Cases and Experience
● Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in disputes arising under post-acquisition purchase price balance sheet adjustment provisions.
● Prosecuted and defended various claims alleging accounting malpractice, inadequate audits, and failure to comply with GAAP and GAAS.
● Represented plaintiffs and defendants in claims arising under the Sherman, Robinson-Patman and Donnelly Acts.
● Defended a wide ranging investigation by the New York AG into potential price fixing in the retail and wholesale eyewear markets.
Joe DiBenedetto has represented over 20 different banks and lenders during his career, and has litigated virtually all types of bank matters, including:
● The enforcement of notes and guarantees.
● The priority and enforcement of secured interests in personal and real property.
● Foreclosures of commercial mortgages and pledge agreements.
● Fraudulent loans involving check kiting, bribery, and forged or counterfeit accounts receivable, warehouse receipts, and bills of lading.
● The enforceability of letters of credit.
● Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code.
● Coverage disputes with carriers about the scope of fidelity and blanket bonds.
● Compliance with state and federal laws and regulations affecting bank operations.
● Internal investigations.
● Grand jury investigations of lenders, their employees, and borrowers.
● Mezzanine lending issues.
● Breach of intercreditor agreements.
● Lender liability claims.
● Litigated preference claims filed by bankruptcy trustees.
● Represented lender in bankruptcy case involving Braniff Airlines, the valuation of its gates in various cities, its existing fleet of airplanes, and its contractual right to purchase 100 new Airbus A-320-200 planes.
● Represented plaintiffs and defendants in fraudulent transfer actions.
● Opposed the discharge of debtors in bankruptcy for fraud.
Represented both plaintiffs and defendants in cases involving:
● Claims for unfair competition, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and prima facie tort.
● Unlawful interference with contract and contractual relations.
● Bulk sale liability under UCC Article 6.
● Civil RICO claims.
● Trademark and patent infringement.
● Misappropriation of trade secrets.
Joe DiBenedetto has handled virtually every type of contract dispute for both plaintiffs and defendants, including:
● Employment and confidentiality agreements.
● Contracts for the sale of goods and services of all types.
● Licensing agreements.
● Intercreditor agreements between senior and junior lenders.
● Letters of intent and agreements to negotiate in good faith.
● The duty of good faith and fair dealing.
● Breach of representations and warranties in contracts of all types and involving many different industries.
● Bills of lading and other instruments of title under UCC Article 7.
● Shareholder disputes.
● Dissolution of partnerships and closely held companies.
● Mergers and acquisitions.
● Disputes among members of limited liability companies.
● A standstill agreement between an issuer and a minority shareholder, and an ensuing proxy contest.
● Leveraged buyouts.
● Joint ventures.
Represented clients in many federal and state class actions around the country, including cases involving:
● Federal and state securities laws, including the anti-fraud provisions of the 1933 and 1934 Securities Acts, and Section 14(d)(7) and Rule 14d-10 of Williams Act.
● State consumer protection laws concerning deceptive advertising, privacy rights, discount coupons, gift cards, product warranties, and credit cards.
● ERISA claims.
● Breach of fiduciary duty claims in the context of mergers and acquisitions under Federal and Delaware law.
● Defended parent company against criminal and civil liability for massive oil spill affecting 150 miles of Susquehanna River.
● Litigated Superfund liability cases in many different states.
● Represented lenders dealing with environmental claims and contaminated real estate collateral.
● Litigated successor liability issues in superfund case.
● Represented applicant in contested regulatory matter to obtain DEC permit to mine sand and gravel in Suffolk County.
● Served for many years as outside counsel handling environmental and other litigation for: a) a company which owned and operated over 130 gas stations on Long Island; b) a home heating oil company operating in three counties; and c) an asbestos removal company in New York City.
● Represented citizen groups and local township on various solid waste management matters in both litigations and regulatory proceedings.
● Defended a class action filed by homeowners alleging their water wells were contaminated by leakage from underground storage tanks.
● Defended an oil company accused of polluting a stream adjacent to its distribution center.
● Enjoined enforcement of NYC DEP certification program for asbestos removal workers on OSHA preemption grounds.
• Mediated cases asserting a breach of fiduciary duty to plan participants.
• Resolved disputes concerning the type of damages potentially recoverable under ERISA (e.g. compensatory, consequential, restitution, and equitable recoveries.)
• Mediated cases arising under the FCRA, including liability issues involving consumer reporting agencies, lenders, and other reporting companies.
- Mediated a large number of wage and hour FLSA cases for the SDNY and EDNY ADR Programs.
- Experience includes both individual and collective actions.
- Advised clients on a wide range of Federal and New York Labor Laws, including wage claims under the FLSA.
- Taken 7 hours of training on Mediating FLSA Cases.
● Conducted internal investigations.
● Represented public companies in grand jury investigations of transactions with foreign persons and entities.
● Civil litigation concerning alleged FCPA violations.
● Mediated many coverage disputes involving fire, water, product liability, and professional malpractice disputes.
● Represented insureds in coverage disputes with their D&O carriers for the defense and settlement cost of securities class actions.
● Represented a national insurance carrier for ten years in many different matters arising under fidelity bonds, blanket bonds, and construction and completion guarantees.
● Represented several banks in lawsuits against carriers which offered blanket bonds covering employee dishonesty and fraudulent documents.
● Represented clients seeking to obtain coverage for environmental claims.
● Represented an insured in a coverage dispute for the defense costs incurred in defending patent claims.
● Retained by carrier to defend several legal and accounting malpractice claims asserted against its insureds.
● Represented lenders and owners in claims against title insurance companies.
- Mediated many discrimination cases pending in the SDNY and EDNY District Courts.
- Advised clients on potential discrimination claims
- Litigated disputes involving employment agreements, including claims for breach or enforcement of their terms, whether discharge was for cause, and injunctions for breach of non-compete and confidentiality provisions
● Represented citizen group in litigation opposing the permitting and construction of a 2000 ton per day mass burn solid waste incinerator by a local township.
● Represented local township in many municipal matters, including litigation, regulatory proceedings, and public hearings involving zoning, parkland, competitive bidding, and solid waste management issues.
● Mediated product liability cases involving personal injury and damages.
● Defended a major drug company in over 200 DES cases.
● Represented wholesaler and retailer in matter involving national recall of defective contact lens solution.
● Defended litigation counsel and transactional lawyers in several suits alleging different forms of legal malpractice.
● Represented plaintiffs seeking damages from accounting firms for failure to comply with GAAP and GAAS.
● Defended a national accounting firm sued by an acquiring company on the ground that its audit of the acquired company was inadequate, false and misleading.
Represented owners, tenants and lenders in fee and lease disputes of all types, including:
● Yellowstone injunctions and breach of lease claims.
● Claims against title insurance companies for title defects.
● Foreclosure of commercial mortgages and appointment of receivers.
● Adverse possession claims.
● Title and priority disputes.
● Scope and enforceability of restrictive covenants.
● Defended a shareholder derivative case alleging lender violation of Regulation U in the context of a tender offer financing.
● Represented the acquiring company in many tender offer litigations brought by target companies under the Williams Act.
● Defended securities fraud claims under Ohio law arising from $175 million junk bond offering.
● Defended a case alleging breach of the Best Price Rule (Rule 14d-10) in a tender offer.
● Defended shareholder derivative claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty.
● Represented issuers in litigation arising from initial public offerings.
● Defended claims arising under the anti-fraud provisions of the 1933 and 1934 Securities Acts.
Joe DiBenedetto’s Publications
Author, Chapter on “Arbitration”, New York Lawyer’s Deskbook and Formbook, First Edition et seq. (1989-2015, New York State Bar Association).
Author, Chapter on “Joinder, Consolidation and Severance”, Haig, Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, First through Fourth editions (1995-2015, New York County Lawyers Association and Thomson Reuters).
Co-editor, Individual Rules and Procedures of Judges in the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (1983, Committee on Federal Courts, New York State Bar Association).
Author, “An Outline for Arbitration Under the Civil Practice Law and Rules”, Albany Law Review (Spring 1984).
Author, “Generator Liability Under the Common Law and Federal and State Statutes”, The Business Lawyer (February 1984).
Author, “Arbitration Under New York Law”, New York Trial Lawyers’ Quarterly (Winter 1984).
Author, “Injunction, Dismissal and Summary Judgment Motions”, Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, New York County Lawyers Association (1987).
Author, “Environmental Risk”, American Banker (1988).
Author, “Pludeman, Relaxation of Fraud Pleading Requirements”, Outside Counsel, New York Law Journal (7/24/2008).
Professional and Community Affiliations, Past and Present
Member, Board of Directors, St. John’s University School of Law Alumni Association
President, St. John’s University Law Review Alumni Association
Chairman, St. John’s University Law Review Alumni Advisory Committee
Member of the American and New York State Bar Associations, Federal Bar Council, and New York County Lawyers’ Association, and served as co-chair and vice-chair of various committees and sub-committees thereof.
President, Director, and Counsel, Residents for a More Beautiful Port Washington
Director and Counsel, Manhasset Bay Estates Association
Director, Port Washington Youth Soccer Club, Inc.
Director and Founder, Port Washington Girls’ Basketball League
Member, Port Washington Yacht Club
Member, Concerned Citizens of Montauk
Member, Montauk Lake Club
Joe DiBenedetto has lectured for the American Bar Association, the New York County Lawyer’s Association, the American Banker’s Association, and various business and professional groups on a wide range of topics, including mediation, blanket bond and fidelity coverage, lender liability, white collar crime, environmental issues from the different perspectives of a generator, lender, and developer, budgeting for litigation, motion practice under the CPLR, lender fraud audits, and commercial mortgage foreclosures.
Media stories concerning Joe DiBenedetto and his practice have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes Magazine, Manhattan Lawyer, New York Law Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Boston Globe, Bloomberg, Law 360, Law.com and other web, local and national publications.
Joe DiBenedetto has also appeared on CNN, CNBC, and other cable stations to discuss various legal issues and developments.