Ryan P. Kaupelis was admitted to practice in 2010 and joined the firm’s litigation department in 2015. His practice focuses on commercial and real estate litigation, with an emphasis on cooperatives and condominiums matters, construction disputes, landlord-tenant disputes, and financial services matters.
Ryan has litigated a broad range of cooperative and condominium matters, including pursuing and defending claims for fraud, mismanagement and construction defects against developers, disputes over the interpretation of by-laws and other governing documents, misappropriation and waste claims against boards, election disputes, discrimination and employment claims, defaults and collections, and property damage claims.
Ryan is experienced at handling construction disputes involving claims for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and violations of Lien Law. Ryan also handles lawsuits for employment discrimination and violations of FLSA and NYLL against the firm’s construction clientele.
As part of the firm’s landlord-tenant department, Ryan has represented commercial and residential landlords and tenants in matters such as nonpayment proceedings, eviction proceedings, claims for breach of the warranty of habitability and constructive eviction, Yellowstone injunctions and actions for personal liability under guaranties.
Ryan also represents both lenders and debtors with respect to collections and foreclosures, as well as claims arising out of TILA, FDCPA and GBL § 349.
Ryan’s select representative matters include:
- Winning summary judgment in favor of property owner against a general contractor on the basis that the contractor violated the AIA contract by failing to diligently perform work during disputes involving the scope of work and amount of change orders.
- Winning summary judgment for a condominium against a unit owner – the court approved the board’s authority to impose certain fees permitted by the condominium’s by-laws and held that the board’s interpretation of the by-laws were protected by the business judgment rule.
- Winning an appeal affirming a judgment for the collection of rent from a commercial tenant and personal guarantor and dismissing defenses based on allegations that the landlord’s work disrupted the tenant’s use of the demised premises.
- Winning an appeal which denied a motion to dismiss individual members of a commercial tenant and held that issues of fact existed as to whether members of the tenant breached their fiduciary duties to the landlord where the tenant had an ownership interest in the landlord LLC.
- Winning a motion to dismiss claims by a condominium board against an architect for construction defects based on lack of a duty to the board.
- Winning summary judgment for specific performance against a seller – the court held that contract of sale was enforceable even though it was signed by the purchaser’s attorney. The court further held that un-initialed handwritten changes were enforceable where seller deposited the down payment and failed to object.
Prior to joining Smith, Buss & Jacobs, LLP, Ryan practiced commercial and civil litigation at a boutique law firm in White Plains, where he gained experience representing developers, contractors, management companies, business owners, franchisees, investors, property owners, landlords, tenants, trusts and estates.
Professional Associations and Activities
- Member, New York State Bar Association
- Member, Westchester County Bar Association
- J.D., Fordham University School of Law
- B.A., Union College