Commercial Federal Litigation Section Officers

Commercial Federal Litigation Section Officers

Paul D. Sarkozi, Chair 

Paul D. Sarkozi is a partner at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP in New York City and a member of its litigation and alternate dispute resolution practice group. Mr. Sarkozi has been a member of the Section's Executive Committee since 2006, is the Chair of the Section's Committees on the Commercial Division and is the former Co-Chair of the Section's Commercial Division Law Report Committee.

A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Mr. Sarkozi's practice focuses on business litigation and arbitration, both in the United States and internationally, with a particular concentration on disputes in New York's Commercial Division. His experience covers a broad range of matters involving banking, media, technology, securities, contracts, partnerships, real estate, antitrust, and employment disputes, and he has also represented corporations and individuals in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigations. Mr. Sarkozi has extensive experience in settling business disputes - both in the context of litigation and through mediation. He currently serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbia Law School, where he teaches the "Negotiation Workshop," and also serves a private mediator and in the Commercial Division of the New York County Supreme Court.

Mr. Sarkozi has also played an active role in the Section's CLE offerings. In 2009, he organized and coordinated several programs for the Section's Spring Meeting. In 2008, he presented programs on "Piercing the Corporate Veil" and "Conducting Effective Depositions." Finally, in 2007 Mr. Sarkozi participated in the presentations given to the Justices of the Commercial Division at the New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University.

James M. Wicks, Chair-Elect 

James M. Wicks is a partner concentrating in business and commercial litigation. Mr. Wicks represents large and small businesses, financial institutions and individuals in federal and state trial courts, as well as in arbitrations, involving a variety of commercial, technology, real estate, insurance, contracts, banking issues, business torts, business dissolutions and breakups, franchise litigation, corporate governance and derivative and class actions. He has represented developers and landowners in connection with real estate disputes, including sale/leaseback disputes, environmental cleanup actions, foreclosures, broker disputes, boundary and adverse possession disputes. He also counsels and litigates issues involving attorneys and ethics.

Mark Berman, Vice-Chair 

Mark Berman is a partner in Ganfer & Shore’s litigation practice groups as well as in the firm’s Cooperative and Condominium Housing Practice Group. He also heads the firm’s E-Discovery Counseling practice.

He has extensive experience in representing private and public companies, as well as partnerships and individuals, as plaintiffs and defendants, in complex commercial matters with an emphasis on real estate and securities disputes, electronic discovery conflicts, and complex title insurance issues.

Mr. Berman is experienced in all phases of litigation in both state and federal courts as well as in arbitrations and mediations. He is a seasoned appellate attorney, having argued many cases before both the First and Second Departments. Mr. Berman is also a trained mediator.

Prior to joining Ganfer & Shore, he was an associate in the litigation department at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and clerked for United States Magistrate Judge Michael L. Orenstein for the Eastern District of New York.

Mr. Berman has written and lectured extensively on electronic discovery issues before the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the New York State Judicial Institute. He has been appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge as a member of New York State E-Discovery Working Group advising the New York State Unified Court System.

Mr. Berman was featured in a two-page interview by The New York Law Journal on November 15, 2013 relating to his role as co-chair of the Social Media Committee of the Commercial and Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Mr. Berman has been elected Vice-Chair of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association for 2014-2015.

Since 2005, Mr. Berman has authored a column in The New York Law Journal addressing electronic discovery under New York State law. Mr. Berman’s articles have been quoted in both appellate and trial court decisions. All of his articles may be found in theMedia section of Ganfer & Shore's website.

Mr. Berman is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest level in professional excellence and ethics, and has been selected as a “New York Super Lawyer” annually since 2008.


Deborah E. Edelman, Treasurer  

Deborah E. Edelman is currently the principal law clerk and law secretary to a New York State Commercial Division Judge, the Honorable Lawrence K. Marks, in New York County.  Previously, she was the principal law clerk and law secretary for four other Commercial Parts, including Justice Marks’ Commercial Part in Nassau County.   

Prior to working for the Court, Ms Edelman was a litigation associate in New York, working primarily as an advocate in commercial ligation, mediation and arbitration.  During that time, she also received a Legal Aid Society Award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service. 

Ms. Edelman is a graduate of Barnard College, Columbia University, from which she graduated with a degree in Studies in Conflict and Conflict Resolution.  She is a graduate of Stanford School of Law, where she was Executive Editor of the Stanford Law Review and a fellow at the Stanford Center on Conflict and Negotiation.    

Jaclyn H. Grodin, Secretary

Jaclyn Grodin is an associate at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP in New York City and a member of its litigation and alternate dispute resolution practice group.  Ms. Grodin graduated from New York University and Boston College Law School and previously practiced in Boston, Massachusetts prior to returning to New York.  Her practice covers a wide range of commercial disputes involving financial services, intellectual property, employment, contracts, securities, and partnerships.  Ms. Grodin has been a member of the Section since 2011.

Section Delegates to the NYSBA House of Delegates

The Section’s 2013-2014 delegates to the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates are Section Chair Paul D. Sarkozi,  Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP, former Section Chairs, David Tennant of Nixon Peabody LLP and Gregory K. Arenson of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheider LLP. The alternate delegate is Vincent J. Syracuse of Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP. 

Gregory K. Arenson:

Gregory K. Arenson is a partner with the firm Kaplan Fox & Kilsheimer LLP. He is a seasoned business litigator with experience representing clients in a variety of areas, including antitrust, securities, and employee termination. His economics background has provided a foundation for his recognized expertise in handling complex economic issues in antitrust cases, both as to class certification and on the merits. Prior to joining Kaplan Fox, Mr. Arenson was a partner with Proskauer Rose. Earlier in his career, he was a partner with Schwartz Klink & Schreiber, and an associate with Rudnick & Wolfe (now DLA Piper).

Mr. Arenson’s pro bono activities include being a co-chair of the New York State Bar Association Task Force on the State of Our Courthouses, whose report was approved June 20, 2009, and a member of the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Standards for Pleadings in Federal Litigation. He also serves as a mediator in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. In addition, he is an active alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, having served as a member of the Corporation, a member of the Corporation Development Committee, vice president of the Association of Alumni/ae, and member of the Alumni/ae Fund Board (of which he was a past chair).

Paul D. Sarkozi:

Paul D. Sarkozi is a partner at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP in New York City and a member of its litigation and alternate dispute resolution practice group. Mr. Sarkozi has been a member of the Section's Executive Committee since 2006, is the Chair of the Section's Committees on the Commercial Division and is the former Co-Chair of the Section's Commercial Division Law Report Committee.

A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, Mr. Sarkozi's practice focuses on business litigation and arbitration, both in the United States and internationally, with a particular concentration on disputes in New York's Commercial Division. His experience covers a broad range of matters involving banking, media, technology, securities, contracts, partnerships, real estate, antitrust, and employment disputes, and he has also represented corporations and individuals in U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigations. Mr. Sarkozi has extensive experience in settling business disputes - both in the context of litigation and through mediation. He currently serves as Adjunct Faculty at Columbia Law School, where he teaches the "Negotiation Workshop," and also serves a private mediator and in the Commercial Division of the New York County Supreme Court.

Mr. Sarkozi has also played an active role in the Section's CLE offerings. In 2009, he organized and coordinated several programs for the Section's Spring Meeting. In 2008, he presented programs on "Piercing the Corporate Veil" and "Conducting Effective Depositions." Finally, in 2007 Mr. Sarkozi participated in the presentations given to the Justices of the Commercial Division at the New York State Judicial Institute at Pace University. 

David H. Tennant:

David H. Tennant, a partner in the Rochester office of Nixon Peabody, is the new chair of the 2,291-member Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Tennant practices in the fields of Indian Law litigation and appeals, other complex commercial litigation, products liability, and insurance. He is a founding member of his firm’s cross-office/cross-practice group, the Appellate Litigation Team.

An 18-year member of the State Bar, Tennant served as chair of the Committee on Mass Disaster Response from 1999 to 2002. Within the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, Tennant most recently served as chair-elect and co-chair of the Appellate Practice Committee. He also is a member of the section’s Task Force on State Court Appeals and the Commercial Division Committee.

Tennant is a member of the Defense Research Institute Appellate Advocacy Committee and American Bar Association Council of Appellate Lawyers of the Judicial Division, He also serves on the pro bono panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Tennant received his undergraduate degree with honors from the University of Michigan, and earned his law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles Law School (Order of the Coif).

Vincent J. Syracuse:

Vincent J. Syracuse joined Tannenbaum Helpern during the summer of 1979 and founded the firm's litigation department and is currently its Chair. As a general litigator for over 40 years, Vince has earned a reputation as a problem-solver, strategizer, tactician and aggressive advocate for his clients. Recognized by Super Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the New York Metro area, he represents a variety of clients in commercial litigation in all New York State and Federal Courts on the pre-trial, trial and appellate levels and in various alternate dispute resolution forums including mediation and arbitration. He is also a mediator in the Commercial Division of the New York County Supreme Court.

Vince has been active for many years in numerous bar association activities and frequently chairs or participates as a faculty member in continuing legal education programs on various commercial litigation subjects, including the New York State Bar Association's extremely successful program on ethics and civility in litigation which he has chaired for over fourteen years. Vince has been a member of the NYSBA's House of Delegates. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of the NYSBA's Commercial and Federal Litigation Section since 1994. He was the Section's Chair in 2009-2010, having previously served as Chair-Elect, Vice-Chair and three terms as the Section's Treasurer. The Section honored Vince with its nominations in 2007 and 2012 for the NYSBA's Attorney Professionalism Award recognizing him as a "tireless advocate for ethics and civility in New York." In March 2010, Vince was appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to the Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System which monitors the annual financial disclosure statements within the judicial branch of the New York State government. Vince is also a member of the NYSBA's Committees on Attorney Professionalism and Continuing Legal Education. He writes the monthly Attorney Professionalism Forum in the NYSBA Journal.

As a member of the Advisory Committee for the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and a former Chair of the Commercial Division Committee, Vince has helped shape the development of the Commercial Division since its inception in New York and Monroe Counties, and subsequent expansion to several counties throughout the State of New York. The Advisory Committee acts as liaison between the bar and the Commercial Division and has created a mechanism that allows practitioners in the Commercial Division to express their views about the structure of the Commercial Division, and comment on various matters of Commercial Division practice, including the definition of a "commercial case." Vince has been directly involved in the drafting of the Commercial Division rules that have refined the criteria for the assignment and retention of cases in the Commercial Division, and govern practice in the various Commercial Division venues.

Vince has been selected for inclusion in New York Super Lawyers for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 every year that selections were made.