Cyd Smith participated in the Greenwich Association of Realtors 2019 Attorney Panel at the Greenwich Water Club. Watch a clip from her portion of the panel here:
A team from the Firm composed of Tom O’Connor, Wyatt Jansen, John Hendele, Eva Kliegman, Giovanni D’Amico, and Michael Battema participated in the Center for Children’s Advocacy Play for Kids event on March 7th at Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Connecticut. Play for Kids is a friendly athletic competition between teams of young professionals from throughout the NYC metro and Fairfield County area. Play for Kids raises funds for the Center for Children’s Advocacy, an organization providing legal services to Connecticut’s most vulnerable children. The Firm raised $1,200 for CCA by participating in the event.
The Firm is proud to announce that that Luke Tashjian was recently elected as a Fellow by The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).
ACTEC is an organization of peer-elected lawyers and law professors who are skilled and experienced in the preparation of wills and trusts, estate planning, and probate procedure; and administration of trusts and estates of decedents, minors, and incompetents. To become an ACTEC Fellow an attorney must first be nominated by an existing Fellow, undergo a substantial application process, and then be voted on by the ACTEC Fellows in the states in which the Lawyer has practiced in the past ten years (i.e. Connecticut, New York, and Massachusetts for Luke). After being approved by the Fellows in the states, the attorney is voted on by the ACTEC Board of Regents at a national level. Lawyers and law professors are elected to be Fellows based on their outstanding reputation, exceptional skill, and substantial contributions to the field by establishing a history of lecturing, writing, teaching, and participating in bar leadership and legislative activities. ACTEC is the premiere estate planners’ organization in the United States, comprised of leading trusts and estates lawyers in all 50 states.
The Firm successfully opposed an application for a variance to construct an apartment building on West Putnam Avenue. Jim Fulton took the lead in representing the opposition group against the project and request for the variance to accommodate it. The Greenwich Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals denied the application.
Luke Tashjian presented at the Westchester County Chapter of the New York Society of Independent Accountants regarding The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and Connecticut and New York’s Responses to the Act.
The Firm prevailed on its motion to strike two counts of a complaint in a trusts and estates dispute over nearly $20 million in transfers. Our motion raised the unsettled issue of whether and in what circumstances Connecticut courts should recognize a cause of action for tortious interference with an inheritance. A judge sitting on the Superior Court’s Complex Litigation Docket agreed with our arguments that, whether or not the tort is recognized, the plaintiffs had failed to plead the level of tortious conduct required to state such a claim. The court further agreed with us that the plaintiffs had no legitimate expectancy interest under the divorce agreement under which the plaintiffs’ claims allegedly arose, dooming both the tortious interference with an inheritance claim and a related claim for tortious interference with a contract. Charlie Pieterse and Wyatt Jansen handled the matter.
Luke Tashjian presented at the Connecticut Bar Association’s Annual Conference on the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Luke Tashjian presented at the National Business Institute on the Income Taxation of Trusts and Structuring Marital Trusts.
The Firm successfully moved for summary judgment on behalf of our client, a national, federally chartered bank (the “Bank”). Through the motion, the Firm established that the Bank’s $1,745,000 commercial loan was made in good faith, in an arms-length transaction, and pursuant to the Bank’s standard commercial lending policies. Plaintiff was unable to show that the Bank willingly took part in alleged fraudulent transfers perpetrated by other defendants in the case, and Plaintiff presented no evidence that a reasonable basis existed for the Bank to suspect something was wrong with the transaction. The court found the Bank acted in good faith and, in granting the motion, refused to void the Bank’s mortgage on two Greenwich commercial properties securing the loan. Rod Saggese and Michael Battema handled the matter.
Luke Tashjian presented at the National Business Institute on Marshalling Assets and Handling Claims Against Estates
Charlie Pieterse and Michael Battema presented in both Hartford, CT and Norwalk, CT at the National Business Institute’s seminar, “Estate Administration from Start to Finish.” Charlie and Michael’s topic was “Ethics and Estate Administration.”
Luke Tashjian served as the moderator for a panel discussion held by the Tax Section of the Connecticut Bar Association on Ethics in Tax Practice.
The Firm represented one of the largest owners, operators, and managers of commercial real estate in the Northeast in connection with property tax assessment appeals for its entire 1.5 million square foot Westchester County portfolio of office buildings. We successfully negotiated tax refunds totaling over $3.1 million and obtained prospective tax relief in excess of $600,000. Cyd Smith handled the matter, with assistance from Thomas P. O’Connor, Wyatt R. Jansen, and Michael A. Battema.
The Firm is proud to announce that Gillian Ingraham has joined the Firm as an associate in the Real Estate Department. Gillian has experience in the purchase and sale of residential real estate throughout Fairfield County, and represented lenders and borrowers in real estate transactions. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2012 and Pace University School of Law in 2016.
Luke Tashjian presented at the Fairfield County and Westchester County Chapter of the International Fiscal Association Regarding the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The Connecticut Superior Court granted summary judgment in favor of the Firm’s client, BNY Mellon, Trustee of the Charles T. Haight Trust. Jim Fulton represented the Trustee Bank, who had been sued by the income beneficiary for breach of fiduciary duty and reckless conduct. The court found that none of the claims in the three-count complaint were efficacious and that judgment in favor of the Trustee Bank was appropriate on all claims.
The Firm successfully moved to dismiss an appeal taken by a Swiss trustee from a probate court decision holding that it had jurisdiction to hear a trust accounting petition. The court agreed with our arguments that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the appeal because the trustee was not aggrieved by the probate court’s decision merely to hear the matter. This decision conclusively preserves the probate court’s finding of jurisdiction in a case where the trustee had twice moved to dismiss claiming that the petition should be brought in an offshore jurisdiction. Charlie Pieterse, Richard Lawler, and Wyatt Jansen handled the matter.