Futterman’s latest DUI wouldn’t factor into termination case: legal expert

Ex-RKF chief was arrested following vicious accident in the Hamptons Tuesday

TRD New York /
Jul.July 24, 2019 06:30 PM
Robert K. Futterman (Credit: Southampton Town Police)

Robert K. Futterman (Credit: Southampton Town Police)

Robert Futterman’s latest DUI marks the lowest point yet for the former star retail broker. But it’s likely to have little impact on the legal battle he’s expected to wage against his previous employer, Newmark Knight Frank.

Futterman’s arrest following the serious crash he allegedly caused in Bridgehampton Tuesday morning would  likely be inadmissible in court if he followed through on a previous suggestion that he would dispute his termination from the brokerage, legal experts told The Real Deal.

“The acts occurred after his termination, so the rules of evidence wouldn’t allow these types of unrelated incidents to be used,” said Hayley Dryer, a partner in the commercial litigation department at Garden City-based Cullen and Dykman.

“An employer’s defense attorney would love to get the information in,” Dryer added. “But the law is designed to prevent this type of extraneous material from – quite frankly – creating a circus.”

Futterman could not be reached, and a spokesperson for Newmark declined to comment. Newmark, which went public in December 2017, closed on its acquisition of RKF in September 2018.

Roughly two months after he was fired “for cause” from Newmark in July, Futterman was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly crashed his Ford F-150 into a Nissan Maxima, injuring a mother and her young son.

The Maxima passengers were airlifted to a local hospital and their injuries were later determined to be minor. Futterman was immediately taken into custody on charges of driving under the influence. He was arraigned in Southampton court Wednesday on driving under the influence of drugs, two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance and unlawful possession of marijuana, the East Hampton Star reported.

Police said Futterman, who refused a blood test at the scene of the accident, was high on marijuana and admitted to taking clonazepam, a drug that can be used to treat panic disorders and anxiety.

Justice Barbara Wilson set bail at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond. After posting bail, Futterman got picked up by a driver and left the courthouse.

Wilson warned him not to drive.

“You don’t get to decide if you drive – you cannot drive in the State of New York, period, end of story,” she said, according to the East Hampton Star. “Is that clear to you?” I don’t even want you on a bicycle with one of those batteries.”

A few hours before Tuesday’s crash, police reportedly stopped Futterman while he was driving in Amagansett and issued him four traffic violations. Earlier in July, he was charged with operating his boat under the influence in Sag Harbor Village after it struck a yacht.

For the past several weeks, Futterman has been holed up at an $83,000-per-month rental in Montauk. In May, he told the New York Post that his firing was “an injustice,” and hinted that he would contest his termination.

“I certainly do not plan on sitting back,” he said.

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