Cozen O’Connor: Kastner, Menachem J.

Menachem J. Kastner

Member

New York

(212) 453-3811

(866) 832-7203

Recent Publication:

'Yellowstone' Will Live on Through Creative Practitioners' [New York Law Journal]

The article covers the recent talk amongst real estate litigation attorneys as to the impact of the Court of Appeals decision in 159 MP Corp. v. Redbridge Bedford.

Menachem's practice involves all aspects of real estate litigation and is particularly centered in the area of commercial and residential leasing and ownership and valuation disputes. He has litigated through all of the courts, the interpretation of escalation clauses, assignment and sublet provisions, alteration provisions, use clauses, renewal or purchase options, termination rights, buy-out disputes, and other significant lease interpretation issues.

Menachem is a frequent contributor to legal publications, specifically the New York Law Journal and New York State Bar Association Journal. Many of his articles have been cited to and relied on by the New York courts. See London Terrace Towers, Inc. v. Davis, 6 Misc. 3d 600, 790 N.Y.S. 2d 813 (Civ. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2004); 13315 Owners Corp. v. Kennedy, 4 Misc.3d 931, 782 N.Y.S. 2d 554 (Civ. Ct. N.Y. Co. 2004); Concourse Village Inc. v. Bilotti, 133 Misc. 2d 973, 509 N.Y.S. 2d 274 (Civ. Ct. Bronx Co. 1986). 

Menachem has lectured widely on real estate issues, including landlord/tenant and co-op litigation, the law of co-ops/condominiums, equitable distribution, and matrimonial tax. Most recently, Menachem lectured on "Real Estate Transactions - Spotting Litigation Issues" at the PLI Annual Real Estate Institute in 2016 and 2017.

In addition, Menachem is an official court arbitrator for the Civil Court of the City of New York, presiding over trials and inquests, issuing final non-appealable judgments, mediating the settlement of claims, and drafting and ordering stipulations of settlement.

Menachem earned his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York in 1973 and his law degree, summa cum laude, from New York Law School in 1976, where he was the recipient of the Trustees' Award for Highest Scholastic Achievement. He was named a New York Super Lawyer (real estate) in 2006, 2010 and 2013-2016 by Law & Politics. He was also named one of "New York Area's Top Rated Lawyers of 2013" in Real Estate & Landlord/Tenant by Legal Leaders™. Menachem is admitted to practice in the state of New York.

Experience

News

18 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Named New York Metro Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

September 21, 2018

Super Lawyers has named 17 Cozen O'Connor attorneys to its 2018 New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars list. Twelve were recognized as Super Lawyers and five were named "Rising Stars."

12 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Named 2017 New York Metro Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

October 19, 2017

Super Lawyers has named 12 attorneys at Cozen O’Connor to its 2017 lists of top practitioners in the New York metro area. Six were recognized as Super Lawyers and six were named “Rising Stars,” a list that recognizes attorneys under the age of 40.

19 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Recognized as New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

October 05, 2016

The 2016 New York Metro edition of Super Lawyers Magazine, published by Thomson Reuters, has named 21 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its list of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

21 Cozen O'Connor Attorneys Recognized as New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

October 05, 2015

The 2015 New York Metro edition of Super Lawyers Magazine, published by Thomson Reuters, has named 21 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its list of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

Menachem Kastner and Amanda Nelson Obtain Favorable Ruling for Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich in Manhattan Supreme Court

February 10, 2015

Menachem Kastner, a member of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, recently obtained a favorable ruling from Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Cynthia Kern on behalf of his clients, Mario Batali and Lidia Bastianich. Mario and Lidia's restaurant, Babbo, was sued by a next door property owner stating that Babbo's air conditioning units and kitchen exhaust pipe were in violation of New York City's building code and that newly installed air conditioning units were too noisy and caused vibrations. Menachem and Amanda climbed to the top of the four story building to take pictures of all the allegedly offending machinery, which played a significant role in the Court's decision. As stated to the press in keeping Babbo open, "Justice was served."

Menachem Kastner and Ally Hack Cited in Judge’s Opinion

January 08, 2015

Judge Mella of the Surrogate’s Court of the State of New York, New York County, cited to an article written by Menachem Kastner and Ally Hack, members of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, titled “To Eject or Evict – a Lease’s ‘Conditional’ Dilemma” from the New York Law Journal in 2010.

16 Cozen O’Connor Attorneys Recognized as New York Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

September 23, 2014

The 2014 New York Metro edition of Super Lawyers Magazine, published by Thomson Reuters, has named 16 Cozen O’Connor attorneys to its list of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

Menachem Kastner Named to New York City Bar’s State Courts of Superior Justice Committee

August 29, 2014

The State Courts of Superior Justice Committee is involved in all aspects affecting the state court system, including drafting/commenting on legislation, submitting briefs, sponsoring continuing legal education and other programs, interacting with those seeking Judicial appointment, and participating in public service projects.

Publications

'Yellowstone' Will Live on Through Creative Practitioners' [New York Law Journal]

June 04, 2019

The article covers the recent talk amongst real estate litigation attorneys as to the impact of the Court of Appeals decision in 159 MP Corp. v. Redbridge Bedford.

Early Termination Provisions: A Landlord’s Saving Grace…If Done Right [The New York Law Journal]

August 28, 2018

Menachem J. Kastner and Ally Hack, members in the firm's Commercial Litigation Department, co-authored, "Early Termination Provisions: A Landlord’s Saving Grace…If Done Right' for the New York Law Journal.

‘Artcorp’ and Curing Improper Assignments [New York Law Journal]

December 14, 2015

Menachem Kastner, a member of Cozen O’Connor’s Real Estate practice, discusses the recent decision in Artcorp Inc. v. Citireach Realty Corp. case.

Incurable Defaults in Commercial Leases: Can You Un-Ring the Bell? [New York Law Journal]

March 26, 2015

Menachem Kastner and Ally Hack, members of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, authored an article for the New York Law Journal titled “Incurable Defaults in Commercial Leases: Can You Un-Ring the Bell?” They identify the various types of commercial lease defaults that courts may find to be “incurable” as a matter of law, followed by a focus on what has been the most controversial of these defaults – the unauthorized assignment of its lease. Menachem and Ally also provide a practical tip on terminating commercial leases for unauthorized assignments, where the law and the usual lease default provisions may seem contradictory.

‘Colorable Indicia of Fraud’: Not So ‘Grimm’ Anymore [New York Law Journal]

July 28, 2014

In an article published in the New York Law Journal, Menachem Kastner and Ally Hack, members of Cozen O’Connor’s Commercial Litigation Department, discuss the application of the “four-year rule” post-Grimm v. DHCR² (and its progeny), and, specifically, the slow and painful erosion of the rule.

Private Causes of Action: The Determinative Third Prong [New York Law Journal]

March 28, 2014

In an article titled “Private Causes of Action: The Determinative Third Prong,” Menachem Kastner and Ally Hack, members of Cozen O'Connor's Commercial Litigation Department, discuss when a statute gives rise to a private cause of action and the applicable three-prong test. The article endeavors to capsulize the current state of the law, including its application in real estate cases, and to simplify the formula to be applied as to when individuals can and cannot institute private causes of action based on legislation passed, ostensibly, for the public benefit.

Escalations and Rents - the Defensive Side of the Voluntary Payment Doctrine [New York Law Journal]

April 18, 2013

The voluntary payment doctrine has been long applied to prevent tenants from recovering payments made to the landlord which were tendered “voluntarily”—to wit, without dispute or inquiry—over a lengthy period of time. For example: a tenant tenders payment of real estate taxes to the landlord for over 10 years pursuant to what the tenant later claims to be an erroneous method of calculation, resulting in an overbilling. With this newfound knowledge, the tenant brings suit against the landlord to recover the amounts overpaid. By virtue of the voluntary payment doctrine, under this scenario, the tenant is, in essence, out of luck.

Keeping Up With Escalation Clauses [New York Law Journal]

July 12, 2012

Keeping Up With Escalation Clauses - New York Law Journal - Escalation provisions are complex in form and very dry reading, however, the failure to carefully read and understand such provisions can be very costly. In the article, Menachem Kastner uses the Murray Hill Mews Owners v. Rio Restaurant Associates case to demonstrate the importance of the statement above, noting that, "In the end, the time expended to understand these clauses will be well worth it."

The Four Year Rule: Where Are We Now in Light of 'Grimm' [New York Law Journal]

January 12, 2011

The purpose of this article is to survey the relevant legal precedent discussing the judicial exceptions to the Four Year Rule, note the patterns, and then formulate a cogent conclusion to assist in predicting under which circumstances the Four Year Rule will apply, and under which circumstances its exceptions will apply.

To Eject or Evict - a Lease's 'Conditional' Dilemma [New York Law Journal]

August 30, 2010

This article addresses the drafting and interpretation of a provision found in all leases: the ''default provision.'' Specifically, this article provides an analysis of the ultra-subtle and ''age-old distinction'' between the ''conditional limitation'' and the ''condition subsequent'' (the latter sometimes referred to as a ''condition''). The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York has noted that, when it comes to distinguishing between these two types of default provisions, New York courts have been ''far from consistent.''

Local Law 7: Expanding 'Housing Standards' in the Civil Court [New York Law Journal]

November 05, 2009

On March 13, 2008, the Tenant Protection Act (also known as Local Law 7 of 2008; hereinafter Local Law 7) took effect, giving tenants yet another avenue to pursue ''landlord harassment'' claims. The issues and inconsistencies raised by Local Law 7 are subtle, and could easily be overlooked by even the most careful of practitioners.

Summer 2008 [Insurance Coverage Observer]

August 30, 2008

We take pride at Cozen O’Connor in addressing new developments that will affect our clients. In this issue, we include a special report on two new decisions from New Jersey on bad faith in the UM/UIM context.

Re-Examining 'Pullman': The Threshold Dilemma [New York Law Journal]

September 15, 2004

Menachem J. Kastner writes that, notwithstanding the Court of Appeals' Pullman holding, a Manhattan judge recently determined that the business-judgment rule did not apply to a board's decision and held that respondent's conduct was subject to judicial review.

Cooperatives Authorized to Use Business Judgment Rule In Terminating Leases [New York State Bar Association Journal]

July 01, 2003

Efforts by the board of a cooperative building to terminate the proprietary lease of a tenant-shareholder have traditionally been a costly and protracted process. A decision by the Court of Appeals in May appears to have removed some of the obstacles, but it is likely to raise new questions about the overall policies that govern the operations of any cooperative, as well as the certainty of tenant-shareholders' possessory rights under the proprietary losses.

Events & Seminars

Past Events

20th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute

December 03, 2018 - New York, NY

18th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute

December 05, 2016 - New York, NY

PLI's 17th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute

December 01, 2015 - New York, NY

PLI's 15th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute

November 22, 2013 - New York, NY

PLI’s 14th Annual Commercial Real Estate Institute

November 26, 2012 - New York, NY

Education

  • New York Law School, J.D., summa cum laude, 1976
  • Brooklyn College, B.A., cum laude, 1973

Awards & Honors

Recognized as a "Super Lawyer" in Real Estate by Law & Politics 2006, 2010, 2013-18

Named one of "New York Area's Top Rated Lawyers of 2013" in Real Estate & Landlord/Tenant by Legal Leaders™

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court -- Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • New York State Bar Association