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Smith_Sheldon

Sheldon K. Smith

He/Him/His
Partner

Sheldon represents clients in complex and often high-profile business disputes and tort cases. He has over 20 years of experience serving as a “go to” litigator, problem solver, and strategic advisor for in-house attorneys and C-Suite executives. 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, including warranty and remedy disputes related to specially-manufactured equipment. He also counsels businesses on matters involving competition claims, force majeure and other contract performance disputes, tort defenses (including civil fraud claims and investigations), earn-out/buy-out and valuation disputes, and trade secret and trademark protection. In addition, he has handled a variety of matters for banks, including check (“bookkeeper”) disputes, fiduciary duty claims, and fraud allegations/investigations.

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, billing/reimbursement, privacy, tort-defense/fraud-investigation, and real property disputes that arise in the health care arena.

Sheldon serves as Co-Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s Corning office, is a member the HSE Inclusion & Equity Committee and is co-chair of the Firm’s “People of Color” Employee Resource Group.

PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC AFFILIATIONS

  • Governor Appointed Member, Judicial Screening Committee, New York State Appellate Division, Fourth Department
  • Appointed Member and Chair, Character & Fitness Committee for the Eighth Judicial District, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
  • 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
  • Member, Board of Directors, Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame
  • Member, Local (Federal) Rules Committee, Western District of New York
  • Former Member, 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, 2nd Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels for Western New York

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Legal Excellence Award: Leaders in Law, The Daily Record & Rochester Business Journal, 2023
  • Recognized by Chambers USA from 2017-2023 in the field of Litigation: General Commercial (Upstate NY)
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Litigation – Land Use and Zoning; Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions, 2022
  • Selected to The National Black Lawyers Top 100 in New York 2020, 2021, 2023
  • Legal Elite of Western New York, Buffalo Business First/Buffalo Law Journal, 2018
  • Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list 2017-2021, 2023
  • 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
  • New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Diversity Leadership Award, 2012
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York, Legal Excellence Award, 2011
  • 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
  • UB Law School, Students of Color Dinner, Trailblazer Award, 2008

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Government contractors in matters involving investigations of alleged NDA breaches, compliance/quality failures, and false claims.
  • 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 inventory/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, appraisers, and market 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, derivative rights, 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/districts, and other nonprofit organizations in defense against negligence claims, including Child Victims Act and Adult Survivors Act cases.

NEWS

PRESENTATIONS

  • “Implicit Bias, Diversity and Inclusion,” Numerous organizations (including law firms, law departments, bar associations, and nonprofit groups) 2018-2023
  • “Commercial Division: Rule Amendments and Best Practices,” New York State Bar Association, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Meeting, 2014 and 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

Sheldon represents clients in complex and often high-profile business disputes and tort cases. He has over 20 years of experience serving as a “go to” litigator, problem solver, and strategic advisor for in-house attorneys and C-Suite executives. 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, including warranty and remedy disputes related to specially-manufactured equipment. He also counsels businesses on matters involving competition claims, force majeure and other contract performance disputes, tort defenses (including civil fraud claims and investigations), earn-out/buy-out and valuation disputes, and trade secret and trademark protection. In addition, he has handled a variety of matters for banks, including check (“bookkeeper”) disputes, fiduciary duty claims, and fraud allegations/investigations.

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, billing/reimbursement, privacy, tort-defense/fraud-investigation, and real property disputes that arise in the health care arena.

Sheldon serves as Co-Partner-in-Charge of the Firm’s Corning office, is a member the HSE Inclusion & Equity Committee and is co-chair of the Firm’s “People of Color” Employee Resource Group.

PROFESSIONAL & CIVIC AFFILIATIONS

  • Governor Appointed Member, Judicial Screening Committee, New York State Appellate Division, Fourth Department
  • Appointed Member and Chair, Character & Fitness Committee for the Eighth Judicial District, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
  • 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
  • Member, Board of Directors, Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame
  • Member, Local (Federal) Rules Committee, Western District of New York
  • Former Member, 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, 2nd Vice Chair, Board of Directors, Meals on Wheels for Western New York

HONORS & AWARDS

  • Legal Excellence Award: Leaders in Law, The Daily Record & Rochester Business Journal, 2023
  • Recognized by Chambers USA from 2017-2023 in the field of Litigation: General Commercial (Upstate NY)
  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® for Litigation – Land Use and Zoning; Litigation – Mergers and Acquisitions, 2022
  • Selected to The National Black Lawyers Top 100 in New York 2020, 2021, 2023
  • Legal Elite of Western New York, Buffalo Business First/Buffalo Law Journal, 2018
  • Selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list 2017-2021, 2023
  • 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
  • New York State Bar Association, Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Diversity Leadership Award, 2012
  • Minority Bar Association of Western New York, Legal Excellence Award, 2011
  • 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
  • UB Law School, Students of Color Dinner, Trailblazer Award, 2008

REPRESENTATIVE EXPERIENCE

  • Government contractors in matters involving investigations of alleged NDA breaches, compliance/quality failures, and false claims.
  • 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 inventory/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, appraisers, and market 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, derivative rights, 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/districts, and other nonprofit organizations in defense against negligence claims, including Child Victims Act and Adult Survivors Act cases.

NEWS

PRESENTATIONS

  • “Implicit Bias, Diversity and Inclusion,” Numerous organizations (including law firms, law departments, bar associations, and nonprofit groups) 2018-2023
  • “Commercial Division: Rule Amendments and Best Practices,” New York State Bar Association, Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Meeting, 2014 and 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
Smith_Sheldon
Sheldon K. Smith