Vincent J. Syracuse is a founding partner of Tannenbaum Helpern’s Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. With over 50 years of litigation experience, he has earned a reputation as a problem-solver, a strategic tactician and an aggressive advocate for clients. Acknowledged by Super Lawyers, which recognizes 5% of attorneys annually, as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the New York Metro area, Vince represents clients in complex commercial litigation in the New York State and Federal Courts on the pre-trial, trial and alternate dispute resolution forums including mediation and arbitration. A frequent speaker and author on the nuances of New York legal practice, Vince regularly advises out of state lawyers and firms on practice in the New York courts and acts as their local counsel. He often serves as a mediator in cases where his help is sought to resolve commercial disputes and is the person other attorneys call upon as an expert witness on various aspects of attorney professionalism.
Vince also handles cases involving law and accounting firm malpractice and is routinely consulted on ethical and professional responsibility issues. He is experienced in handling matters on the appellate level including cases in the New York Court of Appeals, where early on in his career he was a law clerk.
In February 2022 he was honored by the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) with the Sanford D. Levy Professional Ethics Award in recognition of his contribution to an understanding of professional ethics. Active in numerous bar association activities and frequently chairs or participates in continuing legal education programs for judges and lawyers on various commercial litigation topics, Vince
- Has chaired the NYSBA’s successful program on ethics and civility for over twenty years and in April 2019 was honored by the NYSBA for his contribution to professionalism and continuing legal education.
- Has been a member of the Executive Committee of the NYSBA's Commercial and Federal Litigation Section since 1994 and has represented the Section in the NYSBA's House of Delegates. He was the Section's Chair in 2009-2010, and currently co-chairs the Section’s Ethics Committee. The Section honored Vince with its nominations in 2007 and 2012 for the NYSBA's Attorney Professionalism Award recognizing him as a "tireless advocate for ethics and civility in New York."
- Is a member of the NYSBA's Committees on Attorney Professionalism and Continuing Legal Education. Since 2012, he has written the monthly Attorney Professionalism Forum in the NYSBA Journal publishing over 75 articles covering a variety of topics of interest to the bench and bar. In August 2021, the NYSBA published the Attorney Professionalism Forum in eBook and print formats a 539 page collection of Forums written between January 2012 and December 2020. He is also a co-author of the chapter on the ethics of virtual lawyering in the NYSBA’s eBook Virtual Lawyering: A Practical Guide which was published in August 2020.
Vince has been equally active outside of the bar associations to increase the efficiency of commercial ligation in New York.
- He was appointed by then Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to the Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System which monitors the annual financial disclosure statements within the judicial branch of the New York State government in March 2010 and served as a Commissioner until 2016.
- He has served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and is a former Chair of the Commercial Division Committee. Over the years, Vince has helped shape the development of the Commercial Division since its inception in New York and Monroe Counties, and subsequent expansion to several counties throughout the State of New York.
- He is a co-author of the Chapter on Commercial Real Estate in Haig’s Commercial Litigation in the New York Courts
Vince has been selected for inclusion in the 2021 and 2022 Edition of Best Lawyers and New York Super Lawyers from 2006 through 2021 every year that selections were made.
- Board of Managers of the York River House Condominium vs. Kinney York Avenue, Inc, Central Parking Corporation and Central Parking System Realty of New York, Inc., Appellate Division, First Department, December 5, 2006. Representation of Central Parking Corporation in the successful defense of a challenge to its $210 million merger with the Kinney Parking System. The court affirmed the dismissal of claims made by the Board of Managers of a Manhattan condominium that the merger triggered its right of first refusal because the merger changed the ownership of a Kinney garage located in its building.
- The Hartz Consumer Group, Inc. et al v. JWC Hartz Holdings, Inc. et al., Appellate Division, First Department, October 31, 2006. Successful representation of Leonard Stern's Hartz Consumer Group in litigation arising from Stern's $300 million December 2000 sale of The Hartz Mountain Corporation to Boston-based J. W. Childs, L.P. The Appellate Division unanimously affirmed the New York County Commercial Division's dismissal on summary judgment of the buyer's $50 million indemnification claim that Stern guaranteed the success of certain product lines. The case reinforced the principle that indemnification agreements are strictly construed and that business risks identified during due diligence must be specifically addressed in the parties' contract.
- Representation of a major international law firm in litigation that was instituted in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York where it was alleged by a non-client lender that the law firm issued a false and fraudulent opinion letter in connection with a secured loan transaction and then assisted its client in the formulation and implementation of certain fraudulent transfers in violation of the lender's rights
- Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation, Inc. v. 29 East 64 th Street Corp., 297 A.D.2d 258, 746 N.Y.S.2d 482 (1st Dept., 2002). Representation of a cooperative corporation in a complex dispute with a commercial proprietary tenant regarding corporate governance issues and the imposition of sub-let fees
- Irvine v. Murad Skin Research Laboratories, Inc., 194 F.3d 313 (1 st Cir. 1999). Representation of a manufacturer of skin care products in a dispute with a distributor in Puerto Rico that arose from the airing of an infomercial in Puerto Rico that allegedly violated the rights of the distributor and its principal
- ADT Operations, Inc. v. Chase Manhattan Bank, N. A., 173 Misc. 2d 959, 662 N.Y. S. 2d 190 (N.Y. Sup. 1997). Represented ADT Operations, Inc. in a complex litigation that was commenced in the Commercial Division in connection with the attempted hostile takeover of ADT where it was alleged that Chase had a banking relationship with ADT and violated its obligations to ADT when it provided funding for the tender offer and other assistance to another customer
- Bor Corp. v. ADT Automotive, Inc. (SDNY 1996). Represented ADT Automotive, Inc. in connection with purchase price adjustment claims arising from the acquisition of motor vehicle auction business