At a Glance
Brian D. Gwitt is Chair of the Litigation Department and General Counsel for the firm. His practice involves business and commercial litigation, including contract disputes, Uniform Commercial Code, corporate governance, intellectual property/trade secret litigation, bankruptcy litigation, real estate litigation and debtor/creditor matters. Mr. Gwitt has also handled multiple securities disputes, including assisting clients with responding to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigations and representing broker-dealers, brokers and investors in court disputes and arbitration proceedings before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). A large part of Mr. Gwitt's practice involves handling critical matters for businesses, including seeking/defending against temporary restraining orders and preliminary injunctions, and handling other forms of emergency relief. Mr. Gwitt has successfully handled multiple lawsuits and arbitrations through verdict. He has a multi-jurisdictional practice, handling cases in federal and state courts in New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, California, Texas, Utah, Vermont and other states.
Mr. Gwitt has been recognized each year as a Super Lawyer for Upstate New York for Business Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine since 2013. He is also consistently listed in Business First of Buffalo's "Legal Elite of Western New York," and in 2016 was voted by his peers to the “Top 10 Legal Elite Honorable Mention” list. Mr. Gwitt has an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell, receiving the highest possible rating by his peers and by the judiciary in both legal ability and ethical standards.
State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., Magna Cum Laude
State University of New York at Fredonia, B.A., Summa Cum Laude
Mr. Gwitt is admitted to practice in all state and federal courts located in New York, all state and federal courts located in Indiana, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the U.S. Tax Court.
Key Representative Matters
- Obtained a jury verdict in favor of a defendant on all claims asserted by a plaintiff and on all counterclaims asserted by the defendant against the plaintiff. The case involved breach of contract, conversion and fraud claims arising from an industrial hemp business venture. The case was tried in front of a jury in Monroe County.
- Obtained a significant arbitration award for an owner in a construction defect matter involving an ice rink facility.
- Obtained an approximately $1 million jury verdict in a breach of contract/sale of goods case. The case was tried in front of a jury in Chautauqua County.
- Successfully obtained a judgment at the trial level, later affirmed on appeal, in favor of a Niagara County assisted living home developer that allowed a multi-million dollar development project to go forward.
- Obtained a net jury verdict in favor of a seller of products that denied the plaintiff buyer's claims under Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code and awarded the seller damages on its counterclaims for nonpayment. The case was tried in front of a jury in Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Successfully represented a well-known tour boat company in two "bet the company" lawsuits and obtained judgments that allowed the company to stay in business.
- Defended a professional race car driver against a wrongful death lawsuit arising from an accident at a race track.
- Represented a former professional athlete in a lawsuit against the perpertrators of a Ponzi scheme and in an arbitration against an investment advisor and obtained favorable settlements.
- Has successfully represented both employers and employees in injunctive matters involving noncompetition, non solicitation and nondisclosure covenants.
- Has successfully obtained “Yellowstone” injunctions in commercial real estate disputes.
- Has successfully handled FINRA arbitrations involving customer claims against financial advisors.
Mr. Gwitt is a past President of the U.B. Law Alumni Association, where he served on the Board since 2006. He is a member of the Erie County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. He is a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.
Mr. Gwitt currently serves as a director of the Sisters Hospital Foundation and of the Miracle League of Grand Island and Western New York. He is also a member of the finance committee for St. Benedict School located in Amherst, New York. Mr. Gwitt previously served as a director of the United Way for Buffalo and Erie County, where he sat on the Executive Committee and chaired the Advocacy Committee. Mr. Gwitt is very active in youth sports (he has 5 children) and coaches various basketball, baseball and soccer teams.