Shebitz Berman Cohen & Delforte, P.C. is a midtown Manhattan law firm that focuses on Education Law, Labor and Employment, Civil Rights, Constitutional Law, Not-For-Profit Law, Administrative Law, Civil Litigation, and Corporate & Commercial Law. For over 25 years they have been representing individuals, small businesses, corporations, and institutions in New York State. They serve as general counsel, corporate counsel, labor counsel and litigation counsel.
Their firm has been referred to as "the little big firm." That is, the law they practice is often complex and sophisticated and, as a result, they take a creative approach to law and litigation - often creating new law in the process. As a boutique, however, they are able to provide their clients with the personal attention they might not find elsewhere, especially with larger firms whose practices and client bases are too broad to allow them the luxury of providing specific attention, knowledge, and resources to each of their clients.
Most of their clients have stayed with them for many years. They believe that creating and maintaining strong relationships with their clients best serves their interests. Their enduring association with many clients gives them the background and information necessary to give their clients the best possible representation. Their representation of Their clients is characterized by their individualized attention to the needs of the client as well as their excellence in their legal field.
Frederick J. Berman
Frederick J. Berman has been admitted to the bar of the State of New York and its federal courts since 1977 and heads the firm's practice in the areas of commercial litigation and corporate transactions. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Berman was a partner at Fieldman, Berman & Hay and Wood, Lucksinger & Epstein.
Mr. Berman has litigated in state and federal courts throughout the United States and has handled domestic and international arbitrations before the American Arbitration Association and the International Chamber of Commerce. He also has successfully used alternative dispute resolution methods such as mediation and structured negotiation. Mr. Berman has litigated matters involving a broad spectrum of commercial issues, including matters involving: accounting actions, business valuation construction and engineering contracts, creditors' rights, bankruptcy and workouts, corporate acquisitions and divestitures, relationships among principals in closely held corporations, and not-for-profit corporations, employment disputes, environmental law, fraud and fraudulent conveyances, letters of credit and financing arrangements, license agreements, patents and trademarks, commodity transactions, products liability, probate proceedings, regulatory and administrative issues, RICO, stock grants and stock options, sales and services contracts and workers' compensation.
Mr. Berman also has represented clients in diverse commercial and corporate transactions, including: patent, know-how and trademark licensing agreements, stockholder and partnership agreements, employment agreements, agreements relating to equipment purchases and industrial services, engineering, procurement and construction contracts, acquisition and construction contracts relating to construction and renovation of industrial facilities, facility operating agreements, leases and formation of joint ventures, partnerships and closely held corporations.
Julia R. Cohen
Julia R. Cohen, is a member of the firm. Ms. Cohen represents not-for-profit, educational, institutional and individual clients in employment, education and civil rights matters in the state and federal courts and before various administrative tribunals. She represents individual educators and administrators in disciplinary proceedings. She also serves as general counsel for not-for-profit and education clients. As such, Ms. Cohen advises on most matters confronting agencies and schools (pre-K through post-secondary/college) including employment matters, student disciplinary issues, policy and best practices, and regulatory and compliance matters.
Ms. Cohen has served as a Senior Court Attorney in New York State Supreme Court, New York County. Since joining the firm, Ms. Cohen has presented at continuing legal education programs on education and employment issues such as"Legal Issues in the School Setting". "Student Athletic Programs and the Law" and "Family & Medical Leave Act Update", She has appeared on Court TV as a live commentator on televised legal proceedings involving First Amendment, educational and employment issues.
Ms. Cohen serves on the New York City Bar Association's Federal Courts Committee (2007 --). She was previously a member of its Gay and Lesbian Rights Committee (1997-2000). Ms Cohen is a member of the Executive Committee of the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (2004 --). She sits on the Boards of several not-for-profit entities including the Open Meadows Foundation (2000--) and IDEAS (2000--). Ms. Cohen is a member of the Advisory Committee of Bike New York, the sponsors of the Five Borough Bike Tour. She is a Small Claims Arbitrator in the Civil Court of the City of New York. Ms. Cohen is also a cooperating attorney for Lambda Legal Defense.
Ms. Cohen received a Bachelor's of Music from Boston University; a Masters of Music from the University of Texas at Austin and her J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center. She is admitted to practice in the New York State and District of Columbia courts as well as Federal Courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Northern Districts of New York. District of Columbia and the United States Supreme Court.
Matthew J. Delforte
Matthew J. Delforte is a partner at the firm and concentrates primarily on the areas of education, employment, labor, and constitutional law. Mr. Delforte represents public and private schools in all areas of education law. He has worked on the creation of colleges, business and trade schools, private schools, and schools for children with disabilities. Mr. Delforte focuses much of his practice on representing children with disabilities and the schools they attend. He also represents numerous charter schools in New York City, and has worked extensively on the charter school reauthorization process.
Mr. Delforte currently serves as an adjunct professor at the College of St. Rose where he teaches education law, which he has taught at Fordham University's Graduate School of Education. He is regular presenter at conferences on education law in the New York City area and Albany. Some of his presentation include:
* Hot Topics in School Law, New York State Education Department, Albany, N.Y., November 2005;
* The Effects of Education Law on Including Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Hofstra University, Novermber 2005;
* Bullying and Social Aggression in New York, New York, N.Y., October 2005;
* Section 504 vs. The IDEA, White Plains, N.Y., September 2003;
* New Developments in Special Education Law, Uniondale, N.Y., June 2005.
In areas of labor and employment law, Mr. Delforte represents labor and management in unfair labor practices matters before the National Labor Relations Board, and arbritrates issues of wages, discharge, discipline, contract interpretation, job classification, seniority, past practice, layoff, overtime, and benefits. He also negotiates collective bargaining agreements, and severance and settlement agreements on behalf of employers and employees alike, and represents clients on issues of discriminations, non-compete, and wrongful termination.
Mr. Delforte earned his Juris Doctorate from the City University of New York School of Law, and his undergraduate degree from St. Bonaventure University. He is admitted to practice law in the Courts of New York State and in the United States District Cour for the Southern and Easter Districts of New York.
George Shebitz (1947 - 2006)
George was nationally recognized as a leading expert on education law. He began his public service as counsel and Deputy Director of the Office of Legal Services for the New York City Board of Education with then-Chancellor Frank Macchiorola. He worked tirelessly, selflessly and compassionately to protect the rights of children, persons with disabilities and the mistreated everywhere. He was a frequent presenter at law and education seminars, as well as a lecturer at Bank Street College of Education and Fordham University. He served as a Member of Governor Cuomo’s Task Force on Youth and Criminal Justice.
George’s good work touched many lives. There was a special place in his heart, both in his legal and philanthropic work, for children with special needs and programs designed to help meet their educational goals, in recognition that everyone was entitled to a free and appropriate education. George and his wife Randi have been the recipients of numerous honors and awards. For the purpose of brevity only four are highlighted: Humanitarian of the Year by the Rockland Jewish Family Services; Humanitarian Award by the Association for the Advancement of the Blind and Retarded; Humanitarian of the Year and Board of Trustees Emeritus of the Rockland Country Day School; and Individual of the Year by P’Tach, a nationwide special education program. George sat on numerous boards of not-for profit corporations; including educational institutions ranging from early childhood programs to degree granting colleges, entertainment boards providing opportunities to young men and women, and entities serving the adult mentally retarded populations.