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Jay Itkowitz has tried hundreds of jury and non-jury cases in state and federal court. Itkowitz PLLC specializes in sophisticated commercial litigation. See our Blog, which contains the full text of hundreds of decisions won by Itkowitz PLLC over the last three decades, each introduced by a brief case synopsis, often with links to press and other materials. Jay has represented an impressive list of clients, in an extremely wide range of matters.
Jay Itkowitz is a litigator, a strategist and a trial lawyer. Jay has represented hundreds of companies, individuals and major real estate companies in New York City over the last 30 years in almost every type of litigation and transaction. We could list, literally, hundreds of entries regarding cases Jay has handled. Instead, we list twenty-plus representative matters, to give you an idea of the range of cases that Jay handles.
- Jay Itkowitz tried a homestead exemption case in California affecting a four-family house in Yonkers, New York. A partner of our client filed a Chapter 7 proceeding and in a bid to retain her interest in the property declared the Yonker’s property as her “homestead” even though she actually lived in Berkeley, California. Nevertheless, because homestead exemptions are liberally construed in favor of debtors and the burden of proof is on person challenging the exemption, the trial was far from a “slam dunk”. Using documents garnered in E-Discovery, including an image of the debtor’s personal computer, Mr. Itkowitz established that the debtor never intended to live in Yonkers but instead intended to sell the property. Following two days of testimony in Oakland California Bankruptcy Court, Honorable Judge Roger L. Efremsky sustained our client’s objection to the debtor’s claim of Yonkers being her “homestead.” Read More
- Mr. Itkowitz settled a case brought by a contractor against the owner on favorable terms after a jury was selected. An interesting feature of this matter was that the former managing agent was assisting the contractor in the litigation. Discovery proved that this was in violation of an agreement between for former managing agent and the owner. The case settled right before opening statements were scheduled to be made. Read More
- Represented RCN in franchise agreement violation claim with the City of New York arising from a dispute with a contractor retained by the City for street repair. The contractor sought unreasonable compensation for “protecting” RCN telephone lines and was settled on favorable terms for our client. (NYS Supreme Court.)
- Prosecuted “alter ego” claim for major landlord against major tenant in connection with $35M breach of lease. (NYS Supreme Court.)
- Prosecuted high six figure claim for major landlord against lawyer guarantor of law firm lease. (NYS Supreme Court.) Read More
- Successfully prosecuted and settled rent claim against the United States General Services Administration for rent escalations owed on long term lease with major landlord. (Statute required that the case to be brought in the United States Court of Claims in Washington D. C.)
- Prosecuted and settled fee claim for international banking consultant firm against an arm of the Turkish Government. (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.) Read More
- Successfully prosecuted and settled “alter ego” case against Delaware entities and individuals in connection with a breach of lease for major NYC owner. (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.)
- Defense of a major real estate developer against housing discrimination case brought by the New York State Commission on Human Rights in connection with subsidized housing project. (NYS Supreme Court.)
- Representation of creditor-landlord on issue of whether Landlord entitled to administrative rent during the post-lease rejection period after warrant of eviction issued. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Cir.) Read More
- Jury trial, prosecution of breach of real estate contract claim and refusal to return down payment claim of behalf of prospective purchaser; jury back in 30 minutes in favor of our client. (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.)
- Jury trial, prosecution of “coverage” case against insurance company failing to cover contractor regarding fire in newly constructed mansion. Jury returned verdict in favor of our client within 30 minutes. (U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D.N.Y.) Read More
- Defense of software developer and contractor in infringement case where developer was accused of violating an employment non-compete clause by stealing code that he developed for banking software designed to ensure compliance with Federal Reserve regulations. (U.S. Dist. Ct. S.D.N.Y.)
- Defense of breach of contract and antitrust claim pursuant to the Robinson Patman Act against a German pharmaceutical company, settled on eve of trial when Mr. Itkowitz had the substance of defendant’s expert’s testimony stricken. (U.S. Dist. Ct., Newark.) Read More
- Prosecution of Lanham Act claim against yoga studio settled favorably. (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.)
- Prosecution of claim to rescind fraudulent conveyance and alter ego case settled favorably. (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.)
- Prosecution of claims for RICO, breach of fiduciary duty, and disloyal employee doctrine. (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.) Read More
- Defense of Preston Robert Tisch, Lawrence Tisch and Charles Benenson in six week jury trial in which the developers were sued for trespass and punitive damages arising from alleged use of adjoining landowner’s property during construction project. Settled for nominal amount while jury was out. (NYS Supreme Court.)
- Obtained favorable jury verdict and attorney fees for our client during jury trial before Judge Shira A. Scheindlin in prosecution of employment discrimination case. (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y.)
- Clearing buildings for major capital projects, including de-leasing:
- Grand Central Station so that its historic renovation could be commenced. Read More
- A series of buildings at 750 Lexington Avenue for Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation.
- The New York City headquarters of the Directors Guild of America, Inc. Read More
- A series of buildings for the New York Coliseum for the Triborough Bridge And Tunnel Authority.
- A building on 11th Avenue in Manhattan containing approximately 150 sub-tenants for Charles Benenson & Preston R. Tisch. Read More
- Represents apparel licensing company in breach of contract matter against Donald Trump. (NYS Supreme Court.)
Jay is admitted to practice in:
- The State of New York
- The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
- The United States District Court for the District of Columbia
- United States Court of Claims
- The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
Jay has done and continues to do a great deal of teaching and publishing. He has been an adjunct professor of legal writing at New York Law School and has authored many articles and given many lectures on real estate issues, including for the Practicing Law Institute, the New York State Bar Association, the Rent Stabilization Association, Lorman Education Services, Lawline, and the New York Law Journal. Jay and his law partner authored a chapter on lease remedy clauses for the New York State Bar Association Commercial Leasing Manual and are writing the New York State Bar Associations Commercial Landlord and Tenant Practice Book.
Jay received his Juris Doctor from New York Law School with honors in 1977, where he published a note in the New York Law School Law Review, “The Title Guaranty Theory and Related Decisions: Are the Courts Interfering With Exemption 7 of the Freedom of Information Act?”, 23 New York Law School Law Review 275, 1977. He also received the American Jurisprudence Award for Contracts.
During law school, Jay was a student clerk for the Hon. Gerald Goettel, U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York (1976) and the Hon. Nicholas Tsoucalas, New York State Supreme Court, Kings County (1976). Moreover, Jay contributed to a book on United States Supreme Court Justice Douglas, entitled, Independent journey: The Life of William O. Douglas, by James F. Simon, Harper & Row; 1st edition (1980).
Jay received his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing, New York in 1971.
Jay began his legal career as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, in the General Litigation, Environmental and Tort Divisions (1978 – 1982). Click here to read descriptions and full text decisions of interesting cases Jay was involved in while employed as a Corp. Counsel, including a litigation involving New York City’s city-wide cable TV contract, opposition to the construction of a coal fired plant on Staten Island, and the constitutionality of the “pooper scooper” law.
Jay has been a managing partner of a number of residential and commercial real estate projects, and was instrumental in building an executive office company offering state-of-the-art office suites for attorneys and other professionals. The company has managed up to 40,000 square feet of office space in New York and New Jersey.
Jay coproduced an independent film, Frozen River, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. The film went on to garner two Academy Award nominations, for Best Original Screenplay and Best Actress, a remarkable achievement for an independently produced and financed film.
Jay is a former investigative journalist for newspapers in the New York Metropolitan Area. He was a journalist, investigative and general assignment reporter, and copy editor for papers such as the New York Daily News, New York Post, Long Island Press, Newark Star Ledger, National Enquirer, and Village Voice, (1971 – 1978). Click here to read the full text of many articles written by Jay during his journalism career.
In 1992, harkening back to his muckraking days, at the request of the District Attorney, Jay became a confidential informant against wrongdoers in the insurance industry, and gathered evidence, even wearing a concealed wire, which lead to a wide-ranging investigation that resulted in numerous indictments and convictions.
You may especially enjoy reading Jay’s November 1970 interview of Jerry Garcia.