American Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution & Construction Committees CLE Seminar, Las Vegas, Nevada, November 9-11, 2005
  •  "Strategic Preparation for Arbitration Hearings: Limited, Focused Discovery and Disclosure?," American Arbitration Association CLE Presentation for Neutral Arbitrators, New York, New York, October 14, 2004 and April 14, 2005
  •  Panelist, "How Lawyers and Mediators Can Help Each Other Resolve Cases: A Dialogue," ABA Video Conference, January 2006
  •  "Managing Construction Projects," Lorman Education Seminars, July 12, 2007,October 2, 2007 and October 20, 2010
  • Moderator, "The Proposed 'Arbitration Fairness Act': The Most Important Pro-Consumer, Employee Legislation in the Last Three Decades or an Unwarranted Attack Upon Arbitration Guaranteed to Increase Costs and Overburden Our Courts?," American Bar Association Litigation Section Annual Conference, Washington D.C., April 17, 2008
  • "Optimizing the Hearing in Arbitration for Your Client," American Arbitration Association Construction Conference, New York City, May 29, 2009 and Los Angeles, November 13, 2009
  •  "Mediator Ethics: Objective Standards & Subjective Practices," Advanced Mediator Training, American Arbitration Association, November 11, 2009
  • "We're Not Gonna Take It: Drafting a Takeover Agreement That's Acceptable to Lender, Owner, Contractor and Surety," American Bar Association, Forum on the Construction Industry, Miami, Florida, September 2, 2010
  •  "Ethics in Construction," New York University, New York, New York, February 16, 2011; "Not on My Watch: How to Properly Manage a Construction Arbitration Case," 2010 AAA/ICDR Neutrals Conference, Orlando, Florida, November 5-6, 2010
  •  "Understanding New York's Prompt Payment Act," Real Estate Board of New York and the Associated General Contractors, New York, New York, February 15, 2011
  • "Discovery in Construction Arbitration:  When is Enough, Enough?, American Arbitration Association, New York, New York, May 20, 2011
  • "The Effective Use of Mediation and Arbitration," Presentation before The New York City Bar Association, New York, New York, December 13, 2011
  •  "Discovery in Construction Arbitration:  When Is Enough Enough?" American Arbitration Association's 2012 Construction Conference at New York University Law School, June 1, 2012
  •  "New York's Prompt Payment Act:  An Underutilized Tool For Getting Your Client Paid," New York County Lawyer's Association, New York, New York, September 9, 2013
  • "The Fundamentals of Construction Law," American Bar Association, New York, New York,  November 8, 2013
  •  "Essential Mediation Skills for the New Mediator," American Arbitration Association, New York, New York, April 9-11, 2014
  • "Construction Law," New York University Summer Institute in Construction Project Management, New York, New York, June 16, 2014
  •  "Arbitration/Mediation Update," New Jersey Construction Litigation Conference, Edison, New Jersey, September 16, 2014
  •  "Stories Mediators Tell:  The Good, The Bad, The Ideal!" AAA/ABA-DR's Mediation Week 2014, New York, New York, October 14, 2014
  •  “Enough Already! Striking the Right Balance of Discovery in Arbitration,” American Arbitration Association Webinar, December 16, 2014
  •  “Construction Dispute Resolution: A Blueprint for an Effective Process,” New York City School Construction Authority, April 6, 2015
  •  “A Litigator’s Guide to Arbitration: Best Practices to Maximize the Benefits of Your Next Arbitration,” American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, April 17, 2015
  • Faculty, Training for American Arbitration Association, "eDiscovery: Arbitration in a Digital World," New York, New York, October 15, 2015 and November 12, 2015
  •  “Building a Sustainable ADR Practice,” New York State Bar Association, New York, New York, March 29, 2016
  •  “Arbitrator Ethics,” AAA Higginbotham Fellows Program, New York, New York, May 5, 2016
  •  “The Use of ADR in Construction Law Cases:  What the Industry Forms Say about ADR,” New York County Lawyers’ Association, New York, New York, May 12, 2016
  •  “The Attorney’s Role in Setting the Stage for a Successful Mediation,” St. John’s School of Law, Queens, N.Y., February 25, 2017
  • Faculty, Training for American Arbitration Association, Red Flags & Risk Areas: Challenges to Arbitrator Authority, New York, New York, April 10, 2017
  • "Unilateral Arbitration Agreements Are Now Being Enforced," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, February 1991
  • "Do Pay-When-Paid Clauses Violate New York Public Policy?" NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, October 1995
  • "A Party's Right to Demand Reasonable Assurance Expanded Beyond UCC," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, May 1999
  • "Picking the Best Forum to Resolve Disputes--Is Your Construction Client Better Off in Arbitration or Court", The Bergen Bannister, Winter 2001
  • "Picking the Best Forum to Resolve Disputes--Is Your Construction Client Better Off in Arbitration or Court", The Bergen Bannister, Winter 2001
  •  "The Time May Be Right for an Outright Appeal of the Wick's Law," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, April 9, 2003
  •  "Have You Googled Your Arbitrator? An Arbitrator's Failure to Disclose Potential Conflict Could Vacate Award," NEW JERSEY LAW JOURNAL, November 1, 2004
  • "An Arbitrator's Failure to Tell All: Will It Translate into Vacating His or Her Award?", Conflict Management, Winter 2007
  • "Businesses, Consumers at Odds Over Proposed Arbitration Act," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, June 5, 2009
  • "Mandatory Arbitration in Construction Payment Disputes," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, April 20, 2010
  • "Choosing Arbitration in Construction Cases," American Bar Association website for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Summer 2010
  •  "When a Performance Bond Surety Offers to Takeover:  Practical Considerations for the Owner-Obligee and its Lender," American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry, September 2010
  •  “A Tale of Two Lawyers:  How Arbitrators and Advocates Can Avoid the Dangerous Convergence of Arbitration and Litigation,” CARDOZO JOURNAL OF CONFLICT RESOLUTION, Volume 14, Number 3, Spring 2013, Co-Authored with John Bulman and R. Thomas Dunn; "Who Will Step Up to Protect Policyholders?"  NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, April 19, 2012
  •  "Falling Through the Cracks:  The Problem of the Non-Paying Party in Arbitration," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, October 15, 2014
  • "Stiffing the Arbitrators: The Problem of Nonpayment in Commercial Arbitration," HARVARD NEGOTIATION LAW REVIEW, April 2015
  • "Proposed Legislation Undermines Business to Business Arbitration," NEW YORK LAW JOURNAL, February 8, 2016

Representative Clients:

  • Saks & Company and Lord & Taylor
  • Tenth Avenue Holdings, LLC
  • Monadnock Construction Inc.
  • B.R. Fries & Associates, LLC
  • Tishman Hotel Corp.
  • The New York Archdiocese

Educational Background:

  • The George Washington University, BA, Majors: Journalism and Political Science, 1978
Office Location for Neal M. Eiseman

One Pennsylvania Plaza
New York, NY 10119

Phone: 212-695-8100

 

Neal M. Eiseman:

Last Updated: 7/27/2017

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