Swing Music, Dancing & Dining at the Cicada Club

Gary Greene, Esq. & his Big Band of Barristers
featuring vocalists
Mary Stanford & Roxy Darr
at the world-famous Cicada Club
617 S. Olive Street, Downtown Los Angeles
on Saturday, September 29
7:00 pm Doors Open
8:30 pm Showtime

Travel back in time to the 1930s, 40s and 50s for a night of fabulous entertainment at one of the top supper clubs in Los Angeles. Gary Greene, Esq. & His Big Band of Barristers is joining forces with retro jazz vocalist Mary Stanford to create an epic show featuring the Great American Songbook with music from the Golden Era of Big Bands at the world-famous Cicada Club. Sensational singer Roxy Darr will also be performing with the band. Enjoy an elegant evening of live big band music, swing dancing and dining inside the historic 1928 Art Deco Oviatt Building in downtown Los Angeles. They’re pulling out all their favorite tunes from the birth of swing through the Rat Pack era. It will be a night to remember!

Mary Stanford                                                                                         Roxy Darr

Buy Tickets

Admission tickets are $30, but for a limited time you can pay an Early Bird price of $25. (Admission tickets are required for each guest with or without dinner purchase.)

Dinner tickets are $64 (but not required). The price includes a delicious three-course dinner.

Kevin Kim is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Kevin Kim from Geraci Law!

Kevin will be speaking for us at our upcoming EB-5 Investor Based Immigration Conference in Los Angeles on October 4th and 5th! This is Kevin’s first year speaking with us, and we can’t wait for his presentation!

Kevin Kim is an experienced corporate and securities law attorney with Geraci Law Firm, dedicated to providing reliable and innovative legal solutions. Mr. Kim focuses his practice on real estate matters, focusing on private placements and other alternative investments for private lenders, real estate developers, and other real estate entrepreneurs. His work includes seeing that clients are compliant with the applicable securities laws, structuring strategic partnerships, and creating innovative solutions. Mr. Kim’s securities and corporate practice also includes preparing complex private and public securities offerings for alternative investment platforms for clients throughout the United States and abroad.

Mr. Kim has an extensive background in complex corporate transactions, private placement, and cross-border transactions. He has worked with major multi-national corporations, advising them on matters such as structuring strategic business acquisitions and private equity financing.
Mr. Kim is a passionate attorney who also understands his clients’ business needs and consistently seeks to find innovative solutions to further his clients’ businesses. Mr. Kim is also dedicated to providing effective legal service through effective communication with his clients. As an experienced transactions attorney, Mr. Kim understands the importance of traversing complex transactions and strives to develop innovative and strategic solutions while promoting his clients objectives.

Danielle Katzir is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Danielle Katzir from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, LLP!

Danielle will be speaking for us at our upcoming EB-5 Investor Based Immigration Conference in Los Angeles on October 4th and 5th! She was on the faculty for our 2013 and 2015 EB-5 Investor Based Immigration Conference, where the attendees loved her excellent presentation and good information. Welcome back, Danielle!

Danielle Katzir is a senior associate attorney in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where she is a member of the firm’s Real Estate Department. Ms. Katzir represents lenders, borrowers, opportunity and private equity funds, institutional and non-institutional real estate investors, developers and operators in a broad range of matters, including forming and representing joint ventures and negotiating joint venture agreements; acquisition, leasing and development, traditional construction, permanent and leasehold financing, preferred equity and mezzanine financing, and disposition of a wide range of commercial real estate asset classes, including vacant land, hotels, residential, office, retail and mixed-use buildings, shopping centers, and other commercial and residential properties throughout the United States.

Ms. Katzir’s practice also includes representation of borrowers and lenders alike in the negotiation of settlement agreements, forbearance agreements, loan modifications, restructures and other workout arrangements, as well as in the commencement and completion of foreclosure proceedings. In addition, Ms. Katzir has helped to spearhead the firm’s growing EB-5 practice and has significant experience in the structuring of EB-5 financings. In this capacity, Ms. Katzir has represented developers and institutional lenders in connection with almost $1 billion of high-profile EB-5 financings secured by hotel, office, residential and retail assets, including large mixed-use developments and master-planned communities, across the western United States.  Her role in these transactions includes negotiation of offering documentation, management agreements with regional centers and placement services arrangements with intermediaries and distributors. Ms. Katzir has also represented senior and junior lenders in intercreditor arrangements involving EB-5 financings, and has advised consumers of EB-5 funds regarding the integration of existing EB-5 programs into larger structured finance regime.

Ms. Katzir serves on the firm’s Los Angeles Area Diversity Committee.  Ms. Katzir’s pro bono efforts include the representation of non-profits in negotiating leases and general corporate matters, and representation of children and educational rights holders in completion of adoption proceedings and individualized education program hearings. She also works closely with Green Dot Charter Schools and the Los Angeles Parents Union in their collective efforts to implement statewide education policy reforms, including, most recently, representing them in connection with the “Parent Empowerment” legislation, signed into California law in January 2010.  Ms. Katzir currently serves as Board Member of the Center for Powerful Public Schools and on the College Spring Young Professionals Board.

Ms. Katzir earned her law degree in 2004 with Honors from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.  She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, with a concentration in Behavioral Sciences, magna cum laude in 2001 from the University of Pennsylvania.  In 2009, Ms. Katzir earned her Certificate of General Management from the University of California, Anderson School of Management, and received first prize in the National Capstone Case Competition in Technology Strategy.

Jessica DeNisi is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Jessica DeNisi from Klasko Immigration Law Partners, LLP!

Jessica will be speaking for us at our upcoming EB-5 Investor Based Immigration Conference in Los Angeles on October 4th and 5th! This is Jessica’s first year speaking with us, and we can’t wait for her presentation!

Jessica DeNisi is an Associate in the firm’s Philadelphia office and a member of the EB-5 practice. Jessica works with developers and investors who seek to use foreign investment capital under the EB-5 program to fund job creating projects either through the creation of a Regional Center or under an existing Regional Center. In preparing and filing I-924 and I-526 petitions, Jessica works with economists, business plan writers, corporate attorneys and market analysts to structure regional centers and their projects. Prior to practicing immigration law, Jessica worked as a tax and business attorney. Jessica completed her undergraduate studies at Wake Forest University and earned an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona. Jessica received her J.D. from Tulane University Law School and an LL.M. in taxation from the University of Washington School of Law. Jessica is admitted to practice in California and Louisiana.

Brian Aryai is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Brian Aryai from Icon Compliance Services, LLC!

Brian will be speaking for us at our upcoming EB-5 Investor Based Immigration Conference in California on October 4th and 5th! This is Brian’s first year speaking with us, and we can’t wait for his presentation!

Brian Aryai serves as chief executive officer of Icon Compliance Services, LLC. Previously, he held positions as a senior corporate financial executive at four public international conglomerates. Aryai also served as a senior special agent at the United States Treasury Department and finally the Department of Homeland Security for 14 years, where he conducted numerous white collar and corporate financial investigations both in criminal and civil matters. He received numerous awards for consistently superior performance in enforcing Federal laws.

After leaving the United States Government, Aryai served as a senior executive at several international conglomerates. He was also appointed as CPA partner in charge of the consulting practice at a regional accounting firm and a director of the antifraud practice at an international accounting firm. In these previous positions, Aryai applied his expertise in criminal investigations, internal auditing, forensic accounting, and white collar fraud and audit-committee investigations. These audits and investigations included both civil and criminal matters.

In 2009, Aryai accepted a contract appointment to provide specialized advisory project based expertise to the United States Department of Justice in governmental law enforcement matters and operations, where Aryai worked on the Madoff matter amongst other significant probes and asset forfeiture. As a senior consultant to the Department of Justice, Aryai provided forensic accounting and investigative expertise in high profile prosecutions at the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. Aryai’s work has been widely publicized and resulted in numerous criminal prosecutions and convictions as well as successful civil litigation in many matters adjudicated in federal and state courts. Aryai also served as the controller and CFO of the New York office of Lend Lease and managed annual revenues of approximately $3 billion (USD). In that position he discovered, investigated and presented for successful prosecution the largest systemic fraud scheme on record in the history of the construction industry worldwide by handing his findings in person to former United States Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.

Aryai also served as Director of Investigations at Habitat for Humanity International, a prominent global and ecumenical non-profit organization, which provided newly constructed housing to underprivileged families worldwide. In his career as a federal agent and in private practice, Aryai investigated, presented findings to grand juries for indictments and secured convictions on over three hundred complex criminal investigations, including but not limited to white collar fraud, racketeering, wire fraud, securities fraud, public corruption and money laundering, many of which have elicited acclaim on the front pages of national newspapers including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Daily News.

Finally, Aryai founded Icon Compliance Services, LLC, a licensed investigations firm, providing investigations, forensic accounting, integrity monitoring, compliance consulting, internal audit, risk management, security consulting, corporate ntelligence and counterintelligence practices. Icon specializes in EB-5 compliance and investigations. Aryai holds the respected designations of Certified Public Accountant (“CPA”), Certified in Financial Forensics (“CFF”), Certified Fraud Examiner (“CFE”) and Certified Internal Auditor (“CIA”).

David Appel is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is David Appel from Marcum LLP!

David will be speaking for us at our upcoming EB-5 Investor Based Immigration Conference in Los Angeles on October 4th and 5th! This will be David’s fourth year teaching for us – having previously been on the faculty panel for our 2015 seminars held in California and Florida on EB-5 Investor Based Immigration. Past seminar attendees appreciated his helpful materials and informative presentation. Welcome back, David!

David Appel is a senior partner in Marcum’s Tax & Business Services division. With more than 30 years of multidisciplinary experience in domestic and international taxation working with family businesses in a variety of industries, has addressed complex issues with family business in estate, succession and retirement planning, including preserving family businesses and wealth transfer to future generations. He leads Florida’s tax consulting operations and serves on the board of directors of Marcum LLP and Florida’s operations committee.

In recognition of his considerable experience in personal financial planning, Mr. Appel was awarded the designation of Personal Financial Specialist by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

An expert in estate tax, international tax, business succession planning and family estate planning, he has presented on numerous occasions to banking institutions and municipalities and at various tax conferences.

He speaks frequently on a variety of topics related to the federal EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program, which was created to encourage foreign investors to invest in commercial enterprises in the U.S. This unique federal program has attracted billions of dollars in investments and has been an effective catalyst for job creation domestically.

Eric Rapkin is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Eric Rapkin from Akerman LLP!

Eric will be speaking for us at our upcoming An Introduction to Commercial Real Estate Transactions: The Big Four in Fort Lauderdale on September 28! This is Eric’s first year speaking with us, and we can’t wait for his presentation!

Eric Rapkin serves as managing partner of Akerman’s Fort Lauderdale office. A consummate dealmaker, his practice focuses on sophisticated commercial real estate transactions, including the leasing, acquisition, disposition, and financing of office towers, shopping centers, industrial properties, hotels, and medical office buildings for top developers, institutional investors, and investment funds.

Recognized by Chambers USA as “a very knowledgeable resource on leasing transactions,” as well as noting that “he approaches things from a business perspective,” Eric has finalized deals for many millions of square feet of office, retail, industrial, and mixed-use projects. He is well versed in build-to-suit projects, possessing a detailed knowledge of the complex construction provisions that are central to these deals. Eric is also experienced in office tower acquisitions and dispositions and major public-private partnership transactions.

Eric has served in numerous leaderships roles in the real estate sector, including the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

Helene Gray is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Helene Gray from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC!

Helene will be speaking for us at our upcoming An Introduction to Commercial Real Estate Transactions: The Big Four in Fort Lauderdale on September 28! This is Helene’s first year speaking with us, and we can’t wait for her presentation!

Helene J. Gray is an associate in the Banking and Finance and Real Estate section of the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office.

Prior to joining the firm, Helene served as in-house counsel for one of the largest title insurance companies, where she underwrote and advised on national commercial transactions. She also has experience representing financial institutions and commercial mortgage-backed servicers in all areas of commercial lending, including, loan originations and dispositions, restructurings, leasing, foreclosures, and dispositions of assets. Throughout her career, she has handled commercial real estate and finance transactions as well as structure, document, and advise on condominium and homeowners’ association issues.

Defeating Motions for Summary Judgment: The Reply Brief

Below is a list of suggestions for drafting your Motion for Summary Judgement Reply Brief. It was written by James Allen, Retired Assistant County Attorney of Miami Dade County, and James Robinson of White & Case LLP who have both taught at several of our prior programs!

Remember – standards and burdens of proof.

  • The non-moving party is required to designate facts which demonstrate a genuine issue for trial and must avoid conclusory allegations unsupported by factual material.
  • The non-moving party need only prove a material factual dispute.
  • All reasonable inferences must be drawn in favor of the non-moving party.

Structure of brief.

  • Introduction – what is your theme?
  • Factual background
  • Argument
  • Sections (and section headings)
  • Conclusion

What are common defenses/themes when opposing motions for summary judgment?

  • Attack the facts.
  • Attack the law.
  • DO NOT focus an inordinate amount of space (or case citations) on the standard of proof or that reasonable inferences are drawn in your favor.

Strategies for contesting/disputing facts.

  • Choose your battles – do not contest EVERYTHING! This is a matter of credibility.
  • You must be specific in contesting/disputing facts – cite to specific language (with page numbers) and testimony. Include quotes. Emphasize important pieces of evidence.
  • If there are no disputed material facts on any issue and you agree that the issue is a matter of law, consider filing a cross-motion and a stipulated set of facts.

Addressing legal arguments made by moving party.

  • Don’t be bound to the organizational structure of the moving party. Example: If they have hidden a glaring weakness in the middle or end of their brief, bring that issue to the forefront in your opposition.
  • But don’t ignore the motion altogether – a good response brief must “respond” to the moving papers.
  • Address all arguments – failure to address can be viewed as a concession.
  • Distinguish all cases cited in the motion.   Where there are many cases, distinguish the cases in large groups.
  • Don’t submit boilerplate objections—tailor your arguments to your facts.

Using legal authority (applies also to motions).

  • The preferred priority of cases in support of our arguments:
    • First priority –cases in which trial court did what our opponent is requesting, and the appellate court reverses.
    • Second priority (OK, but not as good) – cases in which the trial court did what we request, and the appellate court affirms.
    • Third priority (not good; but we are a bit desperate) – only if none of the first two categories are available, cases in which the court cites a correct legal principle, but the court rules against our position.

A word about reply briefs.

  • Structure:
    • We demonstrate/established X.
    • They did not controvert/challenge/dispute, but only argued Y.
    • This is incorrect because …
    • Their cases do not change the result (and distinguish).
  • As a general rule, DO NOT cite the same cases from your motion – a reply brief should “reply” to the response

Neil Narut is our Latest Featured Speaker!


Our latest featured speaker is Neil Narut from Proper Title!

Neil will be speaking for us at our upcoming An Introduction to Commercial Real Estate Transactions: The Big Four in Chicago on September 14th! This is Neil’s first year speaking with us, and we can’t wait for his presentation!

Since being admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1997, Neil F. Narut has provided over twenty years of quality representation in real estate and title insurance matters to Illinois and Wisconsin consumers, national lenders and national title insurance companies. In private practice, Neil represented clients in residential and commercial real estate transactions while also litigating real estate disputes and mechanic’s liens claims. In 2008, he joined a multi-state mortgage default firm as the Managing Attorney of its newly opened Chicago-Loop office and provided counsel in title curative and REO transactions for national lenders and servicers. Counsel in title matters eventually extended into Wisconsin, and in 2013, Neil was recruited away from private practice by the North Suburban Commercial Division of the Chicago Title Insurance Company as an Area Underwriter where he was soon thereafter selected to the Fidelity National Financial Underwriting Leadership Program in Jacksonville, FL. In 2018, Neil returned to the Loop when he joined Proper Title as its Senior Underwriting Counsel. Neil frequently speaks at continuing legal education courses both nationally and throughout Chicagoland on a variety of real estate-related topics. A graduate of the John Marshall Law School and Loyola University of Chicago, Neil resides in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin with his family.