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Dean is a seasoned attorney with over 20 years of experience in construction, real estate, business, and commercial matters. Dean has represented a wide range of clients, including real estate developers, contractors, and design professionals on large-scale construction projects in litigation, arbitration and mediation, negotiating construction contracts and providing legal counsel during construction projects. In litigation, Dean has handled disputes involving breach of construction contracts, design defects, engineering malpractice, poor administration of project schedules, damages for delays, mechanic’s lien foreclosures, trust fund claims, surety bonds, municipal liability, fiduciary obligations of partners and employees, collection of debts and judgments, as well as real property disputes involving easements and partitions of real property.

Earlier in his career, Dean tried cases on behalf of the City of New York and other municipal entities in connection with a wide range of matters, including actions involving breach of municipal contracts and license agreements, challenges to administrative agency determinations, the Uniform Commercial Code, landlord-tenant proceedings, employment discrimination, civil rights violations, false arrest, wrongful death, defective design, negligence and scaffold law.

Dean takes pride in being able to use his experience to provide his clients with a full range of legal counsel, from negotiating contracts, to providing pre-claim strategy to control litigation risk, to taking the matter through litigation, if necessary.

Dean makes a dedicated effort to understand his clients’ businesses so that he can effectively represent them and strive to achieve a result that optimizes their business goals. Often, this takes the form of an early resolution, which maximizes the recovery while minimizing the legal costs to reach that result.

Dean received his B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and his J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor with the Cornell International Law Journal.

Dean is admitted to practice before the courts of the State of New York and the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York.

Representative Matters

Real Estate and Construction Litigation

  • Represented a contractor at trial against a municipality, seeking damages for extra work and delay arising out of a municipal capital project. Settled case during trial, after submission of contractor’s evidence.
  • Represented a design professional in multi-party litigation, where the plaintiffs alleged defective design of the HVAC system. Worked with industry experts to evaluate the design and assess liability. After numerous depositions, the claim was settled with the client contributing an equitable portion towards the settlement.
  • Represented a subcontractor that was defaulted from a project to demolish a large office building in Lower Manhattan that was damaged during terrorist attacks. Negotiated with the project owner, general contractor and surety to work past the default and allow the subcontractor to resume work on the project.
  • Represented a commercial tenant in breach of lease dispute against landlord, where the landlord allowed conditions of premises to deteriorate to such an extent that they prevented the tenant from using the premises as intended, and negatively impacted tenant’s reputation and goodwill with its clients.
  • Commenced suit on behalf of a co-owner of a real property seeking an accounting of property income and partition, where the defendant misappropriated rental income. After depositions, during which the defendant’s conduct was brought to light, the defendant agreed to a monetary settlement and partition.
  • Represented an owner on a construction project where the general contractor filed for bankruptcy and abandoned work. Reconciled the dispute between the owner and contractor, managed the claims of subcontractors that the contractor left unpaid and coordinated with bankruptcy counsel to ensure remaining funds were paid to the appropriate parties in accordance with Lien Law and bankruptcy priority rules.

Business Litigation

  • Represented business owners against employees who planned to improperly appropriate clients and employees from current employer and open their own, competing business. Brought Order to Show Cause against offending employees, for their violation of duty of loyalty and covenant not to complete. Quickly resolved the matter at an early stage of litigation by entering into a settlement agreement that was favorable to our client.
  • Represented a partner in a business venture to recover fraudulent transfers and improper self-dealing by the other partner. Commenced action with Order to Show Cause, which ultimately resulted in dissolution of the partnership.
  • Successfully obtained personal liability against individual owner of defendant-corporation, where defendant-corporation’s assets were depleted and unavailable to pay a judgment. Obtained summary judgment piercing the corporate veil and holding the individual owner personally liable, where he had used corporate assets for his personal expenses.