Richard N. Freeth counsels clients in litigation and transactional matters. His experience ranges from resolution of disputes regarding investments and financial transactions, directors and officers liability, professional liability and intellectual property, to business formation and finance, commercial transactions, and deal negotiations. He has represented plaintiffs and defendants in complex commercial disputes, financial and securities industry disputes, insurance coverage disputes, business torts, and claims of intellectual property infringement.
Richard has represented clients in state and federal courts throughout the country, and has handled arbitrations and mediations before the FINRA Dispute Resolution forum, the AAA, and in court-assisted mediations. He has extensive experience in disputes involving securities, investments and financial transactions. Richard has also advised clients on legal matters involving insurance coverage, litigation avoidance, first amendment retaliation and employment discrimination, executive contracts and intellectual property licensing agreements.
Financial / Commercial Litigation
- Representation of a financial advisory firm in a $75 million Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”) and Investment Advisers Act (“40 Act”) action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
- Representation of a FINRA registered broker dealer, and achieved a defense verdict after eight-day FINRA arbitration hearing, on a multimillion dollar claim based on alleged breach of employment contract, wrongful termination, violation of State franchise law and unfair trade practices brought by former agent/registered representative of broker dealer.
- Representation of a group of customers of a FINRA registered broker dealer with claims constituting over $4 million in out-of-pocket losses in connection with the sale of a private placement of a tenants in common interest in a net-net-net lease real estate investment scheme.
- Representation of a FINRA registered broker dealer in negotiating settlements of 20 customer complaints arising from losses caused by one of the firm’s registered representative’s having perpetrated a Ponzi scheme. The settlements were at a small fraction of the customers’ out-of-pocket losses.
Representation of a non-profit public utility corporation on a suit alleging a racially motivated termination, achieving summary judgment in client’s favor.
- Representation of a San Juan, PR based financial services professional against SEC Enforcement action involving the sale of insured investment product, and related reporting requirements.
Successfully vacated a $750,000 default judgment on a premises liability claim against a New York City real estate firm.
- Representation of a VP of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in executive compensation dispute with his prior employer in AAA arbitration, winning a six-figure award after full hearing in arbitration.
- Representation of a New York City co-op in recovering nearly $1 million in funds stolen by the co-op’s bookkeeper and accomplices.
Intellectual Property Litigation
- Representation of a major insurance company in negotiating on behalf of its insured (a major film studio) a confidential settlement of a multi-million-dollar copyright infringement claim by an Oscar-winning film score composer and involving a $450-million-grossing film. After the initial negotiations had been in several months of deadlock, achieved a settlement at a fraction of the demand, and avoided a potentially costly injunction against release of the film on DVD.
- Negotiation of favorable pre-suit settlement on behalf of McDonald’s resolving a copyright infringement claim with respect to music used in McDonald’s television commercials.
- Negotiation of favorable settlement of copyright infringement lawsuit brought by songwriter in connection with music used in national sales campaign of car leasing company (Avis).
Prior to joining Zeisler PLLC as Counsel in January 2016, Richard was managing partner of Freeth & Associates, LLC (2009-2015), partner with the law firm Winget Spadafora & Schwartzberg, LLP (2004-2009), and had prior associations with other law firms in New York City.
Richard earned his undergraduate degree (B.A. ’93) in English with a creative writing concentration, and minors in Music and Romance Languages, from Albertus Magnus College. He earned his law degree (J.D. ’99) from the University of Miami School of Law, where he was a member of the University of Miami Law Review of International and Comparative Law, and a member of Phi Alpha Delta law fraternity.
Professional Activities, Memberships
Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce, Assn. of Financial Service Professionals (FSP), Professional Liability Underwriters Society (PLUS), National Eagle Scout Association, American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).