Joseph D. Brees Joins Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC as Its New Associate

Joseph D. Brees
Joseph D. Brees

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC (SWC) has announced that Joseph D. Brees has joined the Firm as a new Associate. Mr. Brees will concentrate his practice in litigation and appeals, including commercial and corporate litigation, and real estate law and transactions.

Mr. Brees earned his Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Binghamton (B.A., 2015), cum laude, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (“Maryland Law”) (J.D., 2018). While attending Maryland Law, Mr. Brees interned for the Honorable W. Michel Pierson, Circuit Administrative Judge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. He also performed pro bono work for Maryland Law’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic.

Mr. Brees also served as a Staff Editor, Executive Articles Editor, and Member of the Editorial Board of the University of Maryland Journal of Business & Technology Law. He is the author of Trade Secrets Go Federal – Parade to Follow, 12 J. BUS. & TECH. L. 277 (2017), which analyzes the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and its impact on the U.S. economy.

Mr. Brees is admitted to practice in the State of New York.

“We welcome Joseph to the Firm,” said Firm Member Adam H. Koblenz. “Joseph is dedicated, bright and is quickly developing into a big asset to our clients and our growing practice.”

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

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About Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. The firm is committed to providing its clients with the highest quality representation, counsel, and advice. Practice areas include zoning and land use; real estate law and transactions; litigation and appeals; municipal law and legislative practice; cellular and telecommunications law; environmental, corporate, labor and employment law; tax certiorari and condemnation; matrimonial practice; and estate planning. The firm strives to assist its clients in a wide array of issues, serving them with skill and experience, resourcefulness, and responsibility. For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Thomas C. Haberlack Joins Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC as Counsel

Thomas C. Haberlack
Thomas C. Haberlack

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC (SWC) has announced that Thomas C. Haberlack has joined the Firm as Counsel. Mr. Haberlack concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and administration, trusts and elder law.

Mr. Haberlack is admitted to practice law in the State of New York. He is a member of the Surrogate’s Court Estates & Trusts Committee and the Elder Law Social Services and Health Advocacy Committee of the Nassau County Bar Association.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and a Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law.

“We welcome Mr. Haberlack to the Firm,” said Michael H. Sahn, the Firm’s Managing Member. “Tom has extensive experience and knowledge, and our clients are benefitting from his guidance and counsel.”

“I am excited to be a part of Sahn Ward,” Mr. Haberlack said. “I look forward to working with the Firm’s clients to help them address their estate planning and elder law needs.”

In addition to serving as Counsel with the Firm, Mr. Haberlack continues to serve as principal of his own firm, Law Office of Thomas C. Haberlack, P.C. in Garden City.

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

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About Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. The firm is committed to providing its clients with the highest quality representation, counsel, and advice. Practice areas include zoning and land use; real estate law and transactions; litigation and appeals; municipal law and legislative practice; cellular and telecommunications law; environmental, corporate, labor and employment law; tax certiorari and condemnation; matrimonial practice; and estate planning. The firm strives to assist its clients in a wide array of issues, serving them with skill and experience, resourcefulness, and responsibility. For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Court Strikes Down Hempstead Town Zoning Board Condition Requiring Owner-Occupancy of Two-Family Dwelling

Ruling Calls into Question Legality of Restrictions Posed on Thousands of Homeowners by Municipalities

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC (SWC) has announced that Christian Browne, a Member and Partner with the Firm, successfully represented a homeowner before the Town of Hempstead Board of Appeals. The Firm’s client sought to annul a condition to a variance granted by the Town of Hempstead Board of Appeals that required one unit of a two-family home to be “owner-occupied.”

The property that was the subject of the variance application is known as 1541 Bellmore Road in Bellmore. The Board had originally granted a variance to allow the dwelling to be used as a two-family house on April 25, 1956. However, because of a failure of a former owner to file “variance renewal” paperwork with the Town, the two-family variance grant lapsed in 1996. Nonetheless, the house remained a two-family dwelling.

In 2017, Kenneth Sullivan, the house’s now owner and the Firm’s client, filed an application with the Board, seeking to revive the lapsed variance and re-legalize the house as a two-family dwelling. On June 18, 2018, the Board approved Mr. Sullivan’s application, but imposed several conditions, including a condition requiring that the property owner live in one of the two units in the dwelling.

Mr. Browne argued that the “owner-occupied” condition is illegal and unenforceable because a zoning board is not permitted to regulate whouses or owns a property, but only howsuch property is used. On December 10, 2018, Denise L. Sher, Associate Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County, agreed and annulled the condition, holding that the condition is illegal because it pertains to “who owns and occupies the subject premises and not the real estate itself. Conditions which relate not to the real estate involved, but to the person who owns and occupies the subject real estate, are invalid.”

“The Court applied the law properly and we are pleased with the outcome,” Mr. Browne said. “A zoning board may only regulate the use of land, and not by whom it is used. Thus, this ruling calls into question the legality of these kinds of conditions that are commonly imposed on homeowners, not only in the Town of Hempstead, but by municipalities throughout the region.”

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Firm Successfully Protects Commercial Property Owner’s Due Process Rights in Tax Lien Foreclosure Case

Decision Allows Owner to Redeem Property, Thereby Avoiding Eviction and Loss of Business

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC (SWC) has announced that its Partners, Adam H. Koblenz, Andrew Roth, and Joseph Bjarnson, have obtained summary judgment from the Nassau County Supreme Court on behalf of their client in the case of Forest Glen Realty LLC v. T11 Funding et. al. Index No. 609334/2017).The Court’s decision protects Nassau County commercial property owners in real-property tax enforcement proceedings by holding that, in the event the tax deed owner seeks to enforce its tax deed by quieting title or a summary proceeding, they provide the former owner with the right to redeem the tax liens and their property.

Nassau County enforces delinquent real property taxes under procedures set forth in the Nassau County Administrative Code (NCAC). Under the NCAC, when a property owner fails to timely pay real property taxes, the amount of the unpaid taxes automatically becomes a lien on the real property. Once a year, Nassau County sells the liens at a public auction. Private investors can purchase the liens at the auction as investments. If a tax lien is not satisfied by the property owner within two years of its sale, the tax-lien purchaser can serve a notice to redeem on the property owner. If the property is a commercial property, and if the owner does not pay the unpaid taxes plus interest and penalties after service of the notice to redeem, the tax-lien purchaser can apply to the County Treasurer for a Tax Deed pursuant to which the Nassau County Treasurer conveys the subject property to the purchaser. Under this procedure, the property owner has no opportunity to be heard in a judicial proceeding before the Tax Deed is issued. Under the NCAC, the holder of the Tax Deed may thereafter commence a judicial proceeding in Nassau County Supreme Court to confirm that it has lawful title to the property. If the holder of the Tax Deed commences such a proceeding, however, the NCAC grants the commercial property owner the right to redeem the property in the proceeding by paying the unpaid taxes, penalties and interest. In an attempt to divest commercial property owners of their right to redeem their properties in a judicial proceeding commenced under the NCAC, some holders of Tax Deeds commence landlord-tenant proceedings to evict commercial property owners from their properties based on their Tax Deeds, in order to avoid affording the former property owner the further right to redeem.

In the Forest Glen Realty case, Forest Glen Realty (Forest Glen) owns a commercial building in Glen Cove, New York, valued at approximately $2 million. It allegedly owed approximately $1,000.00 in real property taxes on the property in 2014, unbeknownst to Forest Glen. Based upon this circumstance, Nassau County sold the tax lien on the property to T11 Funding, a private investor. When Forest Glen allegedly failed to redeem the tax lien by paying the unpaid taxes, T11 Funding applied for and was issued a Tax Deed for the property. Relying on the title that it purportedly acquired via the Tax Deed, T11 Funding commenced a landlord-tenant proceeding seeking to evict Forest Glen’s tenant from the property.

In response, SWC, on Forest Glen’s behalf, promptly commenced an action in Nassau County Supreme Court seeking, among other things, a preliminary injunction enjoining T11 Funding from prosecuting the landlord-tenant proceeding and otherwise interfering with Forest Glen’s ownership and possession of the building on the grounds that, among other things, Nassau County’s tax enforcement procedures violate Forest Glen’s constitutional rights to due process and equal protection of the law.

On November 13, 2017, Nassau County Supreme Court Judge Jeffrey S. Brown granted Forest Glen’s request for a preliminary injunction. The Court ruled that, in order to comply with fundamental requirements of due process, the commencement of the summary proceeding entitled Forest Glen “to one final opportunity to save … [its] property by paying the amount owed.” The Court ruled that T11 Funding could not circumvent this due process safeguard afforded under the NCAC by commencing a landlord-tenant proceeding against Forest Glen based on the Tax Deed.

Forest Glen then sought summary judgment against T11 Funding. On October 11, 2018, the Court granted summary judgment, which allowed Forest Glen to redeem the tax liens that were previously purchased and cancelled the owner’s tax deed upon payment of the County Treasurer.

“The ruling is a victory for commercial property owners in Nassau County and a blow to those who attempt to use Tax Deeds to confiscate commercial properties from unwary owners who failed to pay their real property taxes for one reason or another,” Mr. Koblenz said. “This recent ruling by the Court will help provide equal protection to commercial property owners in these situations. These owners will no longer have to worry about being evicted from the premises or losing their businesses.”

For more information about Sahn Ward Coschignano, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Matthew C. McCann Selected to New York Metro Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” List for Fourth Consecutive Year

Matthew C. McCann
Matthew C. McCann, Firm Associate, Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

New Hyde Park Resident Named as One of Top Employment Law Attorneys

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC has announced that Matthew C. McCann, an Associate with the Firm, was selected to the New York Super Lawyers “Rising Stars” list for the fourth year in a row.

This was the first year Mr. McCann was selected in the category of Employment Law. From 2015 to 2017, he was selected to Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” in the category of Criminal Defense: White Collar.

Super Lawyers is an exclusive list in which no more than 5% of all attorneys from the state are chosen. Rising Stars is even more exclusive, with only 2.5% of all attorneys are selected.

Mr. McCann, of New Hyde Park, is an Associate in the Firm’s Litigation and Appeals Practice Group. He has represented clients in state and federal courts, as well as before the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Justice and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. McCann was a Senior Litigation Associate at a prominent New York City firm, where he handled all aspects of employment law cases in state and federal court, and related bankruptcy proceedings, with a focus on employment matters in the financial industry. He also has extensive experience representing clients in white collar criminal defense matters. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. McCann served as a Law Clerk in the Staff Attorney’s Office of the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Mr. McCann is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association and the Regis High School Bar Association. He is admitted to practice law in New York and before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School.

“It is an honor for me to be chosen to this exclusive list for the fourth straight year,” Mr. McCann said. “It is also wonderful to have recently joined a Firm that has more than two-thirds of its attorneys selected to Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.”

The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html. No aspect of this release has been approved by the Courts of the State of New York.

For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Firm Secures Special Permit for New Peloton Fitness Facility in New York City

Daniel H. Braff
Daniel H. Braff

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC has announced that the Firm successfully represented Peloton in securing a special permit from the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) for a new fitness facility dedicated to treadmill-based workouts.

On April 10, 2018, the Firm secured a special permit from the BSA for a new fitness facility located at the corner of Greenwich Street and Christopher Street in the West Village. Peloton’s new location will comprise approximately 12,500 square feet and will house two production studios where it will livestream its new treadmill classes.

The facility is deemed a Physical Culture Establishment under the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York, and requires a special permit from the BSA. The local community board unanimously supported Peloton’s application, and the Firm was able to obtain the special permit in just over seven months.

The matter was handled by Daniel H. Braff, a Member and Partner of the Firm’s New York City Land Use and Development practice. He concentrates his practice in zoning and land use planning, real estate, environmental and corporate law, with a particular emphasis on regulations governing the use and development of real property within New York City.

He provides zoning analyses, counsels clients in connection with development rights transfers (also known as “air rights”), advises on environmental matters, and represents clients before various city agencies, including the BSA, the City Planning Commission, the Department of Buildings and the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Nassau County Bar Association to Recognize Hon. Edward G. McCabe

The Honorable Edward McCabe, Senior Counsel
The Honorable Edward McCabe, Senior Counsel

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC has announced that The Honorable Edward McCabe, Senior Counsel with the Firm, will be honored by the Nassau County Bar Association at the Association’s 119th Annual Dinner Dance on May 12 at the Marriott Hotel in Uniondale. Justice McCabe will be recognized for his 60 years in the practice of law.

The Judge began his legal career in private practice, and then served as a Nassau County Assistant District Attorney from 1967 to 1970. In 1970, the Judge became Law Clerk for the late Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Bernard Thompson. From 1971 to 1978, he served at the Town of North Hempstead, first as an Executive Assistant to the Supervisor and later as Town Attorney. After serving as Town Attorney, Justice McCabe joined Nassau County as County Attorney.

As County Attorney, Justice McCabe served as Counsel to the County Executive and to the county commissioners and department heads. He also managed the office that was responsible for all the County’s contracts, litigation, real estate, workers’ compensation and general municipal matters. In addition, he served on the Traffic Safety and Youth Boards.

Justice McCabe was elected Nassau County Supreme Court Justice in 1985 and re-elected in 1999. During his tenure on the Supreme Court, Justice McCabe also served for six years as the Administrative Judge of the Nassau County court system. As Administrative Judge, he consulted with the District Attorney to bring a Community Court to Nassau County. In addition, he instituted new programs in the Courts, including Alternative Dispute Resolution, Differentiated Case Management, Early Neutral Evaluation (for matrimonial actions) and established a Commercial Division in Nassau County Supreme Court. After serving as Administrative Judge, he was appointed as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Term of the New York State Supreme Court for the Second Judicial Department, Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts.

Justice McCabe instituted numerous programs in the Courts in conjunction with the Association for the Help of Retarded Children’s Next Step Program, including a Court floral beautification program and a Law Library project. He also introduced a mammography screening program for prospective jurors with the help of 1 in 9, the Long Island Breast Cancer Coalition and the Nassau County Department of Health, a prostate screening program, and a Juror Blood Donation Program. Jurors summoned to jury duty in Nassau County participated in these programs while serving in the courthouse.

He also served on the Unified Court System’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Committee of Torts and Education for Judges and Lawyers, the Committee to Promote Public Trust and Confidence in the Court System and the Nassau County Judicial Committee on Women in the Courts. He was named Man of the Year by the Long Beach Lawyers’ Association, the Court Officers’ Benevolent Association and the Fraternal Order of Court Officers.

As an active member of the Firm, Justice McCabe counsels the Firm’s clients, works closely with the attorneys in the Firm, and also mentors the young lawyers in the Firm. Justice McCabe also serves as an arbitrator and mediator and served as the Director of the Paralegal Studies Certificate Program at Hofstra University.

“It is an honor to be recognized by the Bar Association,” Justice McCabe said. “I am proud of my service to Nassau County and look forward to continuing to make contributions to the Firm and the Bar.”

“We congratulate Justice McCabe on being recognized for his sixty years as an attorney, a judge and a mentor,” said Michael Sahn, the Firm’s Managing Partner. “It is an honor having someone with his extensive experience in government and in the courtroom as a member of the Firm.”

For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC Expands with a New Suffolk County Office

John Farrell, a Partner with the Firm
John Farrell, a Partner with the Firm, will head the Firm’s new office in Hauppauge, New York.

Firm Partner John Farrell Will Head Hauppauge Office

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC has announced that the Firm has opened a new office in Suffolk County, located at 1300 Veterans Highway, Suite 100 in Hauppauge. The new office reflects the Firm’s growth and experience in Suffolk County.

John Farrell, a Partner with the Firm, will supervise the office. Mr. Farrell concentrates his practice in the areas of zoning and land use planning, real estate transactions, environmental law, litigation and appeals, and municipal law and legislative practice. He represents developers, property owners and franchisees in land use approval cases, municipal litigation and real estate transactions.

This is the Firm’s third location. Sahn Ward Coschignano has its main office in Uniondale and an office in New York City.

“We are proud to open our Hauppauge office,” said Michael Sahn, the Firm’s Managing Partner. “This new office will help us better serve our existing Suffolk County clients and also allow us to represent more clients in Suffolk. John Farrell’s knowledge of Suffolk County, and the fact that he resides in Babylon, makes a perfect fit for a Suffolk office. We also have other attorneys and staff who live in Suffolk, so working in Hauppauge will be very convenient.”

For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Kyle Lawrence Joins Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC as Counsel

Will Lead the Firm’s Corporate and Securities Practice

Kyle Lawrence
Kyle Lawrence

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC is proud to announce that Kyle Lawrence has joined the Firm as Counsel. He concentrates his practice in corporate and securities law, as well as real estate law and transactions. He will take a leading role in the Firm’s growing Corporate and Securities Practice.

As an experienced corporate and business law attorney, Mr. Lawrence advises clients on all types of corporate transactions, including private placements, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, corporate finance, business planning and strategies, licensing, manufacturing, supply and distribution agreements. He serves as lead counsel to a wide range of longstanding business ventures and entities, as well as numerous entrepreneurial endeavors. He also serves as outside general counsel to various privately owned companies, for whom he provides advice and guidance on all aspects of day-to-day corporate and business matters.

Mr. Lawrence represents clients in a wide range of industries, including food and nutraceutical manufacturing and distribution, restaurants, emerging technologies, retail, light manufacturing, lending, architecture and software development. He also advises private issuers and principals with respect to fund formation, operations, and compliance matters in his active private equity practice.

The Firm’s Corporate and Securities Practice represents established, privately held businesses, as well as newly formed and emerging early- and growth-stage companies. The Firm’s corporate law clients include regional and national businesses, real estate ventures, manufacturing companies, professional services firms, software development and emerging technology companies, franchises, and charitable and not-for-profit entities.

Mr. Lawrence is admitted to practice in the State of New York and before the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department. He is also a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Nassau County Bar Association. In addition, he is a Founding Member of the Hydra Collective, a professional networking organization created by and for the next generation of leaders in their respective fields. He also volunteers his time with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Mauro Foundation.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Tulane University in 2001 and a Juris Doctor from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law from Hofstra University in 2006.

“I am excited to join the Firm and become a part of this growing practice,” Mr. Lawrence said. “I am looking forward to working with the Firm’s growing roster of clients and providing them with the necessary guidance in complex corporate transactions.”

“We welcome Kyle to the Firm,” said Michael Sahn, the Firm’s Managing Partner. “His knowledge and experience in corporate and securities law will be a tremendous resource to the Firm’s clients.”

For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

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About Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC is one of the region’s most highly regarded and recognized law firms. The firm is committed to providing its clients with the highest quality representation, counsel, and advice. Practice areas include zoning and land use; real estate law and transactions; litigation and appeals; municipal law and legislative practice; cellular and telecommunications law; environmental, corporate, labor and employment law; tax certiorari and condemnation; matrimonial practice; and estate planning. The firm strives to assist its clients in a wide array of issues, serving them with skill and experience, resourcefulness, and responsibility. For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.

Elaine M. Colavito Named Partner at Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

Elaine M. Colavito
Elaine M. Colavito

UNIONDALE, NEW YORK — Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC has announced that the Firm has promoted Elaine M. Colavito to Partner. Ms. Colavito concentrates her practice in matrimonial and family law, civil litigation and commercial transactions.

Ms. Colavito is President-elect of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. She joined the organization in 2012 as a Member of its Board of Directors and also served as its Treasurer and Vice President. In 2013, she received the group’s Bessie Ray Geffner, Esq. Memorial Award for her demonstrated interest in improving the justice system, professionalism of the bar and service to the community at large.

From 2014 to 2017, she was named to Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” list in the area of Family Law, and was among the 2015 Super Lawyers “Top Women Lawyers in New York.” In 2017, she was named a Trailblazer in Divorce and Trusts and Estates by The National Law Journal and received the Top 50 Women in Business and Leadership in Law awards from Long Island Business News.

She currently writes a monthly column for The Suffolk Lawyer, a publication of the Suffolk County Bar Association, titled “Bench Briefs.” She is also the author of an article entitled “Social Networking Sites and the Right to Privacy: Kathleen Romano v. Steelcase and Educational Institutional Cooperative Services, Inc., Index No. 2233/06” that appeared in the Winter 2011 edition of the Medicine and Law Committee Newsletter, a publication of the American Bar Association. She has also lectured before the NYSBA Young Lawyers section.

Ms. Colavito is admitted to practice in the state of New York and before the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to serving with the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, she is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association and the Nassau County Columbian Lawyers. She graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and magna cum laude from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

Ms. Colavito is a resident of Brentwood.

“I am pleased to be named Partner with the Firm,” Ms. Colavito said. “It has been a great experience for me to be a part of a Firm that recognizes its attorneys for their hard work but also understands the importance of work-life balance.”

“We congratulate Ms. Colavito and recognize her leadership, expertise and service to the Bar and the community,” said Michael H. Sahn, Managing Partner, Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC. “She is an important part of our Firm’s ability to serve our clients.”

For more information, call (516) 228-1300 or visit www.swc-law.com.