Dan Arshack, '83 "We don't back away from difficult cases."
Friday, June 21, 2013
Posted by: Joe Libertelli
Dan Arshack, at right, is a 1983 graduate of the Antioch School of Law, and is now practicing in New York City with his firm, Arshack, Hajek & Lehrman, PLLC. Dan and his firm were recently in the New York Law news http://www.lawahl.com/index.php.
Dan wrote us a note on his work - and I think you'll find his range of cases to be quite fascinating!
Joe Libertelli, Director, Alumni Relations
I thought you might want to know what your alumni are up to.
We are not your run of the mill defense firm. We are problem solvers and committed litigators. While most of our work is criminal defense, we do a significant amount of commercial litigation as well. We recently successfully litigated a Lanham Act (trademark) case and won a difficult and very drawn out arbitration/mediation involving the division and re-allocation of interests of a very well known NYC construction business, a variety of family trusts and property owned by a variety of LLC's.
We tend to handle "unusual" and "difficult" cases often that require very prompt attention and creative and aggressive interventions. We sometimes are asked to represent co-defendants in multi-defendant cases.
Here are four examples of our "interesting" cases in the last couple of years:
When a major law firm decided that they could not handle a fairly "toxic" case we were asked to represent the highest ranking former official of Libya's Kaddafi regime to defect from Libya at the inception of the Arab Spring and we said "yes." The representation required protecting the client's interests in interactions with FBI, UK Investigators, Scottish Police and SEC investigators all of whom eyed our client as potentially liable for a variety of very public and deeply troubling events with which Libya had been associated from the mid 1980's to 2010. In accepting the assignment, on very short notice, we first had to learn and absorb an enormous amount of historical and factual data concerning the client's role within the Libyan government during the years of interest. This was immediately followed by two weeks of marathon meetings and negotiations with law enforcement officials from several continents in Doha, Qatar. Thereafter, ongoing interaction with those officials resulted in no charges being filed and interest in our client, thankfully (to him) waning.
We were contacted by the single largest taxpayer in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) who had been identified in a very public UN report prepared by UN area experts, as a funder and supporter of rebel groups in that country. He denied the allegations and needed us to generate the evidence that the allegations were false and then convince the UN to retract the allegations made in the report. The mere fact of the allegations had a seriously detrimental effect on our client's business interests throughout the DRC and elsewhere in Africa and Europe. The assignment was made all the more difficult given the fact that active hostilities were then occurring in the DRC and more so, because there existed no process within the UN structure to address allegations such as those made in UN reports. After meeting with our client in Europe, we put a team together and developed a plan to fix the problem. We sent our intrepid top flight investigators to the DRC to take statements and generate documentary proof of the falsity of the allegations and submitted the UN's documentary "evidence" to computer forensic analysis which conclusively proved that the documents the UN experts had relied upon were forgeries and others were wholly created to impugn our client's reputation. We then engaged in a difficult and contentious process within the UN to establish our "right" to due process within that institution. After providing briefing papers to the UN and two sets of hearings during which we demonstrated the lack of integrity of the evidence relied upon by the UN experts and had our witnesses testify and provide evidence, the UN took the completely unprecedented step of agreeing to retract all of the damaging statements made against our client.
Last year, we were retained to represent the owner of a New York based hedge fund, a non- U.S. citizen, who had been the subject of a prolonged SEC investigation and the defendant in a variety of civil law suits filed by unhappy investors. We became involved after he was arrested on his way out of the country after judgments totaling in the mid-eight figures had been entered against him in the SEC and civil actions. After a year of parsing the evidence and countless meetings and negotiations with the Federal prosecutors during which we developed a close collegial working relationship, we are currently preparing that case for trial this summer. Stay tuned.
We were contacted by the Colorado Office of the Public Defender in the case of James Holmes the defendant in the Aurora, Colorado theatre shooting. We were asked to make an effort to subpoena and attempt to compel a Fox News reporter based in NYC to appear and to give testimony in the Colorado case. The situation arose after law enforcement officials in Colorado, in an effort to illegally influence the outcome of a death penalty case, violated a court imposed gag order by leaking confidential communications between the defendant and his psychiatrist to the Fox News reporter in NYC. The reporter is attempting to rely on her statutory journalist shield to fight the subpoena and refuse to disclose the identity of her confidential sources. She is represented by mega-firm Hogan Lovels who has been resisting our efforts and whom we beat at the trial level. Then they tried to have the subpoena stayed, twice, at the Appeals Court and we beat them both times, so they appealed. Last week we argued the case in the Appellate Division First Department (attached, find the New York Law Journal's description of that event). Stay tuned on this one as well. (But I think the Fox News reporter should plan on a visit to the Rockies.)
As you can see, we don't back away from difficult cases. We revel in them. That's what UDC alumni do - and that's what we do. Please do stay in touch.
Daniel N. Arshack
Arshack, Hajek & Lehrman, PLLC
1790 Broadway Suite 710
New York, New York 10019