News & Events

Recent News & Events

Elaine Colavito to be Named One of Hofstra’s Outstanding Women in Law

Elaine Colavito, a Partner with the Firm, will be honored by the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University as one of its Outstanding Women in Law. A special ceremony will take place on April 24 at the Milleridge Inn in Jericho, starting at 6 p.m.

Outstanding Women in Law celebrates women who have made a meaningful and inspiring contribution to the legal community.

Click here to read Ms. Colavito’s biography.


John Christopher Receives LIBN’s 40 Under 40 Award

John Christopher, a Partner with the Firm, received the 40 Under 40 award from Long Island Business News at a special ceremony that was held on February 8 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury.

The 40 Under 40 Awards celebrates the future leaders of Long Island who have already begun to distinguish themselves in business, government, education and the not-for-profit sector.

Click here to read Mr. Christopher’s biography.

Long Island Business News Editor Joe Dowd and John Christopher.
Long Island Business News Editor Joe Dowd and John Christopher.


Firm Co-Sponsors RESA Presentation at Fordham Law School

SWC was a sponsor of "Tax Reform's Impact on the Real Estate Market," a presentation which was held on January 24 at Fordham Law School and presented by the Fordham Real Estate Institute and Real Estate Services Alliance (RESA). Daniel H. Braff, a Partner with the Firm, is a member of RESA, an exclusive, member-based organization that brings together the best specialists in the real estate business in New York City who can provide assistance in all stages of a transaction.



Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC co-sponsored the presentation from the Fordham Real Estate Institute and the Real Estate Services Alliance
Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC co-sponsored the presentation from the Fordham Real Estate Institute and the
Real Estate Services Alliance titled “Tax Reform’s Impact on the Real Estate Market.”


Daniel H. Braff and Joshua D. Brookstein Address Compliance with NYC Zoning Law in the Construction of Fitness CentersDaniel H. Braff and Joshua D. Brookstein Address Compliance with NYC Zoning Law in the Construction of Fitness CentersDaniel H. Braff and Joshua D. Brookstein Address Compliance with NYC Zoning Law in the Construction of Fitness Centers

Daniel H. Braff, a Partner with the Firm, and Firm Associate Joshua D. Brookstein wrote an article for the January 9-22, 2018 issue of The New York Real Estate Journal titled "Get Back to the Gym: Zoning for Fitness is Heavy Lifting," which discusses the process to obtain a special permit from the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals for fitness uses.

“The process of opening a PCE in New York City is extensive and complicated,” Mr. Braff and Mr. Brookstein wrote. “It can take several months, possibly more than a year on a difficult case, but it is not, however, impossible. Understanding the requirements and the path to obtaining a PCE special permit are an essential first step for anyone interested in opening a PCE, or who is working with an individual or corporation who is looking to open and operate a PCE in New York City.”

Click here to read the article.


Christian Browne, a Partner with the Firm, served as lead counsel representing a group of Long Beach residents who sought to have certain variances granted in favor of a major construction project on the City’s boardwalk declared expired.Court Denies Motions to Dismiss Lawsuit to Block Proposed Long Beach Development Project

Christian Browne, a Partner with the Firm, served as lead counsel representing a group of Long Beach residents who sought to have certain variances granted in favor of a major construction project on the City’s boardwalk declared expired.

The Long Beach Board of Zoning Appeals granted variances to a developer in February 2014 to permit the construction of two 15-story apartment towers along the City’s boardwalk. Because the developer failed to move forward with the project under the timeframe set by the zoning board, the firm’s clients asked the Nassau County Supreme Court to declare the 2014 variances expired and of no further force or effect.

Both the developer and the zoning board made motions to dismiss the case. The Court denied the motions to dismiss and ordered the zoning board to hold a public hearing in order to determine whether, in fact, the 2014 variances are null and void due to the developer’s four-year-long failure to move the project forward and obtain the building permits necessary to construct the apartment towers.

This was reported in Newsday.

Click here to read the article.


Matthew E. Rappaport, counsel with the Firm, was interviewed by Newsday for an article on the benefits of preparing early for tax season.Matthew E. Rappaport Speaks to Newsday on Preparing Early for Tax Season

Matthew E. Rappaport, counsel with the Firm, was interviewed by Newsday for an article on the benefits of preparing early for tax season. He suggested that taxpayers consider making a last-minute contribution to a retirement plan or a health savings account.

“Evaluate whether a retirement plan or health savings account contribution, either of which might count for the 2017 tax year in certain situations, might make sense,” Mr. Rappaport said. “If you’re a business owner, you may also be able to create a retirement plan, contributions to which might count retroactively as well.”

Click here to read the article.


The Firm has promoted Elaine M. Colavito to Partner. Ms. Colavito concentrates her practice in matrimonial and family law, civil litigation and commercial transactions.Elaine M. Colavito Named Partner at Sahn Ward Coschignano, PLLC

The Firm has promoted Elaine M. Colavito to Partner. Ms. Colavito concentrates her practice in matrimonial and family law, civil litigation and commercial transactions.

Ms. Colavito is President-elect of the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. She joined the organization in 2012 as a Member of its Board of Directors and also served as its Treasurer and Vice President. In 2013, she received the group’s Bessie Ray Geffner, Esq. Memorial Award for her demonstrated interest in improving the justice system, professionalism of the bar and service to the community at large.

From 2014 to 2017, she was named to Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars” list in the area of Family Law, and was among the 2015 Super Lawyers “Top Women Lawyers in New York.” In 2017, she was named a Trailblazer in Divorce and Trusts and Estates by The National Law Journal and received the Top 50 Women in Business and Leadership in Law awards from Long Island Business News.

She currently writes a monthly column for The Suffolk Lawyer, a publication of the Suffolk County Bar Association, titled “Bench Briefs.” She is also the author of an article entitled “Social Networking Sites and the Right to Privacy: Kathleen Romano v. Steelcase and Educational Institutional Cooperative Services, Inc., Index No. 2233/06” that appeared in the Winter 2011 edition of the Medicine and Law Committee Newsletter, a publication of the American Bar Association. She has also lectured before the NYSBA Young Lawyers section.

Ms. Colavito is admitted to practice in the state of New York and before the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition to serving with the Nassau County Women’s Bar Association, she is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association and the Nassau County Columbian Lawyers. She graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and magna cum laude from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center.

Ms. Colavito is a resident of Brentwood.

“I am pleased to be named Partner with the Firm,” Ms. Colavito said. “It has been a great experience for me to be a part of a Firm that fosters the professional growth of its attorneys.”

“We congratulate Ms. Colavito and recognize her leadership, expertise and service to our clients, the Bar and the community,” said Michael H. Sahn, the Firm’s Managing Partner. “She is an important part of our Firm’s ability to serve our clients.”


John Christopher Attends NYSBA’s “Bridging the Gap” Program

John Christopher, a Partner with the Firm, attended the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) “Bridging the Gap” program, which took place on December 12-13, 2017 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York, New York, to speak with the attendees about the Young Lawyers Section (YLS) of the NYSBA.

Mr. Christopher is Chair of the NYSBA YLS and the YLS Liaison to the Real Property Law Section

Firm Partner John Christopher addresses those in attendance at the New York State Bar Association’s “Bridging the Gap” program.
Firm Partner John Christopher addresses those in attendance at the New York State Bar Association’s “Bridging the Gap” program.


Firm Obtains Approvals for New Day Care CenterThomas McKevitt, Counsel with the Firm, obtained approval from the Hempstead Town Board to rezone a parcel of land in Wantagh from Residential to Business for construction of a two-story day care center located on Wantagh Avenue.

Thomas McKevitt, Counsel with the Firm, obtained approval from the Hempstead Town Board to rezone a parcel of land in Wantagh from Residential to Business for construction of a two-story day care center located on Wantagh Avenue. The Firm also obtained a special use permit from the Town of Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals for the project.

The Firm previously represented the client in 2012 in obtaining approvals for a day care center on Center Lane in Levittown, which is currently in operation. There is a great demand for day care centers in the Levittown area, but few available properties to build these facilities, which led the client to explore this opportunity.



John Christopher, a Partner with the Firm, will receive the 40 Under 40 award from <em>Long Island Business News</em> at a special ceremony on February 8, 2018 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury John Christopher to Receive LIBN’s 40 Under 40 Award

John Christopher, a Partner with the Firm, will receive the 40 Under 40 award from Long Island Business News at a special ceremony on February 8, 2018 at the Crest Hollow Country Club in Woodbury. The 40 Under 40 Awards celebrates future leaders of Long Island who have already begun to distinguish themselves in business, government, education and the not-for-profit sector.

Click here to read Mr. Christopher’s biography.




Elaine Colavito had her 'Bench Briefs' column published in the January 2018 edition of The Suffolk Lawyer Elaine Colavito's "Bench Briefs" Appears In Suffolk Lawyer

Elaine Colavito had her "Bench Briefs" column published in the January 2018 edition of The Suffolk Lawyer. "Bench Briefs" is a roundup of recent decisions from Suffolk County trial courts.

To review these decisions, click here.





Electrical Inspection Company Succeeds in Lawsuit Alleging Deceptive Claims Made by Competitor and Obtains Injunctive Relief and Attorney's Fees

Electrical Inspection Company Succeeds in Lawsuit Alleging Deceptive Claims Made by Competitor and Obtains Injunctive Relief and Attorney's Fees Electrical Inspection Company Succeeds in Lawsuit Alleging Deceptive Claims Made by Competitor and Obtains Injunctive Relief and Attorney's Fees Electrical Inspection Company Succeeds in Lawsuit Alleging Deceptive Claims Made by Competitor and Obtains Injunctive Relief and Attorney's Fees

Christian Browne, a Partner with the Firm, recently successfully represented an electrical inspection company, which sought — and was granted — injunctive relief and attorney’s fees against a rival inspection business that had posted false statements on websites, claiming the plaintiff was out of business.

The defendant, New York State Electrical Inspections, Inc. (NYSEII), used several websites under its control to promote the claim that the firm’s client, the New York Board of Fire Underwriters (NYBFU), was no longer performing electrical inspection services. While NYBFU had been dissolved around 2009, it was reconstituted in 2013 and resumed work as an electrical inspection company. 

NYBFU, therefore, sued NYSEII under New York General Business Law §349, a section that prevents a business from disseminating false or misleading information that is likely to confuse or misdirect consumers.

On December 7, 2017, Justice Sharon Gianelli of the Nassau County Supreme Court ruled that, as a matter of law, the information on the NYSEII websites was untrue and could serve to mislead consumers in the market for electrical inspection services. The Court enjoined NYSEII from continuing to display false information about NYBFU on its websites and also awarded NYBFU attorney’s fees as authorized under the General Business Law.

Ralph Branciforte, a Partner with the Firm, and Associate Joshua D. Brookstein assisted Mr. Browne on the case. 



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