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  • "The firm has done an excellent job for this company. The attorneys are responsive and provide outstanding counsel at reasonable rates. The firm is also extremely proactive in pointing out areas we should be concerned about. The attorneys are very professional in every aspect." – Chambers USA

    "They are extremely bright, always well prepared - even on short notice - and extremely personable while being completely professional. These attorneys have the ability to make people feel at ease and comfortable." – Chambers USA

    "In terms of value, their rates are the best I have found for the level of service." – Chambers USA

    "A great firm with talented attorneys who consistently put in a stellar performance." – Chambers USA

    "They have a forward - thinking, constructive approach to dealing with opponents. They are a well - respected and experienced bunch with a huge resource base." 
    Chambers USA

Business Litigation

The Business Litigation Practice Group represents businesses of all sizes and kinds in litigation that goes to the core of how our clients structure and conduct their businesses, and how they deal with customers, suppliers, partners, and competitors. 

Our group is committed to fostering and building long-term client relationships through thoughtful and innovative litigation management.  By carefully matching assignments with appropriate personnel from among more than 50 lawyers, we apply our collective knowledge and expertise in the most effective and cost-efficient manner, both before and after litigation commences.

Our engagement begins with an assessment of the issues and the development of a litigation strategy in close consultation with in-house counsel and principals, and includes early evaluation of the potential for prompt resolution within the parameters of the client's objectives. We also advocate the pursuit of early dismissal of defective claims wherever possible, through targeted dispositive motion practice. Whatever the scope of the engagement or the amount in controversy, we approach each case with a single goal: to understand our client's business and legal needs and to meet and exceed our client's expectations.

Appellate

We have extensive appellate experience. Many of our attorneys served as law clerks for state or federal appellate judges and justices, and are, as a result, well versed in the process and particulars of judicial decision making. Our attorneys appear in state appellate courts throughout the Northeast on a regular basis. We also appear frequently in matters before federal circuit courts of appeal. The group's appellate cases are often referred by other lawyers who recognize the specialized skills, training, and knowledge that an experienced appellate advocate brings to the table. In addition to briefing and arguing the traditional appeal from a final trial court judgment, our group is also prepared to provide general advice on appellate matters or to assist with or handle emergency matters, interlocutory appeals, amicus curiae briefs, administrative appeals, significant motions in major litigation, or any other issues in which an appellate court may eventually become involved.

Breach of Duty Claims

We regularly defend financial institutions, directors, officers, and committees against complex negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims and statutory claims.

Broker-Customer & Registered Representative Dispute Resolution & Arbitration

We handle all aspects of broker-customer issues, from providing advice regarding a customer or registered representative complaint before a claim is filed through, if necessary, trial and the appellate process. We successfully defend claims of churning, unsuitability, misrepresentations and omissions, unauthorized trading, sales practice violations, failure to supervise, and alleged violations of state and federal securities laws. We are proficient in arbitrating cases that involve financial products, having represented local, national, and international clients in broker and registered representative disputes before state and federal courts, FINRA, and the American Arbitration Association.

Business Torts

When a dispute arises between two businesses it is often assumed that there must be a contract between the parties that will resolve the dispute.  That is very often not the case.  Even when there is a contract, it may not fully resolve the dispute.  Our attorneys regularly deal with the body of law that fills the void either when there is no contract or when simply looking to the contract is not enough.  For example, we have represented several clients either pursuing or defending claims that a competitor has tortiously interfered with another's business.  Similarly, we are intimately familiar with statutes and common law that define what constitutes unfair competition in the marketplace.

Class Action

Our group has handled a wide variety of class actions, multidistrict litigations, and other multiclaimant proceedings that involve substantial corporate exposure and require close cooperation between and among outside counsel, inside counsel, and the business client; creative lawyering; and often daunting logistics.  We have decades of experience in defending against the certification of class actions and, if the class ultimately is certified, defending against the claims on their merits.  We have represented major financial services companies in class actions that allege violations of securities laws including the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, and the Investment Company Act of 1940.  We also have represented telecommunications companies and defended claims relating to life and health insurance, annuities, and other consumer financial products, as well as claims alleging violations of various state and consumer protection statutes.

Closely Held Companies/Succession Planning

Our attorneys advise the owners and members of private companies on innovative succession planning as well as planning for effective governance and management. This may involve estate and trust or gift planning advice, insurance issues, restructuring the ownership or management of the business, and exit and liquidity strategies. Our attorneys have a successful track record in resolving these issues through trial, if litigation is required, or can resort to mediation or other alternatives to litigation.

Compliance & Ethics Programs

We counsel and assist businesses in implementing effective corporate compliance and ethics programs, including training, policies and procedures reviews, and development of practical and effective compliance infrastructure for regulated and non-regulated industries.

Contract Disputes

Litigating the terms of complex commercial contracts is at the heart of what we do.  No matter how much care is taken in drafting such agreements, there are typically so many matters to be considered that something will go unaddressed or will not be addressed as clearly as one would have liked.  We have years of experience working through such problems, analyzing the negotiating history of the agreement, examining trade and custom, and applying old-fashioned common sense to questions of interpretation.  In the end, our focus is addressing the problem to find a solution, whether negotiated or litigated, that enforces what the parties intended when they wrote their agreement.

Corporate Governance Claims

We successfully defend financial institutions against claims relating to shareholder proposals, election proceedings, and executive and director compensation.

Franchise & Distribution

For most businesses, getting their product to market is as important as making the product. Virtually all businesses must deal with issues that arise from the distribution of their products. Our attorneys have decades of experience counseling clients on establishing or altering their distribution systems. We have successfully litigated and settled numerous franchise disputes, such as terminations and appointment/siting claims. In one example, we assisted a national distributor in the transition of its distribution system from a group of independent distributors to a centralized network. In that process, we successfully represented the client in cases in three jurisdictions in defense of injunction proceedings that, if successful, would have delayed the changeover, and negotiated solutions that avoided other such applications. We regularly counsel clients before they undertake the termination of distributors in order to mitigate the risk of liability under state and foreign franchise laws. For example, we worked with a manufacturer/supplier with potential franchise exposure in assembling data to demonstrate that termination would be appropriate under a "good cause" standard. The group also assists clients acquiring companies with distributor networks in performing due diligence to determine whether there may be franchise exposure as they meld their new network into their existing system. Throughout the group, we have attorneys who concentrate on the more specialized area of automotive franchise disputes and regulation. The group handles franchise-related legal issues for expanding automotive dealers, both large and small, concentrating on protecting their franchise investments and related real estate holdings. We actively worked with dealers during the recent manufacturers' bankruptcies and continue to counsel them through the maze of issues that impact their businesses during the post bankruptcy era, including representation in the arbitrations arising out of dealer terminations and successful litigation throughout the Northeast. In addition to advising dealers on some of the major issues addressed by franchise laws, such as appointments, relocations, and terminations, we provide counsel on audit issues, local and federal consumer privacy compliance, warranty obligations, and transgenerational planning. On the policy front, we seek to proactively improve existing law, as it will affect our clients in the future. For example, we recently acted as the primary author to the overhaul of the Massachusetts automotive franchise statute.

E-Discovery & Records Management

Several of the group's attorneys specialize in the development of efficient and economical solutions for all facets of electronic discovery and records management.  Their decades of experience in handling document and data productions enable us to assist our clients in complying with the increasing burdens of document and electronic data retention.  We routinely advise clients on records management and ESI issues in actions of all sizes.  We have assisted clients in the management of small matters, where the cost of poorly controlled discovery can outpace the amount in dispute, as well as large matters, including one of the nation's largest and most compressed ESI production efforts.  By partnering with clients and a group of carefully screened vendors, we are able to offer a wide range of comprehensive records management and e-Discovery solutions that address all four stages of the e-Discovery life cycle: preservation, collection, review, and production.  Working closely with clients' business, legal, and technical staffs, our e-Discovery teams not only respond to existing litigation, but help clients reduce costs proactively through efficient, tailored, cost-conscious records management and litigation readiness solutions.  Our wealth of experience and range of representative matters enable us to tailor solutions effectively to meet our clients' needs and budgets.  Our members participate in industry speakers' platforms and think tanks, and also act as policy writers with groups such as the Sedona Conference Working Group, ensuring that we are current on existing law as well as the trends of the future.

ERISA Litigation

We successfully defend ERISA claims arising from the liquidation of employer stock funds, claims for benefits under welfare and pension plans, disputes over payment of severance benefits, claims for early-retirement benefits, plan termination issues, HMO liability, alleged mismanagement of pension funds, alleged underfunding of pension plans, alleged discrimination, and alleged misrepresentations concerning tax qualification or other benefits available under a plan.

Financial Professional & Attorney Malpractice

In a world where professional principles and standards have become even more rigorous, and government regulatory schemes such as Sarbanes-Oxley add another layer of complexity to professional practices, malpractice lawsuits have become commonplace – sometimes resulting in considerable exposure or significant business disruptions. We defend accountants, auditors, insurance brokers and firms, attorneys, and other entities against malpractice litigation brought by companies, individuals, or shareholders. Many are high-profile cases and may involve claims that a professional or firm should have uncovered financial risks, conflicts of interest, or fraudulent activity as part of its engagement.

HMO Liability/Managed Care

We represent managed-care organizations and other health insurers in regulatory actions, arbitrations, and civil lawsuits addressing business practices, provider and hospital reimbursement, network management, contract disputes, out-of-network billing, prompt-pay disputes, Medicaid, Medicare, ERISA, medical malpractice, and coverage issues.

Internal Corporate Investigations

Our broad, practical experience in conducting thorough, effective, and efficient internal corporate investigations enables us to assist the client in mitigating the impact of any detected misconduct and minimizing the client's potential exposure to civil and criminal penalties.  As former prosecutors and experienced litigators, our attorneys are well equipped to develop a detailed investigative methodology appropriate to the nature of the client's business, with the goal of protecting the client's interests and efficiently achieving a favorable resolution.  We have conducted many internal corporate investigations and have presented the results to upper-level management and/or the board of directors.

Life, Health, Disability, Annuity, & Sales Practices Litigation

We have significant experience and success in handling annuity, life insurance, health insurance, and disability insurance cases, as well as traditional disputes under individual policies and class actions, including claims of misrepresentation, lapse, fraud, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, rescission, interpleader, consumer fraud, sales practices, conditional receipts, and alleged bad faith.  Our group coordinated the nationwide sales practices defense of one of the country's largest financial services companies.  We have negotiated nationwide class action settlements and have managed and coordinated hundreds of individual opt-out cases throughout the country.

Securities Litigation

Despite the high-profile nature of class action lawsuits, the vast majority of securities litigation continues to arise from the sale and purchase of securities by either individual investors or single or small groups of institutional investors.  We defend issuers, underwriters, financial institutions, private equity firms, hedge funds, and accounting firms in securities litigations under the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, the Investment Company Act of 1940, RICO, and state law.  We also have prosecuted securities litigation on behalf of financial institutions, companies, and individuals.

Securities Regulatory Defense Litigation

Our group handles securities regulatory defense litigation and provides regulatory advice and counsel to broker-dealers, investment banks, investment companies, and investment advisers. We have represented major investment banks, wire houses, investment companies, and investment advisers and senior officers of these firms, in SEC and FINRA enforcement investigations as well as those conducted by state bureaus of securities and state attorneys general. This includes civil, criminal, and administrative enforcement actions involving violations of federal securities laws and state blue-sky laws. These matters encompass virtually every aspect of these laws, including equity and fixed income trading, net capital, margin, insider trading, and registration issues.  Several partners are considered national authorities on the regulation of electronic technology and equity and fixed income trading. Partners working in this area include a former Deputy Attorney General of the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice; a former head of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, a former Assistant United States Attorney and Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force Division for the District of New Jersey, a former Deputy General Counsel to the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety, and a former prosecutor with the Bergen County (NJ) Prosecutor's Office.

Shareholder Derivative Suits

We represent corporations and their officers and directors in derivative actions brought by shareholders pursuant to statutory or common law.  Such actions typically allege some type of corporate mismanagement, such as breach of fiduciary duty, excessive compensation, and corporate waste.  We have the knowledge and experience to defend these suits with the strategies specific to this type of lawsuit, including how to attack "demand rejected" and/or "demand futility" allegations.

White-Collar Criminal Defense

Our group is experienced in defending the parallel proceedings that often arise in heavily regulated industries.  We represent corporations, directors and officers, employees, and individuals in all types of criminal investigations and proceedings, such as asset forfeiture, tax evasion, securities fraud, Medicare fraud, bank fraud, environmental crimes, antitrust and trade regulation, obstruction of justice, customs fraud, RICO, money laundering, and public corruption cases.  In addition, we develop client strategies to respond to informal requests for information and to protect key rights with regard to matters involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  When a civil response will not suffice, our group is able to facilitate post-indictment criminal proceedings and investigations while preparing an appropriate litigation strategy.  We also defend clients through the grand jury investigation process against allegations of a range of business crimes.  Our white-collar defense team includes a former Deputy Chief of the Organized Crime Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, a former head of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property section of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, a former Assistant District Attorney from New York County, a former senior counsel with the SEC's Division of Enforcement, and a former Bergen County (NJ) assistant prosecutor.

Representative Matters

We served as co-counsel in defense of multiple MDL antitrust class actions related to our client’s Hatch-Waxman Act settlements with generic manufacturers. The classes, consisting of end users, distributors and retailers, claimed that settlements with generic manufacturers harmed competition and artificially delayed the entry of a generic bioequivalent. This “pay for delay” case was the first to reach trial since the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in FTC v. Actavis. A jury found that there was no causation between the settlements and no proof that a generic could have entered the market earlier than the date permitted under the settlements.
In a case that made national headlines, we served as co-counsel litigating shareholder challenges to our client’s multibillion-dollar merger with a competitor. After preventing a preliminary injunction, our client agreed not to oppose the plaintiffs’ request for attorney’s fees on a disclosure-only settlement. The court refused to grant the fee request, holding that the plaintiffs filed non-meritorious litigation merely to harvest a fee at no benefit to the class, likely marking the end of disclosure-only settlements in Delaware M&A litigation.
We secured the complete dismissal with prejudice of a five-count complaint which included claims of fraudulent misrepresentation and unfair trade practices related to allegations that our client orchestrated a scheme to fraudulently acquire the business assets of a competitor.
In a 15-year long “late fee” class action brought in the Southern District of New York involving  a class of approximately 300,000 borrowers, we persuaded the  District Court to overturn a $54 million jury verdict against our client and decertify the class. Decertification was affirmed on appeal. The Opinion by the Second Circuit explores the intersect between the Seventh Amendment and the power of a federal judge to amend a class certification order right up until entry of judgment, an issue of first impression.