Can you tell me about the case that you recently won?
Yes. I recently won a very difficult landlord-tenant case in a co-op where I am a sponsor and we won the case against a rent-stabilized tenant who had been there for a long, long time. In fact, I believe his parents had been there before him.
What was wrong with this tenant? Why did you come to our office?
This guy is probably 60 years old or so. It’s kind of hard to tell. He is such a disheveled mess. His apartment was a total wreck overrun with roaches, rats, foul odors. It was a health hazard. It was a safety hazard. We had complaints from neighboring apartments and we tried over a period of several years to get him to clean the place up even offered to let our staff come in and clean it for him and he would never complied with our requests so we were trying to get him evicted.
What did Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. do for you?
Well, bottom line they won the case. Although it has been appealed several times and we won every appeal and still going in there, it’s very hard to win a case, a landlord-tenant case against a tenant so it was a nice victory.
How do you think did you manage to win the case if it’s difficult to do that in that court?
Well, I have to give most of the credit to the firm and Carolyn Rualo who was working on it and Adam was working on it. They did a lot of good homework. They brought in people to testify not only the adjacent apartment neighbors but people like the superintendent who came in and gave first-hand testimony on how disgusting the apartment was. The exterminating company that works for the building was brought in. That fellow testified that in fifteen or twenty years of business this was, I think he said, it was one of the ten worst apartments he has ever seen. They also were very open to my suggestions. I actually sat at the table with them in the courtroom which I have never done before and suggested questions to ask and answers that we should try to elicit.
Can you tell me about the trial?
I think we were in total about five days in the courtroom. It probably took about four or five months because of adjournments. The tenant was an attorney himself. I am not sure what kind of law he practiced but he was representing himself and unfortunately for us he was making all kinds of wild personal claims about me, as a sponsor, or the managing agent of the building having vendettas and he didn’t really address much of the issues that were raised and I think we won on the strength of just hard evidence and facts.
What was the best thing that the firm did for you?
Besides winning the case – I think what really impressed me was their openness to letting me help out. Even though they were very well prepared, from a legal point of view, they were not as knowledgeable obviously about the building, about this individual and about some of the things that actually were…I think besides that…for example there were neighbors on two sides and only the neighbor on side complained and the defendant brought in the neighbor on the other side who didn’t complain and he said look, this person doesn’t have a problem and what Adam and Carolyn wouldn’t have known necessarily is that that neighbor the abutting apartment was just a solid wall so there was no place where any of the vermin in the defendants apartment to get through to the other whereas the other side they had back to back bathrooms and so there was piping and holes in the wall and whatnot and that is obviously where the rodents, roaches whatever could infiltrate.
Could you explain what you think the firm’s best qualities were in assisting to your needs throughout this case?
Number one, they did their homework very well and really knew the law and so this guy he would try and come with attacks with all sorts of things and they were very quick to make objections and because they were pertinent to the legal issues in the case and they knew that side of it very well and secondly their openness to my suggestions and my ideas about things to ask him and contradictory things that he would say and things that were plainly not true.
Would you recommend Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C. to others?
I would highly recommend them. It was a difficult case because as terrible as this guy’s apartment was and the judge actually went to look at it at one point because he claimed he had cleaned up and it wasn’t so bad and his idea of cleaning up and probably the rest of the world is two very different things and that’s actually probably the reason why he was not granted relief because he already said he had relieved the problem and the judge said the fact that he doesn’t know this is bad and giving him more time to clean up something he doesn’t think is bad in the first place isn’t going to work.
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