Hon. Nelson E. Canter

Hon. Nelson E. Canter

PartnerNew York, NY

T: (212) 448-1100

F: (212) 448-0066




Judge Canter was elected to a four-year term as Town Justice for The Town of Harrison, NY from 2012 through 2015, and provides complex civil litigation services to the business community and insurance industry with a concentration on property subrogation for domestic and foreign insurance carriers.  Judge Canter spearheaded and manages the firm’s national Insurance Subrogation Group.

Judge Canter also provides outside general counsel services to corporations, suppliers, manufacturers and distributors for national litigation coordination, risk management and commercial litigation, transactional advice, intellectual property enforcement, and negotiation and preparation of licensing, manufacturing and distribution agreements. Judge Canter also engages in state and federal criminal defense and white-collar criminal investigations.

Judge Canter has litigated large loss property subrogation and product liability cases throughout the United States and has led hundreds of complex origin and cause investigations involving fires and explosions, construction defects, building collapse, crane malfunctions, construction defects, heavy equipment failures, energy losses, turbine failures, fire suppression system failures, product liability and a wide range of complex commercial disputes.

Judge Canter began his career in law enforcement as an Assistant District Attorney for the County of Westchester, New York, where he tried over 75 cases to verdict. Judge Canter coordinated extensive under-cover narcotics investigations and presented over 150 cases to Westchester County Grand Juries.

In 1992, Judge Canter entered private practice and joined the late former Assistant United States Attorney William I. Aronwald in various high-profile criminal defense matters including People v. Carolyn Warmus, which the press dubbed the "fatal attraction murder trial." Judge Canter is a Life Member of the Purchase Fire Department where has been an active firefighter for over 40 years, rose through the line officer ranks of Lieutenant, Captain and Assistant Chief and has served on the Board of Directors for the last 20 years.

Judge Canter has been a Guest Instructor for the Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony Course for the International Association of Arson Investigators and a Guest Speaker at many national conferences for the Property Loss Research Bureau and National Association of Subrogation Professionals. Mr. Canter is the New York State Delegate for the International Association of Arson Investigators' Attorney Advisory Committee, was appointed by Governor George Pataki for a 2-year term to the Management Advisory Board of Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Office of Inspector General, and was appointed in 2014 to the Executive Board of the Westchester County Arson Task Force.

Judge Canter is a member of the Mediation Panel for the Southern District of New York and provides private ADR/Mediation services for complex commercial, Insurance and business disputes.


The following are some of Mr. Canter's speaking engagements:

"Situational Awareness for the First Responder at the Fire Scene," Purchase Fire Department, Purchase, New York, March 17, 2021.

Industry Spotlight Series, "Enforcing Tenders of Defense and Indemnification," Property Loss Research Bureau, National Claims Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, April 1, 2019.

Keynote Speaker, The New York  Independent Adjusters Association, "Preparing the Claims Adjuster to Testify", Spring Seminar, The Down Town Association, New York, NY, May 11, 2017.

Industry Spotlight Series, "Eliminating Waivers of Subrogation," Property Loss Research Bureau National Claims Conference, Boston, MA, March 28, 2017.

"A First Responders Perspective on Investigating and Subrogating Fire and Explosion Losses," Westchester County Fire Investigators Association, Westchester County Fire Training Center, Valhalla, New York, June 9, 2016.

"2014 Mock Trial - Plaintiff's Counsel,"  Property Loss Research Bureau National Claims Conference, Indianapolis, IN, March 16-19, 2014.

"Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony Course," Guest Attorney for the International Association of Arson Investigators, Albany, New York, March 10, 2012.

"Litigating Product Liability Claims – Mutual Marine Seminar Series," NYMAGIC, Inc. Headquarters, New York City, September 22, 2009.

"Expert Witness Courtroom Testimony Course," Guest Attorney for the International Association of Arson Investigator's in Troy, New York, October 20, 2007.

"Evaluating Subrogation Potential on Explosion Claims," Annual Conference of the Property Loss Research Bureau, Orlando, FL, March 19, 2007.

"Handling Explosion Claims," Annual Conference of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Orlando, FL, Nov. 13, 2006.

"Different Perspectives on Construction Defect Claims in New York," New York City, April 11, 2006.

"Construction Defect Claims in New York State," White Plains, N.Y., Feb. 21, 2006

"Investigation of the Case and Use of Experts," Trial Lawyers Section of the New York State Bar Association, New York City, May 24, 2005.

"Explosions — the Subrogation Concept," Annual Conference of the Property Loss Research Bureau, San Antonio, TX, April 20, 2005.

"Subrogating Explosion Losses," Annual Conference of the National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Atlanta, Ga., Nov. 8, 2004.

Reported Cases

  • Amateur Hockey Ass'n of the U.S. v. Whitman and Ransom and Donald Parson, 664 N.Y.S.2d 919, (1st Dep't 1997)
  • American Casualty Company of Reading, Pa. v. Motivated Security, __AD3d__  (1st Dept. 2017)
  • Amedeo Hotels Ltd. Partnership v. Zwicker Elec. Co., Inc., 739 N.Y.S.2d 10, (1st Dept. 2002)
  • BanxCorp. v. Apax Partners L.P. et al. (D.N.J. 2010)
  • BanxCorp. v. Costco and Capital One (S.D.N.Y. 2010)
  • BanxCorp v. Lending Tree, Dow Jones & Company, The New York Times Company, CNBC, Inc., Cable News Network, Inc., MSNBC Interactive News, LLC, Fox News Network, LLC, AOL Inc., and Move, Inc. (D.N.J. 2009)
  • BanxCorp v. Bankrate (D.N.J. 2009)
  • Borden Chemical, Inc. v. Growth Products, Inc., 815 N.Y.S.2d 29,
  • (1st Dept. 2006)
  • Fireman's Fund Ins. Co. v. Village of Lake Success, 822 N.Y.S.2d 731,
  • (2d Dept. 2006)
  • Fireman's Fund a/s/o Marek v. County of Nassau, 66 A.D.3d 823,
  • (2d Dept. 2009)
  • First Care Medical Clinic, Inc. v. Polymedco, Inc., 2006 WL 3497845, (W.D.N.C. 2006)
  • Goldstein v. Carnell Associates, Inc., 74 A.D.3d 745 (2d Dept. 2010)
  • Jackson & Wheeler, Inc. v. Village of Pleasantville et al., 56 A.D.2d 723 (2d Dept. 2009)
  • Matera v. Mystic Transp., Inc. et al. , 764 N.Y.S.2d 458, (2d Dept. 2003)
  • Matter of Hockley v. Westchester County Board of Elections et al., 66 A.D.3d 898 (2d Dept. 2009); lv den. by Ct of Appeals (October 29, 2009)
  • New York City Transit Authority v. Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, Inc., 834 N.Y.S.2d 192, (1st Dept. 2007)
  • New York Methodist Hospital v. Carrier Corporation, ___AD3d____( 2009)
  • Calverly v. State of New York - 3rd Dept Victory »

Publications & Honors

"Litigating the Late Notice of Claim Against the State New York - New York Law Journal"
March 29, 2021
View the article »

"When Does Tort Liability Extend Beyond Contractual Parties?"
New York Law Journal, August 29, 2016
View the article »

"Legal Implications for Failure to Screen for Colorectal Cancer, 39 Westchester B.J., 39 WESTCBJ 9 (Wntr-Sprg 2014)"
Westchester County Bar Journal, Winter/Spring, 2014
View the article »

"Trends on Expert Preclusion:  Testifying Without a Degree"
New York Law Journal, December 5, 2012
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"Trends on Duty and Liability Under State Labor Law"
New York Law Journal, December 8, 2010
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"Subrogating Property Claims in Death Cases"
Subrogator, National Association of Subrogation Professionals, Spring/Summer 2010
View the article »

"Professional Liability — A Winning Strategy for Early Dismissal"
New York Law Journal, May 26, 2006.

"Disqualification of Counsel"
New York Law Journal, Oct. 2, 2002.
View the article »

"Deposing the Expert,"
Fire and Arson Investigator, Vol. 49 No. 1, November 1998

"So You're Going To Be An Expert Witness: Preparation Tips You Should Know"
The Risk Management Letter, Vol. 22, Issue 5, 2001

"Liability Widened For Animal Attacks: Showing of Vicious Propensity Not Always Required"
CM Report 1999, Vol. 2

"Appellate Decision Split on Statute of Limitations Applicable to Insurance Brokers"
CM Report 2000, Vol. 2

"Insurer Has No Duty To Disclose Medical Conditions Discovered During Preinsurance Physical Examination"
CM Report 2001, Vol.1

"Court of Appeals: Insurance Brokers Are Not Deemed 'Professionals' Subject to the 3-Year Malpractice Statute of Limitations"
CM Report 2001, Vol. 2

"Winning Litigation Strategies - Turning Defendant's Contributory Negligence Argument Into An Admission Of Liability"
CM Report 2002, Vol. 2


Mr. Canter has extensive Fire Training and Certifications:

  • Arson Awareness and Fire Behavior
  • Origin and Cause Determination
  • Confined Space Awareness and Safety
  • Emergency Vehicle Operation
  • Emergency Response to Terrorism
  • (U.S. Dept. of Justice)
  • Incident Command System
  • Radio Operations and Procedures
  • S.C.B.A.
  • S.C.U.B.A.
  • Ladder Operations
  • Pump Operations