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Jeffrey W. Pagano

Jeffrey W. Pagano is a partner in the Labor & Employment Group. He focuses upon all forms of corporate operating design, litigation and negotiation, primarily in the area of labor and employment law, arising under the NLRA, RLA, Jones Act, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, ADEA, FLSA, SCA, ERISA, E.O. 11246, Rehabilitation Act, VEVRAA, OSHA, ADA, FMLA, SCA, FCRA, FCA, as well as the numerous state statutory schemes impacting the workplace, throughout the U.S. Additionally, he continues to litigate significant complex commercial matters arising out of the purchase and sale of business organizations, intellectual property, and contractual disputes in courts throughout the U.S. or in the arbitration context. His experience and knowledge is deep, having had the opportunity over a 30-year period to strategically build, restructure and/or rebuild organizations, whether union represented or union-free, in order to create value. In doing so, he deals with the complexity of simultaneously achieving internal change, while managing the risk of external liability and minimizing the cost of implementation.

OVERVIEW

Mr. Pagano has experience in many industries, including all forms of transportation (armored, OTR, shipping, aircraft), manufacturing, financial, automotive, steel, retail and consumer products, hospitality, health care, and a myriad of other service industries. He approaches each assignment as unique, requiring independent and creative thinking, regardless of the “norm,” in order to achieve a client’s objectives.

Mr. Pagano has been involved in hundreds of union organizing campaigns on behalf of management. He also has extensive experience before the NLRB, in collective bargaining, as well as the ongoing administration of the employment relationship, including arbitration. Mr. Pagano has also developed workplace policies and procedures that produce effective internal workplace dispute mechanisms designed to avoid external liability. These practices enhance management’s operational and leadership credibility, while reducing union organizing risk, discrimination claims, whistleblower claims and wage hour claims (collective, class, and individual), which reduces the potential legal spend in the process. In this regard, once a client has followed the program designed by Mr. Pagano, whether in relation to an organizing campaign, wage-hour and other compliance processes or any workplace system, should litigation arise, he can utilize alternative fee arrangements to reduce the legal spend and “partner” with the client toward the resolution of any dispute arising as a consequence. Mr. Pagano’s client relationships are typically long standing because he actually invests in the relationship at many levels.

CLASS AND COLLECTIVE ACTIONS

Mr. Pagano routinely defends employers facing class and/or collective action wage-hour claims throughout the U.S., whether arising under federal or state law. He has managed the entire wage hour defense process in approximately 15 class and/or collective actions, encompassing claims of minimum wages, tip credit, overtime, off the clock, on-call payments, uniform maintenance, meal and rest periods, protective devices, exempt status, itemized payroll documents, waiting time, fraudulent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and independent contractor status. Typically, he has been able to either achieve a dismissal of claims or a favorable disposition from the perspective of the client in the settlement context.

Mr. Pagano uses his years of litigation experience to design operational practices which eliminate wage hour claims, as well as diminish the likelihood of class certification and potential liability. He has been called upon to structure internal and external employment and operating policies and procedures that minimize non-compliance with applicable interstate and intrastate wage hour statutory schemes, from hours of service obligations of OTR teams, to electronic messaging to tip credits, as well as designing web based local on time delivery systems which ensure the continued preservation of independent contractor status.

REPRESENTATIVE CLASS AND COLLECTIVE ACTION ASSIGNMENTS

  • Polanco v. Brink’s, Incorporated(LA Superior Court, Complex Division (2012)) dismissal of class action inadequate class representative.
  • Rodriguez v. Brink’s, Incorporated(LA Superior Court, Complex Division (2012)) denial of class certification of thousands of employees because individual issues predominated over common issues.
  • Guaman v. 5 “M” Corp. (SDNY 2012) denial of FLSA and NYSLL class and collective action concerning multiple restaurant operations but one restaurant operation.
  • Hernandez v. Brink’s, Incorporated(SDFL 2009) grant of summary judgment in FLSA collective action for overtime compensation, covering mixed fleet operations, based upon FMCSA.

LABOR MANAGEMENT RELATIONS

Mr. Pagano has extensive experience in negotiating with and litigating against the most sophisticated labor unions in the country, including the International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), American Postal Workers Union (APWU), Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the International Longshoremen’s Union (ILA), the Machinists (IAM) the Steelworkers (USW), United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and numerous labor organizations pursuant to 9(b)(3).

When acting either as lead negotiator or strategic advisor, he has successfully managed contentious collective bargaining negotiations through impasse and implementation of final offer, without any adverse findings by any regulatory authority.

SPECIFIC LABOR MANAGEMENT RELATION PROJECTS

  • Operationally restructured a nationwide market leader in the secure transportation industry through the creative and aggressive use of legal tactics and operational strategies, prevailing in hundreds of proceedings before the NLRB and in various federal courts. As a consequence, the historical collective bargaining representatives were eliminated without any business interruption, and the historical culture and operational methodology of the business operations was replaced thereby increasing operating and asset values for investors. Not one proceeding before any regulatory authority or court, including before the NLRB, EEOC, and DOL resulted in an adverse outcome.
  • Structured the acquisition and merger strategy of the largest domestic non-union heavyweight freight -forwarder requiring the integration of an organized employer, resulting in a non-union merged enterprise, thereby increasing the operating and asset value of the transaction, without any business interruption. Not one proceeding before any regulatory authority or court, including before the NLRB, EEOC, and DOL resulted in an adverse outcome.
  • Structured the acquisition and labor strategy of the largest domestic heavyweight cargo freight forwarder of a domestic heavyweight air cargo carrier, which was leveraging the forwarder during peak demand to be acquired, as the carrier’s pilots had recently voted for labor organization representation in a proceeding before the NMB. After finalizing the transaction, Jeff designed the operating structure of the transaction to enhance the application of the NLRA to protect the freight forwarder and its non-union NLRA workforce, while acting as lead negotiator to successfully negotiate the pilots collective bargaining agreement under the RLA, which contained groundbreaking productivity, operational flexibility and scope provisions, including scheduling, compensation and dispute resolution, that enhanced the operating success  and asset value of the overall enterprise. Not one proceeding before any regulatory authority or court, including before the NLRB, NMB, EEOC, and DOL resulted in an adverse outcome.
  • Restructured an operating strategy for the largest over the road mail carrier following a series of acquisitions, and created, as well as executed as lead negotiator a national bargaining strategy to change historic collective bargaining relationships and operating culture, implicating simultaneous Service Contract Act and NLRA adherence. Jeff successfully negotiated pattern-making collective bargaining agreements, which improved the carrier’s competitive position for future government contracts. Not one proceeding before any regulatory authority or court, including before the NLRB, EEOC, and DOL resulted in an adverse outcome.
  • Structured an acquisition labor strategy and methodology of two EU freight forwarders in the U.S., which included the integration of the business and revenue of the acquired U.S. freight forward operations, while eliminating collective bargaining relationships as lead negotiator throughout the implementation of the collective bargaining strategy. Not one proceeding before any regulatory authority, including the NLRB, EEOC, and DOL resulted in an adverse outcome.
  • Created a collective bargaining strategy for an entire industry in the U.S., which successfully leveraged fundamental operating and economic change throughout the East Coast, for domestic participants in the ocean transportation industry implicating numerous regulators, including the DOJ, NLRB, EEOC, and DOL.
  • Created and executed a collective bargaining strategy as lead negotiator involving the hospitality industry, involving the certain work central to the industry covered by the collective bargaining agreement. He was able to convert the internal workplace into a real estate transaction on behalf of a third party allowing for the outsourcing of the work historically performed on the premises. Not one proceeding before any regulatory authority resulted in an adverse outcome.
  • Created and executed a labor/litigation strategy within the energy and construction industry implicating the NLRA and the RLA, which was designed to manage and appropriately deploy 8(f) collective bargaining agreements at various locations throughout the U.S. Not one proceeding before any regulatory authority resulted in an adverse outcome.
  • Designed the structural elements of a web based “last mile” transportation providers and brokers to ensure independent contractor status to avoid wage-hour liability and litigation.
  • Negotiate, implement and monitor various multi-union PLAs on behalf of investor and construction enterprises within the solar energy and construction industry.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY/COMMERCIAL LITIGATION

Mr. Pagano has also devised policies, procedures, and agreements, as well as structure business transactions to protect intellectual property from theft or misuse by incoming or outgoing employees and failed business arrangements. He has successfully commenced litigation designed to thwart the theft and/or misuse of intellectual property by former employees and/or competitors. He routinely litigates commercial disputes arising in the construction, transportation and live events industries.

INTERNATIONAL

Mr. Pagano’s employment practice is not limited to the United States. He has evaluated and structured organizations in foreign jurisdictions, remaining sensitive to local practices and cultures. Additionally, employment litigation can arise among jurisdictions depending upon a definition of an employer within each jurisdiction, which has prompted Mr. Pagano to be responsible for simultaneous multiple-country employment issues and disputes.

In addition to his employment practice, Mr. Pagano also has extensive experience representing multi-national clients in the international air-freight, logistics and transportation industries relating to regulatory, customs matters, and trademark protection, as well as structuring agreements for the transportation of international cargo, litigation of pricing issues under multi-lateral treaties affecting international cargo and mail, and litigation of international mail and international cargo matters, including intellectual property claims arising under the Lanham Act.

Mr. Pagano is Contributing Editor of the Developing Labor Law, and a lecturer for the American Management Association and the Institute for Applied Management and Law, Inc. He served as counsel to the general counsel, National Labor Relations Board, Region 9, Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Pagano has participated in various speaking forums, including the National Policy Conference sponsored by the National Mediation Board concerning the globalization of collective bargaining under the RLA in the airline industry, National Armored Car Association, and the Independent Armored Car Association, and he has testified before Congress.

Affiliations

Admitted to practice: New York, New Jersey and District of Columbia bars; the U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Ninth and Eleventh, DC Circuits; U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey; U.S. District Court, District of Columbia; U.S. District Court, Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York; U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan; and U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Reza Ebrahimi

Mr. Ebrahimi is a general practitioner with a concentration in commercial transactions, real estate and business law. He is experienced in several fields, including civil litigation, administrative law, environmental law, real estate, leasing, landlord tenant, wills/estate administration and legal and business matters related to gas stations and the motor fuel industry. His practice also includes complex commercial agreements/transactions, business asset and stock purchase/sales, corporate/LLC matters, employment law, and land use.

Mr. Ebrahimi received a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School in 2005. He obtained his B.A. in 2000 in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

During law school, Mr. Ebrahimi worked as a law clerk at the New York State Attorney General’s Office in both the Securities and Real Estate Investment Protection Bureaus. He also clerked at the New York City office of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

Mr. Ebrahimi is admitted to practice law in New York State and is a member of the New York State Bar Association.

Professional and Civic Associations:

Bryan C. Van Cott

Mr. Van Cott has honed his skill as a business lawyer by developing a general practice with a strong emphasis on corporate and commercial transactions, real estate matters, and commercial litigation.

On the transactional side, Mr. Van Cott has assisted business clients with, among other things, initial start-up, mergers and acquisitions including stock and asset sales, day-to-day business and legal consulting needs, and the negotiation and drafting of a wide variety of contracts and business agreements. He has closed numerous mergers and acquisitions that have ranged from a purchase or sale of a small business to a complex $58M sale of assets to a subsidiary of Tyco International (US) Inc. In addition to his experience drafting and negotiating asset purchase, stock purchase, and merger agreements, Mr. Van Cott has considerable experience negotiating and drafting a variety of other business agreements including employment, shareholder, confidentiality, non-compete, license agreements, and commercial real estate leases.

With regard to real estate, Mr. Van Cott offers his clients counsel on a wide variety of matters whether residential or commercial in nature. His experience includes purchases and sales of real estate, lender financing, refinances, landlord-tenant matters including the negotiation and drafting of leases, ground leases, summary proceedings, and assistance with land use, zoning, and environmental issues.

To round out his practice, Mr. Van Cott also assists clients in successfully resolving civil disputes. Often the best resolution is a negotiated one that avoids the time, expense and uncertainty of litigation. When litigation is unavoidable, however, Mr. Van Cott is adept at successfully litigating a wide variety of claims in both state and federal courts including contract, construction, employment, landlord-tenant, insurance, real estate, trade secret, and unfair competition claims.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Syracuse University in 1993 (magna cum laude), Mr. Van Cott went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Cornell Law School in 1996 where he was a member of and bench brief editor for the Moot Court Executive Board and an editor for the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy. He has also studied at the Cornell Law School/L’université De Paris I (Panthéon-Sorbonne) Institute of International & Comparative Law in Paris, France.

Mr. Van Cott is admitted to practice law in the States of New York and New Jersey.

Professional and Civic Associations:

Janice L. Snead

Ms. Snead has a general practice with an emphasis in the areas of matrimonial law, guardianship proceedings, real estate and civil litigation.

Ms. Snead has successfully litigated real estate matters involving residential and commercial sales, easement and boundary disputes, as well as adverse possession claims and routinely counsels clients on the sale and purchase of real estate, land use and zoning matters.

In addition, Ms. Snead represents small businesses and individuals with respect to incorporation, purchase or sale of a business, including drafting and negotiating asset purchase and stock purchase agreements, non-compete agreements, and commercial real estate leases.

Ms. Snead is admitted to practice in New York and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and has earned the highest national rating for legal ability and general ethical standards by achieving the prestigious “AV” peer rating from Martindale-Hubbell, which rating recognizes attorneys for the highest level of skill, integrity and professional excellence.

Professional and Civic Associations:

Peter M. Mott

Mr. Mott has a general practice with experience in all forms of real estate and commercial transactions, Surrogate’s Court practice, estate litigation, estate planning, general civil litigation, matrimonial actions and Family Court matters.

 

Professional and Civic Associations:

Lisa Clare Kombrink

Ms. Kombrink serves private and government clients in real estate, land use, zoning, environmental, conservation and general municipal matters. She became a partner of the firm in 2009 after many years in public service.

Ms. Kombrink offers her clients a sophisticated understanding of real estate transactions as well as local codes and administrative procedures, including the public hearing and legislative process. She enjoys presenting complex land use applications to local administrative boards, and representing property owners and municipalities in land use and environmental litigation. She is well known for her seemingly effortless presentations of complex issues to administrative boards, civic groups and courts.

As part of her practice, she also focuses on local farmland and open space preservation efforts. This includes drafting conservation easements and legislation and facilitating community programs on conservation techniques.

She has served as Town Attorney for the Town of Southampton, head of the highly respected Town Attorney’s Office, and counsel to the Supervisor and Town Board and other Town officials. She also represented the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals. Her government service also includes working as Village Attorney for the Village of Sag Harbor, counsel to the Mayor and Board of Trustees, Zoning Board and Planning Board.

Ms. Kombrink is a member of the Board of Directors of Southampton Hospital and is a Trustee of the East End Health Alliance. She has been a guest lecturer at the Suffolk Academy of Law, the New School for Social Research, NBI and Siena Spirituality Center at Villa Maria, and has appeared on CNN, CBS Morning News, Court TV and Public Access TV.

Ms. Kombrink received her J.D. in 1983 from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she served as Notes and Comments Editor of the Cardozo Law Review. She graduated with High Honors from Illinois State University in 1977 with a B.A. in English.

Professional and Civic Associations:

Suffolk County Bar Association, Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committee

Anne Marie Goodale

For years, Ms. Goodale has personally assisted clients to establish estate plans that suit their needs, including the creation of trust agreements, wills, living wills, powers of attorney, and health care proxies. While Ms. Goodale’s practice is primarily focused on estate planning, trust and estate administration, elder law, and taxation, she is also experienced in the areas of business succession planning, charitable giving and real estate transactions. She has lectured on the subject of estate and trusts, and long-term care planning, and is responsible for conducting many in-house seminars on estate planning.

Ms. Goodale received her Juris Doctorate degree, cum laude, from St. John’s University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from LeMoyne College. While at St. John’s University, Ms. Goodale served as a notes and comments editor for the St. John’s Journal of Legal Commentary in addition to having a note published in the journal.

Ms. Goodale currently resides in Aquebogue with her husband and four children.

Professional and Civic Associations: