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This page is dedicated to specific decisions of Interest Involving the Attorneys of Stagg Wabnik Law Group

Over the years, the attorneys of Stagg Wabnik have been involved in decisions that have had either a significant impact on the well-being of our clients or have made an impact on state and local law.

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Decisions

  • SWLG Partner David Ehrlich obtained a unanimous jury verdict on behalf of one of our clients in the Supreme Court of the State of New York in Nassau County. The Employment case involved a former employee who claimed she was wrongfully terminated due to her pregnancy. New York State law makes it illegal for any employer with more than four employees to fire an employee because she is pregnant—or to change the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related conditions.  During the trial, Mr. Ehrlich successfully argued the employee was not terminated due to her pregnancy. This employee was hired to work on a specific piece of business, and the evidence conclusively showed the decision to discharge her employment was because the real estate transaction, which was the basis of her employment, had fallen through. Hence her services were no longer required. The jury took less than an hour to agree with the evidence presented by Mr. Ehrlich at trial.  Congratulations to David on a case well-argued and a job well done.

  • SWLG Obtains Vacatur of Federal Court Default Judgment Against Client Based Upon Improper Service And Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

    • Plaintiff obtained a default judgment against all defendants and started collection efforts.  Service of the summons and complaint was allegedly effectuated upon our client by substitute service at his place of business.  However, our client no longer worked there at the time.  Our client first learned of the litigation and the default judgment when his bank account was restrained.  SWLG filed an Order to Show Cause to 1) vacate the judgment, 2) dismiss the action, 3) return the restrained funds, and 4) lift all restraints. Plaintiff’s counsel opposed the Order to Show Cause and sought alternatively 1) an extension of time to serve our client, 2) to serve our firm in lieu of the client, and 3) for the client to be required to post a bond for the judgment amount.   After limited discovery on the discrete issue of whether our client worked for the company at the time service was allegedly effectuated, the Hon. Paul A. Engelmayer found that plaintiff failed to show that service was proper.  The compelling evidence we presented showed our client no longer worked for the company at the time of purported service and that he had no actual notice of the litigation prior to entry of the default judgment.  The Court granted plaintiff a brief extension of time to serve our client but denied the request to serve our firm in lieu of the client or to force our client to post a bond.  Plaintiff was ordered to lift the restraints and return all funds which had been taken from our client to satisfy the improperly obtained judgment. 

  • In a Nassau County Supreme Court decision, the firm obtained summary judgment dismissal of claims asserted against a bank client relating to allegations of improper repossession of an automobile.  The plaintiff had admitted to signing the financing contract and driving the vehicle but stopped making payments.  The vehicle was repossessed and when the plaintiff failed to redeem the vehicle, it was sold at auction.  The claims included allegations of a wrongful repossession, deceptive acts, and practices in violation of New York’s General Business Law § 349, breach of contract, violations of Article 9 of New York’s Uniform Commercial Code, and failure to comply with New York’s Motor Vehicle Retail Installment Sales Act.  The plaintiff contended she did not receive proper notice of the repossession and sale of her vehicle, that she was fraudulently induced to purchase the vehicle and that her payments were not properly credited to her account.  The court held there was a valid loan agreement in place, the firm’s client had properly enforced it rights under the contract to repossess the vehicle, and the evidence we presented showed that the plaintiff received proper notice of the sale.  Finding no triable issues of fact, the court dismissed all claims against our client.

Decisions 2022

Defense Verdict in Negligence Case


On April 30, 2018, Thomas Stagg obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a longtime client, the owner of a New Jersey mall. Associate Michael Dombrowski worked the case up for trial. The case arose out of trip and fall over a pothole in the parking lot at the mall. The plaintiff claimed to have sustained injuries that include a fracture of a metatarsal bone in her left foot and a torn meniscus and a popliteal cyst in her right knee. She asserted that the accident was caused by the mall's failure to maintain the parking lot in a safe condition and sought an award for pain and suffering from the accident, as well as for the resulting medical expenses.

The mall argued at trial that: (1) it did not create or have actual and/or constructive notice of the pothole at the time the accident, which is necessary to impute liability to the mall; (2) that plaintiff was contributorily negligent and responsible for her fall because she failed to observe an open and obvious condition, which the mall did not have a duty to warn; and (3) that plaintiff's meniscus tear of the right knee is not causally related to this accident.


The pretrial demand was seven figures. The jury returned a defense verdict after approximately one hour of deliberation.

Decisions 2018

  • The firm’s attorneys, as counsel for the defendant County of Suffolk in an action arising out of a Suffolk County bus accident, successfully moved for summary judgment dismissing the personal injury claims of plaintiff who allegedly sustained a tear in the right knee requiring surgery by establishing that the injury pre-dated the accident and all of plaintiff's alleged injuries had fully resolved.

Decisions 2017

  • Court dismisses check payee's Claims against bank because payee endorsed check to another individual.

Decisions 2016

  • Broad v. New York City Bd./Dept. of Educ. - The firm’s attorneys obtain order reinstating terminated tenured NYC teacher. (PDF Attached Matter of Broad v New York City Bd./Dept. of Educ.)

  • Emigrant Bank v. Wiseman - The Appellate Division, Second Department, reversed the lower court's decision, finding that the client was entitled to summary judgment in a foreclosure action and the defendants had no excuse for their default. (PDF Attached Emigrant Bank v O. Carl Wiseman) 

  • Emigrant Funding Corp. v. Agard - The Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the lower court's determination that the client was entitled to summary judgment in a foreclosure action based upon submission of the mortgage, unpaid note, and evidence of default, and where the lender was not obligated to provide notice of default under the loan documents. (PDF attached Emigrant Funding Corp. v. Agard) 

  • Rafael A. Lanfranco vs. Chase Bank - The firm’s attorneys obtain dismissal of complaint against bank with prejudice in Eastern District of New York based upon plaintiff's lack of standing on a corporate account and lack of a fiduciary relationship between plaintiff and the bank. 

  • Following a FINRA arbitration hearing in Newark, New Jersey against an investment client and individual employees, a FINRA panel of three arbitrators denied in their entirety all of the claims asserted by claimant, which included claims of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, unsuitability, misrepresentation, omission of facts, negligence, churning, manipulations, unauthorized trading, consumer fraud, and which sought recovery of compensatory damages, attorneys' fees and punitive damages.

  • EMC v. Commonwealth land Title Insurance Co. - The Appellate Division, First Department, affirmed trial court's decision granting summary judgment in favor of our Bank client on title insurance claim upon determination that policy holder timely gave the requisite notice of claim under the title policy and thus refuted title company's late notice defense. The court found that policy holder was entitled to indemnification and payment of its claim pursuant to the underlying title insurance policy. 

  • The firm’s attorneys obtain summary judgment dismissal of former employee's labor law and breach of contract claims against international packaging corporation.

  • The firm’s attorneys defeat international fragrance and cosmetic company's attempt to obtain preliminary injunction enforcing a non-compete agreement against its former salesman.

Decisions 2015

  • The firm’s attorneys obtain summary judgment for bank arising out of alleged credit card fraud.

  • The firm’s attorneys obtain summary judgment for bank in action arising out of purchase at Manhasset's Miracle Mile. 

  • The Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed the lower court's decision denying defendants' motion to extend their time to answer, finding, among other things, that defendants' participation in residential foreclosure settlement conferences was not a reasonable excuse for their default. 

  • The Appellate Division, Second Department upheld the Supreme Court's determination in this foreclosure action that the subject loan did not satisfy the statutory criteria of a "home loan", and therefore that the statutory pleading and notice requirements, and the disclosure requirements of the Truth In Lending Act, did not apply. 

  • The firm’s attorneys successfully oppose defendant's application to vacate the judgment of foreclosure and sale, the court finding that defendant failed to provide a reasonable excuse for his default or a meritorious defense. 

  • The firm’s attorneys obtain dismissal of garbage hauler's suit against Town alleging quasi-contract claims arising out of Town's decision to award garbage hauling contract to competing contractor. 

Decisions 2014

  • The firm’s attorneys obtain summary judgment returning monies stolen, separation payment and salary paid to defalcating employee. 

  • The Appellate Division, Second Department, upheld the Supreme Court's dismissal of plaintiff's action, which sought to vacate a non-judicial foreclosure sale of shares in a cooperative apartment. The orders denying joinder of the new owner of the shares to the Supreme Court action, and consolidating the Supreme Court action with the eviction matter, were also upheld. 

  • Defendants appealed the order granting Plaintiff summary judgment, arguing that the timeframe enumerated in the legislation permitting the City of Amsterdam to sell its tax liens through the end of December 2010 dictated the timing upon which Plaintiff had to commence its action. The Appellate Court, Third Department affirmed, adopting Plaintiff's argument that the legislation unambiguously created a right on the part of the City of Amsterdam to enter into contracts to sell tax liens and nothing in the plain meaning of the language affected the rights of lien purchasers to commence foreclosure proceedings on their acquired liens or limited the time periods during which were are entitled to do so. 

  • The Nassau County District denied respondent's motion to dismiss, finding that petitioner established its right to possession of the subject property obtained by way of a tax lien sale and subsequent tax deed issued to petitioner's predecessor. The court found that the repeal of Article 14 of the Real Property Tax Law did not prevent enforcement of the tax sale and deed, as the taxing municipality properly adopted a local law allowing them to continue to enforce tax liens pursuant to the repealed statute. 

  • New York Supreme Court dismisses complaint, holding that Uniform Commercial Code 3-405 shifts the burden of loss away from the depository and drawee banks, and onto the plaintiff for plaintiff's employee's act of forging endorsement on checks and misappropriating the funds. 

  • The Appellate Division, Second Department, reverses trial court's denial of the bank's motion to dismiss and dismisses the action, finding that the plaintiffs failed to state a cause of action for negligent misrepresentation and for breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing where the parties' relationship was governed by a revolving credit agreement.

  • U.S. District Court in New Jersey affirms Bankruptcy Court's denial of debtors' motion to reopen their case to seek return of funds collected by the bank, finding that pre-petition entry of a turnover order in a state court action divested the debtors of their interest in the subject funds and prevented those funds from becoming property of the bankruptcy estate. 

  • Bank Prevails in Appellate Division ruling confirming dismissal of complaint involving forged cashier's check.

  • New York Supreme Court denies adversary's motion to reargue and renew previously denied motion to vacate $24 million confession of judgment, finding adversary's claims to be the same core theories and assertions presented on prior motion. 

  • New York Supreme Court dismisses complaint, holding that bank did not owe a duty to the beneficiary of a Uniform Transfer to Minor Act account and that the UTMA shielded the bank from liability related to alleged fraudulent acts of the minor's custodian. 

Decisions 2013

  • New York Supreme Court denies adversary's motion to vacate $24 million confession of judgment, finding adversary's failure to deliver collateral aircraft to plaintiff was clear violation of the explicit terms of the settlement agreement between the parties

  • New York Supreme Court dismisses claim of mortgage rescue fraud asserted against client bank, finding that adversary was estopped from challenging mortgage and thus avoiding the expense of a lengthy trial 

  • Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Case Against Bank, Holding District Court Properly Borrowed New York's Statute of Limitations When Finding That Plaintiff's Claim Was Time-Barred (2012)

Decisions 2012

  • New York Supreme Court Dismisses Claims Against Payor Bank Arising From Dishonor of Counterfeit Cashier's Check, Holding that Payor Bank Owed No Duty to Non-Customer. Rather, Plaintiff's Lack of Due Diligence And Failure to "Know Its Client" Was Sole Cause of Damages (2011)

  • Court Awards Bank Summary Judgment Because Plaintiff Was Not Damaged and Failed to State Causes of Action for Negligence, Fraud, and Breach of Fiduciary Duty, New York Supreme Court, Nassau County (2011) 

  • Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Case Against Credit Card Company For Failure to State a Valid Cause of Action and Because New Jersey's Harassment Statute Does Not Provide for A Private Right of Action (2011) 

  • New Jersey Federal District Court Dismisses Case Against Credit Card Company Because New Jersey's Harassment Statute Does Not Provide for A Private Right of Action (2010) 

  • New York Law Journal Selects as February 17, 2011 "Decision of Interest" - Shareholders' Derivative Claim For Breach Of Contract Is Dismissed, Supreme Court, New York County (2011) 

  • New Jersey Bankruptcy Court holds that a secured creditor's post-petition receipt of funds pursuant to a pre-petition turnover order did not violate the automatic stay. Upon the entry of a turnover order, a debtor is divested of any interest in levied property and such property is not part of the bankruptcy estate (2011) 

Decisions 2011

  • Federal Court Dismisses Exempt Income Protection Act Claim As Statute Went Into Effect After Alleged Wrongdoing and Finds That Statute of Limitations Expired on Remaining Claims Against Bank (2010) 

  • New York Federal Court Awards Bank of America Summary Judgment Dismissing Wrongful Foreclosure and Breach of Contract Claims (2010) 

  • New Jersey Federal Court Upholds "Bill Stuffer" Amendment to Credit Card Agreement and Grants Summary Judgment Confirming Arbitration Award (2010) 

  • New Jersey Federal District Court Dismisses Case Against Bank Because New Jersey's Harassment Statute Does Not Provide for A Private Right of Action (2010) 

Decisions 2010

  • Summary Judgment Obtained Apportioning Lien Imposed Against Mortgaged Property (2009) 

  • New York State Appellate Court Rules that Bank Did Not Waive Its Right To Arbitrate, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York (2009) 

  • Court Agrees with Bank's Interpretation of Deed and Awards Summary Judgment, New York State Supreme Court, Nassau County (2009) 

  • Summary Judgment Granted Dismissing Breach of Contract Action Against Home Depot, Civil Court of the City of New York (2009) 

  • New York Law Journal Selects as March 16, 2009 "Decision of Interest" - Surrogate's Court Dismisses Time-Barred Claims Against JPMorgan Chase Bank, New York State Surrogate's Court, Kings County (2009) Case cited in American Law Report 2d at 50 A.L.R.2d 1115 

Decisions 2009

  • Court Approves of Arbitration Award on Behalf of Credit Card Issuer Granting $5,600 in Attorney's Fees and Defeats Cardholder's Motion to Vacate or Modify Arbitration Award, Supreme Court, New York County (2008)

  • Northern District Dismisses TILA Complaint, Allows Amendment to Answer to Assert Counterclaim and Grants Judgment on the Counterclaim (2008)

  • Dismissal Obtained of Connecticut State Case and Confirmation of Arbitration Award (2008)

  • Connecticut State Court Holds that the Issuance of Gift Cards by a National Bank is Regulated by the National Bank Act and thus Dismisses Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act ("CUTPA") as Preempted, Superior Court, Judicial District of Hartford (2008) 

Decisions 2008

  • Judgment Obtained Dismissing Complaint Containing State Law and FCRA Claims, and Denying Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint Supreme Court, Suffolk County (2007) 

  • Federal Court Dismisses Investment Advisors Act, NY General Business Law, Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Negligence Claims Against Bank of America Based on Statute of Limitations and Martin Act 

  • Federal Court Declares That Netbank is Holder in Due Course of Multiple Notes and Mortgages Under the U.C.C. (2007) 

Decisions 2007

  • Federal Court Dismissed Truth in Lending Act Claims Against Credit Card Issuer As Untimely (2006) 

  • Court Dismisses Claims Against Bank of America Pursuant to UCC Article 4-A, New York State Supreme Court, New York County (2006) 

  • Reversal Obtained of Award of Contempt Against Bank for Failure to Restrain Account, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York (2006) 

  • Following Trial, Appellate Court Upholds Judgment for Credit Card Company, Appellate Term, First Department, New York (2006) 

  • Court Dismisses fraud Claim against Bank, resulting in dismissal of all claims, New York State Supreme Court, Bronx County (2006) 

Decisions 2006

  • Appellate Court Reverses Trial Court's Class Certification, Appellate Division, Second Department, New York (2005) 

  • Court Dismisses Racial Discrimination Claim Against Bank, United States District Court, Southern District of New York (2005) 

Decisions 2005

  • Court Awards Bank Its Attorney's Fees On Motion, United States District Court, Southern District of New York (2004) 

  • Court Grants Motion To Compel Arbitration Pursuant To Credit Card Arbitration Amendment, United States District Court, Southern District of New York (2004) 

Decisions 2004

  • Appellate Division Affirms Award of Summary Judgment Dismissing Contribution Claims (2001) 

Decisions 2001

  • Town Did Not Meet Its Obligations Under State Environmental Quality Review Act, Supreme Court Appellate Division, Second Department, New York (2000)

  • Appellate Division Reverses Summary Judgment Against Landlord and Dismisses Complaint (2000)

Decisions 2000

  • Federal Court Grants Pre-Answer Motion to Dismiss RICO and Fraud Complaint Against Bank and its Employees (1996)

Decisions 1996

  • The firm successfully negotiated a consumer law issue on a pro bono basis for a military service member. The prompt resolution resulted in the full reimbursement of the service member's costs and expenses associated with the transaction.

Decisions 2019

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