Anthony J. Ficara is the founding member of Ficara & Associates, P.C. and focuses his practice in the firm’s Condominium and Cooperative Law Department, where he represents sponsors of condominium, cooperative and homeowner association developments and conversions throughout the United States. He also serves as counsel to condominium, cooperative and homeowner associations boards in the New York area.
Prior to forming Ficara & Associates, P.C., Mr. Ficara practiced in Certilman Balin Adler & Hyman’s Condo/Coop practice group, where he was responsible for originating, preparing and filing numerous offering plans for developers in the New York metropolitan area and beyond, and Certilman Balin’s Real Estate practice group where he concentrated in all aspects of commercial and residential real estate transactions.
Previously, Mr. Ficara served as an attorney with Sidley Austin LLP’s New York Global Real Estate Group. His practice area focused on capital markets transactions with an emphasis on structured real estate finance matters as well as commercial real estate transactions, providing a unique breadth of knowledge and expertise in the areas of real estate finance.
Mr. Ficara earned his Bachelor of Science in business and economics with a minor in history from Lehigh University and his Juris Doctor from Hofstra University School of Law. Additionally, he has undertaken foreign legal studies at La Faculté de Deroit des Sciences Economiques et de Gestion (University of Nice School of Economics and Management) in Nice, France.
Active in his community, he volunteers his time to the American Cancer Society as the founder and chairman of the board of Sail to a Cure, an annual charity sailing event on Long Island.
Mr. Ficara is a member of the Board of Directors of the Queens and Bronx Builders Association and a Member of the New York State and Nassau County Bar Associations. Mr. Ficara also serves on the New York State Bar Association Committee on Condominiums and Cooperatives. He has given numerous CLE lectures to his peers on the topic of affordable housing. He is admitted to the Bar in the State of New York.
Norman D. Alvy, Esq., a graduate of Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, received his law degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo, School of Law in 1970. He is a partner and head of the Construction Law and Commercial Litigation practice group of Ficara & Associates, P.C. Mr. Alvy brings with him more than twenty-five years of experience in the areas of government contracts, construction claim litigation, surety law, prevailing wages Article 3 -A trust fund litigation, labor arbitration, Sections 240 - 241 Labor Law litigation and insurance coverage issues.
Formerly a partner at Alvy & Tablante, LLP, Buckley, Treacy, Schaffel, Mackey & Abbate in New York City and Goldberg & Connolly of Rockville Centre, Mr. Alvy has represented general and heavy construction firms, sureties, industrial builders, consulting engineers and architects, specialty contractors in complex legal matters involving federal, state and local authorities, as well as private commercial entities.
Mr. Alvy is experienced in the preparation of construction contracts, related agreements and AIA documents. He has successfully pursued construction and government contract claims on behalf of contractors and subcontractors, including claims for extra work, delay, differing site conditions, and terminations. He has litigated bid protests and pre-qualification issues before numerous federal, state and municipal government agencies. He has also successfully challenged a portion of the new NYC Building Code, which became law in 2009. In particular, he represented a group of licensed crane operators and successfully challenged a government ban of two cab mobile cranes following a hearing and an appeal by the City to the First Department.
Mr. Alvy is also co-author of the “Mechanic's Liens” chapters of the New York Lawyer's Formbook and New York Lawyer's Deskbook, both published by the New York State Bar Association. He has contributed to many publications on construction law topics including Federal Publications, Inc., Construction Briefings, 2nd Ed. 1993, No. 93-9 - “Certification of Federal Contract Claims”; The Construction Company Strategist (May 1996); The Journal of Construction Accounting and Taxation (Spring 1994); The Nassau Lawyer and The American Bar Association Contract Newsletter. He has also spoken before various groups on topical issues related to the construction field, provided advice to various contractors' trade organizations and previously participated in an editorial capacity for The University of Michigan Industrial Relations Law Digest.
Don has over 30 years experience in litigating and defending clients as lead counsel in both arbitrations and trials arising out of many types of commercial disputes, including employment practice liability (EPL) claims, insurance and bond claims, entertainment, and civil rights. His practice is national and he has appeared in tribunals in London as well to advise Lloyd’s insurers on issues of American law. Articles featuring prominent cases he has litigated have been published or featured in Time Magazine, the New York Law Journal, the Entertainment Law Reporter, the United States Patent Quarterly, the New York Post, USA Today and the New York Times.
Don’s recent professional activities include presenting a Continuing Legal Education program on avoiding pitfalls when making summary judgment motions in state and federal court, sponsored by the New York County Lawyers Association, in 2010. He was a lecturer at the Business and Law Reports Employment Law Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada, 2009, on employers’ rights with regard to monitoring of electronic communications and the Internet. In 2008, he was the panel coordinator and a speaker at the Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS) in San Diego where his new book on employment law was distributed to over 150 Risk Managers. He has also been a mock trial panelist at the Property Loss Research Bureau on “Elements of Successful Defense to a Coverage Case,” and has been a featured speaker at the Council on Education and Management, on “Workers’ Compensation and Section 11 Grave Injuries,” at the Nassau Suffolk Claims Managers Council on “The Insured’s Right to Select Counsel,” and at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, on “How Completion Bonds Work.” Don has conducted numerous corporate Continuing Education and Continuing Legal Education programs on topics regarding employment law, sponsored by insurance companies, which underwrite Employers Liability policies, including AIG and Chubb.
Don’s legal articles on matters of employment law and litigation have been published in the Insurance and Employment Practices Liability Reporter (IRMI, publisher), including “How to Avoid Retaliation Claims.” In the past, his articles have appeared in the Entertainment Law Reporter on topics relating to the entertainment industry. He is qualified to serve as an arbitrator in the Nassau County Bar Associations court annexed fee dispute resolution program and has been invited to lecture several times at the Council on Education and Management, Workers’ Compensation, and Employment Law Update. Don has taught at New York University Institute for Paralegal Studies, and was twice selected as a judge for the National Moot Court Competition, where he has also been a panelist.
His extra-curricula endeavors, aside from a love of golf and tennis, include having served as a board member of Manhattan Theatre Source, a non-profit arts service organization serving to link disparate communities within New York's vital off-off-Broadway movement, which has been featured in the New York Times. Don has also served as an Executive Producer on several feature films including Jeffrey Dahmer: The Secret Life (1993), The Hunt for CM24 (1997), and most recently, served as both Executive Producer and counsel on the feature film American Sunset, starring Corey Haim, which premiered at the American Film Market in November 2009. He has also produced or co-produced plays in New York City at Theatre Arielle and the Players Theatre, as well as a play reading at the John Drew Theatre in Easthampton, New York, about the role of Harry Truman’s boyhood friend, Eddie Jacobson, in the granting of statehood to Israel which starred Golden Globe nominee Eli Wallach. He has also been an active fund raiser in newscaster Ann Liguori’s Celebrity Golf Tournament for the American Cancer Society.
• Western New England College School of Law, JD, 1975
• Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus, BA, 1970
• New York
• United States District Courts: Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York
• United States Court of Appeals: Second Circuit
• United States Court of Federal Claims
• United States Supreme Court
• American Bar Association (Member: Section on Tort and Insurance Practice;
TIPS Publication Editorial Board, 1989-1993)
• Association of the Bar of the City of New York
• New York State Bar Association (Member: Insurance, Negligence and
Compensation Section; Committee on Corporate Counsel, 1989-1990)
• Nassau County Bar Association
• Borschardt v. N.Y. Life Ins. Co. (1984), Ct. Appeals 477 NYS2d 167
• Alden v. Brooks, Sup. Ct. 506 N.Y.S.2d 390
• Linares v. Spencer Cameron, Sup. Ct. App. Div. (1986), 503 NYS2d 639
• Reynoso v. Claygate (U.S. Dist. Ct. SDNY 1988), W.L. 25137
• Future Ways v. Odiorne (Receiver for Commercial Standard Ins.Co.)
(U.S. Dist. Ct. SDNY 1988) 697 F.Supp. 1339
• Saritejdiam, Inc. v. Excess Insurance Co. (2nd Cir 1992) 971 F2d 9101
• ISE v. Cigna (2nd Cir 1994) 22 F3d 414
• Ben Berger & Son, Inc. v. American Motorist Insurance Company
(U.S. Dist. Ct., SDNY 1995) 36U.S.Pd2d 1105, 1995 WL 386560
• Haber v. St. Paul Insurance (2nd Cir. 1998) 137 F3d 691
• V.W. Broad (Syndicate 370, Lloyd’s of London) v. Don King & Don King Productions, 2d Cir. 1999
• SEC v. Berger (S.D.N.Y. 2001 W.L. 1403028)
• In Re Frontier Insurance Co. 27 AD3d 274
Thomas A. Bizzaro, Jr. is a seasoned litigation attorney who specializes in all types of complex commercial, business, construction, employment, matrimonial, real estate and personal injury matters. These matters include business disputes, including contract claims; construction litigation and arbitration, mechanic’s liens; disputes over employment agreements and restrictive and non-compete covenants; employment discrimination; corporate, limited liability company and partnership dissolutions; joint ventures; trade secrets; matrimonial actions; divorce mediation; insurance claims; real estate claims; lease disputes; commercial and residential landlord/tenant matters, in which Mr. Bizzaro represents both landlords and tenants; as well as automobile accidents; slip and falls; medical and dental malpractice and product liability claims.
Representing clients in both New York federal and state courts at trial and appellate levels, he has successfully argued numerous appeals.
Over the course of his diversified legal career, Mr. Bizzaro has been employed by two of Long Island's largest law firms.
In 1995, he earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in Public Accounting from Hofstra University and, in 1999, he graduated from St. John's University School of Law.
Mr. Bizzaro is admitted to practice in the State of New York, as well as the United
States District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Joseph J. O’Shea has been practicing Law in the State of New York for the past fifteen years. As a Partner at Ficara & Associates, P.C., Mr. O’Shea focuses his practice on Commercial and Residential Real Estate, Mortgage Lending and Financial Services.
Mr. O’Shea received a Bachelors of Science in Economics from St. John’s University and later graduated from St. John’s University School of Law in 1995. Upon graduation Mr. O’Shea was employed by State Senator Serf Maltese; while on the Senator’s staff he served as both Counsel and later as Chief of Staff. Mr. O’Shea went on to serve for five years as Governor George Pataki’s Regional Representative for the County of Queens. As a Regional Representative he acted as the liaison between the New York State Department of State and the county Elected Officials in addition to working with Queens county civic groups. After serving five years on behalf of the Department of State, Mr. O’Shea entered the private sector and accepted a position as General Counsel to Coastal Capital Corporation, a national mortgage lender. As General Counsel at Coastal Capital Corporation he assisted the growth of the organization from a licensed lender in 14 states to licensed lender in all 50 states. Subsequently, Mr. O’Shea was appointed President and CEO of First Performance Corporation, a fully licensed collation agency and mortgage servicer. In that capacity Mr. O’Shea expanded the client roster from 4 to 16 active clients. The operation was centered on a fully licensed national mortgage servicing platform with over 150 employees in four states. During the term of Mr. O’Shea’s supervision the mortgage servicing operation passed all national and state regulator audits and received A+ rating from all reviewing entities. After his tenure at First Performance, Mr. O’Shea was offered the position of National Managing Attorney at Eltman Eltman and Cooper, P.C. where Mr. O’Shea was assigned the task of completing a system conversion, integration and implementation of a Six Sigma based performance system.
Thomas V. Ognibene has been a practicing attorney for over thirty-five years with an emphasis on Real Estate Law, including the purchase and sale of residential homes and commercial property in New York City and Long Island. His areas of expertise extend to probate and administration of estates trusts and wills.
Mr. Ognibene was the honor graduate of his U.S. Army Armor Corp Officer class and served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970. He is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and was admitted to practice in the State of New York in 1975. He is also admitted to practice in the Federal Courts in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York and is admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Ognibene served as a New York City Council Member from 1991 to 2001 and was the Minority Leader of that legislative body. He was instrumental in passing legislation that secured homeowner rights and prevented overdevelopment in our residential communities. Mr. Ognibene served on the New York State Housing and Buildings Codes Council where he helped develop a statewide housing and buildings safety and construction code. He resides in Middle Village, Queens County. Mr. Ognibene has often donated his services pro bono on issues of concern to his community.
Helene Stetch is an experienced transactional real estate attorney whose background includes work in all areas of residential real estate transactions. These areas include mortgage banking, title insurance, purchase and sale of real property, cooperatives and condominiums, negotiation and closing of short sale transactions, mortgage loan modifications and foreclosure settlement conferences. Ms. Stetch has worked for several large lender representation firms and has represented over 45 conventional lenders.
Ms. Stetch graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Arts and earned her Juris Doctor from St. John’s University School of Law.
Ms. Stetch has volunteered for and participated in fundraising for several charities in the past
including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and Hale House. Currently Ms. Stetch is involved in
organizing a community association to educate, inform and assist homeowners on the South
Shore of Long Island in obtaining hurricane relief required due to damage caused by Hurricane
Carrie is an associate attorney in the firm’s real estate practice group.
Carrie graduated from Emory University, Atlanta, GA (BA English) in 2001; Cardozo School of Law, New York, New York in 2004 and was admitted to the practice law in the State of New York in 2005. Upon graduation, Carrie was hired by the Beechwood Organization, a New York regional homebuilder, where she worked on various projects on Long Island and in the boroughs of New York City. Carrie is an experienced transactional attorney, having closed a multitude of condominium units, single family and multi family homes, as well as other types of residential and commercial properties. Ms. Herz is also experienced in the preparation of insurance indemnification letters, Condominium and Homeowners Associations Board representation and has represented Beechwood at Environmental Control Board hearings and in small claims court. Furthermore, Carrie worked very closely with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development on Arverne by the Sea, New York City’s largest urban reclamation project.
Ms. Herz has worked for several real estate law firms representing purchasers, sellers, and as transfer agent for various cooperatives in New York City. She has also represented developers of condominiums, cooperative conversions and timeshares. Specifically, she has assisted in preparing Offering Plans and amendments, negotiated contracts on individual units and worked closely with managing agents and clients to assist in declaring the Offering Plans effective. Most recently, at O’Shea & Associates, PC, she represented purchasers, sellers, borrowers, lenders, lessors and lessees in both residential and commercial real estate transactions.