Robert A. Spolzino

Partner
81 Main Street
Suite 306
White Plains, NY 10601

Tel: (914) 607-7010
Fax: (914) 607-3595
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Robert A. Spolzino

Partner

Robert A. Spolzino is a Partner at Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP who brings to his clients unparalleled judgment cultivated over decades of unique experience – he knows how to position clients for success. An attorney for 35 years, he served more than eight years as Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, five of those years as a Justice of the Appellate Division, New York’s intermediate appellate court. In 2016, Bob was selected by the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination as one of seven candidates statewide for a seat on New York’s highest court, the Court of Appeals. Immediately prior to joining Abrams Fensterman, Mr. Spolzino was a founding partner and principal in a prestigious real estate and corporate firm in Westchester.

As a Justice of the Appellate Division, Mr. Spolzino decided more than 4,000 appeals and 10,000 appellate motions and wrote major opinions across a broad spectrum of areas. Prior to that, he presided for two and a half years in the Matrimonial Part of the Supreme Court in Westchester County. Since leaving the bench in 2009, Mr. Spolzino has argued seven times in the New York Court of Appeals and more than 65 times in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court. For much of that time, he was a partner at an AmLaw 200 firm, where he chaired the firm’s National Appellate Practice and National Municipal and Public Entity Law Practice.

The insights into judicial thinking that Mr. Spolzino has developed in eight years as a trial and appellate judge, and more than 35 years as an appellate, municipal and commercial litigator, bring unique value to his representation of a broad base of public and private clients. His ability to see the issues from the perspective of the judge or judges who will decide the case and then to articulate the arguments in a forceful and effective manner allows his clients to achieve their objectives with remarkable effectiveness. He has represented and advised businesses in multimillion-dollar commercial disputes, governmental entities in high-stakes litigation over their authority and operations, and businesses and individuals in significant business and commercial matters.

Mr. Spolzino represents clients in litigation and appeals involving commercial, governmental and personal matters, including business disputes, land use, environmental and other regulatory matters, estate and will contests and appeals in domestic relations matters. He also represents private clients in land use and environmental matters and serves as general counsel to local governments, school districts and not-for-profit corporations, and as special counsel in litigation and appellate matters and land use and economic development matters.

BAR ADMISSIONS

New York

EDUCATION

  • J.D., St. John’s University Law School
  • B.A., Georgetown University

MATTERS

  • Representing three Justices of the New York State Supreme Court, successfully obtained an appellate decision preventing them from remaining on the bench after age 70 unless they relinquished their retirement benefits from prior judicial service.
  • Representing the Comptroller of the City of New York, successfully compelled the New York City Department of Finance to allow the Comptroller to audit its corporate tax collections, despite a 30-year old opinion by the New York City Corporation Counsel that the Comptroller had no such rights.
  • Representing a Westchester County municipality, successfully obtained reversal on appeal of an order setting aside the denial of a variance
  • Representing a Suffolk County real property owner, successfully obtained reversal on appeal of an injunction obtained by a neighbor to prevent construction of a multi-million dollar residence
  • Representing the beneficiary of an estate on appeal, obtained affirmance of a will construction recognizing the decedent’s intent to include him among her beneficiaries, even though the language in the will did not include him.
  • Representing a Westchester County spouse, successfully obtained on appeal a significant modification of equitable distribution and support awards.
  • Representing investors of $19 million in an oil and gas partnership successfully obtained reversal on appeal of an order dismissing a claim against the management of the partnership for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Representing a major New York City healthcare institution, successfully obtained dismissal of an indemnification claim by another hospital in a brain damaged baby case.
  • Representing a Hudson Valley Healthcare institution, successfully sustained on appeal to New York’s Court of Appeals a judgment dismissing a claim against a hospital by a patient who insisted on being discharged and was then injured in an automobile accident.
  • Representing a mother from whom custody of her eight-year old child had been taken away, successfully obtained reversal of the order on appeal.
  • Representing a commercial tenant, successfully obtained dismissal of a $9 million claim for breach of the lease.
  • Representing the manufacturer of exercise equipment, successfully obtained a $25 million reduction in a verdict in a products liability case.
  • Representing a candidate for public office, successfully obtained reversal on appeal of an order refusing to prevent a Westchester County municipality from closing a polling place
  • Representing the People of the State of New York, after being appointed by the Supreme Court as Special District Attorney for Bronx County, successfully sustained on appeal a verdict convicting the defendant of assault in the first degree

Published Decisions (as counsel)

  • Matter of Abramson v. Hassan, __ A.D.3d __ (2d Dep’t 2019)
  • Matter of Nabe v. Sosis, 175 A.D.3d 500 (2d Dep’t 2019)
  • Kverel v. Silverman, 172 A.D.3d 1350 (2d Dep’t 2019)
  • Kverel v. Silverman, 172 A.D.3d 1345 (2d Dep’t 2019)
  • City of Long Beach v. Sun NLF Limited Partnership, 172 A.D.3d 1061 (2d Dep’t 2019)
  • Hofstra University v. Nassau County, 166 A.D.3d 863 (2d Dep’t 2018)
  • Hofstra University v. Nassau County, 166 A.D.3d 861 (2d Dep’t 2018)
  • Matter of Bernstein v. Feiner, 165 A.D.3d 924 (2d Dep’t 2018)
  • E.V. v. R.V., 165 A.D.3d 736 (2d Dep’t 2018)
  • O’Brien v. County of Nassau, 164 A.D.3d 684 (2d Dep’t 2018)
  • Kachkovskiy v. Khlebopros, 164 A.D.3d 658 (2d Dep’t 2018)
  • Pagano v. Cohen, 164 A.D.3d 516 (2d Dep’t 2018)
  • Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas v. Deutsche, 157 A.D.3d 767 (2d Dep’t 2018)
  • Coscia v. Eljamal, 156 A.D.3d 861 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • Quast v. Westchester County Board of Elections, 155 A.D.3d 674 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • Krow v. Westchester County Board of Elections, 155 A.D.3d 672 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • Nadasi v. Nadel-Nadasi, 153 A.D.3d 1346 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • V. v. R.V., 153 A.D.3d 580 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • Haberman v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals of City of Long Beach, 152 A.D.3d 683 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • Gentile v. Gentile, 149 A.D.3d 916 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • Marx v. Gurwin Jewish Geriatric Center, 148 A.D.3d 696 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • City of Long Beach v. Sun NLF Ltd. P’ship, 146 A.D.3d 775, 2017 WL 98320 (2d Dep’t 2017)
  • Matter of Estate of Warren, 143 A.D.3d 1110 (3d Dep’t 2016)
  • Behar v. Quaker Ridge Golf Club,Inc., 42 N.Y.S.3d 538 (Sup. Ct., Westchester Co., 2016)
  • Pazienza v. Westchester County Health Care Corp., 142 A.D.3d 669 (2d Dep’t 2016)
  • Elmes v. Yelon, 140 A.D.3d 1009 (2d Dep’t 2016)
  • Lagos v. Fucale, 139 A.D.3d 908 (2d Dep’t 2016)
  • Armonk Snack Mart, Inc. v. Robert Porpora Realty Corp., 138 A.D.3d 1045 (2d Dep’t 2016)
  • Ginsburg Dev. Cos., LLC v. Carbone, 134 A.D.3d 890 (2d Dep’t 2015)
  • JFK Family Ltd, P’ship v. Millbrae Natural Gas Dev. Fund 2005, 132 A.D.3d 731 (2d Dep’t 2015)
  • JFK Family Ltd, P’ship v. Millbrae Natural Gas Dev. Fund 2005, 132 A.D.3d 729 (2d Dep’t 2015)
  • V. v. R.V., 130 A.D.3d 920 (2d Dep’t 2015)
  • Walker v. Walker, 130 A.D.3d 805 (2d Dep’t 2015)
  • Matter of Loehr v. Administrative Board of New York Courts, 130 A.D.3d 89 (3d Dep’t 2015)
  • Ballard v. Gromack, 47 Misc.3d 802 (Sup. Ct., Rockland Co., 2015)
  • City of Long Beach v. Sun NLF P’ship, 124 A.D.3d 654 (2d Dep’t 2015)
  • City of Long Beach v. Sun NLF P’ship, 124 A.D.3d 651 (2d Dep’t 2015)
  • Kimso Apartments, LLC v. Gandhi, 24 N.Y. 3d 403 (2014)
  • Frank-Shaevich v. Anand, 122 A.D.3d 676 (2d Dep’t 2014)
  • Comptroller v. Department of Finance of the City of New York, 46 Misc. 3d 403 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., 2014)
  • Behar v. Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Inc., 118 A.D.3d 833 (2d Dep’t 2014)
  • Matter of Oakwood Cemetery v. Village/Town of Mount Kisco, 115 A.D.3d 749 (2d Dep’t 2014)
  • Bloomberg v. Liu, 43 Misc.3d 1203A (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. 2014)
  • Rivera v. Wyckoff Heights Med. Ctr., 113 A.D.3d 667 (2d Dep’t 2014)
  • Conforti v. County of Nassau, 41 Misc.3d 1236(A) (Sup. Ct., Nassau Co. 2013)
  • Lancaster v. Incorporated Vil. of Freeport, 22 N.Y.3d 30 (2013)
  • Baker Sanders v. Comprehensive Mental Assessment, 43 Misc. 3d 1212(A) (Sup. Ct., Nassau Co., 2013)
  • Gibau v. Atlantic Infiniti, Ltd., 110 A.D.3d 1029 (2d Dep’t 2013)
  • Baker Sanders, et al. v. Comprehensive Mental Assessment, 110 A.D.3d 1022 (2d Dep’t 2013)
  • Connolly v. County of Nassau, 41 Misc.3d 1212(A) (Sup. Ct., Nassau Co., 2013)
  • American Water Resources v. Liu, 41 Misc.3d 963 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co., 2013)
  • Wilson Elser v. City of Mount Vernon, 109 A.D.3d 537 (2d Dep’t 2013)
  • Kowalski v. St. Francis Hospital and Health Center, 21 N.Y.3d 480 (2013)
  • Halls v. Kiyici, 104 A.D.3d 502 (1st Dep’t 2013)
  • Bank of America, N.A. v. Keso Sagg, LLC, 103 A.D.3d 604 (2d Dep’t 2013)
  • Schiller v. Guthrie, 102 A.D.3d 854 (2d Dep’t 2013)
  • Schiller v. Guthrie, 102 A.D.3d 852 (2d Dep’t 2013)
  • Nicoletta v. Berkshire Life Ins. Co., 99 A.D.3d 567 (1st Dep’t 2012)
  • Fortress Bible Church v. Feiner, 694 F.3d 208 (2d Cir. 2012)
  • Ames v. Kamco Supply Corp., 96 A.D.3d 888 (2d Dep’t 2012)
  • Behar v. Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Inc., 95 A.D.3d 808 (2d Dep’t 2012)
  • Melius v. Glacken, 94 A.D.3d 959 (2d Dep’t 2012)
  • River Street Realty Corp. v. N.R. Automotive, Inc., 94 A.D.3d 848 (2d Dep’t 2012)
  • Aparicio v. Goldberg, 94 A.D.3d 502 (1st Dep’t 2012)
  • Barnhard v. Cybex Intern., Inc., 89 A.D.3d 1554 (4th Dep’t 2011)
  • A. v. D.A., 34 Misc.3d 552 (Sup. Ct., Westchester Co., 2011)
  • Bishop v. Henry Modell & Co., Inc., 422 Fed.Appx. 3 (2d Cir. 2011)
  • Alexander v. Dunlop Tire Corp., 81 A.D.3d 1134 (3d Dep’t 2011)
  • Hernandez v. 42/43 Realty LLC, 74 A.D.3d 558 (1st Dep’t 2010)
  • Portfolio Recovery Associates, LLC v. King, 14 N.Y.3d 410 (2010)
  • Chateau Rive Corp. v. Enclave Development Associates, 283 A.D.2d 537 (2d Dep’t 2001)
  • Horn v. Municipal Information Services, Inc., 282 A.D.2d 712 (2d Dep’t 2001)
  • Nelson v. Lippman, 95 N.Y.2d 952 (2000)
  • Nelson v. Lippman, 271 A.D.2d 902 (3d Dep’t 2000)
  • Goldstein v. Ballirano, 262 A.D.2d 529 (2d Dep’t 1999)
  • Scannell v. Karlin, 252 A.D.2d 552 (2d Dep’t 1998)
  • Tucker v. Village/Town of Mount Kisco, 247 A.D.2d 607 (2d Dep’t 1998)
  • Stone v. Curran, 245 A.D.2d 285 (2d Dep’t 1997)
  • Village of Tarrytown v. Woodland Lake Estates, Inc., 242 A.D.2d 706 (2d Dep’t 1997)
  • Kaprelian v. Kaprelian, 236 A.D.2d 369 (2d Dep’t 1997)
  • Snyder v. Issabella Geriatric Center, Inc., 235 A.D.2d 227 (1st Dep’t 1997)
  • Matter of Klug v. McCall, 224 A.D.2d 81 (3d Dep’t 1996)
  • Kennedy v. Zoning Bd. Of Appeals of Town of North Salem, 205 A.D.2d 629 (2d Dep’t 1994)
  • R. Jay Realty v. Gross, 204 A.D.2d 274 (2d Dep’t 1994)
  • Naughton v. Mueller, 203 A.D.2d 341 (2d Dep’t 1994)
  • Purcell v. Purcell, 202 A.D.2d 487 (2d Dep’t 1994)
  • Gagliardi v. Village of Pawling, 18 F.3d 188 (2d Cir. 1994)
  • Soam Corp. v. Trane Co., 202 A.D.2d 162 (1st Dep’t 1994)
  • Valloni v. Crisona, 192 A.D.2d 648 (2d Dep’t 1993)
  • Ellman v. Nastasi, 188 A.D.2d 465 (2d Dep’t 1992)
  • Kirk v. Kirk, 177 A.D.2d 619 (2d Dep’t 1991)
  • Montelione v. Greenburgh Edgemont Union Free School Dist., 175 A.D.2d 113 (2d Dep’t 1991)
  • Tellis v. Briamir Associates, 167 A.D.2d 384 (2d Dep’t 1990)
  • Sorg v. Mayor of the Village of Mount Kisco, 165 A.D.2d 869 (2d Dep’t 1990)
  • McVicker v. Sarma, 163 A.D.2d 721 (2d Dep’t 1990)
  • Thomson McKinnon Securities, Inc. v. Cioccolanti, 161 A.D.2d 523 (1st Dep’t 1990)
  • Matter of Klein v. Cowhey, 161 A.D.2d 643 (2d Dep’t 1990)
  • Summit Lake Associates, Inc. v. Johnson, 158 A.D.2d 764 (2d Dep’t 1990)
  • CMC Quality Concrete Corp. v. AFA Reinforced Concrete Corp., 157 A.D.2d 694 (2d Dep’t 1990)
  • Langley v. Coughlin, 888 F.2d 252 (2d Cir. 1989)
  • Thomson McKinnon Securities, Inc. v. Cioccolanti, 135 A.D.2d 624 (2d Dep’t 1987)
  • Sitomer v. Half Hollow Hills Cent. School Dist., 133 A.D.2d 78 (2d Dep’t 1987)

Published Opinions (as a Justice)

  • People v Palmer, 65 AD3d 1389 (2d Dep’t 2009 [concurring])
  • People v Black, 65 AD3d 1370 (2d Dep’t 2009 [dissenting])
  • Matter of Tumari W., 65 AD3d 1357 (2d Dep’t 2009 [dissenting])
  • Matter of Hartsdale Fire District v Eastland Const. Co., 65 AD3d 1345 (2d Dep’t 2009 [dissenting])
  • Layne v Drouillard, 65 AD3d 1197 (2d Dep’t 2009 [dissenting])
  • Hamlet at Willow Creek Dev. Co., LLC v Northeast Land Dev. Corp., 64 AD3d 85 (2d Dep’t 2009)
  • Corsi v Town of Bedford, 58 AD3d 225 (2d Dep’t 2008)
  • Caldwell v American Package Company, 57 AD3d 15 (2d Dep’t 2008)
  • Lischinskaya v Carnival Corporation, 56 AD3d 116 (2d Dep’t 2008)
  • Eastgate Corporate Park, LLC v Assessor, 54 AD3d 1036 (2d Dep’t 2008 [dissenting])
  • Matter of Sedore v Epstein, 56 AD3d 60 (2d Dep’t 2008)
  • Matter of Balzarini v Suffolk County, 55 AD3d 187 (2d Dep’t 2008)
  • Francesca v Scibetta, 50 AD3d 629 (2d Dep’t 2008 [concurring in part and dissenting in part])
  • Novelty Crystal Corp. v PSA Institutional Partners, L.P., 49 AD3d 113 (2d Dep’t 2008)
  • People v Mingo, 49 AD3d 148 (2d Dep’t 2008 [dissenting], rev’d 12 NY3d 563 [2009])
  • Terranova v New York City Transit Authority, 49 AD3d 10 (2d Dep’t 2007)
  • Matter of Bernstein v Feiner, 50 AD3d 212 (2d Dep’t 2007)
  • Matter of Village of Chestnut Ridge v Town of Ramapo, 45 AD3d 74 (2d Dep’t 2007)
  • Van Nostrand v Froehlich, 44 AD3d 54 (2d Dep’t 2007 [dissenting])
  • K. Alan Associates, Inc. v Lazzari, 44 AD3d 95 (2d Dep’t 2007)
  • Nesbitt v Penalver, 40 AD3d 596 (2d Dep’t 2007 [concurring in part and dissenting in part])
  • Matter of Bradley Corporate Park v Crotty, 39 AD3d 632 (2d Dep’t 2007 [dissenting])
  • People v Taylor, 42 AD3d 13 (2d Dep’t 2007)
  • Matter of McCaffrey v Town of East Fishkill, 42 AD3d 22 (2d Dep’t 2007)
  • DeVries v DeVries, 35 AD3d 794 (2d Dep’t 2006 [dissenting in part and concurring in part])
  • Robinson Motor Express, Inc. v HSBC Bank, USA, 37 AD3d 117 (2d Dep’t 2006)
  • Matter of Gizzo v Town of Mamaroneck, 36 AD3d 162 (2d Dep’t 2006)
  • Caprer v Nussbaum, 36 AD3d 176 (2d Dep’t 2006)
  • Rockaway One Co., LLC v Wiggins, 35 AD3d 36 (2d Dep’t 2006)
  • Malankara Archdioceses v Thomas, 33 AD3d 887 (2d Dep’t 2006 [dissenting])

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND MEMBERSHIPS

  • New York State Bar Association House of Delegates, 2019 – present
  • Board of Governors, Healthcare Trustees of New York State, 2014 – present; Chair, 2020 - present
  • Board of Directors, Healthcare Association of New York State, 2019 – present
  • Board of Trustees of Northern Westchester Hospital, 2006–2017
  • Board of Overseers, Northwell Health System, 2016–present
  • Board of Trustees, Northwell Health System, 2015
  • Board of Directors, Richmond Community Services, 2016–present
  • Village Attorney for the Village of Mamaroneck, 2017–Present
  • Administrator, Catalyst Public Interest Fellowship Fund, 2016–Present
  • Member, New York State Continuing Legal Education Board, 2012–2014
  • Member, Chief Judge DiFiore Excellence Initiative Committee, Westchester County Bar Association, 2016
  • Fellow, New York Bar Foundation, 2005–present
  • Member, Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York, 2001–present
  • Member, Executive Committee, Municipal Law Section, New York State Bar Association, 2010–2016
  • Member, New York State Bar Association Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, 2013–present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Westchester County Bar Association, 2012–2013, 2015–present
  • Co-Chair, Ethics Committee, Westchester County Bar Association, 2010–2013
  • Co-Chair, Appellate Practice Committee, Westchester Women's Bar Association, 2011–present
  • Member, New York State Advisory Committee on Bar Admissions, 2008–2009
  • Adjunct Professor, Pace University School of Law, 2007–2012
  • Member, Chief of Judge's Commission on Matrimonial Matters, 2004–2005
  • Associate Justice, New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department, 2004–2009
  • Member, Chief Judge's Commission to Promote Public Confidence in the Judiciary, 2003–2005
  • Member, Ninth Judicial District Committee on Gender Fairness, 2001–2009
  • Justice, New York Supreme Court, Westchester County, 2001–2004
  • Government Relations Consultant, Westchester County Board of Legislators, 1998–2001
  • Village Attorney, Village/Town of Mount Kisco, 1988–1995
  • Member, Legislative Committee, Westchester County Bar Association, 1993–2001
  • President, Northern Westchester Bar Association, 1992–1993