Matt is a seasoned litigator and frequent lecturer presenting continuing legal and education courses to lawyers, insurers, claims examiners, administrators, and the public. He has litigated, published, and lectured on employment and administrative law, insurance, sub-prime mortgage fraud, and trade secrets. His practice embraces virtually every aspect of the firm’s specialties and focuses on administrative, business, commercial, and regulatory disputes and includes the firm’s Employment and Related Practices matters as well as our insurance coverage disputes. He strives to balance aggressive litigation and ADR to achieve cost-effective solutions in and out of court. The results speak for themselves.
Business Torts, Misc. Commercial Claims, E&O/D&O Defense
- In Excess Line Association of New York v. Waldorf & Associates, 130 A.D.3d 563, 13 N.Y.S.3d 464 (2d 2015), Matt developed the firm’s successful defense strategy resulting in pre-answer dismissal of ELANY’s novel complaint asserting excess line fraud, Consumer Protection, and Donnelly Act Claims against an insurance consortium, which was upheld
- In Newburgh Commercial Development Corp. v. Goldsand Agency, Matt’ successfully deployed a blend of aggressive litigation and use of ADR to obtain a favorable pre-trial settlement of a developer’s negligent title search claim against a small family-owned title agency following the rehabilitation of the title insurer.
- In FDIC-R AmTrust Bank, N.A. v. Malik, Matt aggressively defended a small local title agency against an out-of-state bank’s failed effort to capitalize on New York’s sub-prime mortgage market in a buy-back action seeking in excess of $10,000,000 in fraud damages against the bank’s former attorneys and mortgage brokers. The FDIC sought to impose joint and several liability on the collateral parties to the underlying real estate transactions such as title agents and counsel for buyers and sellers. Matt attacked the FDIC-R’s theory on the merits and aggressively pursued early settlement to avoid protracted and costly litigation.
- In Staack v. Coleman, No. 2078/2008, 2013 WL 237858 (Sur. Ct. N.Y. Co. Jan. 18, 2013), Matt successfully led the defense of a property manager and leveraged the withdrawal of a Surrogate’s Court petition by moving to dismiss the special proceeding to avoid protracted and costly litigation.
- In Abetta Boiler & Welding Services, Inc. v. American International Specialty Lines Insurance Co., 76 A.D.3d 412, 906 N.Y.S.2d 540 (1st Dep’t 2010), Matt successfully led the defense of a wholesale insurance broker against an indemnification claim for late notice and the ensuing loss of insurance coverage for workplace wrongful death and personal injury claims and obtained a unanimous decision on appeal granting his summary judgment motion and dismissing the complaint.
- In Jagger v. Katz Park Ave. Corp., Matt successfully led the managing agent’s defense and obtained summary judgment dismissing Bianca Jagger’s Park Avenue toxic mold claims.
- In Bianco v. AXA Equitable Life Insurance Co., No. 001972/09, 2009 WL 3780684 (Sup. Ct. Nass. Co. Oct. 29, 2009), Matt obtained a pre-answer dismissal of a fraud complaint arising from annuities sales against the insurer and agent.
- In Great American Assurance Co. v. 460-474 Spring St., LLC, Matt successfully led a managing general agent’s defense and obtained summary judgment of a mortgagee’s force-placed insurer during admission pro hac vice in New Jersey.
- In Manti’s Transportation, Inc. v. CitiCapital Commercial Corp., Inc., No. 06-CV-1699, 2008 WL 977192 (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 9, 2008), Matt developed the firm’s successful defense strategy for commercial lenders resulting in the pre-answer dismissal of a RICO complaint brought on behalf of a closely-held corporation when the plaintiff’s principal, a former mob associate, returned from federal witness protection and challenged a prior judgment.
- In Pluralis, LLC v. Romaine, Matt successfully defended The Central Pine Barrens Joint Planning & Policy Commission and obtained a pre-answer dismissal of a developer’s petition and amended petition challenging the Commission’s land management plan and Pine Barrens Credit Program.
- In Korean Joong Bu Presbyterian Church v. Incorporated Village of Old Westbury, Matt again forced an early settlement with aggressive litigation while moving to dismiss alleged SEQRA violations and disgorgement claims.
Employment And Related Practices
- In Bernardino v. Nicolia Concrete Products, Inc., while the firm is rarely engaged as plaintiff’s employment lawyers, we took Ms. Bernardino’s shocking case against her former employer when she was terminated immediately following her request for leave to attend chemotherapy treatment. Matt applied his skills as a commercial and business litigator to Ms. Bernardino’s ADA, FMLA, and HRL claims and successfully obtained a confidential pre-trial settlement.
- Matt has obtained several no-probable cause findings from the New York State Division of Human Rights dismissing baseless discrimination charges brought against private employers, whom we prefer remain private. Matt attacks even pre-litigation charges creatively and thoroughly to compel the correct conclusion in the first instance and to discourage future litigation. For example, he analyzed an employer’s electronically stored information to disprove a claimant’s asserted timing of the alleged adverse employment decision to refute any correlation of discriminatory or retaliatory practices and he has developed analyses of employers’ current and former workforces to demonstrate that no inference of any discrimination could reasonably be drawn from the challenged practices.
- Matt Aggressively led various commercial property and homeowner insurance coverage litigations resulting in complete pre-answer dismissals, Curte v. Publ. Svc. Mut. Ins. Co., Curte v. Publ. Svc. Mut. Ins. Co., Dawg Realty Inc. v. Publ. Svc. Mut. Ins. Co., and dismissal of bad-faith, Consumer Protection, and extra-contractual damage claims, 1087 Utica Ave. Corp. v. Magna Carta Companies, Kankeshwar LLC d/b/a Yankee Clipper v. Public Svc. Mut. Ins. Co.
- In Sackman Enterprises, Inc. v. Chubb Custom Insurance Co., No. 11-CV-5411 (S.D.N.Y. 2014), Matt developed the firm’s coverage analysis and litigation strategy and successfully led a commercial building owner’s coverage claim for the complete loss of an old-law building that had been condemned during the Second Avenue Subway construction to favorable confidential pre-trial settlement during summary judgment motion practice.
Matt graduated with honors from The George Washington University Law School where he interned for the Honorable United States District Court Judge Marvin J. Garbis in Baltimore, Maryland and worked as a law clerk at the Institute for Justice, a non-profit public interest law group in the District of Columbia. Matt grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated cum laude from The University of Oregon after spending his senior year abroad at Saint-Petersburg State University in Russia. Before moving to Washington, D.C. to attend law school, Matt worked in the shipyard in Portland, Oregon as a labor specialist attaché to the machinist trade, assembling and laying-off crews and translating for Russian employees.
Matt originally joined Ohrenstein & Brown as an associate in the firm’s Manhattan office and now lives with his family on Long Island’s North Shore. He is a volunteer advisor for the George Washington University’s Career Advisor Network and is certified to serve as a court appointed guardian, court evaluator, and attorney for incapacitated persons. After volunteering as an arbitrator in the New York City, Civil Court, Matt has served as a solo Arbitrator for Nassau County District Court since 2011. He is a member of New York State Bar Association, New York County Lawyers’ Association, Nassau County Bar Association, and the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.