SCHECHTER & BRUCKER, P.C. was founded in 1987 by Howard Schechter and Andrew Brucker.
Both have specialized in coop and condo law, and all other aspects of real estate, since 1976. David Ostwald, the third principal of Schechter & Brucker, P.C., has litigated matters relating to coops and condos for over 20 years. Currently, Schechter & Brucker represents over 175 cooperative corporations and condominium associations.
As a full service and well experienced real estate firm, Schechter & Brucker, P.C. has handled all aspects of legal representation. We have litigated many issues at all levels. We have negotiated innumerable contracts with vendors and contractors of all sorts. We have revised proprietary leases, condominium declarations, by-laws, house rules, and all other documents utilized by housing companies. Schechter & Brucker, P.C. has also handled in excess of one hundred (100) refinancings of coop underlying mortgages for its cooperative housing company clients.
Schechter & Brucker, P.C. has worked closely with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development ("HPD"), New York State Division of Housing & Community Renewal ("DHCR") and the United States Department of Housing & Urban Development ("HUD") inmatters involving housing under their supervision. We have handled numerous matters involving these and other governmental agencies.
At Schechter & Brucker, P.C. we believe in attention to our clients, and that we must be strong advocates for our clients. Once a client becomes a member of our "family", they can depend on our advice, sincerity, and most important, our dedication to their needs.
350 Firfth Avenue, Suite 4510
Empire State Bldg.
New York NY 10118
Schechter & Brucker, P.C. has represented sellers and purchasers in various types of real estate transactions.
Our attorney's handled the sales of shopping centers, cooperative apartments, condo apartments, rental buildings, etc. We have represented mortgagees of various types of real estate, and have represented both landlords and tenants in commercial leasing transactions.
ANDREW P. BRUCKER has been practicing real estate law for over 35 years. During that period, the vast majority of his time, he has concentrated on coop and condo matters. He has acted as general counsel to over 200 coops and condos over the years, handling matters from revisions to corporate documents, proprietary leases and house rules, to refinancing mortgages. In 2012 alone, he personally handled the refinancing of the underlying mortgages in six New York cooperatives.
Andrew has also acted as the attorney in numerous leasing transactions, including (just to name a few) representing landlords in the rental of professional space to a large medical practice, a bank, and "pop up" retailers, as well as representing tenants of showroom space on Fashion Avenue (i.e. Seventh Avenue), and a large medical group renting a full floor in an office building. He has also been involved in many fee transactions.
Andrew is a former Chairman of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Cooperative and Condominium Law, where he began the process of redrafting the Condominium Sales Contract used by the vast majority of lawyers in New York City. Previously, he and the Committee revised and drafted the current version of the Alteration Agreement for Cooperatives (which can be found on the New York City Bar website here). He is also a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Cooperative and Condominium Law.
Andrew has been quoted in dozens of publications on real estate and cooperative and condominium matters (including the New York Times, the Cooperator, Habitat), and has written numerous articles on the subjects in various periodicals, including the New York Law Journal. He has also co-authored the Code of Ethics of the New York Association of Realty Managers, and taught the required course on this subject at NYU's Real Estate Institute for over ten years.
Andrew has lectured at numerous seminars (both at CLE and those geared to layman) for various organizations and on many coop/condo topics including the basic law of coops; the basic law of condos; laundry contracts; how to hold proper meetings (including proper notice, and the use of proxies); ethics, etc.
Andrew is New York City born and bred, having lived in four of the five boroughs, and currently lives in Westchester Country. He and his wife recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, and he recently celebrated the 25th anniversary of his creation of Schechter & Brucker, P.C. He is also a very proud father, and very proud grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren.
For over a dozen years, Andrew was on the Board of the not-for-profit Edgemont Recreation, Inc., the organization which sponsored not only all after-school sporting events in his community, but also a summer camp for children in the community under the age of 14. He has been a fundraiser for Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America for the past 9 years, and recently created the 501(c) (3) charity "The American Medical Research Foundation" for the purpose of supporting certain medical charities (such as the CCFA), as well as raising money for direct grants for medical research.
New York Law School
Juris Doctorate, 1975
HOWARD SCHECHTER has been representing cooperatives, condominiums and other owners of residential and commercial property for over 35 years, continuing to counsel many of his original clients today. He has been a leader in the industry from the early days of the conversion of rental housing to cooperatives that swept the metropolitan area in the 1970s and 80s and has been at the forefront of developing techniques for Board handling of such contentious issues as apartment expansions into hallways, onto roofs and into other common areas; alterations, admissions and leasing policies; and ownership of apartments by trusts and other entities. Howard established many of the mechanisms necessary for the "reconstitution" of income and price-restricted, government-subsidized housing into unrestricted, private cooperatives, unlocking enormous value for the shareholders while keeping the monthly carrying charges affordable and spurring major investment in upgrading the physical condition of these properties.
Howard's housing clients span all segments of the housing market, including some of the most exclusive properties in the City. He has also worked effectively with all City, State and Federal housing agencies in the subsidized and supervised housing sector and advises clients on compliance with government financing, supervision and rent regulation issues.
Howard has drafted and negotiated commercial space leases, net leases of buildings and portions of buildings and ground leases and has developed leasing programs, documents and master leases for strips and block-fronts of stores and shopping centers, as well as commercial and professional office leases often within residential settings demanding protection of the residents from noise, odors, vermin and other undesirable offshoots of commercial activity. He also represents borrowers and lenders in construction and permanent, underlying, mortgage financing transactions in both development and long-term ownership settings.
Howard is a co-drafter of the Code of Ethics adopted by the New York Association of Realty Managers and taught the mandatory ethics course for that organization's manager competency certification course at the New York University School of Continuing Education Real Estate Professionals Program for several years. He was part of a group retained by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to study and report on barriers to electrical submetering in New York State and to make recommendations for changes in public policy based on its conclusions. The report this group prepared, as well as a follow-up project for the Agency to assist it in implementing the recommendations made, were published by the Agency and continue to be used today. His articles on subjects of interest to the cooperative and condominium bar have been published by the New York Law Journal and he is a frequent speaker at industry and bar conferences and continuing legal education seminars for practicing lawyers.
Howard is a member of the Committee on Cooperatives and Condominiums of the New York State Bar Association and a former member of the New York City Bar Association Committee on Cooperative and Condominium Law that is now chaired by his partner, Andrew Brucker. He is the former Parliamentarian and a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Association of Renewal and Housing Officials, Inc., a state-wide association of government housing officials and other housing professionals and the former president and one of the founders of the Roslyn Hilltop Educational Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)(3) tax exempt educational charity.
New York University
DAVID H. OSTWALD has been Schechter & Brucker's senior litigator since the firm's founding in 1987. He has litigated numerous cases involving all aspects of cooperative and condominium law, including corporate governance, elections, disputes with sponsors, apartment occupancy, repairs, transfer fees, objectionable conduct, alterations, inspection of corporate documents, access, and imposition of assessments, among others.
David's vast court experience has positioned him well to expertly advise clients in drafting House Rules, amendments to the proprietary lease, bylaws and declaration, and most importantly, how to avoid lawsuits before they happen, when to sue, when to settle and how to obtain the best result for the client at a minimal cost.
David has been active in local politics as a member of the Executive Board of the Park River Independent Democrats and as a New York County judicial delegate. In addition, David served for seven years as President of his own cooperative building, giving him special insight into the representation of the firm's clients.
New York Law School
KENNETH H. AMORELLO is a senior litigation associate at the firm. Ken has broad experience successfully representing cooperatives and condominiums at the administrative agency, trial court and appellate levels in connection with contractual disputes, enforcement of corporate and condominium documents, as well as housing and employment discrimination claims. Ken also counsels cooperatives and condominiums on corporate governance issues involving shareholder and unit owner issues and disputes and amendments to corporate and condominium documents.
At prior firms, Ken provided directors' and officers' liability insurance defense to cooperative and condominiums and their board members in various contexts, including contract and discrimination-related claims. Ken also represented lending institutions, manufacturing concerns, real estate developers, sponsors, business clientele and a major New York State agency in real estate, commercial and employment-related litigation.
Ken has lectured on cooperative and condominium governance issues before the New York City Bar Association.
Ken successfully argued in the Appellate Division, First Department that a Park Avenue cooperative client was not obligated to comply with preferential sale and subletting provisions afforded to "original purchasers" of the cooperative conversion under the offering plan and proprietary lease, notwithstanding that plaintiff-shareholder had relied on such preferential subletting provision when purchasing the apartment, and in subletting same for over 20 years.
Obtained reversal by the Appellate Division, First Department of a Supreme Court decision denying a summary judgment motion of defendant-cooperative because the cooperative board failed to establish that it acted in good faith; in an oft-cited 1999 decision, the Appellate Division held that the shareholder, not the cooperative, has the initial burden of demonstrating bad faith.
Defended condominium in an Article 78 election challenge and in the subsequent appeal before the Appellate Division, Second Department, which upheld the election.
Represented a condominium in an action commenced by smaller neighboring landowner to compel condominium to erect and maintain landowner's chimney.
Successfully represented a cooperative in dispute with neighboring landowner over billboard that minimally encroached into the airspace over neighboring landowner's property.
Represented cooperative board accused of sexual orientation discrimination, resulting in dismissal of action.
Represented cooperatives in connection with noise disputes with shareholders.
Represented cooperatives in connection with apartment alteration disputes.
Publications: Contributing Author, "The Power of Cooperative Boards", New York Law Journal, January 18, 2005
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
THOMAS V. JUNEAU, JR. is an associate with more than 20 years of commercial and real estate litigation experience before administrative agencies and state and federal trial and appellate courts.
In addition to the matters set forth below, Tom has successfully defended clients against mold-related personal injury and property damage claims, see, e.g., Fraser v. 301-52 Townhouse Corp., 57 A.D.3d 416 (1st Dep't 2008), appeal dismissed, 12 N.Y.3d 847 (2009), and recently submitted an amicus curiae brief to the New York Court of Appeals on behalf of the Council for New York Cooperatives and Condominiums in support of an appeal that resulted in the dismissal of a complaint containing mold-related personal injury claims against a building owner, see Cornell v. 360 West 51st Street Realty, LLC, 2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 02096.
Tom has also co-authored articles on the subject: "Breaking the Mold, No Scientific Backing for Injury Claims," The Cooperator, December, 2006; and "Court Dismisses Mold-Related Personal Injury Claims Against Coop," New York Real Estate Law Reporter, January, 2007.
Brooklyn Law School
JOSE SALADIN is an associate of the firm. Jose concentrates his practice on commercial and real estate litigation, with an emphasis on cooperative, condominium and landlord-tenant litigation. Jose has experience litigating a wide range of disputes in the New York State trial and appellate Courts, before various administrative agencies (including the NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development), and in Federal Bankruptcy Court. Jose also has experience litigating on behalf of personal injury plaintiffs.
Jose has several published decisions, including Beach Haven Apartments, No. 1 v. Mark Cheeseborough, 773 N.Y.S.2d 775 (App. Trm., 2nd Dept 2003) and Poplar Realty v. Po., 778 N.Y.S.2d 832 (App. Trm., 2nd Dept 2003).
Brooklyn Law School
CHRISTIAN PAUL DAGLIERI joined Schechter & Brucker, P.C. in 2008 as an associate of the firm. Christian concentrates his practice on transactional real estate, including acquisitions, sales, financing, leasing and development transactions. Christian's close interaction with his clients has helped him develop a deeper understanding of real estate, from both a legal and business perspective. By evaluating his clients' deals from their inception and building relationships, Christian is able to protect his clients' interests while helping them achieve their goals.
Christian has represented lenders and borrowers in the New York Metro area and throughout the United States on hundreds of loan transactions totaling in excess of $1 billion. Christian has represented commercial banks, private mortgage banking firms, private equity firms, as well as multifamily, commercial and mixed-use borrowers on numerous real estate transactions, including acquisitions, fee simple financing, leasehold financing, sale/leaseback transactions, portfolio and securitized mortgage lending, construction and permanent financing, and the sale and acquisition of whole loan portfolios.
Christian also represents commercial landlords and tenants in drafting and negotiating leases, lease extensions, lease assignments, lease modifications, terminations and buyout agreements for retail spaces, office buildings and apartment buildings. Christian analyzes each transaction by evaluating his client's individual needs, customizing a strategy to protect those needs and by negotiating each transaction to see that the client's needs are met. Christian has handled major lease negotiations for tens of thousands of square feet for some of New York City's largest and most respected landlords and tenants.
Christian also has experience representing individual clients entering into joint ventures with developers or operators of both large and small real estate projects. In this capacity, Christian has experience structuring and drafting limited partnership agreements, limited liability companies and other investment and operational vehicles for the joint acquisition, financing, development, ownership and operation of all forms of real estate.
St. John's University School of Law