CMM Participates in Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Tesla Science Center

Posted: April 28th, 2023

Electricity was in the air as the groundbreaking ceremony began for the construction of the Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe on April 27. Executive Director of Tesla Science Center and CMM Of Counsel, Marc Alessi, led the ceremony and ceremonial shovel turning of this historic event. More than 100 officials and guests including Lt. Governor Antonio Delgado and CMM Partners Don Rassiger and Vincent Costa attended to celebrate the project. The ceremony marked the first phase of construction, which includes the demolition of non-historic buildings on site and the restoration of the first building that will serve as the Eugene Sayan Visitor Center. The Visitor Center will be the first building on site open to the public where visitors will learn about the life and work of Nikola Tesla and his contributions to science and technology.

This phase of the project is made possible through the generous funding of Mr. Eugene Sayan, CEO of Softheon, Ludwick Family Foundation, an Empire State Development grant from New York State, and supporters from all over the world.

Martin Scorsese Premieres Documentary Featuring CMM Client David Johansen (a.k.a. Buster Poindexter)

Posted: April 13th, 2023

Event Date: April 14th, 2023

Don’t miss Personality Crisis: One Night Only from Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi on Showtime, a portrait of musical iconoclast (and CMM client!) David Johansen. From his days leading The New York Dolls to his reinvention as lounge lizard Buster Poindexter, David Johansen is a chameleonic one of a kind performer. Featuring a live performance at Café Carlyle in New York City, where he performs as Poindexter singing the Johansen songbook, along with new and archival interviews, the film is a testament to a lost New York and a performer who remains as fresh and exciting as ever.

Watch the trailer here.

Malafi Quoted in Newsday on the National Labor Relations Board Recent Ruling

Posted: March 30th, 2023

By Jamie Herzlich, Newsday

Employees shouldn’t be bound by broad confidentiality and non-disparagement provisions that muzzle their ability to speak out against a former employer as a condition for their severance payout.

That’s what the National Labor Relations Board has said in a recent ruling that limits the extent employers can use confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses in severance agreements.

Reversing two Trump-era rulings, the board determined that requiring employees to sign such broadly written clauses is in violation of federal law under the National Labor Relations Act.

But keep in mind this doesn’t mean employees can engage in slander or tell lies, says Christine Malafi, senior partner and chair of the corporate department at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick LLP in Ronkonkoma.

Unprotected is speech that is “reckless or maliciously untrue,” she says.

Also, this doesn’t stop employers from drafting narrower agreements protecting their trade secrets, Malafi says.

A March 22 memo from the NLRB’s general counsel said the ruling covers past as well as current and future severance agreements, she says.

She says while many companies still use non-disparagement clauses in severance agreements, their use is declining. And over the last couple of years “more employees are calling out non-disparagement clauses,” Malafi says.

“They say: we won’t sign it with that in it,” Malafi says.

Read the full article on Newsday’s website.

Campolo Recognized as a Long Island Business Influencer in Law

Posted: March 14th, 2023

We are pleased to share that Joe Campolo, CMM Managing Partner, has been selected for the inaugural LIBN Influencers in Law special edition publication. Advising companies on everything from formation to succession planning and all phases in between, Campolo is a part of this distinguished group that has helped strengthen Long Island’s business community.

Joe Campolo has been getting things done in the business community for more than 25 years and is a recognized leader for tackling large projects and delivering results. From advising business owners and CEOs on mergers and acquisitions, business, and legal strategies to running his own business, Campolo is immersed in finding creative solutions to complex problems. His deep, inner knowledge of the business world allows him to understand the perspective of business owners as they think about growing and selling their companies.

As a top business strategist, Campolo is the go-to advisor for the who’s who of Long Island business, and he is a member of the prestigious Long Island Business Hall of Fame. Recognized as a leading authority on negotiation, Campolo enjoys an advantage in both complex transactions and litigation and is routinely retained in “bet the company” legal matters by companies large and small. He takes a holistic approach to understanding all aspects of a client’s business. Joe’s deep network of trusted advisors enables him to seamlessly provide critical services to high-net-worth clients, helping protect, manage, and grow their businesses and other most important assets.

With a reputation for investing in the local business community, Campolo has grown his network through his work with organizations such as Stony Brook University, HIA-LI, Tesla Science Center, and the Long Island MacArthur Airport Advisory Board. In these positions, Joe advocates for business owners and collaborates with the business community to lead high-profile and complex economic initiatives. Notably, Campolo spearheaded the projects that revealed the extraordinary economic impact of the Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge and now leads a task force to revitalize and grow this economic anchor. He was also instrumental in securing a new airline at Long Island MacArthur Airport, bringing unprecedented growth opportunities for the regional economy and tourism.

Campolo is also deeply involved in philanthropy, starting his own nonprofit, CMM Cares. Built on the belief that bringing the business community together can make a difference in the lives of individuals and families, CMM Cares supports our Long Island neighbors facing unexpected challenges. Campolo also serves on the boards of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs, and has served on many others throughout his career.

Campolo served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. He is a member of St. George’s Golf & Country Club in Stony Brook, and is an executive producer of “Tribute,” an award-winning short film. He graduated from Stony Brook University and Fordham University School of Law.

View the full LIBN Influencers in Law book here.

CMM’s Litigation Team Prevails for Nassau County Public Authority

Posted: March 9th, 2023

Securing the dismissal of a lawsuit against your client is always a win. But when the client doesn’t have insurance coverage for the type of loss and would have been on the hook for paying any damages in the suit, that win is especially gratifying.

An employee of a Nassau County public authority allegedly sustained injuries from a slip and fall at work after the office cleaning company had mopped the floor. She brought a personal injury action against the cleaning company, which in turn brought the public authority (CMM’s client) into the suit.

The CMM team, including Scott Middleton, Richard DeMaio, and Meagan Nolan, moved for summary judgment (essentially, asking the court to find that there are no facts in dispute and to dismiss the case against our client). Leaving nothing to chance, we pursued dismissal based on three arguments:

  1. the plaintiff did not suffer a “grave injury” (under the Labor Law, an employee’s injuries must meet the specific definition of “grave injury” for the employer to be found liable);
  2. there was no proof of a written contract between our client and the cleaning company, so their pursuit of contractual indemnification and contribution could not stand; and
  3. the cleaning company’s claims for common law indemnification and contribution also could not stand since the plaintiff did not suffer a “grave injury.”

Ultimately, all three arguments persuaded the court to find in our favor. The court agreed with our analysis that the medical experts’ submissions as well as the plaintiff’s own deposition testimony established that she did not sustain a “grave injury.” The Court also agreed that there was no proof of a contract between the public authority and the cleaning company. Based on CMM’s arguments, the court granted our motion for summary judgment – an especially important win for our client.

Learn more about our successful handling of municipal litigation here.

MacArthur Airport Announces $26M in Terminal Improvement Projects

Posted: February 28th, 2023

Town of Islip – Long Island MacArthur Airport today officially dedicated its $8.4 million, 12,000 SF Ground Transportation Center (GTC) following the completion of a Terminal Walkway, the final component of the project. Additionally, the airport announced $26 million in improvements to the Main Terminal Building, along with Mechanical Engineering and Plumbing (MEP) upgrades. While this construction work is funded by separate grants, the projects will take place simultaneously for efficiency, and to keep operations running smoothly for customers. The project is expected to take approximately one year to complete.

“We all know these have been challenging times for airlines with crew shortages, rising fuel prices, and economic uncertainty. Despite this, we know the business community’s strong desire for more flights and commitment to Long Island MacArthur Airport,” said Joe Campolo, Airport Advisory Board Member, HIA-LI Past Board Chairperson and Managing Partner at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP. “Airports across the country are competing more and more for air service and grants. These new projects and significant funding help us make a strong case to airlines to bring their aviation assets to our community,” he added.

Read the full press release here.

Malafi Quoted in Newsday Regarding NY’s Law Expanding Breastfeeding Accommodations

Posted: January 18th, 2023

By Jamie Herzlich, Newsday

Working moms in New York have the right to expanded accommodations for expressing breast milk at their places of employment under recent legislation.

The law, which takes effect June 7, requires all employers to provide a designated location for nursing employees to pump breast milk that includes such amenities as seating, a working space, and nearby access to running water. They also must develop and implement a written policy regarding employee rights when breastfeeding in the workplace. 

Smaller employers should start thinking creatively on how they can make accommodations or rethink space to comply, experts say.

“I think certain small businesses may be able to claim an undue hardship as to some of the law’s requirements, but the burden will be on the employer to show the undue hardship,” says Christine Malafi, senior partner and chair of the corporate department at Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP in Ronkonkoma.

If there is a complaint, a resolution will be up to the Department of Labor on a case-by-case basis on the very specific facts involved in each situation, she says.

Some employers in certain circumstances may have to work out a reasonable accommodation such as providing a nursing pod, but if employees work outside, they may not have access to running water with a pod, Malafi says.

But bottom line is all employers have to “start thinking of a space with electricity and privacy where women can go to express breast milk,” says Malafi.

This is backed up by a recent amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, called the PUMP Act (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections), which on the federal level requires employers to provide a place to express breast milk that’s private from view and free from intrusion for all employees, Malafi says.

Read the full article on Newsday’s website.

CMM’s Jeffrey Basso Highlighted in LIBN Who’s Who: Labor Law

Posted: January 13th, 2023

Jeffrey Basso is a partner at Campolo, Middleton, & McCormick, LLP (CMM) where he represents business owners, corporations, corporate officers, shareholders, and investors in a variety of litigation matters in state and federal court involving employment, business, and contractual disputes. Basso was selected as one of fourteen attorneys to be featured in LIBN’s Who’s Who Labor Law special edition publication.

Basso has experience prosecuting and defending matters on behalf of clients in actions involving employment contracts, non-compete agreements, trade secrets, fiduciary duty, breach of contract, hour and wage disputes, real estate transactions, investments, and construction matters.

His successful track record in the labor law arena spans numerous industries. Recent representative matters include the defense of a Long Island metal fabrication company in a hostile workplace/discrimination lawsuit (resulting in the dismissal of all claims) and the defense of a large catering company in a wage and retaliation dispute (resulting in the court’s refusal to reinstate the former employees).

As business owners enter 2023, Basso advises they have a procedure in place for documenting poor work performance, insubordination, and other employee misconduct to minimize issues if and when an employee is terminated.

“Too many times, employers make the critical mistake of not documenting instances of poor performance and other issues with their employees,” he said. “Then, if the employee is terminated, litigation often ensues over claims of wrongful termination, retaliation and other related claims, which can be extremely costly and damaging to business owners. “

“If the employer has a procedure in place and documents the employee’s history of poor performance or other misconduct, these claims can often be extinguished before they get started,” Basso said.

Basso is also experienced in representing clients in business divorce matters, including the negotiation of creative strategies to divide assets, as well as business divorce litigation. His litigation practice also includes appellate work.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and a juris doctor from St. John’s University School of Law.

He is admitted to practice in New York State and before the United States District Court, Southern District of New York and the United States District Court, Eastern District of New York.

View the full Who’s Who book here.

CMM Announces Three Senior-Level Promotions

Posted: January 11th, 2023

Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP is delighted to announce that Lauren Kanter-Lawrence and Nancy Conte have been promoted to Vice Presidents and Kathleen DiLieto has been promoted to Controller, effective January 1, 2023. These senior-level promotions highlight the firm’s role as a destination for top talent in professional services.

As Vice President, Lauren Kanter-Lawrence, Esq. is responsible for CMM’s recruitment, training, marketing and communications, and business development efforts. She creates and implements programs that support the development and retention of the firm’s professionals, spearheads all staffing and talent matters, and oversees CMM’s in-house training programs. She also works closely with the Managing Partner on critical economic development initiatives to help Long Island grow. A graduate of Cornell University and Pace Law School, she joined the firm in 2008 as an attorney and has served as Director of Communications and Talent.

Nancy Conte has been promoted to Vice President of the Strata Alliance, a first-of-its-kind service that manages, connects, and aligns professional service providers working together for business owners and high-net-worth families. She plays a critical role in ensuring that clients have access to premier service providers covering all their needs. Bringing significant operational experience to her new role, Conte ensures that Strata has the resources to provide a superior client experience. In addition to her work with Strata, Conte also oversees the operations at CMM and other strategic business partners. She graduated from Stony Brook University and previously served as Strata’s Director of Operations.

Kathleen DiLieto, CPA, has been promoted from Assistant Controller to Controller. Now head of the accounting department, DiLieto is responsible for all financial reporting, budgeting and forecasting, general accounting, cash and treasury management, internal control assessments, accounts receivable and accounts payable. A CPA with her Accounting degree from St. Joseph’s College, DiLieto has over 20 years of experience in both public accounting and private industry. Her public and private sector experience enables her to analyze issues from all critical angles and work with firm leadership to effectively plan for the future.

Please join us in congratulating them!