The Non Payments, Back Room Deals of William Locantro, Robert Romanoff, Absolute Electrical Contractors and Paramount Custom Homes.
Rutigliano v. Locantro
Full title: JOSEPH RUTIGLIANO, Plaintiff, v. WILLIAM LOCANTRO, ROBERT ROMANOFF, EDM…
Court: SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK COUNTY OF NEW YORK: COMMERCIAL DIVISION PART IAS MOTION 3EFM
Date published: Mar 1, 2021
2021 N.Y. Slip Op. 30689 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2021)
From Casetext: Smarter Legal Research
Rutigliano v. Locantro
INDEX NO. 654118/2015 Index №654425/2017
JOSEPH RUTIGLIANO, Plaintiff, v. WILLIAM LOCANTRO, ROBERT ROMANOFF, EDM ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS, INC., BRAVO SALES GROUP, INC., JOHN DOES 1 THROUGH 10, ABC CORPORATIONS 1 THROUGH 10, Defendants. ABSOLUTE ELECTRICAL CONTRACTING OF NY INC., WILLIAM LOCANTRO, ROBERT ROMANOFF Plaintiffs, v. JOSEPH RUTIGLIANO, Defendant.
HON. JOEL M. COHEN
NYSCEF DOC. NO. 414 MOTION DATE N/A, N/A MOTION SEQ. NO. 010 011
DECISION + ORDER ON MOTION
(Action #1) HON. JOEL M. COHEN: The following e-filed documents, listed by NYSCEF document number (Motion 010) 373, 374, 375, 376, 377, 378, 379, 380, 381, 385, 386, 387, 388, 389, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, 397, 400, 401, 402, 408, 410 were read on this motion for ATTORNEY WITHDRAWAL. The following e-filed documents, listed by NYSCEF document number (Motion 011) 403, 404, 405, 406, 407, 409, 411 were read on this motion to SEAL.
In Motion Sequence Number 10, Levitt LLP (“Levitt”) seeks to withdraw as counsel for William Locantro, Robert Romanoff, and EDM Electrical Contractors, Inc. (“EDM”) (collectively, the “Defendants”). Levitt, through one of its attorneys, Irene Tenedios, Esq., seeks to terminate its representation due to the death of EDM’s President (see NYSCEF Doc. №374 [“Tenedios December Affidavit”] at ¶¶ 6–8), and Defendants’ failure to pay Levitt’s invoices (see NYSCEF Doc. №400 [“Tenedios January Affidavit”] at ¶¶ 13 -18).
An attorney may withdraw as counsel upon a showing of good and sufficient cause and reasonable notice (NY CPLR § 321:2). Further, an attorney may withdraw from representation where the client “deliberately disregards an agreement or obligation to the lawyer as to expenses or fees” (NYCRR 1.16 [c]; see also Weiss v Spitzer, 26 AD3d 675 [1st Dept 2007] [permitting attorney to withdraw where client was almost $4,000 in arears]; Winters v Winters, 25 AD3d 601, 601 [2d Dept 2006] [holding that an attorney may withdraw where the client “refuses to pay reasonable legal fees”]).
The Court concludes that Levitt has made a sufficient showing of entitlement to withdraw as counsel for Defendants and its motion is Granted.
In Motion Sequence Number 11, Levitt seeks to seal certain documents submitted in support of its Motion to Withdraw as Counsel to Defendants. Levitt bases its motion on N.Y. Rule 1.16(e), seeking to avoid any prejudice to its now-former clients by redacting certain reasoning for its Motion to Withdraw (non-payment of fees).
The Appellate Division has emphasized that “there is a broad presumption that the public is entitled to access to judicial proceedings and court records” (Mosallem v Berenson, 76 AD3d 345, 348 [1st Dept 2010]). “Since the right [of public access to court proceedings] is of constitutional dimension, any order denying access must be narrowly tailored to serve compelling objectives, such as a need for secrecy that outweighs the public’s right to access” (Danco Labs., Ltd. v Chemical Works of Gedeon Richter, Ltd., 274 AD2d 1, 6 [1st Dept 2000] [emphasis added]; see also, e.g. Gryphon Dom. VI, LLC v APP Intern. Fin. Co., B.V., 28 AD3d 322, 324 [1st Dept 2006]).
The desire to prevent the dissemination of information, that might be embarrassing to a party or might damage a party’s reputation, is not sufficient grounds for sealing (see Matter of Benkert, 288 AD2d 147, 147 [1st Dept 2001]). Here, having reviewed Levitt’s submissions, the Court determines that there are no sufficient reasons to seal the documents filed in support of Levitt’s Motion to Withdraw as Counsel to Defendants, apart from the redacted descriptions of legal work done in Levitt’s invoices (NYSCEF Doc. Nos. 401, 407). Levitt’s Motion to Seal is Granted in Part, allowing the redaction of task descriptions in Levitt’s invoices, and is otherwise Denied.
Accordingly, it is therefore:
ORDERED that the motion of Levitt to be relieved as counsel for Defendants in this action is Granted, subject to the following conditions; it is further
ORDERED that Levitt is to comply with its obligations under Rule 1.16(d) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, as applicable to the facts presented, to “take steps, to the extent reasonably practicable, to avoid foreseeable prejudice to the rights of the clients, including giving reasonable notice to the clients, allowing time for employment of other counsel, delivering to the clients all papers and property to which the clients are entitled, promptly refunding any part of a fee paid in advance that has not been earned and complying with applicable laws and rules”; it is further
ORDERED that, Levitt shall promptly serve a copy of this order upon Defendants by email, and, if practicable, by hard copy at their last known home and business addresses by certified mail, return receipt requested; it is further
ORDERED that EDM shall appoint substitute counsel by March 31, 2021; it is further
ORDERED that Defendants William Locantro and Robert Romanoff either appoint substitute counsel or advise the Court of their intention to proceed in this matter pro se, on or before March 31, 2021; it is further
ORDERED that no further proceedings may be taken against Defendants without leave of Court in this matter until March 31, 2021; it is further
ORDERED that Levitt’s Motion to Seal is Granted in Part and Denied in Part. The descriptions of the legal tasks performed in Levitt’s Invoices, NYSCEF Doc. Nos. 401 and 407 will remain redacted; it is further
ORDERED that Levitt shall file on NYSCEF the unredacted and unsealed versions of NYSCEF Doc. Nos. 400 and 401 within one week of this Order; it is further
ORDERED that nothing in this Order shall be construed as authorizing the sealing or redactions of any documents or evidence to be offered at trial; and it is
ORDERED that all parties are to appear for a Status Conference, via teleconference (dial-in number to be provided by Plaintiff to Defendants and the Court) on April 6, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.
This constitutes the decision and order of the Court. 3/1/2021
JOEL M. COHEN, J.S.C.
In a meeting at Rigoletto’s in the Bronx, this Arthur Avenue gangster hangout is where Joe Mossino, Joe De Senna and William Locantro decided to have their pump and dump scheme. Locantro would handle the floor operation, De Senna would trade and Joe Mossino would finance the operation. John Tessone would be brought in as the regulation director and Bobby Jain would feed in the orders. The Hunts point faction of Robert Romanoff would help get customers. This Fugazy broker dealer would pump up stocks and then get out of the way after the company sold. Locantro, Fred Mossimo would provide the mussel when needed should anyone get out of line. Salesman were old time friends from Ozone Park and Howard Beach.
After Carnegie Childs blew up, William Aka-’ Billy guns”, Aka ‘The Ape” would move on to different rackets in the retail garment industry and building custom homes. The rackets didn’t end there, however, Locantro would move into jewelry and computers, as well as 900 number rackets. Now with the stiffing of his lawyer, it may come to the forefront as to hoe Locantro moves in the shadows.
Joe Mossino, Buddy Luongo, Lucchese Family, Bonanno Crime Family, Sony Napolitano, Sonny red Indelicato, Vincent The Chin Gigante, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, Joe DE Senna, Bobby Jain, Credit Suisse, The Genovese Family, Mafia Bosses.