Amato, John

John P. Amato

Partner, Litigation

T 212.478.7380


  • 488 Madison Avenue
    New York, NY 10022
  • Queens College of the City University of New York (B.A., 1983)
  • St. John's University School of Law (J.D., 1986)
Biographical Details

    John has more than 30 years of litigation experience in the federal and state trial and appellate courts. A former Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of New York, John has tried and brought to verdict or favorable settlement several large jury and bench cases, argued scores of appeals and mediated and counselled clients in high stakes matters in New York and throughout the country. His experience is broad based. He has litigated various substantive law disputes, including cases involving officer and director breach of fiduciary duties, corporate waste and mismanagement allegations, perishable agricultural commodity statutory trust violations, partnership, corporate and intellectual property law, accountant's malpractice, real estate and bankruptcy litigations for major financial institutions, large retail organizations, commercial landlords and tenants, Chapter 11 trustees and creditors’ committees, and secured and unsecured creditors. John has also defended various public officers and employees in civil rights cases and a prominent retailer in a variety of matters, including landlord/tenant, breach of contract and class action litigation alleging violation of state consumer protection and business laws.

    John has given numerous lectures on a variety of topics to clients and various professional organizations, including before the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants discussing expert testimony and reports, and has co-authored the New York Commercial Lending Law Chapter in the American Bar Association’s Commercial Lending Law Treatise, Second Edition: A jurisdiction-by-Jurisdiction Guide to U.S. and Canadian Law (2016) and published articles on recharacterizing leases as disguised financing arrangements, including a two-part article “Recharacterization Risks: Beware,” published in LJN’s Equipment Leasing Newsletter, in March and April of 2003.

    John has many reported decisions, including:

    • Canestaro v. Raymour & Flanigan Furniture Co., 984 N.Y.S.2d 630, aff’d 6 N.Y.S.3d 520 (4th Dept. 2015) (defeated putative class action alleging violation of various consumer protection laws).
    • DLJ Mtge. Capital, Inc. v. Kontogiannis, 973 N.Y.S.2d 160 (1st Dept. 2013) (represented purchaser of mortgages securing $65 million judgment and defeating competing creditors in judgment enforcement priority dispute).
    • 84-16 Queens Blvd. Realty Corp. v. Raymours Furniture Co., Inc., 963 N.Y.S.2d 696 (2nd Dept. 2013) (represented furniture retailer in commercial landlord tenant lease dispute).
    • RM 18 Corp. v. Bank of N.Y. Mellon Trust Co., N.A., 961 N.Y.S.2d 271 (2nd Dept. 2013) (represented indenture trustee in litigation arising out of national retailer bankruptcy).
    • CIT Group/Business Credit, Inc. v. Graco Fishing & Rental Tools, Inc., 815 F. Supp. 2d 673 (S.D.N.Y. 2011) (commenced trial to enforce loan agreement, struck defendant’s expert and reached favorable settlement).
    • Responsible Person of Musicland Holding Corp. v. Best Buy Co. (In re Musicland Corp.), 398 B.R. 761 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2008) (represented unsecured creditor interests as plaintiff in officer and director breach of fiduciary duty, fraudulent conveyance and preference dispute ending in favorable settlement mid-trial).
    • Adelphia Recovery Trust v. Bank of America, 390 B.R. 80 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (defeated bankruptcy avoidance and equitable subordination claims against lender).
    • Top Banana, LLC v. Dom’s Wholesale & Retail Ctr., Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist LEXIS 95721 (S.D.N.Y. 2008) (succeeded in enforcing factoring agreement at trial and awarded 100% of attorneys fees for doing so).
    • American Banana Co., Inc. v. Republic National Bank of New York, N.A., 362 F.2d 33 (2d Cir. 2004) (represented bank at trial and on appeal in defense of perishable agricultural commodities claim).
    • Fleet Capital Corp. v. Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A., 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18115, 48 U.C.C. Rep. Serv.2d (Callaghan) 1137 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (represented secured creditor in collateral priority dispute with golf cart manufacturer).
    • WinSpark Trading Co. v. Century Business Credit Corp., 2002 U.S. Dist LEXIS 10949 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (defeated litigation against letter of credit issuer for fraudulent misrepresentation, conspiracy and violation of RICO statute).

    John is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the New York State Courts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the United States District Courts for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York. He is a member of the Federal Bar Council, American Bar Association, New State Bar Association, New York County Lawyers Association and American Bankruptcy Institute.