In the News

NY prison system backs down after Muslim corrections officers sue over refusal to shave their beards (Aug. 27, 2019)

Attorney Joshua Moskovitz, who represented both men, praised the decision. “Immediately reinstating them was the only right thing to do,” he said.

“DOCCS must now adopt policies and guidance that ensure corrections officers are given reasonable accommodations for their religious beliefs, and are not afraid to request accommodations. No one should have to chose between their religion and their job.”

Muslim Officers Sue Over Beard Suspensions, Are Reinstated (Aug. 27, 2019)

The lawsuit, which argued the agency discriminated against the two men, is the "sole reason that they're getting their jobs back," said their attorney, Joshua Moskovitz.

Fishkill Correctional officers sue state claiming religious discrimination (Aug. 27, 2019)

The officers' New York City-based lawyer, Joshua Moskovitz, told the Journal that Sughrim and Feliciano decided to file a class action suit because other officers "have been subjected to what they say is DOCCS' religious intolerance."

Muslim prison guards claim they were suspended for refusing to shave beards (Aug. 26, 2019)

Two Muslim men are suing the State of New York and the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision for discrimination, claiming they were suspended by higher-ups at the Fishkill Correctional Facility for refusing to shave their beards on religious grounds.

Lawyer Joshua Moskovitz said he learned late Thursday that his clients would be reinstated first thing Tuesday morning.

“There is no question that their reinstatement was the result of our lawsuit,” he said.

Settlement in suit involving NYPD cop known as ‘Bullethead’ after DA declined to prosecute (June 27, 2019)

But Joshua Moskovitz, the lawyer for the family that sued, called Grieco a “bad apple” and dismissed the claim that a proactive cop in a neighborhood where guns are a problem is more likely to land as a defendant that the average officer.

“It might explain one or two lawsuits,” he said. “But what about 31? Not every anti-crime cop has 31 suits.”

On the morning of the incident, the officers appeared at the Linden Boulevard two-family home where Carl Waites, 26, and Sherry Hines, 25, were asleep with their 6-year-old twins in the family’s first-floor apartment. Hines’ sister Monique, 26, was there spending the night, as was the sister’s 14-year-old niece and a family friend.

Police said they had a warrant for the home based on information that Waites had a gun. The cops tore the apartment apart, according to the lawsuit, after handcuffing the adults and the niece. The twins woke up during the raid and were crying hysterically, Moskovitz said.

A law enforcement source said marijuana was found in the friend’s handbag, but no gun was found in the apartment.

Moskovitz said police then went to the upstairs apartment, where someone else lives, and found a loaded gun and ammunition outside that apartment’s door.

Accounts differ greatly from there on.

Moskovitz claims Grieco instructed Waites to say the gun was his or police would call the Administration for Children’s Services to take away his kids. Waites went along with the story, but he did so before he was read his rights. After he, Sherry and Monique were arrested, the District Attorney’s office declined to prosecute the case.

“There was no doubt the gun would be suppressed,” said Moskovitz. “They would have no case."

Feds: Charity head looted agency that helped disabled (June 26, 2019)

Defense lawyer Andrew Bernstein told jurors that not all the charges were in dispute, but said Abboud did not conspire with the construction consultant, and payments to Bailey were mischaracterized by prosecutors.

Bailey, he said, worked hard and earned all the money she was paid as Human First’s second-in-command, and made her own decision to pay Abboud.

“It was Ms. Bailey’s money and Ms. Bailey’s alone,” he said. “She had the right to give it to whoever she wanted, including her friend, Ms. Abboud.” Bernstein said.

Street Soldiers, “R. Kelly Media Circus” (March 15, 2019)

BCM Partner Lance Clarke appeared on HOT97’s Street Soldiers to discuss the legal issues surrounding R. Kelly’s criminal case.

 
 

New York Daily News, “Judge slams city lawyers, NYPD for misleading info on Bronx man who died of asthma attack while in police custody” (Feb. 26, 2019)

"The urgency heard in the officers' radio calls shows they knew from the very beginning that BJ needed immediate lifesaving aid," Brown's attorneys Joshua Moskovitz and Jason Leventhal said in a statement to the Daily News.

"We believe every New Yorker will be outraged to learn that police officers don't have to perform CPR or use an AED. This policy – that it's optional for police officers to use their training to save lives – should shock the conscience of our community," they said.

WCBS News Radio 880, “Lawsuit: NYPD Failed To Notify Taxi Driver’s Family Of Death For Days” (Nov. 30, 2018)

BCM Partner Joshua Moskovitz appeared on WCBS-AM to discuss the case of Magdy Abouzaid.

 
 

New York Post, “NYPD didn’t notify family of cabbie’s death for days: suit” (Nov. 29, 2018)

The relatives of a cabdriver who died of heart attack while changing a tire is suing the NYPD for taking two days to notify them — delaying their right to perform time-sensitive traditional Muslim rituals, they claim.

Magdy Abouzaid, 61, died on Aug. 30, 2017, on the shoulder of the Henry Hudson Parkway.

According to the family’s Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit, cops, “recklessly listed Mr. Abouzaid as an unidentified person — even though Mr. Abouzaid’s hack license was displayed prominently inside his cab,” and his wallet with ID and phone were in the car.

The New York Times, “The Lawyers Protecting the N.Y.P.D. Play Hardball. Judges Are Calling Them Out.” (Sept. 12, 2018)

Last month, losing patience, a Manhattan judge ordered the lawyers to explain the delays in a formal memorandum, adding that they needed to get it personally signed by Ms. Miller to ensure “she has approved.”

“There have been fights about the most unnecessary things,” Joshua Moskovitz, one of Ms. Brown’s lawyers, said. “There have been fights about things they know they can’t win and fights where it seems like they’re just fighting. It actually feels tactical at times. It happens too often to be coincidental.”

New York Daily News, “Brooklyn cop with long lawsuit history accused of civil rights violations again” (Sept. 8, 2018)

The family’s lawyer, Joshua Moskovitz told the Daily News that it’s not clear where the firearm was found and that arrest paperwork indicated cops had a search warrant, but he has yet to see it.

“They were outraged and incredibly embarrassed,” Moskovitz explained. “Imagine the anxiety of having your entire family hauled out of their home, not fully clothed, to be taken down to a police precinct with your children.”

Moskovitz said the family was further angered to learn that one of the officers — Grieco — had a history of misconduct accusations against him.

* * * *

Moskovitz urged the NYPD to take Grieco, a 12-year veteran, off the street.

“It’s an impossible coincidence that so many arrests of his have led to charges not being brought, or being dismissed if, in fact, they were good searches,” Moskovitz said. “Any reasonable employer with an employee with this kind of record would see that these complaints add up to a problem.”

The Journal News/Lohud, "Westchester County sexual harassment cases: Claims of stalking, vulgar talk" (July 22, 2018)

Josh Moskovitz, an attorney with the New York City firm Bernstein, Clark & Moskovitz, has specialized in public sector discrimination cases. The biggest barrier for reports is fear of retaliation from clients, potential clients and witnesses – that hasn't changed in the #metoo era.

"People who would’ve reported before are more empowered," he said. "But people who were afraid of retaliation before are equally afraid of retaliation."

Having a strong anti-harassment policy is a start, but municipalities have to show they'll follow through on them and take accusers' concerns seriously.

"They want an ability to be able to go to someone and voice a concern about them," Moskovitz said.

The Journal News/Lohud, "Harrison police chief interfered in sex harassment probe: attorney" (June 8, 2018)

Josh Moskovitz, an attorney for Abbate, said he understands that the town was notified of the existence of the recently-surfaced tape during its investigation. Town officials haven't commented on the specifics of the investigation, so it isn't clear if they were given the recording or if it was a factor in the findings.

Moskovitz responded to the findings in a letter to the town Monday. He said Harrison should hire an independent investigator to lead a new probe.

“A trustworthy investigation – one led by an independent committee and not lawyers working to defend the Town – is needed to bring transparency and accountability to this matter,” Moskovitz said in the letter.

Part of the recording was transcribed in Moskovitz's letter, with the attorney using the alias “Jane” for the womanwho owned the cellphone.

Moskovitz said the audio shows Olsey acknowledging at least parts of Abbate’s complaints. Abbate had accused the former chief of texting her sexual rap lyrics, and in the recording Olsey is heard discussing sending rap lyrics. He says that what is on “Jane’s” phone would corroborate Abbate’s story.

New York Law Journal, "Judge Upholds as Constitutional US Law Protecting Access to Religious Places" (May 30, 2018)

The Falun Gong is represented by Terri Marsh of the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Law Foundation; Jonathan Moore and Keith Szczepanski of Beldock Levine & Hoffman; and Joshua Moskovitz of Bernstein Clarke & Moskovitz.

Moskovitz said that the two sides in the case have held settlement talks, but said Weinstein’s decision was significant in that the judge recognized the role that religious institutions play in providing social services.

“I think what he did was the right decision,” Moskovitz said.

New York Law Journal, "Judge Sets Stage for Falun Gong's Religious Bias Case Against 'Anti-Cult' Group" (April 23, 2018)

The Falun Gong’s legal team includes Terri Marsh of the Washington, D.C.-based Human Rights Law Foundation; Jonathan Moore and Keith Szczepanski of Beldock Levine & Hoffman; and Joshua Moskovitz of Bernstein Clarke & Moskovitz.

“It’s, at its heart, a religious and spiritual practice that is deserving of recognition under the laws of the U.S. in this case,” said Moskovitz in an interview regarding Weinstein’s finding on whether or not the Falun Gong is considered a religion.

The Journal News/Lohud, "Officer sues Harrison over police department promotions" (April 23, 2018)

“It is obvious that the decision not to permanently designate (Abbate) a Detective and instead promote a less-experienced officer was retaliatory,” the lawsuit, filed by Abbate’s attorney Joshua Moskovitz, said.

* * * *

Moskovitz, Abbate's attorney, said he is aware that there is discussion within the department that some officers were pressured by superiors to defer interest in the promotions. He said he'd expect that to come up if the deferments are used as a defense by the town.

He criticized the town for not responding to two letters he sent about the promotions and called it improper that elected officials would ignore Abbate's concerns.

"I don't think it's OK just to sit silent and force people to have to go to court in order to get any kind of a response from their own government," Moskovitz said.

The Journal News/Lohud, "Harrison launches investigation of sex harassment claims against police Chief Michael Olsey" (Jan. 12, 2018)

Abbate's attorney, Joshua Moskovitz, said he was disappointed by her interview Thursday by the town attorney's office.

"I was hopeful that the interview would go well and relieve some concerns that I had about how they would approach it, but to me it just smacked of retaliation," he said Thursday night.

* * * *

Moskovitz said Harrison attorneys demanded that Abbate turn over her town-issued cellphone as part of the investigation, and that a police officer followed her home to take it from her.

"I found it deeply troubling," he said. "We were treated very much like we had already filed a lawsuit and they were the defense attorneys, or like Det. Abbate was the one being investigated."

Moskovitz said the town indicated that Olsey would be interviewed at some point. He said he's not sure if Abbate will pursue a lawsuit.

New York Daily News, "Bronx man says he spent over a year in Rikers for murder charge based on lying witness" (Sept. 11, 2017)

Ivan Martinez, 25, might have been wrongly convicted if the witness, Woodrow Ward, didn't recant, according to Joshua Moskovitz, Martinez's attorney in a lawsuit against the NYPD.

* * * *

Moskovitz, though, said police acted "egregiously" and that arrests and prosecutions based on one witness are far too common.
"This is not unusual, unfortunately," he said.

Newsday, "NYPD reinstates Muslim officer who refused to shave beard" (June 30, 2016)

Joshua Moskovitz, one of Syed’s lawyers, lauded the reversal of course.

“What makes New York City unique are the many cultures and religions represented here,” he said. “By embracing those differences and having officers of all walks of life in positions at every level of the department, the NYPD will be a better and more effective police department.”

CBS News, "Judge to NYPD: Pay Muslim officer who sued over beard length" (June 22, 2016)

Attorney Joshua Moskovitz, representing Syed, told Castel the department's policy violates the First Amendment and threatens Syed's job, his retirement benefits and his reputation. He said the department took Syed's shield and weapon Tuesday before he "was escorted out in front of his friends and colleagues."

New York Daily News, "Investor accused of burglarizing ex-wife’s home says he was concerned about daughter’s safety after seeing sexy Instagram photo of ex on a beach" (May 22, 2016)

But Asensio's lawyer, Andrew M.J. Bernstein, said his client went to the apartment a short time earlier than when he was scheduled to pick up their 11-year-old daughter that day because he didn't know if the girl was safe.

"Mr. Asensio is an excellent father who loves his daughter very much. On the date of the incident, he committed no crime," said the attorney from Bernstein & Clarke PLLC. "On the contrary, he acted as any responsible parent would under the circumstances. He did not know who, if anyone, was watching his daughter."

New York Daily News, "Jets star Brandon Marshall's accuser tears up as she recalls being punched outside a Midtown night club" (Apr. 5, 2016)

The plaintiff's attorney, Joshua Moskovitz, used similar footage during Myles' testimony to show Marshall extending his arm in what appeared to be the direction of Myles, though it was tough to tell whether he touched her, grabbed her or hit her.

New York Daily News, "Retired teacher says disagreement with East New York superintendent led to a night in jail that left him traumatized" (Apr. 1, 2016) 

Maiglow says Stallings Harte had him busted in September 2015 after he wrote her a note asking if she was going to apologize for having brought him up on internal charges a year earlier.

The papers say she had accused Maiglow, who spent 17 years teaching at I.S. 292 in East New York, of harassing her and abusing Department of Education time when he participated in a September 2014 demonstration protesting the dismissal of the school's principal.

The charges against Maiglow were unsubstantiated, but his lawyers, Joshua Moskovitz and Keith Szczepanski, said that the disciplinary process took a toll on Maiglow's health, forcing him to retire in the spring of 2015.

After his disciplinary charges were tossed, Maiglow sent Harte emails last September asking her to apologize for making false allegations and saying he was filing complaints with city officials.

On Sept. 22, 2015, court papers say, Stallings Harte reported to cops that Maiglow had sent her three threatening emails "indicating that he knew where she and her family lived and vacationed."

New York Daily News, "NYPD hopes more potent pepper spray will lead to fewer police shootings, some critics say upgrade is recipe for disaster" (Jan. 27, 2016)

Joshua Moskovitz, another lawyer representing an OWS protesters in a pending lawsuit, said he hopes the NYPD will better train cops on how to use the spray.

"I'm sure there are occurrences where pepper spray is useful and has been used in an appropriate manner," he said. "I've only seen it in a way that exacerbates the situation."

Gothamist, "Court Rules That OWS Pepper Spray Victim Can Sue For Excessive Force" (Aug. 20, 2015)

"I thought the majority opinion was a very careful and well-reasoned opinion on the excessive force claim," Brown's lawyer, Joshua Moskovitz, told us this morning. "It's rare to see judges be so careful about scrutinizing the evidence on excessive force."

Moskovitz also said that the officers' lack of courtesy towards his client factored large in the reverse ruling. "If these officers had been the least bit courteous, none of this would have happened," he said. "Too many police-citizen interactions escalate in a way that needn't happen, and I think the jud[g]e recognized the need for civility in these types of encounters."

Moskovitz added that he "was disappointed about false arrest, because I think we have a valid claim."

New York Daily News, "Just days before first GOP debate, Donald Trump and advisers face past accusations of using racially charged language" (July 31, 2015)

"These are the same baseless comments that Donald Trump has been making for decades. The fact that he continues to self-promote through racially derogatory statements shows that his judgment is as poor today as it was back in 1989," said attorney Joshua Moskovitz of Beldock, Levine & Hoffman. 

New York Daily News, "Stuy Town sex assault suspect allegedly caught on video gets charged with 2 more crimes" (Oct. 21, 2014) 

Scott's lawyer, Andrew Bernstein, told Judge Abraham Clott his client has been driving a cargo van for a restaurant that caters events.
He asked for bail, citing Scott's strong ties to the community and his relatively clean criminal record.

"He has lived in New York and Long Island his entire life," Bernstein said.

New York Daily News, "Times Square 'Woody' won't 'toy' with plea deal over groping allegations" (Feb. 13, 2014)

Prosecutors offered a sex offender program in exchange for a guilty plea, but Vasquez's attorney, Andrew Bernstein, said it would be "highly inappropriate" in this case.