Vesselin Mitev

Partner

vess mitev-5
Phone: (631) 473-1000
Fax: (631) 928-5385
Email: vesselin@raymitevlaw.com

A prolific litigator and prominent trial lawyer, with a virtually unparalleled trial and appellate record, Vesselin Mitev, Esq. has had over 35 precedent-setting cases across all areas of the law published in the nation’s most prestigious legal publication, the New York Law Journal.

He has successfully tried cases and conducted hearings at every trial court level in New York (District, County, Family, and Supreme), as well as in the Federal Courts. Mr. Mitev enthusiastically prepares and argues his own appeals, prevailing in the majority of appeals written and argued.

Before joining Ray, Mitev & Associates, LLP, he was bureau chief for the New York Law Journal. He is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Eastern and Southern Districts of New York as well as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

A 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 Super Lawyers Rising Star, Mr. Mitev speaks Bulgarian, Russian, and English. His work has been cited in the Journal of Law & Policy; the New York Practice Series; the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review; Patent Law Fundamentals; Florida Coastal Law Review; eDiscovery for Corporate Counsel; Northwestern University Law Review; the Touro Law Review, among others.

His cases have been featured in the New York Post, the New York Law Journal, and the Long Island Press, as well as covered by media internationally. He has appeared as a panel member/legal commentator on TV and radio shows, including The Dr. Drew Show. From 2011 to 2013, he wrote an online column for the New York Law Journal called “Past the Bar.”

Bar Admissions:

New York, 2009
Federal Courts, New York, 2010
U.S. Supreme Court, 2013
Second Circuit Court of Appeals, 2015
Northern District of Illinois (phv) 2015

A list of his landmark/published cases, by category, are below:

Matrimonial/Family Law

 Bono v. Bono, 127 AD3d 905 (2d Dept. 2015)

Trial Court’s custody award to father was proper and upheld on appeal.

Butler v. County of Suffolk, NYLJ Jan. 20, 2017, 146 AD3d 853 (2d. Dept. 2017)

In a $250 million wrongful death case, on appeal, Mr. Mitev blocked the County from challenging paternity as to the sole heir of the decedent.

 D’Alauro v. D’Alauro, NYLJ, Jan. 27, 2014

Mr. Mitev successfully represented a member of the NRA’s top brass in this nationally-covered divorce case, obtaining a rare writ of assistance during trial.

 D’Alauro v. D’Alauro, 2017 NY Slip OP 03479 (2d Dept. 2017)

On appeal, the Appellate Division sustained the trial court’s award of less than half the assets in a long-term marriage, given the wife’s conduct at the trial, including showing up at a political rally covered by the New York Daily News on a day her lawyers claimed she was too sick to attend court.

Dietrichson v. Dietrichson, NYLJ, Nov. 18, 2014

In a matrimonial where the parties were also business partners, Mr. Mitev prevailed against the husband’s attempt to sequester the wife from the profits of and access to the business.

Fallo v. Tallon, 118 A.D.3d 991 (2d Dept. 2014)

On appeal, Mr. Mitev reversed the trial court’s award of sole custody to the father, and obtained sole custody of the parties’ children for the mother.

 Grasso v. Grasso, 83 AD3d 1000 (2d Dept. 2011)

Referee exceeded authority in awarding counsel fees; Mr. Mitev reversed the trial court, on appeal.

Janczewski v. Janczewski (2d. Dept. 2017)

Petitioner in Family Offense proceeding failed to establish allegations for various claimed incidents against her husband.

 KM v. CR, NYLJ, NYLJ, July 10, 2017

Mr. Mitev represented the husband; the wife filed a plenary action contesting custody despite the fact the parties had settled custody in a separation agreement. Mr. Mitev obtained dismissal over the wife’s belated custody claims, pre-trial.
MJM v. MM, NYLJ, Oct. 27, 2015

Mr. Mitev represented a mother who had been viciously attacked with a knife by her soon-to-be ex-husband, in front of the couple’s small children. The husband’s mother (grandma) sought visitation; the Court denied her petition, since she had in effect harbored her son, by paying for his various lawyers, and had made little to no efforts to have a relationship with her grandchildren until after her son was arrested.

Lombardi v. Lombardi, 2015 NY Slip Op 03334 (2d Dept. 2015)

Wife who claimed her husband threatened and pressured her into signing a prenuptial agreement should not have had her case dismissed; on appeal, Mr. Mitev reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the husband and his lawyer.

 PL v. RL, NYLJ, June 24, 2016

Father’s attempt to terminate child support based on a claim his children had no relationship with him was dismissed after trial, after Mr. Mitev showed the father had made virtually no attempts to foster a relationship with his children.

Schulz v. Schulz, NYLJ, December 12, 2012

Mother who relocated with the children and attempted to set up a new life in Florida was directed to return the children after a trial, where Mr. Mitev represented the father; the Court held that mother had violated the father’s right to visit and be with his children by unlawfully moving to Florida.

Steineger v. Perkins, NYLJ, Aug. 4, 2015, where the trial team of Mr. Mitev, Mr. Ray, and of-counsel Erick Kraemer, represented the former Ms. Norway against her financier husband; after trial, the Court awarded Ms. Steineger lifetime maintenance and over $6 million in assets.

Uwadiegwu v. County of Suffolk, NYLJ, Jan. 21, 2016

In this precedent-setting case, Mr. Mitev represented a father who had been deprived of visitation with his children after CPS agents had given the mother of his children bus tickets to Mississippi sued for having his rights violated. On appeal, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that a noncustodial parent has no fundamental liberty interest in visitation with his children.

 MBL v. VL, NYLJ, March 25, 2016

In a contested matrimonial where the wife alleged her husband’s lawyer was a necessary witness in decide whether the parties’ prenuptial agreement should be set aside, the firm successfully moved to disqualify the husband’s lawyer and firm as a necessary witness.

 

Criminal Law/Civil Rights

People v. Burkhardt, NYLJ, Aug. 18, 2017

Mr. Mitev represented the Defendant; following a hearing, the Court reduced the SORA risk level of the Defendant, from a Level II to a Level I.

People v. McElroy, NYLJ, Dec. 30, 2011

Mr. Mitev represented the Defendant; following a hearing, the Court reduced the SORA risk level of the Defendant, from a Level II to a Level I.

People v. Syska, NYLJ, July 24, 2012                       

Mr. Mitev represented the Defendant; following pre-trial motions, the charges against the Defendant were dismissed for resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration as jurisdictionally defective.

Boyle v. County of Suffolk, 10-CV-3606 (EDNY, 2010)

Court determined that Suffolk County’s civil forfeiture practices were unconstitutional as applied to drivers accused of DWI. The trial team of Mr. Mitev and Mr. Ray represented Defendant Boyle.

Mitev v. SCPD, NYLJ, July 15, 2015

In the famous Gilgo Beach serial killer case, Mr. Mitev sued the Suffolk County Police Department over its withholding of a 23-minute 911 phone call made by escort Shannan Gilbert in the hours before her death. The Court ruled the suit was proper; ultimately directing the police to turn over the tape(s) pursuant to subpoena.

 

Civil Litigation: Commercial, Personal Injury, Estates, Education Law

Butler v. County of Suffolk, NYLJ Jan. 20, 2017, 146 AD3d 853 (2d. Dept. 2017)

In a $250 million wrongful death case, on appeal, Mr. Mitev blocked the County from challenging paternity as to the sole heir of the decedent.

Graf v. Center Moriches  (2016)

In an internationally covered education law case, Mr. Mitev represented a veteran art teacher who was suspended after taking a distraught student out for coffee. The suspension generated international outrage and the case resulted in a favorable outcome for the teacher.

Estate of Eriksen, NYLJ, Feb. 1, 2013

In a multi-million dollar estate case where the decedent’s sole daughter emerged as the rightful heir following the erroneous distribution of the estate to her paternal grandfather, the Ray/Mitev team sued to disgorge the money back to their rightful heir.

 Estate of TrickaNYLJ, Feb. 6, 2015

In a contested probate proceeding over a decedent who left no heirs, the trial team of John Ray and Vesselin Mitev moved for summary judgment (motion denied as the trial court found triable issues remained).

 Estate of Klein, NYLJ, Jan. 13, 2015

Presumed dead after suspected of being butchered by a Russian serial killer (who was accused in the killings of others, including a Federal court Russian translator) the decedent Klein had not been heard from in over 12 years; following a trial, he was declared dead and his will was admitted to probate.

 Intravaia v. Rocky Point Union Free School Dist., NYLJ, Dec. 30, 2014

In a heated education law case over whether the school district was providing a disabled child with her required services, sanctions were denied by the Court against Ray, Mitev & Associates.

J. Kokolakis v. Evolution Piping Corp., NYLJ, Nov. 5, 2014

Insurer of general contractor granted dismissal of breach of contract claims.

Malone v. County of Suffolk, NYLJ, Dec. 10, 2012  

In the infamous Medford pharmacy Father’s Day Massacre, the firm set precedent suing the doctor of David Laffer, the addict and killer who shot and killed four people, alleging a public nuisance theory cause of action.

Mitev v. FOF, et al.,  (2017)

In a nationally covered case, Mr. Mitev filed a class action suit against an animal shelter under investigation by the attorney general for adopting out sick pets, leading to the shelter’s ultimate shut-down.

Youngblood v. East Neck Nursing Home, NYLJ, Dec. 17, 2014

Internationally covered case where the firm sued a nursing home for allowing a male stripper to grind upon an elderly, wheel-chair bound woman; the trial court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss.

 

Appeals

Bono v. Bono, 127 AD3d 905 (2d Dept. 2015)

Trial Court’s custody award to father was proper; upheld on appeal.

D’Alauro v. D’Alauro, 2017 NY Slip OP 03479 (2d Dept. 2017)

Trial Court overwhelmingly sustained in awarding reduced maintenance and assets to wife who engaged in litigious conduct during trial.

Fallo v. Tallon, 118 A.D.3d 991 (2d Dept. 2014)

On appeal, Mr. Mitev reversed the trial court’s award of sole custody to the father, and obtained sole custody of the parties’ children for the mother.

Grasso v. Grasso, 83 AD3d 1000 (2d Dept. 2011)

Referee exceeded authority in awarding counsel fees; Mr. Mitev reversed the trial court, on appeal.

Janczewski v. Janczewski (2d. Dept. 2017)

Petitioner in Family Offense proceeding failed to establish as specific allegations for various claimed incidents against her husband.

Lombardi v. Lombardi, 2015 NY Slip Op 03334 (2d Dept. 2015)

Wife who claimed her husband threatened and pressured her into signing a prenuptial agreement should not have had her case dismissed; on appeal, Mr. Mitev reversed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment to the husband and his lawyer.

Matovcik v. Times Beacon, 2012-03646 (2d Dept. 2013)

Teacher who claimed he was defamed by local newspaper article had failed to prove reporter of article acted grossly irresponsibly in gathering his facts and reporting the story; on appeal, the Second Department reversed the trial court.

 Stuve v. Baingan, NYLJ,Aug. 27, 2013

On appeal, trial court’s order on reargument that driver who was rear-ended and collided with by an opposing vehicle simultaneously properly stated a claim against both drivers was upheld.

Tarone v. Tarone, 2013 NY Slip Op 01545 (2d Dept. 2013)

Contemnor ex-husband properly was held in contempt; trial court order sustained.

 Scalamander Cove, LLC v. Bachmann, 2014 WL 2958774 (2d Dept. 2014)

Property dispute properly resolved by awarding title by adverse possession to the firm’s clients; award upheld on appeal.