E. Carolyn Hochstadter Dicker

PA/NJ Office:
1528 Walnut Street, Suite 511
Philadelphia, PA 19102

New York Office:
21 North Drive
Great Neck, NY 11021

Voice: 609-315-2787 | Fax: 610-668-1570

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Legal Services

Carolyn Hochstadter, as a solo practitioner, is able to focus her attention on the specific goals of each client. Simultaneously, her clients can also benefit from her extensive knowledge of substantive law gained from her many years of "big firm" experience.

Corporate Formation, Growth and Governance

The firm's corporate practice specializes in small and medium sized businesses. Carolyn advises the client entrepreneur as to basic formation issues such as choice of entity (LLC, corporation, limited partnership) and forum state. She further assists clients in drafting strategic foundational documents, including articles of incorporation, by-laws, shareholder agreements, as well as secured or unsecured financing arrangements. Carolyn works with traditional banks, asset based lenders, factors, seed funders, angel investors and venture capitalists. As her clients’ businesses grow, Carolyn advises them as to their various contracts, leasing, zoning and other legal steps to be taken in developing a successful business.

Employee Rights and Human Resources

The firm counsels directors, officers, managers and employees as to their respective rights and duties in the areas of governance and human resource relationships. This advice covers all basic areas of business: from consulting, employment, non-compete, invention assignment and non-disclosure agreements to recruitment, hiring, retention, termination and severance, as well as discrimination and harassment.

Officers of a start-up business are especially in need of advice to ensure that they receive a competitive compensation/severance package over the course of the business’ growth, as well as the appropriate exit opportunity.

Managers similarly require the requisite packages and benefits, as well as leadership and risk management training.

Employees need to understand their rights and responsibilities in order to successfully navigate the career path of their choice and maximize their employment opportunities.

Consultants and independent contractors need to be apprised of the legal issues shaping their status.

Directors need to ensure that their liability is protected and insured through corporate documentation and filings, contractually and via third party insurance.

The firm provides a full service menu of options tailored to the professional/business goals of each client.

Creditor Rights, Collections, Foreclosure
Debt Restructuring, Unwinding and Bankruptcy

The firm is uniquely positioned to advise clients from both a preventative and prophylactic perspective as to debtor-creditor, restructuring and bankruptcy matters. Carolyn counsels her clients on ways to avoid bankruptcy, as well as to insulate themselves from the insolvency or default of their debtors. This may include strategies regarding collections, foreclosure or other means of enforcing contractual obligations and resolving commercial disputes.

On the flip side, the firm provides work-out solutions designed to maximize value. These include out-of-court loan modifications, debt restructurings, business unwinding or liquidation. If these more cost-effective options are not feasible, Carolyn is able to assist clients with their filing for bankruptcy in order to either reorganize their business or liquidate under the protection of the courts.

In the bankruptcy context, the firm represents business entities and individuals in their capacity as creditors or debtors, as well as chapter 7, 11 and 13 trustees, debtor or equity committees and indenture trustees.

Sample Cases

  • French/Corporate: Advised French corporation as to organizational compliance issues for Pennsylvania affiliate located in Philadelphia. Drafted necessary State filings and employment agreement for technical sales specialist.
  • Joint Venture/IP: Drafted cross-border agreement between U.S. and Chinese companies to collaborate on the manufacture and purchase of specialized products for the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Employment/C-Suite: Advised the CEO of a start-up as to his strategic long-term share of the capital structure, as well as to proposed employment contracts, restrictive covenants, indemnification agreements and benefits plans.
  • Small Business/Chapter 7: Restored 100% ownership (and key financing potential) to the founder of a closely held business by filing and settling an abandonment motion in the co-founder’s bankruptcy case.
  • Ponzi Scheme/Chapter 11: Negotiated a global settlement on behalf of a REIT in its capacities as real property owner, sub-tenant and sub-landlord of master leases and subleases in a bankruptcy case comprising 25-plus real estate partnerships.
  • Restructuring/Consumer & Business: Assisted a small business owner to obtain a fresh start by filing for personal bankruptcy, unwinding his business and selling his home, while maximizing the equity inuring to him and his spouse.
  • Asset Planning/Foreclosure: Counseled an individual recently divorced and remarried as to asset-preservation issues concerning a mortgage foreclosure case filed against him and his ex-wife with respect to their prior home out of state.
  • Employment/Management Transition: Facilitated the inter-state transition of a manager client by advising him how to handle a mortgage foreclosure in the venue of his prior home, together with filing for bankruptcy in the venue of his new home.
  • Retail Financing/Buy-out: Preserved debtor-in-possession Barney’s substantial investment value in a large volume of real property and equipment subject to financing leases.
  • Healthcare/Government: Oversaw a $2 million settlement of City of Philadelphia claims against the AHERF entities for taxes, charges, contracts and grants.
  • Securities/Safe Harbor: Settled fraudulent transfer and preference actions brought by debtor-in-possession Enron against a securities clearinghouse.
  • Equity Committee/Regulatory: Achieved meaningful value for equity security holders of Columbia Gas post-bankruptcy by negotiating a sophisticated debt restructuring.
  • Litigation: Achieved the dismissal of a $1.8 million action brought against a large temporary staffing agency.