Loretta M. Gastwirth is a Partner in the firm’s Litigation, Labor & Employment, Construction and Social Media, Software & Privacy Practice Groups and Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group. Her practice involves commercial, contract, insurance, intellectual property, trade secrets, securities, employment, business ownership, construction and Indian Gaming law litigation, arbitration, mediation and appeals. Long Island Business News has recognized Loretta as one of the Top 50 Business Women on Long Island in 2005 and 2013 and “Who’s Who” in Women Professional Services in 2010 and 2021. In 2018, Loretta was honored by the Long Island Press as a Long Island Power Woman in Business.
Loretta has become well known for her work in mediation and arbitration – i.e., alternative dispute resolution (ADR). She serves as an arbitrator and mediator on the prestigious Commercial, Construction and Employment panels of the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and the ICDR (the AAA’s International Centre for Dispute Resolution). Loretta is also a Mediator for the New York State Supreme Court, New York, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Queens County Commercial Divisions, and the Nassau County Bar Association Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators. Loretta has served as an arbitrator or mediator in over 150 cases including acting as a Chairperson of a number of three member panels and serving as an emergency arbitrator.
Loretta has provided continuing education lectures to attorneys on mediation and arbitration. Loretta’s “inside” experience as an arbitrator and mediator has enabled her to provide invaluable insight to her clients who are involved in arbitration and mediation. Loretta has arbitrated and mediated cases on behalf of her clients in many venues and before many domestic tribunals, most often the AAA and FINRA, as well as international tribunals.
Loretta started her career at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett litigating large securities fraud matters. She moved to a premiere entertainment litigation firm, representing such clients as Mick Jagger, Luther Vandross and Leona Helmsley, and later left Manhattan to join Meltzer Lippe in 1993. Loretta was a Notes and Comments editor for the Cardozo Law Review, graduated magna cum laude from both the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and University of Albany – State University of New York, School of Business and clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Jerry Buchmeyer in Dallas, Texas, who was voted Best District Court Judge by the American Law Journal her clerkship year.
Loretta’s commercial litigation often involves high technology and intellectual property cases, including a large international telecommunications arbitration representing the government of Taiwan, software infringement, development and implementation cases for private as well as publicly traded companies and copyright and trademark infringement and unfair competition cases for Ross Perot, book publishers, the manufacturer of Red Stripe Beer, an airplane motor parts manufacturer and distributor of commercial washers and dryers. She has also developed an expertise in Indian Gaming law representing a developer and manager of an Indian casino in actions involving a Native American tribe and a major gaming company and a number of important Indian gaming law decisions were issued in her cases.
Her commercial litigation experience is varied, encompassing actions involving breach of contract, trade secrets, construction matters, insurance, zoning law, equipment leasing, securities, licensing disputes, partnership, member and shareholder disputes, derivative and dissolution actions and proceedings, petroleum pollution, wetlands issues, employment matters and intellectual property litigation. The firm’s clients are often confronted with employment issues and Loretta has counseled and successfully defended them before agencies, courts, arbitration panels and mediators. She is experienced in matters involving defamation claims, trade secrets, covenants not to compete or solicit, qui tam whistleblower cases, discrimination claims and claims involving highly compensated employees.
Loretta is the Co-chair of the Domestic Arbitration Committee of the New York State Bar Association, Dispute Resolution Section, a Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation and a member of the American Bar Association and Nassau County Bar Association where she is a former chair of the ADR Committee and currently serves on the Advisory Council for its Mediation and Arbitration Panels. She is also the former chair of the Executive Committee of the Cardozo Alumni Association, consisting of over 14,000 alumni and former Co-Chair of the Cardozo Long Island Alumni Club. She enjoys playing golf with the LPGA Amateur Golf Association of Long Island. Loretta has been a featured presenter or organizer of many programs relating to ADR. She is also the author of “Words of Wisdom: Getting the Best Results in the ADR Process”, “Despite ADR Consent, IP Cases End Up In Court,” “Beware of Ideas,” “Preventing Inevitable Disclosure of Internet Company Trade Secrets,” “The Benefits of Arbitration are Many; Shouldn’t be Dismissed,” “To ADR or Not to ADR: That is the Question,” and “ADR vs. Litigation: A Guide for Business.”
Brooklyn born Loretta, and her husband, Lenny, a tax accountant and Bronx native, live in East Hills where they have volunteered a great deal of time to school, community affairs, local charities and sports programs. Lenny and Loretta are proud parents of their sons, Paul and Brian Rogofsky, graduates of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.