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Phillips Nizer Press Release

August 16, 2011

Marc A. Landis
(212) 841-0705

Stacy S. Salmon
(212) 977-9700

Firm disappointed and disagrees with ruling allowing charter elementary school to relocate within a high school education complex on the Upper West Side of New York City

New York, NY – Phillips Nizer LLP received word on Friday, August 12, that New York State Supreme Court Justice Paul G. Feinman ruled that a lawsuit filed by the firm on behalf of parents and students seeking to halt the opening of an elementary charter school in the Brandeis High School Education Complex housing several high schools, had been dismissed.  The proceeding, originally filed under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, alleged that the New York City Department of Education (“NYC DOE”) failed to comply with substantive and procedural requirements set forth in the Education Law, its own Chancellor’s Regulations and state and city environmental statutes in approving the proposed co-location.

“We believe that Justice Feinman’s ruling is incorrect as a matter of law, and never reached the crucial facts in this case.” says Marc Landis.  “Our clients are profoundly disappointed in the Court’s decision, but the first priority for the high school students and their parents is preparing for the educational challenges that the new school year brings.”

The ruling ends a long, contentious dispute which crested in April with the filing of a lawsuit against the NYC DOE and then Chancellor-designate Dennis Walcott.  At the heart of the lawsuit, filed on behalf of students and parents from Frank McCourt High School, Global Learning Collaborative and Innovation Diploma Plus High Schools, were several issues including the loss of specialized high school facilities, meeting the requirements of high school  students with special needs, waste of taxpayer monies, and student safety and security. 

Phillips Nizer represented students and parents pro bono publico (without charge), as a public service.  Attorneys who played strategic roles in this case were partners Marc A. Landis and Jon Schuyler Brooks, senior counsel Paul A. Victor and counsels Elizabeth A. Adinolfi and Chryssa V. Valletta

Mr. Landis, a partner and member of the firm’s Executive Committee and chair of the Real Estate Department, is an Upper West Side resident and activist.  Mr. Landis has been involved in a number of diverse pro bono matters affecting members of the New York City community, and has been honored for his past pro bono efforts.  Mr. Brooks, a litigation partner and co-chair of the firm’s Environmental practice, is a former legislative staffer for U.S. Senator Daniel P. Moynihan.

About Phillips Nizer LLP:
Phillips Nizer LLP has been engaged in a wide-ranging practice of domestic and international law for over 80 years.  Established by world-renowned trial attorney Louis Nizer, the firm consists of lawyers who are well-respected leaders in their fields.  The firm’s principal office is in New York City, with additional offices in Garden City, Long Island and Hackensack, New Jersey.  To learn more about Phillips Nizer LLP, please visit: