Employment Discrimination

Every person, from workers to executives, has the right to a workplace that is free from discrimination and harassment and to be paid properly. An employee’s good-faith complaints must be investigated thoroughly and evenhandedly. All too often, employers retaliate against and punish those who stand up for their rights or the rights of others.

We have represented hundreds of women, men, and gender non-conforming individuals who were subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation on the basis of gender, race, national origin, age, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity. We also regularly represent workers in overtime, minimum wage, and whistleblower cases.

In re Utility Company

Represented seven women over the course of almost ten years who worked in non-traditional jobs and who were subjected to workplace harassment and continually denied the equal opportunity to advance within the Company. After obtaining successful findings for them before the EEOC, we worked extensively with a government agency and fought for them further in federal court to obtain significant money damages for individual plaintiffs as well as broad injunctive relief that required the Company to change its policies.

John Does 1-4 v. National Bank

Successfully represented four Black and Caribbean men who were harassed and mistreated by their all-white supervisors and then punished for complaining.

K.D. v. BGC Financial, L.P.

Secured $500,000 judgment for client in sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit against financial services company.

Cui v. Yes Car Service, Inc.

Secured seven-figure judgment for nine former drivers of livery car service in action seeking compensation for unpaid overtime and minimum wages and for other violations of the New York Labor Law.

Sexual Abuse and Assault

We have represented hundreds of sexual assault victims, including children, adults, and adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, asserting claims against individual perpetrators as well as the institutions that enabled them, including Fortune 500 companies, financial institutions, schools and universities, hospitals, foster care agencies, and prisons.

New York State recently enacted the Adult Survivors Act to revive claims for sexual assault where the victim was over the age of 18 years old at the time of the assault.  On November 24, 2022, a one-year look-back window will open to permit survivors of adult sexual assault to pursue their claims in court no matter how long ago the abuse occurred.

When traditional assault claims are not viable, we seek justice for our clients in creative ways. We have made new law on behalf of survivors of sexual abuse through defamation law, winning a landmark case in New York’s highest court and leveraging that victory in later litigation against Donald Trump, successfully fending off his multiple attempts to dismiss or stay one woman’s efforts to hold him accountable for his lies about his sexual assaults of her.

We have obtained more than $125 million in settlements and judgments for sexual abuse survivors over the years.  But we also recognize that justice is not always about money. We have strategized with clients in defending them against threats or attacks for telling the truth. And our current case against the NYPD is aimed at stopping its discriminatory pattern and practice of engaging in sorely inadequate sexual assault investigations, which mistreats and debases women and girls who have bravely reported being sexually assaulted.

Jeffrey Epstein Survivors

We represent approximately 20 survivors of Jeffrey Epstein’s horrific sexual abuse, including women who were raped, women who were abused when they were children, and women who were trafficked to other perpetrators. We have helped our clients support criminal prosecutions, filed federal civil litigation, and assisted them in seeking compensation through an administrative fund process that we fought to help create.

Rockefeller University Hospital

Successfully represented more than 250 survivors of childhood sexual abuse by Dr. Reginald Archibald, a pediatric endocrinologist at Rockefeller University Hospital who used his position to abuse children horrifically for more than four decades. We resolved many of those claims, and are currently pursuing Rockefeller in the courts.

Miriam Haley v. Harvey Weinstein

Represent rape victim whose testimony at Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial led to his 20-year prison sentence in civil litigation against him pending in federal court.

Rodriguez v. City of New York

Obtained a $1.4 million settlement on behalf of a transgender woman who was sexually assaulted twice in five days after being housed unlawfully in a male facility on Rikers Island.  This is among the largest settlements of any claim brought by an individual in New York State for sexual assault while in custody.

Zervos v. Trump

Represented former Apprentice contestant Summer Zervos in her claim that Donald Trump defamed her by asserting falsely that she lied about being sexually assaulted by him. Successfully resisted numerous attempts by Trump to dismiss or stay the case in the trial and appellate courts on constitutional and defamation law grounds, including by building on new law we had made in an earlier case in New York’s highest court.

Police and Prisoner Abuse

We regularly represent individuals and groups of plaintiffs who have been falsely arrested, wrongfully convicted, assaulted, or denied medical treatment by police officers and prison officials. No case is too small or too big. We have represented individuals who were briefly detained in violation of their constitutional rights, as well as those who have been killed by the police or prison guards and those who have spent decades in prison for crimes they did not commit.

Alkebulan v. Galante

Obtained a $1.8 million settlement for the Estate of Antwoine Fort, who committed suicide while in New York state prison, in a case claiming that the New York State Office of Mental Health and the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Services both failed to take basic steps to keep him safe from a known and apparent serious suicide risk.  This is believed to be the largest prison suicide settlement ever paid by the State of New York.  The firm also obtained what is believed to be the second largest prison suicide settlement paid by the State of New York, $1.6 million, in McAllister v. Waldron.

Newton v. City of New York

Represented Alan Newton, who spent over two decades in prison for a rape he did not commit because the City could not find the DNA evidence that eventually exonerated him, in his appeal from the district court’s decision to throw out an $18 million jury verdict on his claim that the City’s inadequate evidence management system violated his right to due process. The appellate court reinstated the verdict.

Simmons v. Suffolk County

Obtained a $1.85 million settlement on behalf of the Estate of Dainell Simmons, a developmentally disabled man who was asphyxiated by Suffolk County police officers who improperly held him face down as they attempted to place leg restraints on him.

Estate of Kurt Doerbecker v. County of Nassau

Obtained a $1 million settlement on behalf of the estate and family of a 23-year old man who was fatally shot by a Nassau County police officer in a federal civil rights and wrongful death suit.

Rodriguez v. City of New York

Obtained a $1.4 million settlement on behalf of a transgender woman who was sexually assaulted twice in five days after being housed unlawfully in a male facility on Rikers Island.  This is among the largest settlements of any claim brought by an individual in New York State for sexual assault while in custody.

Housing Discrimination

Too many individuals and groups continue to be blocked from renting or purchasing the homes they deserve because of their race, disability, sexual orientation, family status, or source of income. Landlords continue to lie to African Americans about whether there are vacancies in buildings or quote them higher rents in many predominantly white neighborhoods. Women of modest means continue to be sexually harassed by landlords and supers on a widespread basis. We frequently sue unscrupulous developers, landlords, real estate agents, architects, and banks that have discriminated against our clients, and routinely obtain significant monetary awards and extensive injunctive relief to ensure that defendants change their practices.

Noel v. City of New York

Together with Craig Gurian of the Anti-Discrimination Center, Inc., represent plaintiffs challenging New York City’s “community preference” policy, which perpetuates racial segregation and exacerbates racial discrimination already rampant in our city.

Fair Housing Justice Center v.
East 22nd Street Towers LLC

Obtained a financial settlement and significant injunctive relief for non-profit organization and African American testers where a building’s landlords and property managers blatantly discriminated on the basis of race.

Fair Housing Justice Center v.
JDS Development LLC

Represent the Fair Housing Justice Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting fair housing in New York City and surrounding counties, in a federal disability discrimination lawsuit against, among others, the developer of the American Copper Buildings in Manhattan, which has hundreds of documented violations of the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act.  Obtained landmark settlement requiring extensive retrofitting of widespread barriers to access, a $2.9 million monetary payment, and other injunctive relief.  The firm then brought a successful enforcement action before U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres, who retained jurisdiction over the settlement, and secured an additional $800,000 in damages for defendants’ failure to adhere to the remediation schedule.

Banks v. Various Landlords

Obtained an apartment and money damages for a woman who was denied the opportunity to rent an apartment – over and over and over again – just because she was using a Section 8 housing voucher.

Education Law

We have asserted claims against elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges/universities for a range of unlawful conduct, including the failure to prevent or adequately investigate sexual assaults on campus, unlawful discrimination, and bullying, performing unlawful strip searches, and the failure to accommodate the needs of students with disabilities.

P.W. v. Monmouth County School District et al.

Represent a former New Jersey public high school student who claims that school officials failed to protect her from severe and pervasive retaliation by her fellow students after her parents reported a shocking incident of anti-Semitism during a school field trip. Read extensive coverage about the lawsuit in the New York Times.

T.H. v. City of New York

Along with Legal Services of New York, represented a plaintiff challenging the policy and practice of public schools of calling emergency services and sometimes the police in dealing with children with documented emotional disabilities. The federal litigation was successfully resolved with significant changes to the system, including training, in addition to monetary compensation.

Jane Does v. Universities

Represented numerous young women who were raped or sexually assaulted on campus, often in their freshman year of college, against the schools that failed adequately to investigate and address their complaints. Obtained millions of dollars in settlements and judgments and changes to the way the colleges have dealt with the students and handled complaints.

J.S. v. Dalton School, et al.

We are suing the Dalton School and its former Head of School on behalf of J.S. under New York’s Child Victims Act.  At age 14, J.S. was offered free tuition and board, living with the Head of School and attending the Dalton School for 9th grade. The unusual arrangement ultimately allowed for multiple opportunities of sexual abuse, which has had profoundly negative consequences on our client’s life.  Read about the case in the New York Law Journal, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post.

Foster Care Abuse

We have brought numerous cases on behalf of current and former foster children who were abused and/or neglected after being removed from their parents’ homes, including numerous individual damages cases and a class action.

Jane Doe v. Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services

Represent a woman who alleges that she was sexually assaulted by her foster father during the 1990s while she was under the supervision of Ohel Children’s Home and Family Services. The lawsuit alleges that Ohel’s priority was to place Jewish foster children in Jewish homes, and that once Ohel accomplished that goal, it failed to monitor the foster care placements, leaving vulnerable children at risk.

Estate of Hailey Gonzalez v. City of New York

Represented the estate of a two-year-old girl who was murdered by her mother’s boyfriend while under the supervision of the City’s child welfare agency in a case alleging that the City was grossly negligent in failing to protect her.

Class Actions and Group Actions

We routinely represent plaintiffs in a wide range of class action litigation and group actions on behalf of parties seeking monetary damages or injunctive relief against private and public actors who discriminate, violate the Constitution, or permit children to be abused.

Parker v. City of New York

Obtained more than $5 million in damages for a class of Rikers Island detainees who claimed that their placement in solitary confinement violated their right to due process.

T.F. v. Hennepin County

Represented foster children and pre-custodial children who are the subject of reports of abuse and neglect in an injunctive class action alleging that the child welfare system in Minneapolis, Minnesota is constitutionally deficient.

In re Elite Private Schools

Obtained millions of dollars for more than 50 clients who were adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse at various elite, private elementary and high schools throughout the country, and assisted many of those clients in connection with law enforcement investigations of the abuse.

Election Law

Cuti Hecker Wang LLP has a leading election law practice. We have represented the New York Senate Democrats in a range of matters, and we served as part of a coalition of law firms representing the Democratic State Attorneys General in connection with the 2020 election.

2020 Presidential Election

Served on national team of lawyers advising a coalition of progressive state Attorneys General on federal constitutional and state law issues regarding election administration, ballot canvassing and counting, recounts, certification, and election contests.

Favors v. Cuomo

Represented New York Senate Democratic Conference Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and the New York Senate Democrats with respect to all issues relating to the 2012 congressional and state legislative redistricting process, including challenging the constitutionality of the addition of a 63rd Senate district.

Hurley/Jastrzemski v. State of New York

Represented the New York Senate and Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart Cousins in a case claiming that it is unconstitutional for the New York State Public Campaign Finance Commission to create laws altering so-called “fusion voting,” which allows candidates to run for office on multiple party lines.

Conservative Party v. Board of Elections

Represented and obtained a comprehensive consent decree on behalf of a coalition of minor political parties in a constitutional challenge to New York’s practice of crediting so-called “double-votes” (votes cast for a single candidate on more than one party line) exclusively to the major political party.

Criminal Defense and Regulatory Investigations

Our attorneys have a wealth of experience representing individuals in criminal matters and regulatory investigations, including those conducted by the SEC, FINRA, and other governmental agencies.

People v. Ronald Meadow

Obtained reversal of murder conviction in the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, and then obtained a favorable resolution for the client at the retrial.

People v. Anthony Marshall

Represented criminal defendant accused of defrauding and stealing from his mother, Brooke Astor, including serving as trial counsel and lead appellate counsel and assisting in Ambassador Marshall’s successful application for medical parole.

United States v. Martha Stewart

Served as trial counsel for Martha Stewart in a criminal trial alleging securities fraud and obstruction of an SEC agency proceeding.

Confidential DOJ Investigation

Represented senior financial services executive in connection with DOJ inquiry into trading practices at large financial institution.

Moreland Commission Investigation

Represented parties in State government investigation regarding lobbying and ethical issues.

Commercial Litigation

Our practice also focuses on a wide range of commercial litigation matters, including contract, partnership, competition, and intellectual property disputes on behalf of both companies and individuals.

Narayanan v. Sutherland Global Holdings

Successfully represented corporate director against company in breach of contract suit.

Gregory Barton v. Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia

Successfully defended public company against claim by former executive for benefits under an ERISA plan.

Brodsky v. Match.com

Successfully represented Match.com in a putative nationwide class action alleging RICO, consumer fraud, and contract violations.

Cope v. IAC Search

Successfully represented IAC Search in litigation over $25 million acquisition of software company.