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Joy Spence, Esq. is an associate in the Private Wealth & Taxation Group. She focuses her practice primarily on tax law, wealth management, and trusts and estates. Joy regularly assists clients in developing tailored plans to maximize asset protection and wealth preservation, while minimizing tax exposure. She also counsels individuals and families on developing tax-efficient structures and intra-generational wealth transfer strategies for estate, charitable, and business succession planning needs.
Additionally, her practice includes advising clients on estate, gift, generation-skipping transfers and income tax matters, and assisting business owners in effectively passing their ownership interests from one generation to the next. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Appalachian State University; a J.D. from Florida International University College of Law, and an LL.M. in Estate Planning from the University of Miami School of Law.
Joy is admitted in FL and CA only.
Christopher J. Clarke
Chris is an associate with Meltzer Lippe’s Trusts and Estates Practice group.
Chris concentrates his practice on all aspects of estate and trust litigation, including contested probate proceedings, fiduciary accountings, discovery and turnover proceedings, and other litigation related to estates and trusts. He also has vast experience handling general and commercial litigation matters, including breach of contract actions, claims of fraud, and other business tort actions. This experience has provided Chris with a unique perspective on how to find the best solution for his clients.
Prior to joining Meltzer Lippe, Chris worked at Moritt Hock & Hamroff LLP. He also served as a judicial intern with the Honorable Leonard Wexler, former Senior District Judge, Eastern District of New York. Chris also worked as a law clerk in the Office of the Town Attorney for the Town of Hempstead. Chris received his law degree from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and his undergraduate degree from Skidmore College.
Chris is admitted to practice in the State of New York, as well as the United States District Court in and for the Eastern District of New York and Southern District of New York.
He lives in Valley Stream with his wife, Karina, children, Madison and Ethan, and dog, Logan. He is an avid Peloton cyclist, rower and loves spending his downtime cooking and relaxing at the beach surrounded by family and friends.
Nicholas P. Melito
Nicholas is an associate with Meltzer Lippe’s Labor and Employment Practice Group and focuses his practice on representing employers and management in a wide variety of workplace law matters. Nicholas has experience handling employment law matters in state and federal court, including wage and hour, discrimination, sexual harassment, and retaliation claims.
Prior to joining Meltzer Lippe, Nicholas spent the past six years at a Manhattan based law firm representing plaintiffs in employment-related litigation, with a particular focus on class and collective actions regarding wage and hour claims.
Nicholas earned his undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Molloy College and his Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School. While in law school, Nicholas was a member of the Center for Business and Financial Law and the Labor & Employment Law Society. Nicholas is admitted to practice in the State of New York, as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.
Alexander B. Cohen
Alexander B. Cohen is an Associate in the Firm’s Construction Practice Group. In his practice, Alexander counsels various clients in the construction industry on issues ranging from contract review, lien actions, and litigation. Clients include subcontractors, general contractors, material suppliers, and owners.
Alexander received his J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his B.S. in Sports Management from the University of Tampa. During law school, Mr. Cohen worked as a Mediator in Brooklyn Civil Court and was a law clerk at Sedlmayr & Associates, P.C. Alexander was also an editor on the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal.
Mr. Cohen has passed the New York State Bar Exam and is awaiting admission into the Southern District of New York.
Alexander, in his free time enjoys traveling and is an avid fan of the New York Mets.
Liz A. Athenas
Liz Athenas is an associate in the Construction Law Group of Meltzer Lippe. In her practice Liz counsels various clients in the construction industry, including subcontractors, general contractors, material suppliers, and owners, on issues ranging from contract review, lien actions, and surety bonds.
Prior to joining Meltzer Lippe, Liz worked as an Associate with Torre, Lentz, Gamell, Gary & Rittmaster, LLP representing Construction Sureties’ in indemnity actions. Liz also worked for Nixon Peabody’s Commercial Litigation group where her practice focus was on products liability, insurance claims, and contractual issues.
Liz received her J.D., from Touro Law Center where she was a contributing editor and fought for Medical Benefits for New York Military Veterans. She earned her B.A. in History with a Minor in Political Science from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in New York.
Liz, in her free time, enjoys teaching Business Law to undergraduate and master students, earning her masters’ in history, reading , and kickboxing.
Mauro Viskovic is Counsel to the firm’s Corporate Law practice group, where he focuses on providing high quality and cost-effective solutions to clients’ legal matters.
Since commencing his legal career in 2000, Mauro has been practicing law primarily in the areas of corporate and securities law. He represents entrepreneurs through all stages of their ventures’ development, including advice on structure, initial company formation and organization, private financings, commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions and liquidity events. In addition, Mauro represents investors in all aspects of corporate finance transactions.
Mauro’s life as an attorney began with Morrison Cohen LLP, where he largely represented venture capital and private equity firms in their investment activities. After accumulating many years of experience at handling a wide variety of transactional matters, Mauro became one of the founding partners of Kranjac Manuali & Viskovic LLP. There, he continued to handle corporate and securities matters, including securities offerings, commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance. In 2013, Mauro started his corporate boutique practice, Viskovic LLC, where he continued to represent clients on complex corporate and securities matters, often on transactions where counterparties are represented by AmLaw100 firms or by in-house counsel at major global banks, investment firms and other financial services firms.
Mauro’s practice focuses also on the representation of private investment fund advisers and portfolio managers. His services include: (1) Facilitating the transition of moving to a new advisory firm or starting a new firm, while addressing non-compete and other restrictive covenants; (2) Review and negotiation of seed investment agreements; (3) Review and negotiation of vendor and counterparty agreements, including prime broker and ISDA agreements, electronic trading agreements, fund administration agreements and market data licenses; and (4) Preparation, review and negotiation of employment agreements and restrictive covenant agreements.
Mauro graduated from Fordham University School of Law and earned his BBA degree in Accounting from Baruch College. Having passed all 4 parts of the CPA exam and having earned years of valuable experience at KPMG prior to law school, Mauro is able to read, review and understand financial statements and tax returns on a detailed and sophisticated level that is uncommon among most attorneys. His understanding of important accounting concepts has enabled him to negotiate substantial value for his clients in connection with their business transactions.
In addition to practicing law, Mauro serves as the President of the Croatian American Bar Association and serves on the Executive Committee of the Association of Croatian American Professionals. He has had speaking engagements and authored numerous articles on matters related to corporate and securities law, including business acquisitions and choice of entities for start-up ventures.
Mauro lives in North Flushing with his wife and their three children and enjoys traveling with his family.
Danielle J. Marlow
Danielle Marlow is partner in Meltzer Lippe’s Litigation Group. Dani is an accomplished litigator, with over 20 years of experience, who focuses on complex commercial cases. Dani is well versed in all aspects of litigation, from initial pleadings through discovery, trial and appeal, and litigates in state and federal courts and before the American Arbitration Association.
Dani’s particular areas of expertise include financial services litigation, securities litigation derivative litigation, class action litigation, employment litigation, bankruptcy litigation, and antitrust. Dani has frequently represented numerous banks and financial institutions, including in claims arising out of securities offerings, Ponzi schemes, bankruptcies, loan defaults, and restructurings. Dani has also has litigated numerous claims arising out of investments in securities, hedge funds and other investment vehicles, particularly with cases arising out of the subprime mortgage crisis. In addition, Dani has repeatedly litigated shareholder derivative claims, claims of shareholder oppression, partnership disputes, and similar claims, with a particular emphasis on claims arising under the Delaware Corporation Law.
With respect to class actions, Dani repeatedly defends class actions, including securities class actions, consumer class actions, and antitrust class actions. Dani is well versed in the Class Action Fairness Act, the requirements of class certification, and fact and expert discovery related to class actions. Dani has also negotiated the settlement of several class actions, and has taken such settlements through the court approval and administration process. Regarding employment litigation, Dani has litigated multiple actions involving claims for breach of non-compete clauses, non-solicitation clauses, confidentiality provisions, and other restrictive covenants.
Dani also has substantial experience litigating bankruptcy-related claims, including preference and avoidance claims, fraudulent conveyance claims, and claims by and against bankruptcy liquidators and trustees. Finally, Dani is well-versed in the antitrust laws, and has defended multiple clients against antitrust claims. She also provides clients with antitrust advice, including regarding best practices with an eye to the antitrust laws.
Dani received her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School with honors, and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers College with highest honors. Prior to joining Meltzer Lippe, Dani worked at Kaye Scholer, Anderson, Kill & Olick, and Reed Smith.
Danielle is admitted to practice in New York (specifically in the state courts and the Federal Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts).
Danielle lives in Syosset with her husband and daughter. When not practicing law, Dani enjoys running, cycling, cooking, wine, reading, and spending time with her family.
Marianna Schwartsman is an Associate in the Firm’s Trusts & Estates Practice Group. Prior to joining Meltzer Lippe, Marianna practiced law at the New York City law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where she focused her practice on estates and trusts administration and domestic estate planning for high net worth individuals.
Marianna continues to practice in all aspects of personal representation of individuals and families, as well as representation of fiduciaries. She successfully administers estates of significant volume and complexity, including probate and post-mortem tax elections and allocations. Marianna specializes in advising fiduciaries and families through all the stages of estates and trusts administration.
As a planner, Marianna works with families and individuals who own a great variety of assets such as art, intellectual property and significant real estate and business holdings in the United States and abroad. Marianna serves as personal and family adviser in connection with business, management, philanthropic and related personal issues for her clients. Marianna counsels clients on estate planning opportunities that arise in connection with both the formation and sale of closely held businesses. Marianna’s practice successfully balances intra-generational dynamics in families with efficient tax, business and charitable/philanthropic planning. She has particular experience advising clients in business and family disputes. Marianna advises clients on cross-border planning, including gifting, income and estate planning, and other issues for cross-border families and multi-jurisdictional citizens and trusts. Marianna helped many clients to come forward and become compliant under the offshore voluntary disclosure program with the Internal Revenue Service.
In her practice, Marianna works with nonprofit entities, advises such entities on tax compliance and has obtained tax-exempt status for them. Marianna also advises founders and managers of not-for-profit entities regarding formation, administration, compliance, and dissolution with a particular focus on private foundation issues.
Marianna is a 2007 graduate of Fordham University School of Law and is admitted to practice in New York.
Marianna is fluent in Russian. She is active in Brooklyn community affairs, especially with respect to raising funds and awareness for the arts programs, enrichment and education for children in public schools in Brooklyn.
Stephanie Suarez is an associate in the firm’s Litigation and Labor & Employment Practice Groups. She represents clients in a wide array of complex commercial litigation matters, and has experience with discovery disputes, motions, oral arguments, depositions, hearings, and trials in local, state, and federal courts.
From 2012 to 2013, Stephanie was a law clerk to the Honorable E. Thomas Boyle, United States Magistrate Judge for the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip. Prior to joining Meltzer Lippe, Stephanie practiced commercial litigation, banking litigation, and intellectual property litigation as an associate with several firms in the greater New York City area.
Stephanie earned her J.D. at Harvard Law School, where she was awarded a Dean’s Scholar Prize for her work as a legal intern with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She also holds a B.A. magna cum laude in Philosophy and a B.S. summa cum laude in Communication from Boston University.
Stephanie is admitted to practice in New York and Connecticut, and in the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Stephanie lives on Long Island with her husband Ralph. She is a runner and a triathlete, and coaches high school mock trial in her spare time.
Seong-Mi Oh is an associate in the firm’s Real Estate Group. She specializes in real estate financing, leasing, acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate properties. Seong-Mi has represented institutional lenders as well as borrowers in the origination of mortgage, mezzanine and construction loans. She also has experience representing both landlords and tenants in negotiating leases and subleases for retail and commercial properties.
Prior to joining the firm, Seong-Mi was an associate in the Real Estate Group of Sidley Austin LLP in New York City and served as a volunteer attorney with Nassau-Suffolk Law Services representing low-income tenants in landlord-tenant court in Nassau County.
Seong-Mi received her Juris Doctor from New York University and her Bachelor of Arts cum laude from Harvard University. She lives in Albertson with her husband and three daughters. She enjoys reading, baking and camping. An avid fan of historical fiction, she highly recommends the Genghis Khan series by Conn Iggulden.