Loretta Gastwirth is a partner in the Litigation, Labor & Employment and Social Media, Software & Privacy practice groups. Loretta is also Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution practice group at Meltzer, Lippe, Goldstein and Breitstone, LLP, involved in 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. 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. She serves as an arbitrator on the prestigious Commercial and Construction Arbitration Panels of the American Arbitration Association since 2005, determining construction and commercial matters in various industries including complex matters involving oil and gas, brokerage, software and manufacturing industries.
Loretta is also a Certified Mediator for the New York State Supreme Court with additional qualifications in commercial disputes. She serves on the Panel of Mediators for the American Arbitrators Association, the New York, Nassau, Westchester and Queens County Court Commercial Divisions, and the Nassau County Bar Association Panel of Arbitrators and Mediators.
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, trials 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 Cardozo Law School and SUNY Albany, School of Business and clerked for U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer in Dallas, Texas, who was voted Best District 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 against an Indian 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 compensation claims, including those of highly compensated employees.
Loretta is the chair of the Executive Committee of the Cardozo Alumni Association, consisting of 14,000 alumni. She is Co-Chair of the Cardozo Long Island Alumni Club, is active in the Red Ground Civic Association and plays golf with the Executive Women’s Golf Association of Long Island. She is also a member of the ABA 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. 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,” and “To ADR or Not to ADR: That is the Question,” many of Loretta’s cases have also been featured in the New York Law Journal and Long Island Business News.
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 & Loretta are proud parents of their sons, Paul and Brian Rogofsky, graduates of The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.