Raymond Bragar

Partner

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Contact

Email: bragar@bespc.com
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Professional Activities and Associations

Member, Litigation Section, American Bar Association
Member, New York City Bar Association
Member, Civil Practice Law & Rules Committee, New York State Bar Association
Member, Federal Bar Council

Education

J. D., Harvard Law School, cum laude, 1972
B.A., Rutgers University, magna cum laude, 1968

Bar Admissions

New York
United States Supreme Court
Second Circuit Court of Appeals
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals
District of Columbia Court of Appeals
United States District Courts: Southern District of New York,
Eastern District of New York, Northern District of New York

Legal Career

1979-1982 Bragar Spiegel Rubin Driggin & Garfunkel, Founding Partner.  General commercial litigation and real estate.
1976-1979 Otterbough, Steindler, Houston & Rosen, Associate.  General commercial litigation.
1974-1976 Hammond & Schreiber.  Associate.  Securities and antitrust litigation.
1973-1974 Rosenman & Colin, LLP.  Associate. General commercial litigation.
1972-1973 Law clerk to the Hon. Lloyd F. McMahon who was then Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Areas of Practice

Ray Bragar co-founded the firm in 1982. He practices general litigation, with a focus on real estate and real estate litigation. During his thirty years practicing in New York State and Federal Courts he has handled complex trials before juries and judges, lasting from six to ten weeks. Ray has handled and argued numerous appeals in both the federal and state courts. He also has extensive experience in alternate dispute resolution, including multiple week trials.

Ray has obtained over $27 million in recoveries for individual and corporate clients. He has obtained defendant’s verdicts, dismissals or third-party indemnification for defendant clients in more than 60 matters.

Ray’s clients’ industries range from financial services, insurance and business services to consumer products, real estate, technology and telecommunications.

Representative cases include:

Real Estate

Represents the successor to the Penn Central Corp. for more than twenty-five years in railroad litigation and arbitration and real estate transactions, including the 1994 amended lease providing for the sale of Grand Central Terminal and dealing with MTA over pcb pollution.

Represents two major New York City real estate developers in construction and contract litigation, one for more than thirty years.

  • 325 Schermerhorn LLC, et. al. v. Nevins Realty Corp. et. al. Won a summary judgment motion compelling defendants to pay $3.6 million plus interest representing a returned down payment on four properties because of a transit easement assumedly known to all parties at the time the contracts were executed. Reported decision at 2009 WL 997501.
  • LeNoble Lumber Company v. 525 West 52nd St. LLC. Interpreted commercial condominium documents to assert a minority owner’s right of first refusal to purchase the balance of the building, resulting in a seven figure settlement in 2006 in the Supreme Court, New York County.
  • Jasinski v. City of New York. Reversed a trial court decision by prevailing on construction of indemnification clause in condominium documents to show that sponsor/owner of a condominium unit had been indemnified by condominium for personal injury sustained on a treewell in an adjacent sidewalk. Reported at 290 A.D. 2d 237, 735 N.Y.S.2d 126 (1st Dept. 2002).
  • West Broadway Glass Co. v. I.T.M. Bar Inc. Reversed a trial court dismissal of a claim for rent for commercial premises on grounds of constructive eviction. Reported at 245 A.D. 232, 666 NYS2d 629 (1st Dept. 1997).
  • Sullivan Realty Company v. Rowan. Won a trial and appeal to recover security deposit on land purchased for a 425 unit development by proving that the purchaser diligently attempted to obtain local government approvals, even though it failed to do so. Reported at 234 A.D.2d 701, 650 N.Y.S.2d 858 (3rd Dept. 1996) and 189 A.D.2d 1084, 593 N.Y.S.2d 102 (3rd Dept. 1993)
  • Hillman v. Penn Central Corp. Prevailed on interpretation of General Obligations Law recreational immunity to dismiss severe personal injury brought against a railroad. Successfully reversed trial court’s denial of summary judgment reported at 204 A.D. 902, 612 N.Y.S.2d 489 (3rd Dept. 1994).
  • Menorah Nursing Home v. Zukov. Won a $2,000,000 settlement for a nursing home after six weeks of trial for defective masonry construction arising from a $180,000 contract, in the Supreme Court, Brooklyn, New York.
  • Berman & Brickell v. The Penn Central Corp. Won a non-jury trial dismissing a multi-million dollar claim by broker against owner of a Park Ave. building, Penn Central, proving that the broker was not the procuring cause of a lease of the space in the Federal District Court, Southern District of New York., and sustained the dismissal on appeal.

Securities Law

  • Bennett Funding Litigation. Successfully served as special insurance counsel to plaintiff’s lead counsel in class actions in both the Federal District Court, Southern District of New York and the Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of New York, which settled suits against Assicurazioni Generali, S.p.A. Company for $ 125 million as reported at 258 B.R. 78 (Bankr. N.D.N.Y. 2000) and against Sphere Drake Insurance PLC for $27.5 million, as reported at 439 F.3d 155 (2d Cir. 2006). Dealt with complicated issues of identification of beneficiary of insurance policies and intersection of bankruptcy and securities laws and of equities between class members and creditors of bankrupt estate.
  • Roffler v. Spear Leeds & Kellogg. Affirmed a $1,250,000 arbitration award in favor of a client of a securities firm after two adverse trial court and one adverse appellate court decision reported at 13 A.D. 3d 308, 788 N.Y.S.2d 326 (1st Dept. 2004). Prevailed on standard of review of arbitration awards.
  • Klein v. Maverick Tube Corp. Successfully dismissed securities class action by showing that initial complaint failed to allege facts that established a violation of the securities laws, reported at 790 F.Supp. 68 (S.D.N.Y.1991).
  • Trinad Capital Master Fund, Ltd. v. Majesco Entertainment Company. Successfully prosecuted securities action where plaintiff opted out of a class action in the Federal District Court, District of New Jersey; settled for $2.1 million. Issues involved complicated calculation of damages.

Corporate/Partnership Disputes

  • Mun v. Hong. Reversed a trial court’s dismissal of complaint seeking damages from breach of a partnership agreement to acquire real property. Reported at 44 A.D.3d 534, 843 N.Y.S.2d 505 (1st Dept. 2007).
  • Sendor v. Hammer. After compelling arbitration by court order, obtained an arbitrator’s award based on interpretation of parties’ agreement that clients owned half of magazine and were entitled to $700,000. Reported at 1997 WL 252029 (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Levine v. Murray Hill Manor Company. Represented partnership and general partner and successfully dismissed claims brought by assignees of limited partnership by establishing that the assignees may not sue the partnership and partners. Reported at 143 A.D.2d 298, 532 N.Y.S.2d 130 (1st Dept. 1988).
  • Marks v. Zucker. Represented partnerships and corporations dismissing claims of stockholder for accounting by successfully interpreting corporate law remedies and necessary parties to action. Reported at 118 A.D.2d 452, 499 N.Y.S.2d 740 (1st Dept. 1986).
  • Overlook Terrace Corp. v. Excel Properties Corp. Represented one shareholder of close corporation in suit against another shareholder and a corporation controlled by the other shareholder and the accountants for the corporation. Successfully interpreted the agreement between the parties and established that defendants committed corporate waste. Achieved a settlement with the accountants and a verdict for $750,000 after a two week arbitration trial before a retired New Jersey Supreme Court judge. Case was originally pending in the Superior Court, Bergen County, State of New Jersey.

Miscellaneous

  • Bellis v. Tokio Marine Insurance Company. procured a $7 million settlement after obtaining a jury verdict on liability based on causation of damage in insurance claim. Also defeated a summary judgment motion reported at 2002 WL 193149 (S.D.N.Y.)
  • Paquette v. Twentieth Century Fox. compelled Fox television to grant created by/inspired by credits to authors of comic book from which television series was adapted, establishing claim of reverse passing off, i.e. improperly taking credit for someone else’s work, under the Lanham Act. Reported at 2000 WL 235133 (S.D.N.Y.2000).
  • Colton Hartnick Yamin & Sheresky v. Feinberg. successfully reversed trial court’s denial of summary judgment to law firm on impropriety of claim of malpractice. On appeal, dismissed malpractice claim based on lack of facts to establish legal malpractice and punitive damages. Reported at 227 A.D.2d 233, 642 N.Y.S.2d 283 (1st Dept. 1996).
  • Cellier des Samsons v. Excelsior Wine & Spirits Corp. successfully vacated in Federal District Court, Southern District of New York a default judgment for $122,905 against client and then obtained, after a week’s international arbitration in Zurich, Switzerland, an award of $211,000 and dismissed all claims that had led to the default judgment. Prevailed on standards for vacating default judgment and then on practices in the wine importing industry.