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Pressman Sibling Rivalry: Restraining Order Issued

NEW YORK — The Pressman family dispute has degenerated into a pain in Robert Pressman’s paycheck.<br><br>The latest salvo among the siblings of the family that once ruled Barneys New York is a restraining notice served on Robert...

NEW YORK — The Pressman family dispute has degenerated into a pain in Robert Pressman’s paycheck.

This story first appeared in the November 13, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The latest salvo among the siblings of the family that once ruled Barneys New York is a restraining notice served on Robert Pressman’s former employer, Newmark & Co., by his sisters Elizabeth Pressman Neubardt and Nancy Pressman Dressler, to partially satisfy their $11.3 million judgment against him. Of the total, $7.3 million represents damages and the remainder pre-judgment interest.

The judgment, issued in August by New York State Court Justice Karla Moskowitz, is being appealed by Robert Pressman. The original lawsuit against Robert Pressman alleged breach of fiduciary duty and self-dealing.

The sisters, according to a new set of court papers filed in Manhattan federal court on Oct. 21, served a restraining notice on Newmark for the entire amount owed to Robert Pressman, or $334,000, for services rendered while employed there. His lawsuit charged that the restraining notice was illegally served. He is now employed by Cushman & Wakefield.

On Oct. 23, Pressman obtained an order to show cause in the case, requiring that his sisters explain why an order should not be entered that, among other things, awards him the “costs of this litigation based upon the flagrant violation of the law in serving the restraining notice, which was issued illegally by specifically requesting the restraint of commission, payroll and retirement funds, and for such other and further relief this court deems just and proper.” In addition to damages, Pressman is seeking the release of the $334,000 owed to him by Newmark.

Also disclosed in the case is a pending divorce proceeding between Pressman and his wife Holly in a Connecticut state court. Pressman filed the lawsuit under the Federal Consumer Protection Act, which bars payment to a judgment creditor under certain conditions. Pursuant to an Aug. 8 order, Pressman is paying 50 percent of his gross earnings for spousal and child support, a percentage that surpasses the federal law’s 25 percent threshold for alimony payments.

The attorney representing the sisters, Edward Spiro of Morvillo, Abramowitz, Grand, Iason & Silberberg, declined comment.