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Emerging Ready for the 21st Century

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.

LIBN 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.


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 century."


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 transactions.

LIBN "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 is exciting."


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 other companies.

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 revitalization.

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 Office.

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."

LIBN 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 client.


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 counties.

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 internet research.

"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 representation."

Reprinted with permission of Long Island Business News

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Uniondale, NY 11553
t: 516.248.1700
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