Rondiene E. Novitz is the managing partner of Cruser, Mitchell, Novitz, Sanchez, Gaston & Zimet, LLP in New York and serves as the chair of the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Rondiene’s practice focuses on complex civil litigation. She handles a broad range of civil matters in State and Federal Court both at the trial and Appellate Court level.
Rondiene specializes in litigation, representing corporate entities and municipalities in a variety of cases spanning from employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and First Amendment Rights to NY labor Law, products liability, professional liability, general liability, and catastrophic automobile claims. She has tried a diverse variety of cases to verdict in both State and Federal Court, with a great record for defense verdicts in both venues.
Rondiene’s prior experience as trial counsel with a plaintiff’s firm gives her an edge on her adversaries, having handled cases from their perspective. She is known for her ability to think outside the box and provide effective results.
Quinnipiac University School of Law, Hamden, Connecticut, J.D. 1996, cum laude
SUNY Oneonta, Oneonta, NY, B.S., 1992
Areas of practice, , , , , , , , , , , , ,
100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
New York, 1996
New Jersey, 1996
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
New York State Bar Association
Nassau Bar Association
National Association of Women Business Owners
International Amusement and Leisure Defense Association
Roller Skating Association International
Melissa McCarthy v. Levittown School District – Federal District Court, Eastern District of New York, Judge Leonard Wexler, July 2015. Plaintiff, a librarian at Levittown Schools, claimed she was terminated due to her age, in violation of the ADEA. She additionally claims she was denied due process, as the elementary school excessed librarians and then established a new program substantially similar to the library program taught by younger reading teachers. Plaintiff claimed she was entitled to a hearing to determine whether she should get the reading position. The defendants established her duties were not substantially similar under the law. After a five-day trial, Judge Wexler directed a verdict in favor of Defendants.
Jennifer Coleman v. Cold Spring Harbor School District, Division of Human Rights. Complaint dismissed after hearing, April 13, 2015. Complainant, Jennifer Coleman, claimed she was treated differently because of her gender. She was the only female substitute custodian at Cold Spring Harbor School District and she claimed that, due to her gender, she did not get called as much as the male custodians. Additionally, she applied for a position as a full time custodian on three separate occasions and did not receive any of the open full time positions; the positions were all given to males. The District proved Complainant was not the most qualified for the positions and that the positions were given to the most qualified candidates, regardless of gender.
Justin Shehab v. Michael Powers, Cox Enterprises and Cox Media Group, Supreme Court, Nassau County, October 23, 2014. Defense verdict in a motor vehicle accident case, defending Cox Radio and WBAB. The WBAB van driver was accused of pulling the vehicle off the road, suddenly and unexpectedly stopping without cause, 600 feet from the nearest intersection. Plaintiff, represented by the law firm Torgan, Cooper & Aaron, put up nine witnesses, including their expert, Robert Genna, Director of the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory. The jury deliberated just one hour and found that the WBAB driver was not negligent. Plaintiff suffered extensive injuries, including a fractured femur requiring surgery and a fractured wrist that required several surgeries and which developed necrosis. The demand was $2,000,000. No offer was ever made.
Natalie Solomon v. Action Art League, Supreme Court, New York County, July 14, 2014. Defense verdict in NY State Supreme Court in a case involving a woman attending the Figment Interactive Art Festival who suffered a fractured hip & wrist when she fell 15 feet from an exhibit. Plaintiff argued the Art League was responsible for her injuries for failing to properly secure the art & allowing it to be situated in a manner not originally contemplated. Defendants argued plaintiff assumed the risk by climbing on the exhibit. The jury found no liability on the defendants and did not even reach the question as to whether Plaintiff assumed the risk.
McIntyre v. Longwood Central School District, United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit June 4, 2010, Slip Copy 2010 WL 2222469. Court of Appeals affirmed lower court decision granting summary judgment.
Shultz v. Port Jefferson Union Free School District, June, 2010. Division found for Respondent in this trial before the New York State Division of Human Rights. Petitioner claimed he was terminated due to a disability. The school district maintained his position became obsolete.
Monahan v. Shoreham-Wading River Central School District, April, 2010. Defense Verdict in a case venued in Federal Court, Eastern District. Plaintiff, a special education teacher, brought suit under Title VII claiming she was terminated from a Long Island School District as a result of her gender and pregnancy. The Plaintiff had received positive evaluations the first two years of teaching at the District and then once she became pregnant she received a negative evaluation leading to her termination. The School District denied knowledge of Plaintiff’s pregnancy at the time of her negative evaluation and stated her termination was based on her poor performance.
Duck v. Port Jefferson Union Free School District, December, 2009. Defense verdict in a Civil Rights action in the Federal Court, Eastern District. Plaintiff, a 61 year old woman claimed violations of the Age Discrimination Employment Act (ADEA), Title VII gender discrimination, The Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and gender and age discrimination under New York State Law after Defendants School District and Superintendant failed to hire Plaintiff for a coaching position after a 31 year tenure at the District. Plaintiff requested back pay, liquidated damages, punitive damages, emotional distress damages and over $165,000 in legal fees.
Lisbona v. Guidice, et al., May, 2009. Defense verdict in a motor vehicle accident case. Plaintiff, claimed catastrophic injuries including horizontal diplopia requiring several surgeries, dental injuries, headaches and herniated discs. The total claimed medical damages were in excess of $200,000. Our client, a limousine driver, struck Plaintiff’s vehicle in the rear while it was disabled on the John F. Kennedy Expressway in Queens, New York. Our client maintained Plaintiff did not have his hazards on at the time of the accident.
Gaspard v. Board of Education of City of New York, 47 A.D.3d 758, 850 N.Y.S.2d 550 2008 Slip Op 00451, N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. January 22, 2008. Court of Appeals affirmed lower court decision to grant Summary Judgment.
Rafano v. Patchogue Medford School District, 2008 WL 2572663 E.D.N.Y June 26, 2008. Grant of Summary Judgment.
Marino v. Shoreham-Wading River Central School Dist., 2008 WL 5068639, E.D.N.Y., November 20, 2008. Grant Motion to Dismiss on the pleadings.
Cuccio v. Ciotkosz, 43 A.D. 3d 850, 841 N.Y.S.2d 686, 2007 N.Y. Slip Op. 06620 N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept., September 11, 2007. Court of Appeals affirmed lower court decision granting Summary Judgment.
Awards and Professional Recognition
Named to NY Metro Super Lawyers Annual List of Top Attorneys, 2012-2020