Sive, Paget & Riesel handles litigation and enforcement matters for a wide range of clients, from large developers and international corporations, to municipal corporations, non-profit institutions, family-owned businesses, and private individuals. From the outset of our engagement through every stage of a dispute, we are able to draw upon our more than half a century of litigation experience before federal, state, and local courts, agencies, and tribunals to provide our clients with realistic strategies.
We are nationally-recognized leaders and pioneers in the area of environmental litigation. Our attorneys handle disputes in virtually every area of environmental law, including toxic torts, groundwater contamination, property stigma claims, underground storage tanks and oil spill litigation, and cost recovery actions under state and federal laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and New York’s Navigation Law. Our boutique model allows us to bolster the strength of our litigation bench—which includes former federal prosecutors, former state and city attorneys, and former federal law clerks—with the practical know-how of our transactional, insurance, land use, construction, and permitting expertise.
Our proactive and creative approach underlies our successes, including the design of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes to resolve large-scale multi-party environmental disputes.
Our attorneys have nearly three decades of experience handling all aspects of litigation involving construction defect claims, delay claims, breaches of contract, and professional liability. We staff all construction disputes on a case-need basis with oversight from our industry-recognized team of partners who regularly teach, write and lecture on all legal and practical aspects of construction planning, contracting, and dispute resolution. Our up-to-date knowledge and broad experience enable us to assist our clients in the identification, allocation, avoidance, and resolution of construction related risk.
In addition to our nationally recognized leadership in environmental litigation and growing construction litigation practice, we maintain an active, cost-efficient general litigation practice. Our attorneys manage commercial disputes involving matters such as zoning and land use, contracts, corporate transactions, and employment. Our attorneys have represented corporate clients in disputes arising from corporate transactions, and we are experienced in handling complex matters involving disputed liabilities arising from mergers, acquisitions, and asset purchases. We also guided educational institutions, local governments, and some of the nation’s largest corporations in the prevention and resolution of personnel disputes and claims of civil rights violations by public and private employees, officials and third parties.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
In addition to offering clients a full range of litigation services, our attorneys assist clients in avoiding and resolving disputes by employing various forms of Alternative Dispute Resolution (“ADR”).
Our attorneys have experience with arbitration, mediation, expert fact finding, facilitation, stakeholder involvement, collaborative law and other custom ADR proceedings. Several of our lawyers are trained and certified as mediators and arbitrators and serve as court-appointed dispute resolution specialists, as private neutrals and on dispute resolution boards. Our attorneys have employed ADR procedures in disputes involving environmental claims, insurance coverage, commercial contracts, construction, energy, FLSA, ADA, real estate, labor and employment, bankruptcy, toxic tort, and personal injury claims.
We are committed to employing ADR to bring about cost-effective resolutions to our client’s disputes.
Chappaqua Central School District
Bayonne Bridge Navigational Clearance Program
East River Realty – First Avenue Project
SPR represents East River Realty Co., LLC, as lead environmental counsel associated with the redevelopment of four parcels of property located along the First Avenue on the east side of Midtown Manhattan, which were the former location of Consolidated Edison's Waterside Generating Station. East River Realty intends to construct a significant, high-rise development on the site. As counsel to the project, SPR prepared the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) required for the sale of the property from Consolidated Edison, and is presently steering the proposed development through the New York City urban land use review procedure and the concomitant EIS process for the development plan. Moreover, SPR has overseen the challenging clean-up of the major former industrial site, including obtaining a Brownfield designation for the site.
Hudson River Park
From its inception, SPR has served as environmental and litigation counsel to the Hudson River Park Trust on major proposed projects in Hudson River Park, most recently Pier 54 and Pier 57. Pier 54 will be reconstructed as “Pier 55,” a distinctive pier offering world-class recreation and performing arts events, with the support of a $200 million donation from the Diller/von Furstenberg Family Foundation – the largest gift to a public park in the history of New York State. Pier 55 was the subject of litigation in state and federal court for over two years, during which SPR successfully overcame a challenge to the Trust’s environmental review and a challenge to the permit issued by the DEC (as co-counsel with the State). SPR also helped the Trust obtain new permits after the donor terminated and then restarted the Project. Pier 55 is now in construction, as is Pier 57.
SPR represents Roseland/Sleepy Hollow, LLC, as an affiliate of Roseland Properties, the developer of the former General Motors Assembly site in Sleepy Hollow. The proposed Lighthouse Landing development is a mixed-use project, including residential, commercial and open space uses on a 97-acre site former industrial property bordering the Hudson River. The Firm has advised Roseland with respect to its participation in the Brownfield Cleanup Program and its proposed investigation and remediation of this former industrial site. In addition to the Brownfield work SPR is also assisting with environmental permitting issues, especially those pertinent to shoreline development, as well as preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement.
Pier 57 Redevelopment
The Governor Mario Cuomo Bridge
Sive, Paget & Riesel represented the New York State Thruway Authority, which together with the Metro North Railroad, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, undertook the Tappan Zee Bridge/I287 Corridor environmental review. This process addressed the possible replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge. The Firm advised the Project Sponsors with regard to the environmental review of the proposal pursuant to both NEPA and SEQRA, as well as to environmental permitting and related requirements.
Queens West Development Corporation
SPR represents Queens West Development Corporation (QWDC), a subsidiary of New York State's Empire State Development (ESD), in connection with New York's largest mixed use public-private development. During the early planning stages of this major initiative to redevelop a 74-acre area of the Long Island City waterfront, the firm provided environmental and land use counsel to the Urban Development Corporation (now d/b/a ESD) in connection with development of the General Project Plan and the environmental impact statement (EIS) process. It subsequently represented ESD in successfully defeating litigation challenging the adequacy of the EIS. The firm has handled all waterfront permitting issues for the development of parks and the waterfront esplanade, which involved obtaining permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and other agencies.The firm represented QWDC over CERCLA action for response costs and settled. The firm assists in connection with all aspects of remediation of legacy contamination from the area's long and varied industrial uses, including remedies under auspices of either the State's Voluntary Cleanup Program or the Brownfield Cleanup Program, recently representing QWDC in a case over response costs. The litigation recently settled.
New Hope Power Company
2800 Hylan Blvd., LLC v. Motiva Enterprises
“Practice Before the Commercial Division,” Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts, co-author
For: Thomson West, Fifth Edition
“Environmental Enforcement, Civil and Criminal”
For: Law Journal Press
“Water Transfer Rule and Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule Litigation”
For: Arizona Water Law Conference, Phoenix, AZ
“Joint Liability at CERCLA Mega-Sites: Technical and Legal Strategies for Addressing the New Paradigm”
For: ABA Live Webinar
“NEPA and Little NEPAs and Environmental Litigation”
“Current Issues in Real Estate Litigation”
For: NYC Bar Association, CLE Program
“Defending Citizen Suits”
For: Chemical Waste Litigation Reporter, Vol. 47
“Administrative Enforcement for Inactive Hazardous Waste Sites, Administrative Practice Before the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation”
For: Course text for New York State Bar Association continuing legal educational and distributed as a course material for environmental law studies at Albany Law School
“‘Fold or Fight’ the Changing Settlement Calculus in CERCLA Enforcement Actions,” co-author
For: Vol. lX Fordham 469
“Hazardous Wastes, Superfund, and Toxic Substances”
For: Faculty, ALI/ABA Course