Donald Harwood Attorney

Experienced Attorney in NY and MA

About Donald Harwood Attorney

Attorney Donald Harwood currently serves as a principal at Harwood Reiff, LLP, a law firm he cofounded in 2012. Dedicated to providing litigation services related to complex commercial litigation and real estate disputes, the firm also handles criminal defense cases and argues appeals in both state and federal courts. Before starting Harwood Reiff, Donald Harwood worked as an attorney for many years at the boutique Manhattan law firm Itkowitz & Harwood, where he became a partner in 1994.

Prior to beginning his career as an attorney, Harwood attended St. Lawrence University and graduated with a bachelor of arts in 1978. He subsequently enrolled at Northeastern University School of Law and earned his juris doctor in 1981, gaining admission to the Massachusetts bar that same year and to the New York bar in 1986. Today, he participates in multiple legal education programs, frequently serving as a lecturer for the New York State Bar’s Real Property Section and Commercial Leasing Committee and for Lorman Education Services.

Landlord Responsibilities

A New York attorney, Donald Harwood practices at Harwood Reiff LLC. A partner attorney with the firm, Donald Harwood has experience litigating both sides of landlord-tenant disputes.

As a landlord, you are required to uphold state and federal regulations related to the following.

A landlord is responsible for providing tenants with a safe and livable home, which includes hot water, sturdy floors, heat, and a structurally sound roof. Failure to do so or make repairs in a timely manner when issues are reported can result in rent being withheld or a tenant moving out without notice lawfully. To reduce the risk of violation, make sure you refer to the implied warranty of habitability, which discusses factors a property owner must fulfill to ensure safe and habitable spaces.

Security Deposits
In New York, landlords must keep security deposits separate from their personal assets.

A Brief Overview of the Yellowstone Injunction Law

An attorney practicing at Harwood Reiff LLC, Donald Harwood handles landlord-tenant disputes. With experience representing both sides of claims, attorney Donald Harwood offers expertise in Yellowstone injunction law.

The Yellowstone injunction law was created to give tenants an opportunity to fix a violation to avoid lease termination. The process involves a landlord serving a notice to cure to a tenant in response to a perceived breach in contract. The notice will either state that the issues are unfixable and thus the landlord opts to terminate the lease and receive restitution for damages, or it will allow a tenant to “cure” the problem, within a specified period, to reestablish compliance according to a lease.

During this time, a tenant can file a Yellowstone injunction with the New York Supreme Court that prohibits the landlord from prematurely terminating the lease. In doing so, the court will honor the status quo and a tenant can fix the problem without the notice of cure expiring. This also gives a judge enough time to determine if the tenant is in default.

The Jury’s Role in a Criminal Defense Case

A partner at Harwood Reiff LLC, attorney Donald Harwood handles landlord-tenant litigations. As an attorney, Donald Harwood also possesses expertise in trying criminal defense cases.

The U.S. Constitution states that all accused individuals in criminal prosecutions have the right to a public trial. According to the Sixth Amendment, a trial includes an impartial jury for cases other than petty offenses that result in jail sentencing of six months or less.

A jury consists of six to twelve jurors with up to four alternates. Following arguments and testimonies, a presiding judge outlines laws and legal concepts as well as instructions to abide by during deliberations. To convict a defendant, a jury must unanimously decide the he or she is guilty of the charged crime based on evidence. When a jury is unable to agree on a guilty or not-guilty verdict, it is referred to as a “hung jury.” A judge will retire a case if a hung jury occurs because a plaintiff was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt a defendant is guilty.

What is Mitchell-Lama Housing?

As both production counsel and executive producer of the movie Frozen River, Donald Harwood, founder of Harwood Reiff, LLC, found himself involved in many facets of the film shoot. Throughout the production of Frozen River, Donald Harwood continued his practice at Harwood Reiff, LLC, where landlord-tenant law is one area of concentration, including Mitchell-Lama housing regulations.

The Mitchell-Lama housing program in New York State was created in 1955 and named after then-Manhattan State Senator MacNeil Mitchell and former Brooklyn Assemblyman Alfred Lama, who sponsored the legislation creating it. The M-L program offers affordable housing for middle- and low-income families.

Mitchell-Lama housing can include rental units as well as co-op housing options, and interested applicants need to apply separately to each development. It is acceptable to apply to multiple developments and be placed on a waiting list at each one. Supervised by both city and state government, eligibility for Mitchell-Lama housing requires evaluation of family size, apartment size, and income.

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