Hon. Stephen G. Crane (Ret.)

T: 212-751-2700
F: 212-751-4099

Locations

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Real Property
Judge Crane was the Senior Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department and has served as a Justice of the Supreme Court, New York County since 1984. Justice Crane presided as one of the New York County Justices in the Commercial Division handling complex commercial cases from 1995 to 2001, and Administrative Judge, Civil Branch, Supreme Court, New York County from 1996 to 2001. During his judicial service and since becoming a Neutral with JAMS, Justice Crane has had a wealth of experience in the trial, appeal, and mediation of a broad range of matters involving real property issues. Widely respected for being knowledgeable, thoughtful, and fair, Justice Crane is most comfortable in the middle of conflict, helping parties sort out their problems and reach an amicable resolution.

Representative Matters

  • Adverse claims of two decedents’ estates to the proceeds of sale of a cooperative apartment occupied for decades by one decedent but the stock to which was issued in the name of the other
  • Challenge to denial of release from in rem foreclosure of real property of a decedent who was incompetent when taxes came due and when city foreclosed
  • Claim for property damage against cooperative corporation due to flooding caused by water seepage from plantings on terrace of apartment above, with claims by the corporation against terrace tenant-cooperator
  • Claim of a mortgage assignee to the right to correct errors in a referee’s report that had been confirmed on motion of the assignor
  • Claim to refund of multi-million dollar down payment on a contract to assign a net lease with parties negotiating the purchase of the underlying fee
  • Claim, arising from purchase at auction of residential cooperative apartments, to the availability of notices of pendency by arguing for treatment of the apartments as realty rather than real property
  • Constructive trust claim over industrial real property conveyed by a mother to her son for his promise to sell and use the proceeds to fund an annuity for her
  • Controversy over applicability of a right of first refusal provision in the by-laws of a condominium association to the resale of an apartment by a foreclosing mortgagee
  • Controversy over the siting of a city garage and fueling facility claimed to violate the fair share criteria of the New York City Charter and the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure
  • Dispute between a contract vendee and seller of real property that was damaged by fire over reimbursement for the cost of repairs; seller performed the repairs that vendee had agreed to make
  • Dispute over residential use under the Loft Law of premises leased for commercial purposes
  • Limited partnership derivative action to oust general partner of a partnership the sole asset of which was a net lease of a commercial building
  • Limited partnership dispute between limited partners and managing general partner over division of the proceeds of sale of a commercial building
  • Mediated numerous sophisticated real property disputes including controversies between a sponsor of a cooperative conversion and the board of the cooperative corporation regarding the sale of sponsor-retained units; the issues between a cooperative board and the owner of shares attributed to the commercial unit; the failure to close a multi-million dollar sale of a shopping center; and the breach of a licensing agreement for the use of the name of a well-known developer on a new building project
  • Mediated the work out of hundreds of million dollars of mortgage liens and mezzanine loans
  • Neutral evaluation of claim by cooperative board against prior directors for various violations of statute and by laws concerning replacement of managing agent and payment of legal fees resulting in alleged waste
  • Mediated forbearance of loan on property under development to allow for build out of commercial space where formal terms of agreement were separately mediated including a designation of the mediator as arbiter of any future disputes under the formal agreement
  • Claim for trespass damages when a developer of adjacent property poured cement for foundation over the property line
  • Claims against net lessee of office building for failure to repair for obsolescence with counter claim for withholding lessee's profit share pursuant to the lease
  • Claim for brokerage commission on sale of hotel
  • Claims involving environmental site remediations
  • Claim by terminated employee in charge of product development to her share of profits interests in nine building projects being developed by respondents
  • Claim to return of deposit on contract to purchase real property dependent on interpretations of clause regulating the purchaser’s limited right to terminate

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • Robert L. Haig Award for Distinguished Public Service, New York State Bar Association
  • Jack Newton Lerner Award for outstanding contributions to Continuing Legal Education, New York County Lawyers’ Association
  • Louis J. Capozzoli Gavel Award, New York County Lawyers’ Association
  • Distinguished Service Award, Law Secretaries & Law Assistants Collegium
  • Harold A. Stevens Jewel Award, New York County Lawyers’ Association–Tort Section
  • Past President, Cornell Law Association and Past Chair, Cornell Law School Advisory Council
  • Past Member, Pattern Jury Instructions Committee of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York
  • New York County Lawyers’ Association
    • Co-Chair, Institute on Continuing Legal Education; Chair, History Committee
    • Member: Public Service Awards Committee, Cromwell Award Committee 
    • Past Member: Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Criminal Justice Section (founding co-chair)
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Past Chair, Committee on Civil Practice Law and Rules
    • Member: Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Executive Committee, Dispute Resolution Section Executive Committee
    • Former Member, House of Delegates 
    • Life Fellow, New York State Bar Foundation
    • Member of former Commission on Legal Services for the Middle Income
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America and New York State Trial Lawyers Association
  • Honorary Board Member, formerly Member of New York Regional Board and its Executive Committee, and Chair of By-Laws Committee, Anti-Defamation League
  • National Center for State Courts: Project Advisory Committee for A Manual for Managing Notorious Cases, 1990-1992
  • Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the City of New York and Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York
  • Member, Board of Justices, First Judicial District
  • Former Chair, Board of Trustees, New York County Public Access Law Library
  • Museum Memberships:  The Guggenheim Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art; The Frick Collection; The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; The Museum of Jewish Heritage; Frank Lloyd Wright Association
  • Neutral, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR)

Background and Education

  • Justice, Supreme Court, New York County, 1984-2007 (Supreme Court Justice, 1990-2007; Acting Supreme Court Justice, 1984-1989)
    • Senior Associate Justice, Appellate Division-Second Department, 2008
    • Associate Justice, Appellate Division-Second Department, designated 2005
    • Additional Justice, Appellate Division-Second Department, designated 2001
    • Administrative Judge of Supreme Court, Civil Branch, New York County, 1996-2001
  • Judge, Criminal Court, City of New York, 1981-1984
  • Partner, Glass Howard and Crane, New York, 1980-1981
  • Counsel to the Office of Court Administration, New York, 1979-1980
  • Chief Law Assistant, Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, New York, 1976-1979 (Senior Law Assistant, 1966-1976)
  • Associate, Poletti Freidin Prashker Feldman & Gartner, New York, 1963-1966
  • J.D., with distinction, Cornell Law School, 1963
  • B.S., Cornell University, 1960

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