Howard C. Crystal, Esq.

Partner

For more than 30 years, Howard has represented major multinational foreign and domestic companies, including banks, national retailers, manufacturers, real estate developers and owners, as well as smaller businesses and individuals, in federal and state court litigation, mediations, and arbitrations involving diverse areas of the law. These include entity disputes (corporate, partnership, limited liability company); contract, real estate, and loan disputes; products liability; environmental issues; and matters involving fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty. He routinely assists clients, both companies and individuals, in obtaining immediate help in the form of property attachments, injunctions, and stays. Howard also represents clients in the prosecution and defense of appeals in New York State and federal courts, and provides litigation avoidance and risk- assessment counseling to his clients.

 

As an outgrowth of his extensive litigation experience and superb knowledge of substantive issues acquired through his many years of practice, Howard focuses as well on his client’s transactional needs. He provides needed advice; drafts business agreements, such as customer, employee, and supplier agreements; and negotiates and drafts leases, mergers, acquisitions, financing, and restructuring documents—ably assisting his clients with both day-to-day and extraordinary legal problems.

 

Howard has provided service to major national retailers, manufacturers, and advertising companies, as well as to many individuals during his long career. He assists clients with sound and experienced legal counsel during difficult business conflicts and personal issues.

Recent Matters

  • Represented nursing home investor group in connection with multimillion-dollar claims arising out of fraud and breach of contract in connection with the purchase of 11 Cleveland homes.

  • Represented Official Receiver of the State of Israel in $160 million claim against former directors in multinational, cross-border proceeding to, inter alia, set aside secured claim of competing creditor in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, S.D.N.Y.

  • Represented major owner of New York nursing homes in the defense of an action by Suffolk County unions to block the sale of a county-owned nursing home to our client.

  • Successfully defended the attempt by the lessor of an upstate nursing facility to have the lease declared void based an alleged breach of its terms by our client, and thereby forced the lessor to sell the involved real property to our client.

  • Steered travel agency client to a successful settlement of claims and cross-claims arising from the alleged breach of an agreement of merger between our client and a competing agency and claims of fraud with respect thereto.

  • Prosecuted the breach of contract and fraud claims of building contractor client against a national religious organization, and achieved a settlement by which our client recovered its entire investment in the proposed condominium development project.

  • Defended a Brooklyn synagogue against claims by an adjacent landowner that her property had been damaged as a result of the negligence of our client and its subcontractors.

  • Guided United States subsidiaries of a large British multinational corporation to successful outcomes in numerous Superfund and toxic tort litigations and related insurance coverage litigation.

  • Successfully represented a major United States bus manufacturer as New York counsel in connection with the defense of numerous personal injury and fire damage claims, breach of contract, and warranty actions.

  • Represented a large national retailer in New York State and federal courts in connection with numerous contract disputes and real estate matters, including contract claims by suppliers, copyright infringement, and appropriation of trade secrets.

  • Represented a New York savings bank in residential foreclosure proceedings in New York State courts involving claims of lender liability.

  • Represented a New York outdoor advertising company in numerous federal and state actions relating to attempts by the City of New York to enjoin operations, and by competitors and others to sue for injunctions or contract claims.

  • Successfully defended a New York bank in claim for approximately $20 million in commissions. Settled for $50,000.

  • Successfully defended a large national retailer against multimillion-dollar claim that our client had breached a contract permitting plaintiff to solicit magazine subscriptions from our client’s customers. Motion for defense verdict granted and case dismissed.

  • Achieved full dismissal of a multimillion-dollar faulty design claim by a former prison guard against our bus manufacturer client.

  • Secured affirmance on appeal of trial judgment against major New York jewelry company and its principals.

  • Represented plaintiff in legal malpractice action relating to improper drafting of a prenuptial agreement. Settled successfully.

  • Secured summary judgment in action brought by former employer alleging breach of fiduciary obligations and misappropriation of trade secrets.

  • Successfully defended client against claims that he had breached the terms of the operating agreement by competing with plaintiff, servicing plaintiff's customers, and misappropriating plaintiff's property.

  • Successfully represented bus manufacturer in several bankruptcy proceedings brought to lift the automatic stay and recover possession of our client's buses from debtor.

  • Represented several individual limited partners in action to recover from such companies monies converted by general partner. Successfully settled.

  • Represented owners in partition and accounting actions regarding a New York apartment complex resulting in a sale of the property to our client’s advantage.

  • Serves in an ongoing capacity as general counsel to several small and mid-size companies, including a real estate brokerage firm, an IT company, a provider of cloud-based employee and billing software and services, and a manufacturer of dental products.

  • Reported Decisions of Interest:

    • Yung Bros. Real Estate Co., Inc. v. Limandri, 92 AD3d 508 [1st Dept 2012]
    • River Ridge Living Ctr., LLC v. ADL Data Sys., Inc., 98 AD3d 724 [2d Dept 2012]
    • Novovic v. Greyhound Lines, Inc., 09CV2788 CBA SMG, 2010 WL 1269774 [EDNY Apr. 2, 2010]
    • Fourth Ave. Mgt. Corp. v Limandri, 27 Misc 3d 1205(A) [Sup Ct 2010]
    • Yung Bros. Real Estate Co., Inc. v. Limandri, 26 Misc 3d 1203(A) [Sup Ct 2009]
    • Malik v. Noe, 54 AD3d 733 [2d Dept 2008]
    • United States v. Mallinckrodt, Inc., 227 FRD 295 [ED Mo 2005]
    • United States v. Mallinckrodt Inc., CIV.A.4:02CV01488ERW, 2004 WL 2624870 [ED Mo Mar. 9, 2004]
    • O'Boy v. Motor Coach Indus., Inc., 39 AD3d 512 [2d Dept 2007]
    • Imagine Solutions, LLC v. Med. Software Computer Sys., Inc., 06 CV 3793 ARR JMA, 2007 WL 1888309 [EDNY June 28, 2007]
    • Hoffman Construction Company, et al v. Allstate Ins. Co., 138 F Supp 2d 310 [EDNY 2001]
    • Howard Berger Co., Inc. v. Ye, 272 AD2d 445 [2d Dept 2000]
    • Queenie, Ltd. v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 124 F Supp 2d 178 [SDNY 2000]
    • AEC Bldg. Assoc. v. GE Capital Mortgage, 246 AD2d 496 [2d Dept 1998]
    • EDP Med. Computer Sys., Inc. v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 255 AD2d 482 [2d Dept 1998]
    • Shim v. Richman, 90 CIV. 7373 (MGC), 1994 WL 115996 [SDNY Mar. 29, 1994]
    • Lane v. Penner, 150 AD2d 643 [2d Dept 1989]
    • Royal Soc. of Medicine v. Intl. Soc. of Preventive Oncology, 602 F Supp 794 [SDNY 1985]
    • Wichita Fed. Sav. and Loan Ass'n v. Comark, 586 F Supp 940 [SDNY 1984]
    • Robco Distributors, Inc. v. Gen. Glass Intern. Corp., 101 FRD 547 [EDNY 1984]
    • Zenith Radio Corp. v. Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co., Ltd., 494 F Supp 1161 [ED Pa 1980]