281

Sheldon K. Smith

He/Him/His
Partner
  • Buffalo and Corning and New York City
  • 716.844.3761
  •   •     •     •  

Trial attorney, problem solver, and strategic advisor, Sheldon represents clients in complex and often high-profile business disputes and tort cases. He helps clients efficiently resolve matters inside and outside the courtroom. Sheldon regularly counsels financial institutions, medical providers, municipalities, commercial property owners/developers, and manufacturers.

Commercial and Tort-Defense Litigation
Sheldon represents buyers and sellers in disputes involving the domestic and international sales of goods. He also counsels businesses on matters involving competition claims, force majeure and other contract performance disputes, tort defenses, earn-out/buy-out and valuation disputes, and trade secret and trademark protection. In addition, he handles a variety of matters for banks, including check disputes, fiduciary duty claims, and fraud allegations.

Tax Assessment and Condemnation
Sheldon handles high-stakes tax assessment challenges and related real property valuation disputes.

Health Care Litigation
Sheldon represents a wide range of health care providers (including hospitals, medical associations, nursing homes, physicians, dentists, physical therapists, and DME companies) regarding the many types of business, reimbursement, privacy, tort-defense, and real property disputes that arise in the health care arena.

PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC AFFILIATIONS

  • Board of Trustees, Upstate New York Chapter, National MS Society
  • Member, National Bar Association, Commercial Law Section
  • Appointed Member, Attorney Advisory Group to the New York Federal and State Judicial Council
  • Member and Past President, Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • Member, Rochester Black Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, National Federation for Just Communities
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Catholic Health System
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, UB Law Alumni Association
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Western New York Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • Former Appointed Member, Attorney Grievance Committee, Fourth Department, Eighth Judicial District
  • Former Board Member and 2nd Vice Chair, Meals on Wheels for WNY

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Recognized by Chambers USA from 2017-2021 in the field of Litigation: General Commercial (Upstate NY)
  • Selected to The National Black Lawyers Top 100 in New York 2020-2021

  • Legal Elite of Western New York, Buffalo Business First/Buffalo Law Journal, 2018
  • Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list 2017-2021
  • Named by The Daily Record as one of Rochester’s Attorneys of the Year, 2014
  • Recognized by New York Law Journal as a “Rising Star,” 2013
  • Recipient of the “Legal Service Award,” by the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, 2012
  • Recipient of the “Pro Bono Service Award” by the Western District of New York Federal Court, 2012
  • Recipient of the “Diversity Leadership Award” by the New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, 2012

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Durable medical equipment manufacturer and other providers in federal and state court cases (and AAA Arbitrations) against numerous large insurance companies involving NYS No-Fault Benefit reimbursement disputes.
  • Numerous clients, including an engineering firm, product manufacturers, banks, and device/safety suppliers in non-compete, non-solicitation, and misappropriation disputes.
  • Financial institutions in AAA Arbitrations and NYS Commercial Division matters regarding various Commercial Deposit Agreement disputes, including “bad bookkeeper” cases and various forms of check disputes governed by Articles 3 and 4 of the UCC.
  • Energy companies, manufacturers, retail suppliers, and other businesses regarding force majeure, commercial impracticability, and related contract-performance litigation, including matters related to COVID-19, border restrictions, and recent weather anomalies.
  • Manufacturers and suppliers of goods in federal and state court cases involving express and implied warranties, battle-of-the-forms disputes, good-faith-and-fair-dealing terms and implied covenants, and safety-stock and related procurement disputes.
  • Nuclear facilities throughout NYS in high-profile, complex tax assessment/valuation challenges, including through full appraisal exchange (replacement cost and income approaches to value, involving numerous engineers and valuation experts).
  • Power generating facilities throughout NYS in contentious proprietary information/discovery disputes and tax assessment/valuation proceedings.
  • LLC members in business divorces and valuation disputes involving fiduciary duty and contract claims.
  • Commercial tenants (including professional sports franchises, medical providers, and retail companies) in high-profile lease disputes.
  • Nursing and adult homes, construction companies, and commercial property owners in defense against negligence claims.
  • Churches, schools, and other nonprofit organizations in defense against negligence claims, including Child Victims Act cases.

PRESENTATIONS

  • “Implicit Bias, Diversity and Inclusion,” Numerous organizations (including law firms, law departments, bar associations, and nonprofit groups) 2018-2020
  • “Commercial Division: Rule Amendments and Best Practices,” New York State Bar Association, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Meeting, 2014 & 2017
  • “Ethics and Civility,” New York State Bar Association, Spring Symposiums 2013, 2014, and 2017
  • “Discovery Objections, Privilege Logs, and Sealing Orders,” FRCP Amendments and Local Rules, May 2016
  • “Mediation and Arbitration Best Practices,” New York State Bar Association, ADR Section, Spring 2014 Symposium
  • “Federal Civil Practice, a Primer: Taking and Defending Depositions,” New York State and Federal Judicial Council, December 2013
  • “The Latest Sanctions and Lessons in E-Discovery,” New York State Bar Association, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section, Spring Meeting 2012
  • “E-Discovery Updates and Best Practices,” National Bar Association, Commercial Law Section, February 2011

PRACTICE AREAS

ADMISSIONS

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Western, Northern, and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of New York

EDUCATION

  • University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • SUNY Buffalo, B.S., with distinction
HSE Law
281
Sheldon K. Smith
He/Him/His
Partner
ssmith@hselaw.com
tel: 716.844.3761
fax: 716.853.1617

Trial attorney, problem solver, and strategic advisor, Sheldon represents clients in complex and often high-profile business disputes and tort cases. He helps clients efficiently resolve matters inside and outside the courtroom. Sheldon regularly counsels financial institutions, medical providers, municipalities, commercial property owners/developers, and manufacturers.

Commercial and Tort-Defense Litigation
Sheldon represents buyers and sellers in disputes involving the domestic and international sales of goods. He also counsels businesses on matters involving competition claims, force majeure and other contract performance disputes, tort defenses, earn-out/buy-out and valuation disputes, and trade secret and trademark protection. In addition, he handles a variety of matters for banks, including check disputes, fiduciary duty claims, and fraud allegations.

Tax Assessment and Condemnation
Sheldon handles high-stakes tax assessment challenges and related real property valuation disputes.

Health Care Litigation
Sheldon represents a wide range of health care providers (including hospitals, medical associations, nursing homes, physicians, dentists, physical therapists, and DME companies) regarding the many types of business, reimbursement, privacy, tort-defense, and real property disputes that arise in the health care arena.

Representative Experience

  • Durable medical equipment manufacturer and other providers in federal and state court cases (and AAA Arbitrations) against numerous large insurance companies involving NYS No-Fault Benefit reimbursement disputes.
  • Numerous clients, including an engineering firm, product manufacturers, banks, and device/safety suppliers in non-compete, non-solicitation, and misappropriation disputes.
  • Financial institutions in AAA Arbitrations and NYS Commercial Division matters regarding various Commercial Deposit Agreement disputes, including “bad bookkeeper” cases and various forms of check disputes governed by Articles 3 and 4 of the UCC.
  • Energy companies, manufacturers, retail suppliers, and other businesses regarding force majeure, commercial impracticability, and related contract-performance litigation, including matters related to COVID-19, border restrictions, and recent weather anomalies.
  • Manufacturers and suppliers of goods in federal and state court cases involving express and implied warranties, battle-of-the-forms disputes, good-faith-and-fair-dealing terms and implied covenants, and safety-stock and related procurement disputes.
  • Nuclear facilities throughout NYS in high-profile, complex tax assessment/valuation challenges, including through full appraisal exchange (replacement cost and income approaches to value, involving numerous engineers and valuation experts).
  • Power generating facilities throughout NYS in contentious proprietary information/discovery disputes and tax assessment/valuation proceedings.
  • LLC members in business divorces and valuation disputes involving fiduciary duty and contract claims.
  • Commercial tenants (including professional sports franchises, medical providers, and retail companies) in high-profile lease disputes.
  • Nursing and adult homes, construction companies, and commercial property owners in defense against negligence claims.
  • Churches, schools, and other nonprofit organizations in defense against negligence claims, including Child Victims Act cases.

Professional & Civic Affiliations

  • Board of Trustees, Upstate New York Chapter, National MS Society
  • Member, National Bar Association, Commercial Law Section
  • Appointed Member, Attorney Advisory Group to the New York Federal and State Judicial Council
  • Member and Past President, Minority Bar Association of Western New York
  • Member, Rochester Black Bar Association
  • Board of Directors, National Federation for Just Communities
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Catholic Health System
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, UB Law Alumni Association
  • Former Member, Board of Directors, Western New York Defense Trial Lawyers Association
  • Former Appointed Member, Attorney Grievance Committee, Fourth Department, Eighth Judicial District
  • Former Board Member and 2nd Vice Chair, Meals on Wheels for WNY

Honors & Awards

  • Recognized by Chambers USA from 2017-2021 in the field of Litigation: General Commercial (Upstate NY)
  • Selected to The National Black Lawyers Top 100 in New York 2020-2021

  • Legal Elite of Western New York, Buffalo Business First/Buffalo Law Journal, 2018
  • Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list 2017-2021
  • Named by The Daily Record as one of Rochester’s Attorneys of the Year, 2014
  • Recognized by New York Law Journal as a “Rising Star,” 2013
  • Recipient of the “Legal Service Award,” by the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, 2012
  • Recipient of the “Pro Bono Service Award” by the Western District of New York Federal Court, 2012
  • Recipient of the “Diversity Leadership Award” by the New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, 2012

Admissions

  • New York

Education

  • University at Buffalo School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude
  • SUNY Buffalo, B.S., with distinction

Disclaimer

This website presents only general information not intended as legal advice. Although we encourage calls, letters and emails from prospective clients, please keep in mind that merely contacting Harter Secrest & Emery LLP (HSE) does not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Confidential information should not be sent to HSE until you have been notified in writing by HSE that a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Information sent to us before then may not be treated as confidential by HSE or the court.

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