Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
The West Firm, PLLC has significant experience in representing its clients, from multinational corporations to small business and individuals, in various lawsuits, administrative and special proceedings and alternative dispute resolution. The Firm’s attorneys have over 35 years of trial and appellate experience at all levels of state and federal courts in New York, as well as administrative proceedings before the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the New York State Public Service Commission, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, the New York State Department of Labor and the New York State Department of Transportation. In addition, the Firm’s attorneys also have extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, including arbitration and mediation. The Firm’s representation ranges from general commercial litigation, including contracts, shareholder disputes, collections and negligence and liability claims, to specialized areas, such as Article 78 proceedings challenging government action in regulatory matters and eminent domain. Clients regularly seek the Firm’s counsel when they are presented with esoteric issues that demand unique skill-sets to tackle what is often bet-the-business litigation.
The Firm understands how important these high-stakes disputes are to its clients and strives to resolve these disputes in the most cost-effective manner possible, whether the resolution be through litigation or reaching a satisfactory settlement. With each case, the Firm performs a distinct, comprehensive assessment, and offers a solution-based approach based on a thorough cost-benefit analysis. What the Firm’s clients value most about the Firm’s representation is that the Firm’s attorneys approach each situation in a thoughtful, cost-effective manner that is driven by results. The Firm’s attorneys are aggressive when they need to be, but understand that the most successful outcome may require a more measured approach.
Throughout the representation, the Firm’s goal is to proactively manage disputes from inception, anticipating the divergent paths that a dispute may take and guiding the process in the most advantageous manner possible. This approach regularly results in our clients applying the Firm’s advice to other significant issues they may be facing.
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- Represented a tourist railroad company in a commercial landlord and tenant dispute and related litigation involving multiple governmental entities to preserve the railroad’s leasehold, which resulted in a global settlement that extended the term of the tourist railroad;
- Representation of a County in a dispute with a Village concerning the siting of a jail facility that led to a favorable decision following a five day trial.
- Represented oil and gas companies in a hybrid Article 78 and Declaratory Action lawsuit against the Governor, the New York State Departments of Environmental Conservation and Health and their respective Commissioners to compel finalization of the supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Study relative to high-volume hydraulic fracturing;
- Represented a regional waste services company in an aggressive lawsuit involving claims of theft of confidential business information, unfair competition, breach of duty of loyalty and good faith and fair dealing as well as breaches of restrictive covenants by pursuing novel injunctive relief that resulted in a long-term, confidential settlement agreement;
- Represented a national energy company on a complex, high-stakes construction contract dispute involving the interpretation of hundreds of invoices, change orders and the subject Master Service Agreement, together with several choice of law issues that resulted in a successful mediated settlement agreement;
- Represented an international commercial property developer on issues of liability relative to CERCLA and RCRA as well as the historic contracts between the predecessors-in-interest through arbitration, federal litigation and regulatory negotiations with the DEC;
- Successfully represented a major manufacturing client in a criminal investigation, leading to a decision by the New York State Attorney General not to pursue charges against that client.
- Represented former owners of a successful scrap metal operation against the purchaser of the company, an aggressive international conglomerate, that sued the former owners alleging personal liability based on the underlying contract, CERCLA and the oil spill law, which resulted in a confidential settlement agreement;
- Represented a large, national oil and gas operator in connection with a variety of lease disputes as well as complaints made to the New York State Attorney General;
- Represented a national oil and gas operator on a case of first impression at the appellate level regarding the application of General Obligations Law 15-304, which ultimately set favorable precedent for the industry;
- Awarded summary judgment on behalf of one of the nation’s largest natural gas producers relative to a lease dispute involving the free gas clause of the subject lease, which involved complex technical issues and interpretation of the governing lease;
- Successfully represented a client against a local municipality concerning open burning which resulted in the municipality’s admission that their long-standing code interpretation and enforcement practices regarding open burning was legally invalid;
- Instrumental in obtaining a declaration that a portion of New York’s Subdivided Lands Act is unconstitutional;
- Representation of a client in the New York State Court of Appeals on a novel Martin Act issue; and
- Representation of an energy company in an arbitration that resulted in upholding and enforcing the terms of a lease agreement with a landowner that the parties’ lease extended beyond the primary term.