Practice Areas

CRIMINAL DEFENSE / SEX MATTERS

We consider our criminal practice a hallmark of our firm. We ardently defend those accused of criminal offenses ranging from major felonies, including homicide charges, to misdemeanors including DWI cases, traffic infractions and violations. We represent clients in white-collar cases in state and federal courts and in Family Court for children who are accused of offenses. We also vigorously defend those accused of sex crimes, including representation at Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) hearings, where a judge determines what level of supervision is assigned to a person convicted of a sex offense.

Significant cases include People v. Harris, the defense of a famous fugitive from an Alabama chain gang; People v. Li, a street gang extortion case; the defense of a federal tax protestor; defense in a white-collar fraud case involving millions of dollars; People v. Pulinario, a noteworthy case where a woman was raped and then charged with the murder of the rapist; People v. Corso, a major narcotics sale case; People v. Russo, a double homicide; People v. Batts, a famous case where a client with AIDS was given his liberty; Woe v. Spitzer, a precedent-setting case where a federal judge recognized that New York’s current SORA law gives a Level I sex offender the opportunity to seek a modification to a “level zero” -  i.e., no supervision; People v. McElroy, standing for the proposition that sex offenders convicted solely of child pornography would receive anomalously severe supervision if sentenced to supervision under the same guidelines as those with actual victims;  People v. Syska, standing for the proposition that not answering a police officer’s questions (other than basic ID information) is a Constitutionally-protected right and is not obstruction of governmental administration, and therefore not resisting arrest (due to the inherent unlawful nature of the arrest itself).

MATRIMONIAL / FAMILY LAW MATTERS

New York’s recent change to so-called “no-fault” divorce has in many ways complicated matters even further for those seeking divorce. While a party no longer has to prove “grounds” – such as adultery, constructive abandonment, etc., – a court can not issue a judgment of divorce until all other issues, including child support, maintenance, and equitable distribution have been fully resolved. This is where there can be no substitute for a firm with decades of experience in matrimonial / family law. Are your spouse’s pension benefits marital property, for example? Which part? What if they were awarded a disability pension – would you get all, some, or none in case of a divorce?

We have a proven track record in representing clients in divorce and separation cases, and in all Family Court matters, including custody, visitation, support, abuse and neglect, orders of protection, juvenile delinquency, PINS petitions and adoptions. The firm has litigated many cases in this area, including the noteworthy case of Katrina, which set a standard as to child abuse proceedings, and Kaplan v. Chamberlain, the famous surrogate parent case wherein the firm successfully represented the father in obtaining custody of the child.

Recent successes include S v. P., a New York County case where the Court held that two purported agreements entered into during the marriage by the parties (that were not notarized and not acknowledged) were un-enforceable in the multi-million dollar divorce action; Grasso v. Grasso, an Appellate Division case setting precedent in the Second Department regarding whether an attorney could recover counsel fees without submitting bills (the Appellate Division held that such an award of fees was an abuse of the lower court’s discretion); In re Tarone, in a case of first impression, where the firm obtained a summary judgment award against a debtor in a post-judgment bankruptcy proceeding; M v. M, where the firm successfully defended a Family Court petition seeking payment of unauthorized expenses; S v. S, where the firm successfully defended against a relocation petition brought by a parent seeking to leave the state.

PERSONAL INJURY

The firm litigates personal injury actions in state and federal court, including boating accidents that involve the federal Jones Act and maritime law. Personal injury cases are a significant area of practice for us. The firm litigates auto accidents, injuries caused by defective products, school-related injures, slip-and-fall cases and all other types of personal injury actions, as well as civil torts – deliberate acts that cause injury to others.  Significant recoveries have been obtained in a broad variety of cases. The firm is committed to your cause in personal injury cases.

ALL APPEALS

The firm handles appeals in all areas of the law, including civil, criminal and matrimonial matters. We enthusiastically prepare and argue our own briefs. Surprisingly, not all appellate lawyers do so; and not all law firms handle their own appeals. Some farm it out to outside counsel while others do not even show up on the day of oral argument. We consider oral argument to be one of our strengths and do not miss a chance to further buttress your cause.

EDUCATION LAW

Education law, including 3020-a hearings, is one of the firm’s specialty areas. The firm handles all aspects of education matters, including disciplinary proceedings against students and teachers, and placement of students with disabilities, as well as cases in state and federal court. We are often called when a student is suspended from school and/or facing expulsion, or when a teacher is facing disciplinary action for pedagogical misconduct, or is facing disciplinary proceedings on the eve of acquiring tenure.

DISCRIMINATION/EMPLOYMENT/HUMAN AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS

Extensive litigation in all aspects of this area is creatively pursued by the firm: civil rights violations, sex discrimination, employment discrimination, racial discrimination, due process violations, privacy invasions, false arrest, defamation, freedom of the press, and other related areas. Noteworthy cases include Levy v. The Statesman (defamation) and Dooley v. Newsday, precedent-setting cases in which the firm sought and achieved limits upon the privileges of the press; Doe v. Cooper and Lybrand, and Doe v. N.Y. Telephone, cases in which the firm successfully represented employees who alleged discrimination and/or breach of contract; Doe v. LIRR and Perci v. The Record, cases in which the firm successfully defended management against discrimination claims. In the famous Olsen case, the firm won a significant victory against the United States Post Office in a disability discrimination suit. In a recent case, the firm obtained a $75,000.00 award for an employee that was only on the job for three days, during which she was sexually harassed by her supervisor.

Additionally, we provide counsel to those seeking help in negotiating contract terms and severance agreements.

REAL ESTATE AND LANDLORD-TENANT

Services are expeditiously provided in all real estate transactions and landlord/tenant matters, including purchase and sale of property, lease drafting, evictions, breach of warranty, subdivision of land, easements, zoning matters, and liens.

COMMERCIAL AND CORPORATIONS

A full range of services are provided for businesses, including incorporation, litigation, collections, purchase and sale of businesses, partnership agreements, contract and lease preparation and negotiation, employment problems, and governmental issues. The firm aggressively litigates commercial matters in all courts, state and federal. Significant cases include Beneficial Bank v. Becker Trust, et al., a federal trial in Virginia’s federal Eastern District Court and Angsi v. Basile, a suit involving a North Carolina shopping center and the John McNamara empire in a contract action in New York. The firm has represented and represents a broad range of businesses, including realty investment companies, overseas investors, advertising agencies, publishers, local and international construction companies, lumber mills, auto dealerships and wholesalers, various retailers and contractors.

MUNICIPAL AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES

Ray, Mitev & Associates has extensive experience in representing clients before governmental bodies, agencies and municipalities. The firm’s work includes practice before administrative agencies, lawsuits against governmental authorities, zoning and variance applications, and representation at public hearings. In Dooley v. Suffolk County, the firm represented the Suffolk County Sheriff against the county in a widely publicized case.

CONSUMER ISSUES AND BANKRUPTCY

The firm has an expanding bankruptcy practice, representing individuals in Chapter 7 and 13 proceedings. A complete portfolio of services are also provided to individuals and businesses in consumer matters, including lemon law complaints, fraud, creditor/debtor actions, collection of debts and collection defense.

WILLS AND ESTATES / GUARDIANSHIPS

The firm has a substantial practice in contested and uncontested probate proceedings. It prepares Wills and Trusts, and counsels as to all aspects of estate planning, guardianships and accountings. It represents small, moderate and large estates. In a recent case, the firm was able to set aside a Surrogate’s Court decree awarding a multi-million dollar wrongful death settlement that went to the decedent’s father, rather than his sole surviving daughter, after the daughter’s existence was discovered.