Elliot Schnapp

  • Partner, 1999


New York, NY





Elliot Schnapp is a uniquely gifted litigator practicing in one of the most highly competitive legal communities in the world, New York City.  Prior to beginning his career as a business lawyer in 1977, Mr. Schnapp launched his litigation career by litigating the State Court appeals in Payton v New York, one of the most important constitutional cases of this century. Payton established the principle that the Fourth Amendment prohibits the police from making a warrantless entry into a person's home in order to make an arrest.  As a result of his framing the issues on the appeal to the New York State Court of Appeals, Elliot made possible an appeal to the United States Supreme Court, where the case was argued twice before the Supreme Court by the head of the Criminal Appeals Bureau of the Legal Aid Society. 
On the corporate side, Elliot brings the same dedication and incisive intelligence to his business clients' needs that he did in the public sector.  As a partner at Gordon, Gordon & Schnapp for the last eight years, he has never lost sight of the goal: to provide corporate and individual clients with partner-driven, high-quality legal services and counsel.  
Elliot prides himself on meeting the needs of the whole client rather than merely addressing a particular ad hoc legal problem.  As respected he is as a highly experienced and formidable litigator, he is equally respected as a counselor, who during the course of his career, has often helped resolve matters without the enormous costs and disruptive impact of unwarranted litigation.
Mr. Schnapp has utilized his unique blend of ability, skills and judgment to obtain results for high profile clients in complex and sophisticated commercial, labor/employment, securities fraud and anti-trust matters, successfully handling all aspects of these proceedings from their initiation, to motion practice, discovery and other pretrial proceedings, to jury and non-jury trials, arbitration and administrative proceedings, through appeals.
Among many other matters, Mr. Schnapp has:
  Secured jury verdicts and administrative findings in favor of corporate clients such as Hill & Knowlton, Inc. and Holmes Protection Group, Inc. in employment discrimination cases;
  Represented both companies and investors in securities fraud litigations and arbitrations and high profile RICO actions such as those involving Charles Atkins (The Securities Groups litigation)
  Handled multi-million dollar disputes arising from corporate acquisitions;
  Prosecuted and defended lawsuits and arbitration proceedings arising from employment contracts, including injunction proceedings under non-compete and confidentiality provisions;
  Handled media-related arbitrations, commercial real estate disputes, litigation among principals of closely held corporations, and insurance coverage disputes;
  Engaged as special litigation counsel to Chapter XI debtors and as counsel to members of Creditors' Committee in major bankruptcies including the LTV Bankruptcy
  Represented borrowers in asset based financing transactions
Mr. Schnapp is known for his ability to effectively conduct appellate practice on behalf of clients.  An extraordinary writer, Elliot has briefed and argued at least 50 appeals for clients in the New York State appellate courts and in the Federal Courts of Appeal for the Second, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits.
Elliot has participated both in the cultural and public life of his community.  He is an accomplished choral singer, who has worked tirelessly to support non-profit choral groups such as the New Calliope Singers and The Riverside Choral Society.  Currently, he has been assisting in the establishment of a non-profit education corporation to launch the first ever recovery high school in New York City.

Areas Of Practice

  • Commercial Litigation
  • Contract Disputes
  • Shareholder and Partnership Disputes
  • Employment Law
  • Age, Sex , Race, Ethnic Origin and Disability Discrimination
  • Restrictive Employment Covenants
  • Antitrust
  • Advertising
  • Securities Fraud
  • Corporate Governance
  • Unfair Competition
  • Aviation
  • Defamation
  • Admiralty
  • Insurance coverage
  • Corporate and Finance
  • Bankruptcy
  • Real Estate
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • New York Stock Exchange and NASD arbitrations
  • International Arbitration

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1974
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit, 1975
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1975
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • N.Y. Court of Appeals


  • Columbia Law School, New York, New York
    • J.D. - 1973
    • Honors: Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
  • Columbia College, New York City, New York
    • A.B. - 1968

Representative Cases

  • Davison et al. v. First Pennco et al. (The Securities Groups Litigations)
  • Payton v. New York, 445 US 573, 1980, Court of Appeals of New York
  • People of the State of New York v. Jory Lawrence
  • Baje Realty Corp. v. Arthur Cutler et al
  • Masterwear Corporation v. Norman Bernard
  • ABS Partnership v, AirTran Airlines, Inc.

Representative Clients

  • J. Walter Thompson Company
  • Hill & Knowlton, Inc.
  • Hyatt International Corporation
  • Burger King Corporation
  • Angelica Corporation
  • Holmes Protection Group, Inc.
  • National Property Analysts, Inc.
  • Ramada Inns
  • IBI Security Services, Inc.
  • Mitsui Real Estate Sales
  • Lloyds Register of Shipping
  • Baralan International, S.p.A.
  • Tricom, S.A.
  • CMD Engrenage et Reducteurs, S.A.

Professional Associations And Memberships

  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Current member, Standing Committee on Labor and Employment Law
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Current member, Standing Committee on Arbitration
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Current member, Standing Committee on Securities Regulation
  • CLE, Chair panel on post-employment restrictive covenants

Past Employment Positions

  • Mangone & Schnapp, Partner, 1977 to 1998
  • Criminal Appeals Bureau, Legal Aid Society of New York, 1973 to 1977