Jay is laser-focused on efficiently obtaining wins for his clients, who hire him for his seasoned judgment in dispute resolution both in and out of the courtroom. A trusted counselor, he has deep expertise representing all types of stakeholders in sophisticated and complex trust and estate disputes. Jay has significant experience litigating all manner of breach of fiduciary duty actions in trusts and estates, as well as Will contests and other contested probate matters. As part of this practice, he counsels private clients in potentially contentious business and personal matters regarding, among other areas, closely-held businesses, real estate, tax and insurance. Jay’s practice also includes guardianship actions and other contested elder law matters. A carefully aggressive advocate, Jay’s clients look to him for their thorniest matters.
Jay is well-known in his field, and often speaks and writes on fiduciary litigation topics, including undue influence, no contest clauses, and accounting proceedings. Jay is a Fellow in the peer-elected American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He is pro bono trust and estate litigation counsel to the New York Public Library. And he is also the chairperson of the Litigation Committee of Trusts & Estates magazine. Through his network, Jay provides seamless counsel to his multi-jurisdictional clientele.
Prior to forming Elman Freiberg, Jay was the chairperson of Katten Muchin Rosenman’s New York fiduciary litigation practice. He was also previously an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law, where he taught legal writing. And Jay served as a law clerk for the Honorable Diane Weiss Sigmund, judge for the US Bankruptcy Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Jay resides in Manhattan with his wife and two children. When not with his family or in the office, he can be found training for his next race. Jay is a veteran of numerous road races and triathlons and, on happy occasion, makes the podium.
Recent Representative Matters
Representation of beneficiaries of significant trusts in a complex, multi-jurisdictional contested accounting and fiduciary removal action and related estate proceedings.
Defense of a national trust company, as trustee, in US Tax Court and US District Court regarding penalties and judgments levied against businesses previously owned by the trust settlor.
Representation of beneficiaries in a breach of fiduciary duty action regarding a domestic estate and trusts and additional entities in Europe and South America.
Defense of a trustee facing significant tax liabilities and feuding beneficiaries.
Defense of a fiduciary against multi-pronged estate and trust dispute in the U.S. and Europe.
Representation of a beneficiary in a complex and contested estate and related trusts regarding significant real estate assets and gifting issues.
Representation of a family member in a contested guardianship trial.
Provide advice to fiduciaries of trust holding significant stock assets regarding succession issues.
Provide advice to a fiduciary facing significant litigation liabilities.
Recognized by Super Lawyers for Estate & Trust Litigation
Recognized by New York Law Journal and New York Magazine as a Top-Rated Trusts and Estates Lawyer
Chairperson, Litigation Committee, Trusts & Estates magazine
Fellow, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
New York City Bar, Member of Trusts, Estates & Surrogate’s Courts Committee
American Bar Association, Real Property, Trusts and Estates Law Section, Probate & Fiduciary Litigation Committee
New York State Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section, Litigation Committee
Yale Club Insurance Study Group
Speaking Engagements & Presentations
Author | To Seek a Court’s Advice and Direction, or Not to Seek, That is the Questionopens PDF file | Trusts & Estates Magazine (December 2022)
Presenter | A Primer on Estate and Probate Administrationopens PDF file | New York City Bar CLE (August 2022)
Presenter | Trust Owned Businesses – Who’s the Boss? | Cambridge Forum on Private Wealth Litigation (May 2022)
Author | The Probate Exception – We’re Not Just in State Court Anymoreopens PDF file | Trusts & Estates Magazine (May 2022)
Presenter | A Primer on the Trustee Intake Process (And Beyond) From a Litigator’s Point of Viewopens PDF file | Trusts & Estates Virtual Forum (November 2021)
Presenter | Avoiding Litigation in Directed Trustsopens PDF file | South Dakota Trust Association Fall Forum (October 2021)
Author | Wealth Advisors as Life Insurance Trustee—a Good Idea?opens PDF file | NYSBA Trusts and Estates Law Section Journal (2021 | Vol. 54 | No. 2)
Author | When an In Terrorem Hits the Interstateopens PDF file | Trusts & Estates Magazine (May 2021)
Author | Litigating an Undue Influence Caseopens PDF file | Trusts & Estates Magazine (December 2020)
Presenter | Litigation Avoidance Techniques For CPA’s Serving As Trusteesopens PDF file | New York State Society of CPA’s (December 2020)
Presenter | Trust Assets in Divorce Proceedings: Within Reach or a Bridge too Far?opens PDF file | American Bar Association Family Law Section | 2020 Fall CLE Conference (October 2020)
Presenter | The Fuzzy Line Between Influence and Undue Influenceopens PDF file | Cambridge Forum on Private Wealth Litigation (September 2020)
Presenter | Litigating Trust and Estate Disputes in Florida v. New Yorkopens PDF file | Palm Beach County Bar Association CLE (March 2020)
Presenter | Joint Representations: Efficient, but at What Cost? | Cambridge Forum on Private Wealth Litigation (April 2019)
Presenter | opens in a new windowLitigation Avoidance for Trusteesopens PDF file | Estate Planning Council of New York City (January 2019)
Author | What Do I Say When A Client Asks Me To Serve As A Trusteeopens PDF file | New York State Bar Association One on One (Fall / Winter 2018)
Presenter | Best Practices During Fiduciary Litigation | Cooperstown, New York (September 2018)
Panelist | Drafting Dos and Don’ts – Small Errors and a World of Problems | American Bar Association Real Property Trust and Estates (RPTE) Section’s Spring CLE Symposia | Lake Buena Vista, Florida (May 2018)
Participant | Cambridge Forum on Private Wealth Litigation (April 2018)
Presenter | How Trustees Avoid the Courtroom (April 2018)
Presenter | What You Should Know About Fiduciary Risk But Were Afraid to Ask (December 2017)
Presenter | What to Know to Manage Trustee Risk | Detroit, Michigan (September 2017)
Presenter | Mitigating Fiduciary Risk | New York, New York (June 2017)
Presenter | Criminal Trust Busting: Wyly and Its Implications | Legal Week Trust & Estates Litigation Forum 2017 | Tourrettes, France (March 2017)
Presenter | Mitigating Fiduciary Risk | New York, New York (September 2016)
Presenter | Managing Trustee Risk: Insights from a Fiduciary Litigator | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (April 2016)
- The George Washington University Law School
- Binghamton University, State University of New York
- New York
- US Tax Court
- US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
- US District Court, Southern District of New York
- US District Court, Eastern District of New York
- US District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania