Cecelia’s practice focuses on dispute resolution in the commercial context and in the trust, estate, and elder law areas. She brings strategic thinking paired with strong advocacy to bear on your case.
The personalities and relationships among family members and the partners in closely held businesses greatly affect the dynamics of any dispute in these areas. Cecelia understands that the legal theories advocated in the courtroom have real world consequences for your business, your family, and your life. In each case, she works with the client to consider those consequences, risks, and benefits, and form a strategy that takes those factors into account.
In the trusts, estates, and elder law area, Cecelia has litigated a broad array of issues. She has worked on numerous estate and trust administration issues, representing both trustees and beneficiaries of those trusts in disputes regarding whether the fiduciary has acted appropriately in handling the trust or estate assets. She has defended trustees against challenges by beneficiaries to distributions and sophisticated tax planning strategies. She has represented clients in guardianship proceedings, and has litigated related issues such as a lack of capacity to execute legal documents, as well as issues of undue influence in the creation of powers of attorney, wills and trusts. She serves as a court-appointed guardian ad litem for those unable to adequately represent their own interests. She is a frequent speaker on trust and estate administration issues and litigation.
In the commercial context, Cecelia has frequently represented clients in negotiations and litigation with respect to challenging & defending business valuations, disputes among partners regarding management of the company, enforcing and challenging non-compete agreements, and other issues that frequently arise in the context of closely-held businesses. She also has significant experience advocating for clients in contract disputes with parties outside the business.
Cecelia appears in front of a wide variety of judicial forums on behalf of her clients, including federal court, Surrogate’s Court, other state trial courts, state appellate courts, administrative forums, and in arbitration. She has also argued before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on a consumer rights – consumer protection case. Despite her comfort with courtroom advocacy, however, Cecelia knows that for many individuals, the courtroom is the last place they want to be. Therefore she is just as persistent in advocating for you behind the scenes in settlement negotiations as she is in the courtroom.