“Wasn’t me”: Toby Moskovits disputes $210,000 legal bill

Katsky Korins LLP seeks fees in connection with three real estate lawsuits

TRD New York /
Jun.June 29, 2020 02:20 PM
Toby Moskovits (Sasha Maslov)

Toby Moskovits (Sasha Maslov)

What’s in a name? That which we call Heritage Equity Partners, by any other name would be as liable.

Or not, argues its principal, Toby Moskovits, who claims that a lawsuit against her firm misnamed it and therefore is moot.

As lawsuits in New York City have resumed following a coronavirus hiatus, the developer’s legal battles have also sprung back to life. And it’s not just lenders coming after debts — law firm Katsky Korins, which sued Moskovits in December, is seeking nearly $210,000 for services rendered on three other lawsuits.

Moskovits disputes the legal bill, saying in an affidavit filed last Friday that the hours were “grossly inflated.”

Her affidavit includes some other curious assertions, such as the law firm’s alleged misnaming of her company.

“Heritage Equity Partners does not exist,” the affidavit says. “Heritage Equity Partners LLC is a Delaware Limited Liability Company … Heritage Equity Partners could not and did not contract with the plaintiffs.”

A separate affidavit from Moskovits’ lawyer similarly asserts that Heritage Equity Partners “simply does not exist” and “is a non-entity.”

One problem: In a previous filing, Moskovits’ lawyer also used that name.

But the developer has an explanation for that, too. Her lawyer blamed “a scrivener’s error which did not include the ‘LLC’ designation.”

The Williamsburg Hotel at 96 Wythe Avenue (Streeteasy)

The Williamsburg Hotel at 96 Wythe Avenue (Streeteasy)

Katsky Korins’ suit names three separate entities as defendants, in addition to Moskovits herself: the “unincorporated entity” Heritage Equity Partners, the New York-registered Heritage Equity Holdings LLC d/b/a Heritage Equity Partners, and the Delaware-registered Heritage Equity Partners LLC.

The three cases for which the law firm is seeking fees are foreclosure lawsuits against the Williamsburg Hotel, the 215 Moore office development, and the rental project at 564 St. John’s Place.

564 St. John's Place (Streeteasy)

564 St. John’s Place (Streeteasy)

Moskovits’ affidavit says Katsky Korins “was engaged for approximately two months in connection with the litigation during which time I vehemently opposed the bills that were submitted as well as the litigation tactics of the plaintiffs.” It adds that the firm was fired largely because of these billing disputes.

In a statement, Moskovits said, “We stopped working with Katsky Korns as we were unhappy with their work and with their billing practices. We work with many law firms and have not seen such a case of extreme over-billing as this one, nor a total disregard of client instructions, all in an effort to drive egregious bills.”

Katsky Korins did not respond to a request for comment.

Contact Kevin Sun at [email protected]


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