Nassau Suffolk County Commercial Litigation  

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Leo K. Barnes Jr.Leo K. Barnes Jr.

Leo K. Barnes Jr. is a commercial litigator, focusing on business litigation, including breach of contract and business tort claims, primarily in Federal Court and the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. Mr. Barnes has been engaged at the trial and appellate level to represent individuals and businesses of all sizes in complex commercial litigation, including RICO claims, sophisticated commercial fraud, mortgage fraud, claims premised upon federal and state statutes, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”), the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Martin Act and multi-district litigation. He frequently litigates restrictive covenant claims, non-competition and unfair competition matters, trade secret and breach of duty of loyalty actions, and likewise pursues and defends claims seeking provisional relief related to the same, including preliminary injunctions, temporary restraining orders, attachment, replevin and receivership. When criminal misconduct is alleged, Mr. Barnes works side-by-side with a client’s criminal defense counsel to minimize the corresponding civil ramifications.

In addition to the commercial practice, Mr. Barnes maintains an active real estate litigation docket, including claims by owners, lessees, insurance companies and developers for breach of contracts of sale, specific performance, partition proceedings, adverse possession, boundary disputes, brokerage commission disputes, title company claims and mechanics liens. The real property litigation practice also encompasses counsel to general contractors, sub-contractors, owners, architects and engineers in all aspects of private construction disputes.

Recognitions & Appointments

• Mr. Barnes has been selected for inclusion on the 2013, 2012 and 2011 Super Lawyers list in the area of Business Litigation, a recognition for attorneys who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement (no more than 5 percent of the lawyers in New York State are named to the list);

• Mr. Barnes was appointed as a Mediator for the Unified Court System’s Attorney/Client Grievance Mediation Program;

• Mr. Barnes was appointed as a Mediator for the Attorney/Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program administered by the Suffolk County Bar Association;

• Mr. Barnes was appointed by Suffolk County’s Administrative Judge to the Roster of Mediators for the Suffolk County Commercial Division after he was selected to participate in the inaugural training session;

• Mr. Barnes is a member of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York’s pro bono trial counsel program;

• In the Fall 2011, Mr. Barnes served as a panel member at the New York State Bar Association’s Judicial Institute of Professionalism CLE presentation addressing challenges encountered by solo and small firm practitioners;

• Mr. Barnes was assigned by a Commercial Division Justice to act as a discovery arbitrator in a dissolution proceeding to resolve disputes regarding discovery production and the ongoing operation of the business during the dissolution proceeding; and

• Mr. Barnes has been a Court appointed Receiver in both State and Federal Court. His appointment in the Federal Court by a United States District Court Judge involved a seven-figure mortgage foreclosure action related to a commercial mixed-use property within the City of New York, and resulted in the documentation of a rent collection diversion scheme intended to deprive the lending institution of operational income; that finding resulted in the recovery of all counsel fees related to the documentation of the rent diversion scheme.

In response to requests from various media outlets, Mr. Barnes has provided quotes and opinions to aid news reporting on the latest decisions that impact commercial litigation. For example, when the New York State Court of Appeals issued James v. Loran Realty V. Corp. in November 2012 regarding the ramifications on efforts to pierce the corporate veil and impose personal liability on an individual shareholder, Mr. Barnes was interviewed and quoted by, a legal news reporting service that covers significant decisions across the entire country. Likewise, when the New York State Court of Appeals issued White Plains Coat & Apron Co. v. Cintas Corp., a significant decision for commercial litigation practitioners, Mr. Barnes was interviewed and quoted in the ensuing New York Law Journal article reporting the decision and its import on commercial litigation practice.

Mr. Barnes has written dozens of articles that have been featured in his monthly column for the Suffolk County Bar Association’s periodical, The Suffolk Lawyer, focusing exclusively on commercial litigation. In addition to these regular contributions, Mr. Barnes has likewise authored articles for The New York Law Journal, including:

Substantiating Malice for Tortious Interference Claim Getting Difficult, New York Law Journal;
‘Economic Interest’ Defense to a Tortious Interference Claim, 236 New York Law Journal 56;
Spies, Lies & Business Torts, 235 New York Law Journal 90
Defense Protocol for Elevator Accidents, 232 New York Law Journal 109; and
To Jump or Not to Jump? Elevator Accidents and Employment Expertise, 223 New York Law Journal 24

Mr. Barnes is a member of the Federal Bar Council; the Defense Research Institute; the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association; the Suffolk County Bar Association; Chaminade High School’s Alumni Association for Lawyers; and the Alexander Hamilton American Inn of Court (a highly selective organization comprised of select judges, attorneys, law professors and law students, the only legal organization in the United States dedicated to the enhancement of civility, ethics and legal excellence).

As for charitable and volunteer endeavors, Mr. Barnes is a Member of the Catholic Charities Volunteer Lawyers Initiative (which organization provides free legal advice and services to needy members of the community), and has provided pro bono services to The Building Hope For Long Island Foundation. In the Summer of 2007, Mr. Barnes served as a Member of the Steering Committee for the Third Annual Long Island Business News Golf Outing and Casino Night for the benefit Hofstra University’s Scholarship Fund. From 2002 through 2004, Mr. Barnes served as member of the Board of Directors for the Cross Island YMCA.

Mr. Barnes is licensed to practice in New York and New Jersey, and is admitted to the United States District Courts for the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York, and the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. In addition, Mr. Barnes has litigated claims in in Florida and Nebraska on a pro hac vice basis. After obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1993, Mr. Barnes graduated from Hofstra University School of Law in 1996 and received one of the School’s “Outstanding Student” awards at graduation.


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