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Brian  Kantar
 

Brian Kantar

Member West Orange, NJ   New York, NY  

Brian Kantar’s practice is concentrated in commercial litigation, with a focus on fidelity and surety, construction and bankruptcy matters in New York and New Jersey.  Brian regularly represents surety companies, contractors and developers in a wide variety of contract disputes, performance and payment bond claims, affirmative claims, loss recovery, bankruptcy issues and contractor workouts.


In 2005-2006, Brian served as a law clerk to Judge Ross R. Anzaldi, presiding judge of the Civil Division, Superior Court of New Jersey, Union County. He graduated in 2001, summa cum laude, from Hofstra University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his J.D. magna cum laude from Seton Hall Law School, in 2005, where he was elected to the Order of the Coif.  While in law school, Brian served as chairman of the Honor Council and interned for Judge Mary C. Jacobson of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Civil Division, Essex County. 

Education
  • Seton Hall Law School (J.D., magna cum laude, 2005)
  • Hofstra University (B.A., summa cum laude, 2001)
Admissions
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of New York
  • Representation of three co-sureties’ interests at a five-week bench trial in the Southern District of New York involving a contractual dispute arising from an agreement between Lockheed Martin and the MTA for the design, development and installation of an integrated electronic security system for New York City's public transportation system, with damages estimated at more than $130 million.  Brian also represented the co-sureties’ interests in the initial investigation of the claim and throughout the ensuing five year litigation.
  • Lead counsel for a surety in its takeover and completion of a $31 million rehabilitation project for two subway stations in Brooklyn, NY.  Brian supervised the surety’s completion efforts, was responsible for the negotiation of several change orders with the owner and subcontractors, and the prosecution and defense of various claims.
  • Restructuring of multi-million dollar surety bond obligations as surety counsel in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of East West Resort Development.
  • Successful prosecution of a fraudulent conveyance action against surety indemnitors who transferred their assets to out-of-state corporations in order to render themselves judgment proof.  The indemnitors were required to reverse their fraudulent transfers of assets and the surety ultimately recovered approximately $600,000, representing the entirety of the surety’s judgment 
  • Successfully moved for summary judgment in the precedential decision of RLI Insurance Company v. Athan Contracting Corp., 667 F.Supp.2d 229 (E.D.N.Y. 2009).  The indemnitors had argued that they did not authorize the submission of a bid or entry into a contract for the subject public construction project and, therefore, were not responsible to indemnify the surety for its losses.  The court found that the conduct of the principal and its president ratified the alleged unauthorized actions and required that they honor their indemnity obligations to the surety.
  • Representation of a subcontractor’s surety in an arbitration involving the rehabilitation of a federal courthouse in Galveston, Texas.  The general contractor/obligee defaulted the subcontractor and unilaterally attended to the completion of the work, depriving the surety of its rights under the subject performance bond.  Despite the assertion of a multi-million dollar claim, the surety was able to resolve the matter for a fraction of its potential exposure.
  • Recovery of $400,000 in contract proceeds from the bankruptcy estate of the surety’s principal pursuant to the surety’s equitable right of subrogation.
  • Negotiated for the posting of 100% collateral by the surety’s principal in a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in exchange for the surety’s agreement not to cancel customs bonds.
  • Representation of a surety on claims arising from nearly two dozen fiduciary bonds issued on behalf of an attorney whose paralegal admitted to misappropriating funds entrusted to the attorney. The surety negotiated a favorable settlement of the bond claims, which included a substantial contribution from the attorney’s malpractice carrier.  The surety also achieved a substantial recovery from its principal and the paralegal.
 
  • New Leaders of the Bar, New Jersey Law Journal (2018)
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers - Rising Stars, Surety, Business Litigation, Bankruptcy: Business (2011-2019)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Rating

Award Methodology

  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section - Fidelity & Surety Law Committee, Vice Chair
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Surety Claims Association
  • Surety Claims Institute