The firm’s litigation group represents clients in federal, bankruptcy and state court proceedings at both the trial and appellate levels, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. Our clients range from corporations, banks, hedge funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions to individual entrepreneurs. Among the matters we litigate are cases arising out of debtor-creditor relationships, commercial tort, fraud and contract actions, and disputes among competing lenders.
We are known for our tenacity, our aggressive pursuit of remedies for our clients, and our tireless defense of claims against our clients. But we also understand that litigation arises within a business context. Our attorneys have the experience and business acumen to analyze sophisticated transactions or business disputes and devise strategies that maximize benefits and minimize exposure for our clients.
We are proud of the many important, precedent-setting successes we have achieved for our clients over the years. And we are equally proud to have helped many clients to avoid protracted litigation through appropriate counseling, sound advice and negotiation.
In general, we staff our major litigation cases with fewer attorneys than are typical at other firms. We prefer using smaller teams with deeper knowledge of, and involvement in, each matter, rather than many people performing isolated tasks. Over the years, we have found that our approach contributes significantly to efficiency, client confidence and associate satisfaction.
Our litigators are experienced in handling a wide spectrum of disputes, including, among other areas:
The work done by accountants is subject to particular scrutiny in the representation of banks and other financial institutions or corporations that have suffered financial failure. As a result, a significant body of case law has evolved to establish and refine the bounds of accountants’ legal liability. Because we have been involved in numerous actions against accounting firms, we are in a particularly good position to advise a client of the existence of such a claim, the basis for it, and the possibility of its success.
When business relationships such as law partnerships, medical practices, joint ventures or corporations face disputes or dissolution, individuals need representation to protect their interests in the existing business and to go on to establish new ventures. The firm has successfully represented parties involved in business relationship disputes, both in the courts and arbitral forums, as well as reaching negotiated settlements so as to avoid the need for litigation.
Our litigators have defended clients in class actions brought both by consumers and in commercial contexts. We know the unique procedural twists that may arise in such cases and have the practical experience to manage these matters to our client's advantage.
Corporate Investigations and White Collar Crime
The firm regularly works with clients, corporate boards and special committees to investigate and advise on internal corporate matters, including issues arising under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, securities regulations and reporting, and corporate ethics matters. Our white collar criminal practice includes the representation of businesses and individuals who are involved in or subject to federal or state investigations and prosecutions.
Crisis Advice and Management
When a business faces a crisis such as discovery of a fraud or a major problem with a product or employee, there may be an immediate need for public disclosure, to address regulatory issues or institute prompt court action, or to take other legal steps to protect corporate assets. We leverage our extensive legal and practical experience to provide clients with the prompt, clear-headed advice they need to weather such turbulent times.
As discovery proceedings and obligations grow more complex, the firm has developed expertise in advising and assisting clients who are parties or non-parties in dealing with electronic discovery. We are regularly retained on matters involving millions of pages of paper and electronic documents, and can work with clients to develop and implement appropriate document retention policies and programs.
The firm's experience in commercial litigation includes the representation of banks, hedge funds, insurance companies and other financial institutions in a variety of circumstances. We are known for our expertise in many areas of law that financial institutions may confront, including:
General Corporate Matters
We represent both corporations and partnerships in all types of disputes and litigation, including:
We counsel clients to consider whether and to what extent there may be insurance coverage available, such as directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, professional liability insurance and casualty insurance. The firm also represents insureds, insurers and third-party beneficiaries in disputes regarding coverage, liability and damages.
Our lawyers collaborate closely with counsel in other jurisdictions to pursue and protect our clients’ rights. We have a deep understanding of the ways in which United States law works in relation to international conventions and treaties in cross-border trade disputes and international bankruptcies, and we apply this knowledge to the defense or remedies of our creditor clients, whether the debtor is located or organized outside the United States or within the United States with assets abroad. We are also conversant in the intricacies of international and domestic laws governing letters of credit and related matters of international trade, finance and international banking.
Mortgage-Backed Securities and Collateralized Debt Obligations
We represent issuers, underwriters, insurers and other credit guarantors and purchasers who have been parties to structured finance transactions in investigations and litigations. At the heart of the financial turbulence facing the global economy is the complex world of residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities and other collateralized debt obligations. We are adept at counseling and litigating the contract, representation and warranty, fraud and other tort claims that the parties face or may assert in connection with these transactions.
Real Estate Litigation
Our lawyers understand the steps necessary to litigate real estate matters successfully, and are able to avoid pitfalls that may prevent a lender or other party enmeshed in a real estate dispute from successfully protecting its position or pursuing remedies.
Risk Management and Portfolio Reviews
We review loan portfolios on behalf of either prospective buyers or sellers, and provide counsel to our clients with respect to the litigation and other legal risks affecting such portfolios.
Toxic Asset Workouts, Disposition and Litigation
The firm represents lenders and other parties in connection with workouts, dispositions and litigation of “toxic” assets, including real estate parcels and portfolios. Our clients include financial institutions and government agencies engaged in the management and disposition of problem assets. We assist clients in all aspects of the workout and disposition process and, where necessary, the enforcement of their rights in the courtroom.
Otterbourg is proud to be one of the few mid-sized law firms participating in the Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Career Program in Corporate Law. For more than 25 years, SEO has provided internship opportunities at the most prestigious law firms in New York City to promising students of color.
By helping to create opportunities for minority students, we reaffirm our commitment to diversity both within and outside the firm. We strongly believe that a diverse work environment not only enables us to provide the highest quality legal services to our clients, but also enhances the experience of every lawyer at the firm. For this reason, we have set ourselves the goal of recruiting and advancing talented attorneys with a wide range of backgrounds, life experiences and cultural perspectives.
To achieve this objective, we have established a Diversity Action Committee (DAC) comprised of the firm’s chairman and certain members of the firm and associates, which meets regularly to recommend and implement diversity-related programs and initiatives. We also provide training to all personnel on the importance of diversity within the firm.
The firm also supports the efforts of its lawyers and staff to give back to the community. In addition to pro bono representation for needy individuals and organizations, we give significant financial support to a variety of non-profit organizations.