Email: Gerald E. Ross ›
Since March 1981, Gerald Ross has either been a sole practitioner or a partner in a three partner and now two partner firm. His practice is general and about 80% of his work is sophisticated litigation in the state and federal courts in New York City. The remaining 20% includes real estate matters, matrimonial and general corporate practice. Ross is also responsible for the administration of the firm.
Ross has represented a number or lawyers in disputes with their former law firms. This practice area arose out of his representation of Kevin Hackett in Hackett v. Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, 86 N.Y.2d 146 (1995) involving the application of DR 2-108(A) to the Milbank firm’s treatment of departing partners. The case, which was actively litigated up and down the court system for five years, turned on the balance between policies favoring arbitration and judicial regulation of attorneys. Ultimately, the Court of Appeals favored arbitration.
Insurance coverage litigation he has either handled personally or been heavily involved with includes:
American International Specialty Lines Insurance Company v. United States Olympic Committee, 219 A.D.2d 458, 631 N.Y.S.2d 40 (1st Dep’t 1995) in which he successfully defended the United States’ Olympic Committee’s position that it was entitled to insurance coverage for a finder’s fee claim;
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company v. Fordham Preparatory School et ano., Sup. Ct. Bronx Co. (pending) in which he represented Fordham Preparatory School and its general liability carrier, Lloyds, in a coverage dispute over the scope of additional insured coverage written by Liberty for Fordham’s construction manager in connection with an accident on the site.
Federal Insurance Company v. Thomas R. Moore, Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co., a subrogation action in which he defended an attorney accused of improperly receiving money from his former law firm, which had been paid off by Federal. The case was settled with no liability to Moore.
Avondale Industries, Inc. v. Travelers Indem. Co., 887 F.2d 39 (2nd Cir. 1989) in which the firm represented Avondale and established that Travelers had to defend an action arising out of oil pollution of wetlands in Louisiana.
Ogden Corp. v. Travelers Indem. Co., 924 F.2d 39 (2nd Cir. 1991) in which the firm represented Ogden Corp. in another evironmental insurance coverage claim.
Other relevant experience includes continuing service as an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association. Ross has also assisted the First Department Judicial Screening Committee by checking references and writing a report on a candidate for the Appellate Division, and participating in his interview. In 1997 he was appointed a receiver of a disbarred lawyer for the purpose of examining his client files and doing whatever is necessary for the protection of his clients. For the Association Professional Discipline Committee, he chaired a subcommittee reporting on the First Department Discipline Committee’s proposed amendments to the court rules regarding interim suspensions of attorneys and co-authored a report regarding alternative sanctions. Ross is currently involved in organizing a symposium for the Professional and Judicial Ethics Committee of the Association of the Bar on the new Restatement of Law Governing Lawyers.
Gerald Ross is also expert in Religious Corporations Law, having represented the Episcopal Diocese of New York for 30 years and several non-Episcopal churches. Most of his work with the Episcopal Diocese centers on legal matters including application of the Religious Corporations Law to real estate transactions and application of internal ecclesiastical court rules with respect to the discipline of clergy claimed to have violated their fiduciary duties and religious obligations. He also incorporated Episcopal Charities, which has become the charitable fund raising arm of the Diocese of New York.
Ross serves as assistant secretary and chairman of the investment committee and audit committees of the Corporation for the Relief of Widows and Orphans etc. The Corporation is a self perpetuating membership corporation originally created by Act of George III in 1769 and re-incorporated after the Revolutionary War by the New York legislature. It currently has approximately $12,000,000 invested and uses the income to support widows and minor orphans of deceased Episcopal clergy.