When Northrop Grumman Corp (NYSE, Bethpage) confronted
the issues presented in the division and sale of its 600
acre industrial complex, the aerospace giant approached
the region's premier land use and zoning practice firm:
Forchelli, Curto, Schwartz, Mineo & Carlino, LLP (Mineola).
Managing partner Jeffrey D. Forchelli - dubbed the "Norman
Schwarzkopf" of strategic real estate matters by a senior
Northrop Grumman official supervised a full court press
of the firm's legal. experts to successfully resolve a vast
range of complex land and regulatory issues.
Meanwhile, in another case, eight former employees of LILCO
maintained that the company had illegally denied them a
portion of their earned pension benefits. Seeking a law
firm with the expertise to successfully challenge the mammoth
utility, they turned to Anthony V. Curto, managing partner
of Curto Barton & Alesi, P.C. (Huntington). The hotly
contested case was tied up in federal court for several
years. When the dust settled, the former employees had won
a staggering compensation of nearly 8 million dollars.
UNION AND EXPANSION
In the course of representing clients during similar
high-profile cases, the managing partners of these two successful
and independent law firms recognized how well their practice
areas and ways of doing business complemented each other.
By March 1999, an alliance was forged.
According to Forchelli who continues as managing partner
of the firm now known as Forchelli, Curto, Schwartz, Mineo,
Carlino & Cohn LLP (Mineola), the addition of partners
Anthony V. Curto, Anthony B. Barton & Barbara Shaheen
Alesi readies the firm to meet the challenges of the 21st
century. "The consolidation of practice areas under one
roof renders us capable of being more responsive to our
clients and fully satisfying all their legal requirements
in a cost-effective manner. The Firm is built upon a
half century of legal experience, achievement and reputation.
These same standards will guide our development in the 21st
With 36 attorneys and 65 employees, The Firm now ranks
13th out of Long Island's top 116 law firms. The March 1999
alliance resulted in a relocation of the firm to offices
at 330 Old Country Road in Mineola.
A full-service practice, The Firm offers comprehensive
legal representation to businesses and individuals in all
areas of the law, including real estate transactions, corporate
law, commercial law, land use and zoning, environmental
law, tax certiorari, intellectual property, litigation,
banking and financing, trusts and estates, tax and elder
law, municipal law, bankruptcy, and business and personal
"Service and capability are essential to good business but
equally important is the culture and environment of a firm'
observed partner Anthony V. Curto. "Our recent union has
been an effortless transition described with enthusiasm
by partners, associates, staff and clients alike. The future
AREAS OF CONCENTRATION
Today, the firm continues with the sub-division of Northrop
Grumman Corp's industrial complex in Bethpage. The firm
has obtained the land use and zoning approvals to facilitate
the sale of the former Grumman headquarters building to
Cablevision Systems Corp for the relocation of its headquarters
from Woodbury, as well as the relocation to Bethpage of
Briarcliffe College, The Robert Plan Corp-Eagle Ins. Co.,
Steel-Los III, Lily Popcorn, Goya Foods warehouse and several
When Suffolk County-based Swezey's Department Store (Patchogue)
recently resolved to expand its chain by growing into Nassau
County with a Glen Cove location, they turned to the firm's
roster of notable real estate, land use and zoning attorneys.
The firm handled all transactions, municipal and zoning
approvals, financial closings and, ultimately paved the
way for the company to become a part of downtown Glen Cove's
With Curto Barton & Alesi aboard, the firm adds significant
depth to its areas of financing and banking law, corporate/commercial
law and securities law. Representation ranges from professional
clients physicians, attorneys and accountants - to the formation
of partnerships, limited partnerships, and limited liability
companies. The many acquisitions, mergers and IPOs (initial
public offerings) conducted by firm attorneys has resulted
in extensive dealings with filing procedures and regulatory
boards of the SEC, the NASD and the NYS. Attorney General's
FIRM APPROACH "The firm's growth adds muscle to
the in-depth knowledge we can provide clients across all
segments of the law," states partner Peter R. Mineo. "It
also enhances our ability to provide clients with one-on-one
attention and timely resolution of their legal matters."
Experience and teamwork are essential to fulfilling the
firm's mandate, and these qualities earn The Firm its
solid reputation. In their 20 year partnership, Donald Jay
Schwartz, Peter R. Mineo and Jeffrey D. Forchelli have worked
together to establish a responsiveness to clients: providing
personal attention and advice, not just legal information.
This imperative is further strengthened and enhanced by
the addition of partners Anthony V. Curto, Anthony B. Barton
and Barbara Shaheen Alesi.
This dedicated approach is applied to individual clients
as well as major corporations.
Donald Jay Schwartz, a specialist in personal injury,
product liability and insurance law, demonstrated this responsiveness
as well as imaginative interpretation of the law when he
argued a case before the New York Court of Appeals on behalf
of a couple who had sustained personal injuries in an automobile
accident. It was his reinterpretation of years and years
of established New York law governing insurance policy that
earned Schwartz prominence as the winning attorney in a
landmark case in the annals of law.
"The insurance policy limiting my clients to recovering
$100,000 was ambiguous," stated Schwartz. "Based on my arguments,
the court allowed my clients to recover $300,000. This decision
upended years of established law, brought awareness to the
firm, and once more demonstrated our conviction to work
diligently and imaginatively on our clients' behalf."
The representation of individuals can also require diplomacy
and respect for privacy. Conversely, it may require such
non-legal skills as marketing and public relations.
Anthony V. Curto has had occasion to represent celebrities
such as Freeman McNeil - former star running back for the
New York Jets; Harrison Salisbury, Pulitzer Prize winner
and Op-Ed Page editor for the New York Times; and Aleksandr
Solzhenitsyn, Noble - Laureate in Literature. Recently he
has been called upon to help "create" a celebrity.
Eddie Anzalone the "quintessential fan" of Giants Stadium
- cheerleading fame (J-E-T-S... Jets, Jets, Jets!) - came
to the firm seeking to capitalize on his growing image and
popularity. With Curto's assistance and negotiations, Fireman
Eddie is developing licensing agreements with NFL Properties
for use of his image on a variety of merchandise, from t-shirts
and hats to dolls and action figures.
For the individual or the corporation, The Firm offers
personal attention, and advice tailored to the need of each
KEEPING PACE WITH GROWTH
In addition to its new Mineola offices, Forchelli, Curto,
Schwartz, Mineo, Carlino & Cohn, LLP has retained an
office at One Huntington Quadrangle in Melville to meet
the growing needs of clients in both Nassau and Suffolk
The firm's growth is reflected in the addition of expanded
conference, library and research facilities, and the installation
of the latest technological advances, supplying new capabilities
in computerized client services, telephone systems, and
"Technological, economic, and communication advances
have forever changed the way business gets done," observes
Forchelli. "At The Firm, we are keeping pace with the
challenges, ensuring that our clients receive the very best
Reprinted with permission of Long Island