Commercial Federal Litigation Section Officers

James M. Wicks, Chair

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, Chair-Elect  

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 the Media 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.

Mitch Katz, Vice-Chair

Mr. Katz is a shareholder in Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece, P.C., a member of the firm's Board of Directors and manager of its Litigation practice group. Mr. Katz handles complex commercial litigation in federal and state courts, in matters involving creditors' rights, lender liability defense, limited liability companies and partnerships, contract disputes, employers' rights under non-competition and confidentiality agreements, and contested commercial foreclosure actions.  He has tried cases to juries and judges, argued before appellate courts and presented matters to arbitrators and mediators. As a business litigator, his work includes problem solving activities including negotiating settlement agreements in the context of the business disputes he handles. Mr. Katz also provides litigation support to the firm's Business Restructuring and Bankruptcy practice group in complex matters arising under and in connection with cases filed under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

In February, 2013 he was named to the permanent Commercial Division Advisory Council by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the State of New York. The purpose of the Council is to ensure that New York State resolves commercial disputes in ways that benefit the business community and the state’s economy.

Mr. Katz is Vice Chair of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association.  He is also Vice President of the CNY Region of the Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association having previously served as its Secretary and as co-chair of its committee on Continuing Legal Education.  Mr. Katz is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Volunteer Lawyers Project of Onondaga County, Inc.

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.    



Section Delegates to the NYSBA House of Delegates

The Section’s 2015-2016 delegates to the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates are Section Chair James M. Wicks, Farrell Fritz PC, former Section Chairs Paul Sarkozi of Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP and Gregory K. Arenson of Kaplan Fox & Kilsheider LLP. The alternate delegate is former Section Chair Tracee E. Davis, Zeichner Ellman & Krause 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. 

James M. Wicks:

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.