The Law Offices of Jonathan Robert Nelson, P.C. represent and advise individuals, religious
organizations, small proprietorships, and small-to-mid-size business enterprises. We defend rights that come from many
sources –– including contracts, constitutions, treaties, statutes, regulations, procedural rules, customary practices,
and the community's expectation of decency and fair play. A lawyer can be a powerful ally in enforcing those rights and defending
a client's legitimate interests. In over thirty years of law practice, the principal lawyer of this firm has represented clients
in many industries and professions.
Our clients have come from many industries
and occupations. They have included religious institutions of many Christian denominations; a Hindu temple; and owners,
employees and companies involved in banking, flavors and fragrances, computer software development, computer peripheral sales,
cable television product marketing, over-the-counter pharmaceutical sales, advertising, energy generation, real estate brokerage
and management, import, export, and international trade, air ambulance, mergers and acquisitions, academia, psychology and
parapsychology, religion, the law, insurance and risk management, hospital management, investment banking, photography, construction,
opera, diplomacy, restaurant management, and many other fields. Our broad outlook helps us to see answers - and
questions - that others may miss.
Together with our clients, we look for
the best solution to problems that they may face. Sometimes disputes result from misunderstanding that requires only effective
communication and conciliation. Some problems can be resolved with a warning letter or a negotiation. In other cases, emergency
action may be needed to preserve assets and protect rights. Clients may have a choice of courts in which to file a lawsuit,
or perhaps an adversary has already initiated an action in an inconvenient forum. Contracts may require arbitration or mediation
of some disputes. Whatever the court or tribunal, we help our client prepare the case, file it, take it to trial, and collect
judgment. If a judge has made a mistake in a case, we appeal the decision to the next highest court.
We have handled a wide variety of claims, including claims of breach of contract; fraudulent inducement
and other business frauds; rescission of contracts; uniform commercial code claims; copyright and trademark infringement;
commercial libel; enforcement of liens and judgments (including the arrest of a maritime vessel); officer and director liability;
shareholder derivative actions; violations of federal and state securities law; violations of not-for-profit and business
corporation laws; deceptive trade practices; infringement of commercial speech rights; commercial landlord-tenant disputes;
federal arbitration act motions; free exercise, free speech and other civil rights infringements; non-conformity of goods
shipped in international trade; non-payment for goods, royalties or rents; embezzlement; breach of fiduciary duty; claims
against a bank trustee; bankruptcy; proxy solicitation disputes; accounting malpractice and suits for an accounting; franchise
violations; replevin of pledged securities; exemplary and punitive damages; and other theories of recovery. We have recovered
significant judgments and settlements on behalf of plaintiffs, and obtained the dismissal of claims and suits and other favorable
results for defendants.
This office has been recognized as a "Super Lawyer" for business litigation.
The litigation achievements of this office include
the following matters:
Geeta Temple-Ashram v. Satyanandji, Index No. 12851/2009, Supreme
Court of the State of New York, Queens County (Justice Roger N. Rosengarten). Action for declaratory judgment establishing
trustees of Hindu temple and removing swami and defendant trustees; conducted trial resulting in dismissal of case in favor
of our clients (2013).
In re Rudrakumaran, Docket No. 10-90037 (2013), United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Attorney disciplinary case resulting in public reprimand. Reciprocal discipline imposed by state court.
Kaplan v. Khan, Index No. 43099/2007, Supreme Court of the State of New York,
Kings County (Justice Jack M. Battaglia). Action for defamation against pastor of independent church; case dismissed upon summary judgment in favor of our client (2011).
Konayev v. Holder,
Docket No. 08-6102 (2010), United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. Petition for review granted in favor of asylum applicant from Kazakhstan, reversing Board of Immigration Appeals decision and remanding case for
consideration of petitioner's motion to reopen removal order.
Gimbelman v. Jetwest
International Air Ambulance LLC, Civil Action No. 05-491 (2005) (U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey) (Judge Faith S. Hochman). Action for contract damages and negligence alleged to have arisen from provision of
air ambulance in Rome, Italy; motion to change venue granted, resulting in settlement.
Avenue Presbyterian Church v. City of New York, No. 01 Civ. 11493 (U.S. District
Court, Southern District of New York) (Judge Lawrence McKenna). Complaint for injunction under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983, the First Amendment to the United States constitution, and rights to due process of law under the federal and New York State Constitutions, alleging interference with religious expression and other claims. Court awarded preliminary (2002) and permanent (2004) injunctions against police removal of homeless persons sleeping on church steps; injunctions upheld by Second Circuit Court of Appeals (2002 and 2006); certiorari denied by U.S. Supreme Court (2006). 293 F.3d 570 (2d Cir. 2002); 2004 WL 2471406 (S.D.N.Y.); 177 Fed. Appx. 1998, 2006 WL 1116 (2d Cir.).
Mendaros v. Wicks, No. 110444/2003, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County (Justice Diane Lebedeff). Obtained summary judgment for defendant, dismissing "heart's balm" claims of fraud, unjust enrichment, estoppel and constructive trust arising from a promise allegedly made by defendant to former girlfriend/roommate plaintiff.
Medforms v. Health Care Management Systems, Inc., 97 Civ. 05107 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge William Pauley). Complaint against software marketing companies and officer alleging infringement of copyright in
computer software. Jury verdict in favor of defendants delivered (1999) after two-week trial. Verdict upheld (2002) in a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 290 F.3d 98 (2d Cir. 2002).
Park-Lincoln & Croyle Marketing
Inc. v. Coastal Sales Associates, Inc., 99 Civ. 4583 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Jed Rakoff). Complaint against television marketing companies for royalties from sale of products on QVC Network.
Multi-district discovery proceedings produced evidence for the case. Two-week bench trial resulted in judgment granting
accounting relief and awarding damages to plaintiffs in the amount of $410,463.33, cross-claim awarded for $24,694.26.
Kirby v. Coastal Sales Associates, Inc., 98 Civ. 8304 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Colleen McMahon). Complaint against television marketing companies for royalties from sale of products on QVC Network.
Extensive pre-trial motions won by Plaintiffs. For pretrial decisions in that case, see “For the Record”. Case settled for $215,000. 82 F. Supp. 2d 193 (S.D.N.Y. 2000); 199 F.R.D. 111 (S.D.N.Y. 2001).
Bernier v. C.G. Jung Foundation, No. 97-103168, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County. Complaints against not-for-profit corporation and directors alleging dissemination of materially false and incomplete information in proxy solicitations and seeking injunction against conveyance of property. Settlement set aside proxy vote and set rules for new proxy campaign.
to Life of Dutchess County, Inc. v. Federal Election Commission, 97 Civ. 2614 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Judge Sidney Stein). Complaint against federal commission alleging First Amendment violation in election rules restricting speech of advocacy organization. Injunction entered against commission. 6 F. Supp. 2d 248 (1998). (Local counsel.)
Bianculli v. Bianculli,
No. 95-024372, Supreme Court of the State of New York, Nassau County (Justice Bruce D. Alpert). Complaint by mother against son for injunction against eviction and judicial rescission of agreements concerning disposition of family home. Trial court awarded partial summary judgment to plaintiff and defendants; defendants’ judgment overturned by decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department. Settled for life estate in newly-purchased apartment and cash. 242 A.D.2d 647, 663 N.Y.S.2d 217 (2nd Dep’t 1997).
v Schooler, Weinstein, Minsky & Lester, No. 127894/93, Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County. Complaint for accounting malpractice. Defendant's summary judgment motion defeated, request for punitive damages denied on appeal. Settled for structured settlement on confidential terms. 266 A.D.2d 154, 698 N.Y.S.2d 486 (1st Dep't 1999).
Barbeau-Hutchings Advertising, Inc. v. Crest Ultrasonic Corp., no. 92-5003
in the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey (Magistrate Judge G. Donald Haneke). Complaint for copyright infringement and breach of contract against advertising customer.
Settled on confidential terms.
Loftus v. Biopractic Co., 90 Civ. 3298 in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Judge Michael Mukasey). Complaint on behalf of commission sales representative against manufacturer of "Mineral Ice" for breach of contract to compensate agent fairly for services (case settled on confidential terms).
Hosiery Manufacturing Corporation of Morganton v. Harvey, no . 87 Civ. 1233 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Judge McLaughlin). Complaint for breach of ten-page letter agreement for purchase and sale of Parklane Hosiery company.
After summary judgment denied, see 1991 WL 159048, parties settled on confidential terms. (Case prepared while at former firm).
Board of Education v. Bosworth, 495 N.E. 2d 601 (Ill. App. 1986). In this case, involving
a challenge to the constitutionality of the tax collection system used by the State of Illinois, Mr. Nelson developed historical
precedents and constitutional theory that showed that the tax collection system had existed for decades and that taxpayers
lacked standing to challenge the disposition of tax funds already in the hands of the State.
v. First City Bank of Dallas, 637 F. Supp. 1530, 1539 (N. D. Tex. 1986). Litigation over transfer of pledged
securities resulted in agreement with bank preventing takeover of domestic hospital corporation by foreign corporation.
Mr. Nelson, in his former associations with Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (New York) and Chapman and Cutler (Chicago), represented major corporations and banks in state and federal litigations. Securities law claims
predominated in the Fried, Frank practice, involving largely corporate takeover and breach-of-contract litigation. Bank-related
matters litigated in the Chicago practice included claims arising under the Illinois State Constitution and federal law from bank acting as depositary for tax collections; entitlement to funds deriving from “corn
proceeds” under UCC filing; arrest of barge as collateral for loan; defense of trustee bank against demand by trustor seeking to substitute bond
collateral; defense of savings & loan officers against FSLIC suits for breach of fiduciary duty; and other matters.
The firm's civil litigation practice is
complemented by adversarial hearings and trials conducted by the firm in arbitral, administrative, and ecclesiastical forums.