Frederick Oberlander, A New York Attorney, Not to Be Trusted

Dec 27, 2018 by

On the behalf of a former employee, Frederick Oberlander, a New York attorney, claimed in 2010 that an international real estate investment company committed fraud. Oberlander also claimed that the firm hid criminal activities by Felix Sater, who is one of the firm’s partners and is Russian born. The company in question has also developed projects for Donald Trump, one of which was the Trump SoHo hotel. However, it has since been revealed that Oberlander is not a person to be trusted.

Court records show that while litigating the case, Oberlander committed various ethical violations. Using private data from Sater’s criminal files is the most atrocious violations committed by Oberlander. The files had been sealed by a federal judge because Sater was cooperating with the U.S. government. The release of sealed documents is a direct violation of the court order. Due to this action, there was a court injunction, which forbad any further disclosure of information from the sealed records. The Manhattan U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit confirmed that there was such an injunction.

Oberlander was sanctioned in 2015 by the federal district court judge overseeing the case. The judge also dismissed the majority of the allegations in Oberlander’s complaint. The decision was made by the court because he continually defied the order that instructed him to convey if there he had included any unlawfully obtained information in his complaint. Due to his actions, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York began investigating Oberlander for criminal behavior. The federal bar grievance committee also was determining if they should revoke Oberlander’s license to practice law.

In august of 2018, the grievance committee released a 40-page written order that determined Oberlander had engaged in criminal behavior that breached various ethical rules. The grievance committee established that his illegal activities included infringing court orders, disclosing sealed documentation and threatening to disclose sealed information if the defendants did not commit to a financial agreement. It was Oberlander’s criminal actions that lead to the grievance committee ordering that his legal license be suspended for the period of one year.

It seems that reputable law firms do not want to have any dealings with Oberlander. Richard Lerner, an attorney and friend of Oberlander, represented him in the case concerning the disclosure of the sealed documents. At the time the proceeding took place, Lerner was a partner at the highly-regarded Wilson Elsner law firm. It is quite apparent that the firm did not want to be linked to Oberlander. They asked to withdraw their representation and were granted that request by the court. Reportedly, Lerner was fired by the Elsner Wilson firm because he refused to stop handling Oberlander’s case. It speaks heavily about Oberlander’s apparent dishonest nature when a reputable firm refuses to represent him in court. It is clear that Oberlander has exerted unethical behavior in the past. When his one-year suspension is lifted, he is almost certain to engage in such illegal and unlawful practices again. In short, Frederick Oberlander is not one to be trusted when it comes to matters of the court.

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