Brian Brook is a generalist litigator with an emphasis on complex and high profile matters. He brings the experience and skill of a big firm lawyer to a more-flexible and client-centered practice. Clients have chosen Mr. Brook because of his demonstrated ability to carefully balance his creativity, judgment, and determination to achieve a successful outcome.
Mr. Brook’s practice includes a wide array of litigation matters, including New York, New Jersey, and District of Columbia civil actions, federal criminal cases (both trials and appeals), and private arbitration matters. Current and recent clients include individuals who are or have previously served as corporate executives, governmental officials, investment fund managers, teachers, accountants and even other lawyers, as well as a variety of small and mid-size companies.
Representative Civil Matters:
- Represented former Deputy Director of the Patent and Trademark Office in a breach of contract and patent ownership dispute against Cantor Fitzgerald’s gaming affiliate, CG Technology. Prevailed on all claims after six-day federal jury trial in the Southern District of New York in January 2017.
- Defended a pioneering energy technology company against claims of fraud, racketeering (RICO), and breach of contract filed by two disgruntled investors in New York federal court. Within one month of entering an appearance, Mr. Brook successfully obtained a complete dismissal of the case with prejudice in exchange for a simple buyout of the investors’ interests in the company for less than current book value (and less than had been previously offered before the lawsuit was filed).
- Representing entrepreneur and memorabilia collector Eric Inselberg, who has filed suit against the New York Giants and several Giants employees. Inselberg alleges that he was wrongly indicted for mail fraud based on perjured testimony from Giants employees, and that the perjury was the result of an attempt to conceal Giants employees’ own fraudulent activities. The case is pending in New Jersey Superior Court.
- Representing the families of teenagers who were brutally slain by members of the U.S. Army while on U.S. soil. A lawsuit for wrongful death damages from the Army has been filed pursuant to the Federal Tort Claims Act. It is set for trial in July 2016 in the Western District of Washington.
- Representing former Duane Reade CEO Anthony Cuti in civil arbitration against his former employer, Duane Reade, and its former private equity owner. After being stayed for several years, arbitration proceedings resumed in November 2014.
- Representing a physician, a medical office, a diagnostics laboratory, and an administrative services provider in civil litigation against New Jersey’s largest health insurer regarding millions of dollars in unpaid medical claims. Claims against the insurer include alleged violations of the Employer Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and the New Jersey Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act. The insurer filed counterclaims alleging violations of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Prevention Act. The case is currently pending in in New Jersey federal district court.
- Represented custom website development company Connect Ai, LLC in copyright infringement and breach of contract lawsuit
- Represented Manhattan residential real estate brokerage firm Conquest Advisors, Ltd. in a breach of contract and unjust enrichment action to recover an unpaid commission. After defendants’ depositions was able to negotiate settlement equal to a five percent (5%) commission.
- Representing an African-American teacher who was the victim of unprovoked police brutality in a § 1983 civil rights lawsuit against the arresting officer and the District of Columbia
- Represented 50% of the directors and shareholders of successful real estate development company in a corporate governance dispute with the other directors and shareholders, which included the company’s management. After a bench trial in the Pennsylvania Court of Common Pleas in Spring 2015, Mr. Brook and Tim Clinton convinced the judge to appoint a custodian for the company. Within a few months of doing so, the parties settled their disputes over the company’s future and also agreed to terminate a separate case (in which the firm was also counsel) concerning alleged usurpation of corporate opportunities and breaches of fiduciary duties by both sides.
Representative Criminal Matters:
- Appeal of securities fraud conviction for former CEO: Anthony Cuti, CEO of Duane Reade drugstores from 1996 to 2005, was charged with committing criminal securities fraud by allegedly inflating earnings through dozens of different “round-trip” transactions. Based on his experience working with Mr. Brook during trial in 2010, Mr. Cuti selected Mr. Brook to serve as lead counsel in the appeal of his conviction. In 2012, Mr. Brook argued the case before a panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that included former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. After the conviction was unfortunately affirmed, Mr. Brook co-authored a petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court with former U.S. Solicitor General Seth Waxman.
- Appeal of restitution award: In a separate appeal to the Second Circuit on behalf of former Duane Reade CEO Anthony Cuti, Mr. Brook challenged the district court’s multi-million dollar restitution award, which consisted of legal fees spent by Duane Reade’s lawyers. The Second Circuit agreed that the restitution award included improper charges, and ordered that most of the amount be vacated as a result.
- Defense against charges of piracy on the high seas: Ali Mohamed Ali, former Director General of Education for Somaliland, was charged with piracy under the law of nations, conspiracy, and hostage taking, stemming from his role in helping to negotiate the release of a ship that had been hijacked by Somali pirates. Mr. Brook, along with Matthew Peed and Tim Clinton, represent Mr. Ali pro bono. Mr. Brook successfully sought dismissal of the conspiracy count, and that decision was affirmed on a pretrial appeal. After a three week trial in November 2013, Mr. Ali was found not guilty of piracy — a charge which carried a mandatory life sentence if he had been convicted– but the jury hung on the remaining counts. Although the government initially sought to retry Ali on the hung counts, the Firm filed a motion arguing that retrial would violate the Double Jeopardy Clause of the Constitution. The government ultimately capitulated and the charges were dismissed in their entirety.
Previous Legal Experience:
Mr. Brook began his law career at the Wall Street firm Sullivan & Cromwell before leaving to serve as a law clerk to the Honorable Ernest C. Torres, United States District Judge for the District of Rhode Island. Upon return to private practice, Mr. Brook joined Greenberg Traurig in New York. While at these larger law firms, Mr. Brook had significant responsibilities on matters for some of the firms’ largest clients, including UBS, Merrill Lynch, and Lorillard Tobacco Company, among others. He represented numerous other corporations in various capacities, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit organizations. The types of cases involved, among other things, civil and criminal securities fraud allegations, corporate executive employment disputes, internal investigations, federal regulatory investigations, and multiparty arbitration.
- Selected for inclusion in SuperLawyers’ 2016 list of New York Rising Stars in General Litigation
- “Mock” Mock Juries: A Field Experiment of the Ecological Validity of Jury Simulations, 31 Law & Psych. Rev. 77 (2007), with David Breau
- Federalizing the First Responders to Acts of Terrorism via the Militia Clauses, 54 Duke L. J. 999 (2005)
- New York City Bar Association
- American Bar Association