MEMBERS OF THE FIRM

Matthew J. Brief  focuses on white collar criminal litigation and commercial civil litigation.  Prior to co-founding Brief Kesselman Knapp & Schulman, LLP ("BKKS") in 1991, he was a senior litigation associate at Rosenman & Colin.  He previously served as a prosecutor in the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and the United States Department of Justice's Organized Crime Strike Force and was also an associate at Shearman & Sterling.  He graduated from Union College with a B.A. in 1977 and from the National Law Center of George Washington University (J.D. with honors) in 1980.  Since 1999, Mr. Brief has twice been appointed by the New York State Athletic Commission as a monitor to oversee the business activities of prominent boxing promoters.  Mr. Brief has appeared on numerous occasions as an expert commentator on the Courtroom Television Network and lectured at various metropolitan area law and graduate schools on criminal law and trial advocacy.  He has repeatedly been recognized in the field of Criminal Defense in the publication New York Super Lawyers, most recently in the 2012-2014 New York Metro Editions. 

Mr. Brief is formerly a member of the City Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and now sits on its Judiciary Committee which assesses the qualifications of many of the nominees and candidates to the city, state and federal bench in New York.  He has twice served on Special Committees of the City Bar Association to evaluate candidates for nomination to New York's Court of Appeals. 
 
In 2015 Mr. Brief was given the Jacob Burns Award for Extraordinary Service to George Washington University Law School in furthering its academic and civic mission. 
 
Mr. Brief has tried both civil and criminal cases and argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, including United States v. Schwimmer, 882 F.2d 22, a matter of first impression in which Mr. Brief represented the United States and argued successfully against Professor Alan Dershowitz.

Richard E. Carmen  focuses on civil litigation in substantive areas of law including commercial, negotiable instruments and real estate, including the representation of condominium/homeowners’ associations and cooperative corporation boards, estate and trust proceedings, and matrimonial and related actions and proceedings, with a subspecialty in copyright, trademark and related intellectual property law areas. Prior to joining Brief Carmen & Kleiman, LLP ("BCK"), he was a member of the firm of Justice Carmen & Kleiman LLP ("JCK"), a general practice firm. He graduated from New York Law School, receiving his J.D. in 1979, and received his B.A. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Mr. Carmen is a member of the Westchester County Bar Association.

Ira Kleiman  has engaged in a varied general practice for close to 30 years.  He has extensive experience in residential and commercial real estate transactions and has represented real estate developers, condominium associations and boards of co-operative corporations.  He has represented clients in all New York Courts including Surrogate's Court, in such diverse proceedings as probate, administration, accountings, will and trust contests; Supreme Court, including commercial and contract litigation, guardianship proceedings and contested corporate dissolutions; the Appellate Division, where he has drafted briefs for and argued Appeals before the First and Second Departments as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts.  Mr. Kleiman has further conducted hearings before the Environmental Control Board and other governmental agencies. 

One primary focus of Mr. Kleiman's practice has been Estate Planning, including the drafting of Wills and Trusts and Elder Law.  Mr. Kleiman is the author of a chapter entitled "Serving Elder Clients Effectively" in the recent Thomson Reuters / Aspatore book Elder Law Client Strategies in New YorkPrior to joining BCK, he was a member of JCK.  From 1983 to 1988 he was an associate with the firm of Heller Horowitz & Feit, PC.  He received his B.S. from Johns Hopkins University in 1978, graduated from the Georgetown Law Center in 1981, and is a member of the Bar of the District of Columbia as well as New York State.  Published cases include Yatter v. Continental Owners Corp., 22 AD3d 573, 802 NYS2d 239 (2d Dept. 2005) and Sciales v. Foulke, 217 AD2d 693, 630 NYS2d 635 (2d Dept. 1995).

AREAS OF SPECIALTY
LITIGATION

White Collar Criminal Defense/S.E.C. Enforcement

  • Representation of business owners, defense contractors, corporate executives, labor leaders, attorneys, accountants and other professionals in state and federal investigative, trial and appellate matters (including the state Appellate Division and Court of Appeals, federal district courts and the Second Circuit).

  • Representation of corporate executives, brokerage firms and accounting firms in investigations by various state and federal agencies, including the SEC.

Securities Arbitrations

  • Representation of institutions and individuals in NYSE and NASD arbitrations throughout the country.

Commercial/Contract Disputes

  • Representation of banking, brokerage, media, manufacturing companies and individuals in collection and business litigations.

  • Representation of Fortune 500 manufacturers in contract disputes which included claims of fraudulent inducement and defenses involving limitation of liability clauses.

  • Representation of major banks and Fortune 500 manufacturers in litigations and arbitrations involving U.S. and foreign letters of credit.

  • Representation of individuals and privately-held businesses in a variety of commercial disputes.

Employment Matters

  • Representation of both employers and employees in litigations and negotiations concerning claims of wrongful termination, breach of covenants not to compete, unresolved severance issues and violation of civil rights issues.

Real Estate

  • Representation of lenders in mortgage foreclosure and alleged "lender liability" matters.

  • Representation of lenders in enforcement of mortgages, promissory notes and related security instruments.

  • Representation of real estate developers/owners in litigations arising from multi-million dollar contracts of sale.

  • Representation of condominium boards/homeowners’ associations and Boards of Directors of cooperative corporations in litigations/disputes involving unit owners and shareholders and in contract actions.

  • Representation of landlords in commercial and residential summary proceedings and plenary actions involving leaseholds.

Matrimonial and Family Law Matters

  • Representation of clients in matrimonial actions and family law proceedings.

Intellectual Property Matters

  • Representation of clients in negotiation of licensing agreements, in prosecution of trademark applications and in copyright, trademark, unfair competition and related tort litigations.

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS
  • Representation of landlords and tenants in the drafting and negotiating of leases for commercial and residential space.

  • Representation of sellers and purchasers in numerous commercial and residential real estate transfers.

  • Representation of lenders and borrowers in financing transactions secured by mortgages on real property, including the drafting and negotiation of various types of credit, loan, mortgage and security agreements, promissory notes, guarantees, collateral assignments and related documentation.

  • Representation of public real estate/financial institutions in both public and private real estate syndications.

  • General representation of several real estate companies located in the New York metropolitan area.

WILLS, TRUSTS, ESTATE PLANNING & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION
  • Representation of individuals and corporate entities in the area of estate planning and asset preservation, including the preparation of estate plans and the preparation of all requisite instruments, including wills and trusts.

  • Representation of estates in all aspects of probate and estate administration.

CORPORATE
  • Representation of corporations, partnerships, limited partnerships and limited liability companies, and their respective shareholders, partners, limited partners and limited liability company members in all aspects of merger, acquisition and divestiture transactions.

  • Representation of lenders and borrowers in all aspects of financing corporate transactions, including the drafting and negotiation of loan agreements, security agreements, promissory notes, guarantees, collateral assignments and debt securities.

  • Representation of corporate entities in various forms of securities offerings.

  • Representation of entities in joint ventures, corporate "roll-ups" and strategic alliance investment transactions.

  • Representation of various businesses in obtaining private funding, including the negotiation and preparation of loan and equity agreements.

  • Representation of entities investing in various private businesses including venture capital transactions.

  • Representation of employers, employees, consultants, and independent contractors in the negotiation and drafting of employment, consulting and contracting agreements.

  • Representation of various Internet companies including transactions involving the private placement of securities of Internet start up companies and the preparation and negotiation of web site agreements.