A partner of the firm since 2000, Lou Craco has a diversified business litigation and arbitration practice that has involved a broad variety of commercial contracts and frauds, intellectual property, media and entertainment, real estate, financial services, securities, corporate malfeasance, insurance disputes, professional malpractice, consumer fraud, RICO, products liability, civil rights and employment disputes.
Lou has tried cases before federal and state courts and various arbitral tribunals and has argued and briefed appeals in the United States Courts of Appeals for the Second and District of Columbia Circuits and the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court. He has also briefed appeals to the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the New York Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Lou’s clients have included a former Attorney General of the United States, a Golden Globe Award winning film producer, a world famous pop singer, an acclaimed playwright, veteran real estate developers, a prominent emerging markets trading firm, a major New York law firm, a leading aircraft manufacturer and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
- B.A., Wesleyan University
- J.D., Fordham University School of Law
- New York
- Second Circuit
- Federal Circuit
- Southern District of New York
- Eastern District of New York
- District of Connecticut
Lou is active in the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and currently serves on its LGBTQ Rights Committee and as a member emeritus of its Arbitration Committee. He was previously Chair of its Committee on Federal Legislation and, in that capacity, organized and moderated a panel discussion on the Independent Counsel statute featuring panelists Archibald Cox, Elliot Richardson, Lawrence Walsh, Robert Fiske, Samuel Dash and Alexia Morrison, which received widespread press-coverage. Lou also co-authored the Association’s report on alternatives to the impeachment of President Clinton, and appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg Radio discussing various legislative and constitutional topics. He is also the author or co-author of numerous briefs to the United States Supreme Court by the Association as amicus curiae. He served for several years as Co-Chair of the Association’s In-House/Outside Litigation Counsel Working Group and previously served on its Committees on Civil Rights and State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction. Lou is also a member of the Federal Bar Council, serving on its Second Circuit Courts Committee, and of the New York State Bar Association and its Dispute Resolution Section.
Business and Commercial Disputes
- Represented former United States Attorney General in action for fraud in connection with private placement of equity in energy co-generation venture.
- Obtained numerous multimillion dollar judgments in New York state and federal courts in favor of investment fund and its philanthropic affiliate arising from fraud and misappropriation by investment advisors and their attorney.
- Defended leading online grocer in action by Workers Compensation insurer to collect millions of dollars in retroactively increased premiums.
- Brought special proceeding in New York state court to enforce subpoena served on rating agency in aid of North Dakota litigation between not-for-profit electrical cooperatives over billion-dollar losses from mismanagement of a for-profit synthetic fuel subsidiary.
- Represented luxury hotel group in numerous litigations with various vendors and contractors.
- Represented leading ticket brokerage in federal action to enforce multi-million judgment for fraud in connection with sale of World Cup tickets.
Entertainment and Media
- Represented internationally prominent film producer in New York State action against Martin Scorsese, his production company, Paramount Pictures, television network and others in contract dispute over rights in various film and television projects, including the Grammy Award winning television documentary “Bob Dylan: No Direction Home”.
- Obtained significant arbitral award against Merchant Ivory Films on behalf of purchasers of rights to its feature film library.
- Represented producers of award-winning documentary film in action to enforce license to original works from the archive of the pioneering underground artist and filmmaker Jack Smith.
- Defended producers and screenwriter of feature film in action by its director to enjoin film’s premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
- Represented producer/screenwriter of acclaimed feature film in suit against co-producer/director for fraud and an accounting arising from alleged looting of company holding commercial rights to film.
- Defended television actress/pop singer in action by website designer to collect unpaid commissions and prosecuted third-party claims against her former managers and attorneys.
- Successfully represented minors, members of celebrated Swedish vocal group, in New York Surrogate Court proceedings to approve record deal with major label.
- Brought claims on behalf of well-known media personality against pharmaceutical company for breach of endorsement contract and unauthorized use of name, voice and likeness in multi-media advertising campaign.
- Successfully defended acclaimed New York theater company and producer/director against copyright and misappropriation claims by playwright and composer.
- Represented television production company in arbitration of claims against showrunner for abandonment of reality television series.
- Counseled reality television star in connection with threatened claims for defamation arising from statements published online.
Real Estate Litigation
- Obtained dismissal of all claims against Saudi and Delaware companies in lawsuit alleging over thirty million dollars in utility overcharges at Plaza Hotel Condominium. Successfully defended dismissal in Appellate Division.
- Represented one of New York City’s leading real estate brokerage concerns in action against development consortium to enforce clients’ rights under and exclusive sales agency agreement.
- Represented real estate and construction firm in action to prevent its development partners and their attorneys from taking over, and squeezing plaintiff out from, project to develop high-rise luxury hotel and residences in Hudson Yards.
- Represented developers in action for breach of partnership agreement action against one of New York’s largest commercial landlords arising from project to build luxury condominiums on Long Island.
- Defended property owner in action seeking specific performance of sale of commercial real estate in Manhattan, in case presenting intricate issues of New York City zoning and land use regulations.
- Obtained reversal, in Appellate Division, of summary judgment in action against building contractor based on supposed collateral estoppel by findings of municipal licensing board.
- Represented numerous owners in actions alleging toxic contamination and other types of property damage.
- Brought claims on behalf of homeowner against property preservation company, and bank that hired it, for trespass and other torts resulting from unauthorized entry and property destruction at her Westchester estate.
- Represented property owners in numerous actions alleging forgeries of signatures on documents conferring title and security interests.
Banking and Financial Services
- Represented leading emerging markets trading firm, in action against purchasers of Russian government securities, for their failure to remit accrued interest pursuant to Rules of the Emerging Market Traders Association.
- Represented plaintiff in class action alleging that seller of variable annuity contracts breached fiduciary duties to investors by failing to prevent market timing by short term traders and obtained widely noted federal ruling concerning preemptive scope of Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act.
- As counsel for American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, briefed and argued various cases involving matters of importance to accounting profession, including cases before the New York Court of Appeals, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Georgia.
- Represented residential mortgagors in federal class action for racketeering and fraud against major regional bank and its law firm arising from 11-year scheme to fund kickbacks through inflation of closing costs.
- Obtained significant recovery from leading global bank that had allowed perpetrator or multimillion dollar fraud to transfer proceeds into and out of accounts maintained at the bank.
- Tried and settled numerous cases on behalf aggrieved investors against brokers and advisors in federal court and before industry arbitration panels.
- Repeatedly represented terminated financial service professionals in various arbitrations or regulatory investigations.
- Represented estate in proceedings against banks for wrongfully honoring forged checks drawn on decedent’s accounts.
- Obtained significant recovery for former manager of international packaged goods conglomerate in action for violation of whistleblower protection statute, wrongful termination and defamation.
- Defended major New York food retailer against federal and state wage and hour claims.
- Repeatedly obtained significant recoveries for numerous terminated employees in suits alleging discrimination based on age, sex, race and national origin.
- Repeatedly defended former corporate officers accused of unlawfully retaining proprietary and trade secret information.
- Secured dismissal of claims alleging an online retailer’s website was inaccessible to visually impaired persons in violation of Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Counseled international hospitality group on potential exposure under federal and New York state Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) statutes.
Corporate Governance, Control and Malfeasance
- Defended former CEO of Peruvian bank against claims by liquidator of its Cayman Islands holding company for fraud and self-dealing in connection with bank’s collapse.
- Represented major shareholder and manager of online financial news service in litigations with other shareholders over corporate control.
- Obtained stay, and ultimately reversal, in Appellate Division of trial court order requiring new elections of officers and appointment of receiver in fight for control of not-for-profit corporation and remand for further proceedings before a different judge.
- Counselled co-founder of apparel manufacturer in dispute over corporate governance and dilution of share ownership.
Intellectual Property Disputes
- Defended a New York retail concern from Lanham Act and related claims brought by a major manufacturer of luxury items.
- Successfully defended computer manufacturer in federal district court and on appeal in Federal Circuit, from patent infringement claims concerning telephone call cost monitoring technology.
- Defended independent pharmacy in federal actions by major pharmaceutical companies alleging massive scheme to distribute counterfeit HIV drugs.
- Advised estate of purchaser of global film rights to story by famous American novelist on copyright issues.
Professional Liability and Malpractice
- Defended major New York City law firm from claims alleging failure to assert timely fraudulent conveyance claims against relatives of judgment-proof debtor.
- Obtained recovery from international law firm, for estate of former client, arising from firm’s conflicts of interest in arranging secured loan transaction.
- Obtained disqualification of major law firm as plaintiff’s counsel in audit failure case, based on firm’s prior representation of auditor’s liability insurer.
- Represented disabled plastics company worker in New York products liability action arising from fall from a rail hopper car in case presenting questions of first impression as to preemptive impact, on state design defect and failure to warn claims, of federal railroad safety legislation and regulatory pronouncements.
- Repeatedly and successfully defended leading aircraft manufacturer in federal court in actions by injured airline mechanics alleging design or manufacturing defects on various models of jet airliners.
- Defended leading parcel delivery service in consolidated federal actions by delivery truck operators alleging injuries resulting from use of handheld delivery tracking devices.
- Defended thermostat manufacturer in federal action arising from fire in optics plant.
- Obtained award for investors in feature film catalog after hearing before tribunal of Independent Film & Television Alliance.
- Secured recovery for television production company against showrunner under CPR non-administered rules.
- Represented major U.S. clothing manufacturer in ad hoc arbitration with insurance company over denial of benefits for theft of piece goods from, or by, Guatemalan sewing sub-contractors.
- Obtained numerous recoveries for brokerage firm customers in arbitrations before NASD and FINRA panels.
“Southern District Clarifies SLUSA Pre-emption”, New York Law Journal, July 5, 2006.
Class Action Against Enron’s Accountants and Advisors (with Christopher Allegaert and Daniel J. Tinkelman) CPA Journal, March 2004
What is the Meaning of the Second Amendment? Experience, Summer 1997
“Alternatives to Impeachment: What May Congress Do?”, 54 Record of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 13-32 (1998) (Committee Report, Chair and Primary Author (with Paul B. Sweeney))
“The Brady Act and the Tenth Amendment”, 52 Record of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York , 185-193 (1997) (Committee Report, Chair and Principal Author)
“Federal Gun Control and the Second Amendment”, 48 Record of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 993-1002 (1993) (Committee Report, Principal Author)