William G. Ballaine Member New York
Phone: 212.238.4800 Fax: 212.238.4848 wballaine@lcbf.com

A founding member of LCBF, Bill has been privileged to represent a diverse trove of private and governmental clients at the trial and appellate levels in federal and state courts, both in the New York and throughout the United States. His broad-based litigation practice has embraced many areas, including mass disaster litigation, commercial disputes, toxic torts, insurance coverage, railroad litigation, employment discrimination, civil rights claims, labor law, construction litigation, condominium and cooperative apartment litigation, professional liability, and environmental litigation.

On the appellate front, Bill has briefed and argued well over 100 appeals during his career, working both as lead counsel and in a cooperative capacity with counsel across the country on difficult, high-exposure cases.  His enviable record includes successful results in seven different U.S. Courts of Appeals, in the highest courts of New York State, Connecticut, Delaware and Florida and in the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  His more notable favorable decisions in recent years include:

  • Dahar v. Holland Ladder & Mfg. Co., 18 N. Y 3d 521 (2012), aff'g 79 A.D.3d 1651 (4th Dept 2010) (NY Court of Appeals rejects strict liability claim under N.Y. Labor Law asserted against firm client)
  • Doral v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, 2012 WL 1184340 (4th Cir. 2012) (unpublished opinion) (Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds firm client’s position in mortgage servicing contract dispute that contract damages owed amounted to $124,588, not the more than $10 million claimed by Doral Bank)
  • Nostrom v. A.W. Chesterton Co., 15 N.Y.3d 502 (2010), aff’g 59 A.D.3d 159 (1st Dept 2009) (N.Y. Court of Appeals rejects claim that firm client could be held liable for decedent’s asbestos exposure under N.Y. Labor Law and N.Y. Industrial Code regulations)
  • Kerusa Co., LLC v. W10Z/515 Real Estate Ltd., 12 N.Y.3d 236 (2009) (N.Y. Court of Appeals reverses intermediate appellate court opinion and dismisses common law fraud claim against luxury condominium building sponsor in light of NY Attorney General’s comprehensive disclosure regulations applicable to condominium apartment sales)
  • Deweese v. Nat’l R. R. Pass. Corp., 590 F.3d 239 (3d Cir. 2009) (Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirms right of firm client to contractual indemnity, rejecting indemnitor’s defense of state sovereign immunity)
  • R&G Mortgage Corp. v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., 584 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2009) (First Circuit Court of Appeals affirms claim of firm client that non-party bank failed to intervene timely in client’s injunctive action to terminate its mortgage servicer)

A more comprehensive list of Bill’s favorable appellate results over the years may be found in his List of Representative Cases.

Since 2012, Bill has appeared on the Thomson Reuters' Superlawyers.com roster for New York Metro Super Lawyers (Appellate Specialty).  He has also enjoyed a “AV Preeminent” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ for almost three decades.  Super Lawyers is published by Thomson Reuters.  A description of their selection methodology can be found here.  Martindale-Hubbell is published by Internet Brands, Inc.  A description of their selection methodology can be found here.  No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

During his formative professional years, Bill was privileged to serve as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York under Robert B. Fiske, Jr. and Paul Curran.  He tried both civil and criminal cases, defended the CIA against Bivens claims stemming from its mail intercept program and was Chief of the Office's Tax Unit. Bill was also detailed to serve as Consulting Attorney for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Special Inquiry Group investigating the 1979 Three Mile Island (TMI) accident, where he was responsible for questioning the five NRC Commissioners under oath regarding their emergency response. Bill was then retained to serve as Counsel to the Hart-Simpson U.S. Senate Sub-Committee, which issued a comprehensive investigative report to the full United States Senate on the TMI accident.

Representative Cases

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Representative Cases

  • Palumbo v. Transit Technologies, LLC,  144 A.D.3d 773 (2d Dep’t 2016) (affirming summary judgment dismissing Labor Law sections 240(1) and 241(6) by electrical mechanic, who fell part way into a two-foot deep trench; court ruled the case did not present an elevation-related risk covered by section 240(1) and that the trench was not a “hazardous opening” within the meaning of Industrial Code section 23-1.7(b)(1)(i))

  • Vega v. Metropolitan Transp. Auth., 133 A.D.3d 518 (1st Dept 2015) (Holding that Workers' Compensation Board determination that plaintiff's post-accident diagnosed syndrome was not caused by his on-the-job injury collaterally estops plaintiff from raising that medical causation issue in his personal injury action under the Labor Law)

  • Rodriguez v. Winski, 2013 WL 5379880 (S.D.N.Y. 2013) (dismissing most of the 49 separate claims asserted by a group of Occupy Wall Street protestors, elected officials, and journalists against LCBF clients, the MTA Police Department its commissioner and various officers, and others including the City of New York, Mayor Bloomberg, the NYPD, J.P. Morgan Chase and the owner of Zuccotti Park; 939-paragraph Amended Complaint included claims of violations of plaintiffs’ First and Fourth Amendment rights, violation of New York State constitutional rights, conspiracy, and state law claims; court dismissed almost all the claims against the MTA defendants, which arose from an arrest during an OWS protest at Grand Central Station, and granted LCBF’s motion to sever the remaining claims against LCBF's clients from those remaining against the other defendants)

  • Dahar v. Holland Ladder & Mfg. Co., 18 N. Y 3d 521 (2012), aff'g 79 A.D.3d 1651 (4th Dept 2010) (N.Y. Court of Appeals rejects strict liability claim under N.Y. Labor Law asserted against firm client Bechtel)

  • Doral v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, 2012 WL 1184340 (4th Cir. 2012) (unpublished opinion) (Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upholds firm client Freddie Mac’s position in mortgage servicing contract dispute that contract damages owed amounted to $124,588, not the more than $10 million claimed by Doral Bank)

  • Fox v. Marshall, 88 A.D.3d 131 (2d Dept 2011) (N.Y. appellate court rejects plaintiff estate’s claim that clients affiliated with residential treatment facility may be held liable for medical malpractice for not controlling a voluntary mental health outpatient who committed a seemingly random murder of his mother’s neighbor)

  • Camacho v. New York City Housing Auth., 83 A.D.3d 475 (1st Dep’t 2011) (N.Y. appellate court reverses trial court grant of summary judgment, finding disputed factual issues regarding firm client’s liability for lead paint exposure)

  • Nostrom v. A.W. Chesterton Co., 15 N.Y.3d 502 (2010), affirming 59 A.D.3d 159 (1st Dep’t 2009) (N.Y. Court of Appeals rejects claim that firm client Bechtel could be held liable for decedent’s asbestos exposure under N.Y. Labor Law and N.Y. Industrial Code regulations)

  • Minorczyk v. Dormitory Auth. of State of N.Y., 74 A.D.3d 675 (1st Dep’t 2010) (N.Y. appellate court reverses trial court, holding that construction manager was statutory owner strictly liable under N.Y. Labor Law § 241(6))

  • Sanders v. Grenadier Realty, Inc., 307 Fed. Appx. 173 (2d Cir. 2010) (Second Circuit Court of Appeals upholds dismissal of multiple federal claims against firm client based on 42 U.S.C. § 1982, the Federal Housing Act and the First Amendment)

  • Kerusa Co., LLC v. W10Z/515 Real Estate Ltd., 12 N.Y.3d 236 (2009) (N.Y. Court of Appeals reverses intermediate appellate court opinion and dismisses common law fraud claim against luxury condominium building sponsor in light of NY Attorney General’s comprehensive disclosure regulations applicable to condominium apartment sales)

  • Deweese v. Nat’l R. R. Pass. Corp., 590 F.3d 239 (3d Cir. 2009) (Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirms right of firm client Amtrak to contractual indemnity, rejecting indemnitor’s defense of state sovereign immunity)

  • R&G Mortgage Corp. v. Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., 584 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2009) (First Circuit Court of Appeals affirms claim of firm client Freddie Mac that non-party bank failed to intervene timely in client’s injunctive action to terminate its mortgage servicer)

  • O&G Indus., Inc. v. Nat’l R. R. Pass. Corp., 537 F.3d 153 (2d Cir. 2008) (Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirms position of firm client Amtrak that federal statute preemptted indemnitor’s attempt to avoid its contractual indemnity obligations to client based on state law and public policy)

  • Ravetto v. Triton, 285 Conn. 716 (2008) (Connecticut Supreme Court affirms trial court’s decision that firm’s corporate client and its principal were not liable for double damages under state wages statute for deferring payment of two executives’ wages under a salary deferral plan)

  • Southern Cal. Reg. Rail Auth. V. Superior Ct., 163 Cal. App.4th 712 (Cal. 2d Dist. 2008) (California Appellate Court holds that federal preemption barred common law negligence claims by about 100 plaintiffs injured in commuter train collision with vehicle left abandoned on the tracks based on allegations the commuter railroad was negligent for operating its train in “push mode,” with locomotive in rear of train consist)

  • Pacific Ins. Co. v. Liberty Mutual, 956 A.2d 1246 (Del. 2008) (Delaware Supreme Court upholds position of client insurer that another liability insurer owed duty to defend insured in wrongful death actions under its additional insured endorsement to liability policy)

  • Rivera v. Anilesh, 8 N.Y.3d 627 (2007) (N.Y. Court of Appeals upholds firm client’s position that doctor’s testimony about her routine practice was admissible under the habit evidence rule);

  • Cook v. Deloitte & Touche, LLP, 198 Fed. Appx. 107 (2d Cir. 2006) (Second Circuit affirms summary judgment in favor of firm client Deloitte dismissing plaintiff’s ADA claims)

  • American Home Assurance Co. v. National R.R. Pass. Corp, 908 So.2d 459 (Fla. 2005) (on certification, Florida Supreme Court upholds client’s position that municipal authority could not avoid its contractual indemnity obligations by asserting a state sovereign immunity defense)

  • National R.R. Pass. Corp. v. Rountree Transport & Rigging, Inc., 286 F.3d 1233 (11th Cir. 2002) (Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upholds client’s positions on multiple issues raised in consolidated property damage actions stemming from collision of passenger train with hauler carrying 82-ton combustion turbine);

  • Aguirre v. Long Island Rail Road Co., 286 App. Div. 2d 658 (2d Dep’t 2001) (N.Y. appellate court awards client new trial on liability of three actions due to errors at trial and further finds jury awards deviated materially from reasonable compensation)

  • Sullivan v. National R.R. Pass. Corp., 170 F.3d 1056 (11th Cir. 1999) (Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals reverses jury verdict for plaintiff on retaliation claim against client)

  • Consorti v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., 72 F.3d 1003 (2d Cir. 1995) (Second Circuit Court of Appeals upholds client’s position that jury’s $12 million award for asbestos exposure is excessive and calls for remittitur to $3.5 million for decedent’s pain and suffering)

  • Consorti v. Owens-Corning Fiberglas Corp., 86 N.Y.2d 449 (1995) (on certified question, N.Y. Court of Appeals upholds client’s position that under common law injury occurs during exposure to asbestos, precluding consortium claim to widow because decedent’s injury pre-dated the marriage)

  • Standard Funding Corp. v. Lewitt, 89 N.Y.2d 546 (1997) (N.Y. Court of Appeals reverses intermediate appellate court, holding that client insurer was not responsible for fraudulent acts committed by the insurer’s agent)

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Practice Areas

Admissions

New York, 1972
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court Northern District of New York
U.S. District Court Western District of New York
U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia
U.S. District Court District of Connecticut
U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Circuit

Associations and Professional Activities

New York County Lawyers' Association

National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel

Federal Bar Council

Honors and Awards

“AV Preeminent” rating from the Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ [see text to the left]

New York Metro Super Lawyer, Appellate Specialty, 2012-2016 [see text to the left]

Education

J.D., Cum Laude, New York University School of Law, New York, New York, 1971
Editor, New York University Law Review, 1970 - 1971
Order of the Coif
John Norton Pomeroy Scholar

B.A., Brown University, 1967