Website Does Not Have To Identify Anonymous Posters
Bruce S. Rosen was quoted in the New Jersey Law Journal about a decision allowing news websites to contest subpoenas that seek the identities of anonymous posters. Click here to read the June 3, 2015 Appellate Division ruling in Trawinski v. John Doe and here to read the news article.
Defamation Plaintiffs Ineligible for Both Presumed and Actual Damages
The New Jersey Supreme Court unanimously ruled on May 27, 2015 that defamation plaintiffs may not recover both presumed and actual damages. Bruce S. Rosen was on the brief on behalf of the ACLU-NJ, an amicus in the case, NuWave Investment Corp. v. Hyman Beck & Co. Media advocates say the ruling prevents the chance of speculative awards, which can discourage free speech. Click here to read the opinion.
Insurer's Denial of Residential Psychiatric Payment Overturned
Laura A. Siclari succeeded, for the second time, in reversing an insurer's denial of coverage for a student's residential psychiatric treatment. An outside reviewing agency for N.J.'s Department of Banking and Insurance decided on April 30, 2015 to allow about $240,000 in reimbursements to the parents.
EEOC Disability-Bias Charge Dismissed; Gender-Bias/Retaliation Charge Settles
Michael E. Gogal obtained the dismissal of an EEOC disability-discrimination charge and negotiated the settlement of an EEOC gender-discrimination and retaliation charge Jan 9, 2015, both on behalf of a corporate client.
McCusker, Prezioso Admitted to PA Bar
John B. McCusker and Patricia Prezioso have been admitted to the Pennsylvania bar, beginning in 2015. They also are admitted in New Jersey and New York
Goldstein To Lead NJ Sharing Network Board
Bruce I. Goldstein is the new chairman of the New Jersey Sharing Network, the federally designated nonprofit responsible for organ and tissue recovery in the state. Bruce, who underwent a heart transplant 10 years ago, is a business litigator and arbitrator. His practice includes shareholder, franchise, fraud, employment, breach of contract, business tort, insurance and professional malpractice matters. News items on Bruce's April 2015 appointment can be found here (third item) and here (third item).
Quinton 'Rampage' Jackson OKed for Montreal Mixed-Martial-Arts Fight
Bruce I. Goldstein, Laura A. Siclari and Zachary D. Wellbrock won a ruling that allowed Quinton “Rampage” Jackson to participate in a mixed-martial-arts bout for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The N.J. Appellate Division vacated a preliminary injunction barring Jackson from the April 25, 2015 fight in Montreal. The court said Bellator Sport Worldwide, LLC, Jackson’s previous promoter and a UFC competitor, did not show it would suffer irreparable harm if Jackson participated. Jackson won the bout against Fabio Maldonado. Click here to read the opinion and here to read the news release.
Robert Bartkus, a Litigator and Arbitrator, Joins MARC
McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen and Carvelli is pleased to welcome veteran business litigator and arbitrator Robert E. Bartkus, who joined the firm on March 23, 2015.
Bob, who is of counsel to the firm, formerly was a member of Dillon, Bitar & Luther, LLC in Florham Park.
He is the initiator, co-editor and co-author of New Jersey Federal Civil Procedure, published annually by Law Journal Books, and a member of the New Jersey Law Journal Editorial Board.
Bob has been selected for inclusion on the New Jersey Super Lawyers© list, has an AV Preeminent™ rating of 5 out of 5 from Martindale-Hubbell and has been listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in American Law.
Bob graduated from Stanford Law School in 1976, where he was articles co-editor of the Stanford Law Review, and from Swarthmore College in 1968, where he earned his B.A., with honors. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Navy from 1969 through 1973.
Click here to read a news article here (third item) and here to read the news release.
Bruce Rosen Named as American Bar Foundation Fellow
Bruce S. Rosen was elected a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in April 2015. The foundation is dedicated to advancing justice through rigorous research on legal processes, the law and its impact on society. Bruce, a litigator, handles complex commercial matters, media law, criminal defense, employment law and environmental law. News items can be found here (fourth item) and here (third item).
Reimbursement Allowed for Child’s Residential Psychiatric Treatment
Laura A. Siclari won a victory on March 18, 2015 on behalf of the parents of a classified high school student seeking insurance reimbursement for more than a year of residential psychiatric hospital treatment for their child. Concluding a 2½-year dispute, Laura persuaded an outside reviewing agency for N.J.’s Department of Banking and Insurance to reverse the insurer’s denials of coverage. As a result, the student’s parents will be reimbursed more than $100,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses.
Noncompete Pact Enforced in Case With National Managed Markets Company
Michael Futterman, with the assistance of Bianca Olivadoti, obtained a preliminary injunction on March 9, 2015 in Somerset County Superior Court against an employer and its new employee, enforcing a noncompete agreement on behalf of a national managed markets company. The adversary filed an emergent appeal with the New Jersey Appellate Division, which was denied on the merits.
Win Against Condominium Association Over Common Expenses
William P. Munday and Zachary D. Wellbrock obtained summary judgment in favor of the plaintiff-clients and dismissing counterclaims of a defendant condominium association that had improperly amended the plaintiffs' percentage interests in common expenses. Bill and Zachary persuaded the Essex County Superior Court on March 6, 2015 that the amendment violated the governing master deed's requirements and was therefore invalid. The amendment could have cost the plaintiffs hundreds of thousands of dollars over the period of their residence in the condominium.
CEPA, Retaliation Claims Dismissed Against School Board
Bruce Rosen and Michael Futterman obtained summary judgment in Union County Superior Court on behalf of a New Jersey Board of Education and the individual board members. All of the plaintiff’s claims, including those under the Conscientious Employee Protection Act and those alleging worker’s compensation retaliation, were dismissed with prejudice on Feb. 27, 2015. MARC convinced the court that similarly situated employees did not engage in actions of comparable seriousness and that there was no discriminatory animus to support the plaintiff’s assertions of disparate treatment.
Court Newsletter Cites Paul Carvelli's Role in Special-Needs Internship
Paul F. Carvelli was mentioned in Judiciary Times, the state courts’ newsletter, for his leadership in helping establish a special-needs internship in the Morris/Sussex Vicinage. The article says the program "gives young adults on the autism spectrum, or facing other developmental disabilities, the opportunity to learn about the courts, obtain hands-on work experience, and serve the community by performing tasks appropriate to their skills and abilities." One of Paul's practice areas is special education. The article, “Morris/Sussex Debuts Program for Special Needs Community," was published in the Winter 2014-2015 issue and can be found here.
MARC Named to 'Best Law Firms' 2015
McCusker, Anselmi, Rosen and Carvelli has been selected for the 2015 edition of "Best Law Firms" in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers. The firm ranks in the survey’s top tier for commercial litigation, First Amendment law and First Amendment litigation. The rankings are based on peer and client reviews—as well as other criteria—in the categories of expertise, responsiveness, integrity and cost-effectiveness.
NJ Law Journal Selects Michael Futterman as a New Leader of the Bar
Michael R. Futterman has been chosen by the New Jersey Law Journal for its 2014 New Leaders of the Bar recognition. The Law Journal said in its July 28, 2014 issue, that the “standout lawyers” have “established themselves as leaders within their firms and organizations, as well as within the larger legal community.” Michael focuses mainly on commercial/business and employment litigation, along with business and employment counseling.
Republication of Authorities’ Defamatory Material Is Protected
Bruce S. Rosen and Sarah L. Fehm won a dismissal under New York’s fair-report law in a libel case against a New York TV station that ran a photograph of a man police said was a sexual-assault suspect. While the police asked for help in identifying the suspect and later announced the arrest of someone else, they never announced that the man in the photograph and the suspect were different people. A Supreme Court judge in Brooklyn ruled that the station was protected by the law, which absolutely protects republication of authorities’ defamatory material. Rosen and Fehm argued that the TV station was unaware that the suspect was not the man in the photograph.
Laura Siclari Discusses Special-Needs Legal Issues at Expo
Laura A. Siclari showcased MARC’s Special Education & Disability Law practice at a Special Needs Expo in Teaneck on Sept. 14, 2014. Laura represents special needs children and their families on a wide range of issues, including disputes with school districts, estate planning and guardianship matters. She also frequently speaks to organizations seeking information and counsel on these topics.
Bruce Rosen Chosen for Best Lawyers in America, Litigation-First Amendment 'Lawyer of the Year'
Bruce S. Rosen has been selected for inclusion in the 2014-2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the areas of First Amendment law and Litigation-First Amendment. He also has been named the Newark area Litigation-First Amendment "Lawyer of the Year" by Best Lawyers for 2014-2015.
No-Cause in Disability-Discrimination Suit Against Oil Company
John McCusker, with assistance from Alicyn Craig, Suzanne Murphy and in-house counsel Patrick Conlon, successfully tried an employment case to a no-cause verdict on behalf of a Fortune 2 oil company and a supervisor. Two Ph.D. research engineers—one current and one former employee—claimed that the company discriminated against them for alleged disabilities and that their supervisor created a hostile work environment. The case was removed to federal court and the parties engaged in extensive discovery practice, including nearly 25 days of deposition testimony. At the close of discovery, the defense team moved for summary judgment and obtained a dismissal of the plaintiffs’ claims. The defense team also was successful in having the plaintiffs sanctioned for numerous discovery-related infractions. The plaintiffs refiled suit in state court in 2010. The defense again was successful on summary judgment, resulting in the dismissal of one plaintiff’s claims in the entirety and the significant limitation of the other plaintiff’s claims. After a three-week trial, the jury returned the no-cause verdict, dismissing the remaining plaintiff’s claim.
Bruce Rosen Article Looks at Use of Social Media as Investigative Tool
Bruce S. Rosen wrote an article examining the ethics of using social media as an investigative tool. The piece, "With Friends Like These…," appeared in New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association. The October 2013 article can be found here.
Defense Verdict Reached in Commercial Transaction Litigation
Paul F. Carvelli won a trial in Bergen County Chancery Division, where a judge found his client not liable for contract, fiduciary duty and fraudulent transfer claims arising out of a commercial transaction.
Venue-Selection Clause Enforced in Franchise Case
Michael T. Millar, representing a franchisor, recently won a motion enforcing a venue selection clause in a New Jersey franchise agreement. In 1996, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that such clauses are presumptively invalid and unenforceable. Michael argued that the rule should not apply when the clause designates a New Jersey forum and application of New Jersey law. The trial court agreed and transferred venue from Atlantic County to the designated venue in Morris County, where Michael’s client has its headquarters.
Newsperson's Shield Statute Protects Blogger From Subpoena
In one of the first cases of its kind in the nation, a New Jersey judge has ruled that a citizen journalist—an unpaid government watchdog who functions as a journalist—is protected from a prosecutor’s subpoena under the state newsperson’s shield statute. Union County Superior Court Judge Karen Cassidy issued the ruling that protected blogger Tina Renna, represented by Bruce S. Rosen and Katie Hirce, from having to submit her unpublished materials to a prosecutor she had criticized in her blog. The April 12, 2013 decision can be found here, and a news account of the decision here.
Michael Futterman Addresses NYC Bar on NJ Civil Practice
Michael R. Futterman
spoke at the New York City Bar, City Bar Center for Continuing Legal Education, as part of the Bar Association’s New Jersey Bridge the Gap Program. Michael presented "New Jersey Civil Trial Practice" on Feb. 8, 2013 to about 80 New York attorneys interested in learning New Jersey litigation skills.
Laura Siclari Addresses Special-Needs Issues at Fair
Laura A. Siclari
showcased MARC’s Special Education & Disability Law practice at the LivingstonAbilities Fair on Jan. 27, 2013. Laura represents special-needs children and their families on a wide range of issues, including disputes with school districts, estate planning and guardianship matters. She also frequently speaks to organizations seeking information and counsel on these topics.
Complex Line of Credit Obtained for Company
Michael Gogal represented a company in negotiating a complex line of credit and related agreements with an international bank in 2012, resulting in $1.7 million of financing.
Laura Siclari Presents on Estate Plans for Special-Needs Families
Laura A. Siclari addressed a workshop on Oct. 24, 2012 entitled "Planning for the Future: Estate Plans Are Set, But Are Families Prepared?" She spoke on "Legal Considerations for the Special Needs Family: Rights under IDEA, Guardianships vs. Power of Attorney and Special Needs Trusts."
Contaminated Property Sold; Remediation Responsibilities Assigned
Michael Gogal negotiated the sale of a client's contaminated property to a major Northeast municipality in 2012, along with the assignment of all remediation responsibilities to the municipality and indemnification rights from the municipality.
Laura Siclari Speaks on Estate Planning for Special-Needs Young Adults
During a workshop entitled "Planning for the Future: Special Considerations for Families of Individuals with Special-Needs," Laura A. Siclari spoke on "Life Beyond School: Transition and Estate Planning for the Special Needs Young Adult." The program was held on May 9, 2012 in Florham Park.
Talk by Laura Siclari Focuses on Special-Needs Young Adults Post-School
Laura A. Siclari spoke on March 29, 2012 in Paramus at a program entitled "Planning for the Future: Special Considerations for Families of Individuals with Special Needs." Laura presented on "Life Beyond School: Transition and Estate Planning for the Special-Needs Young Adult."
Summary Judgment for Oil Company in Suit Over Motor-Vehicle Accident
Paul McCusker, with the assistance of
Suzanne Murphy and
Michael Futterman, recently won summary judgment on all claims on behalf of a Fortune 50 oil company in a case in which an infant suffered serious injuries in a motor vehicle collision on the Grand Central Parkway in Queens County, NY. The plaintiff alleged that the company was responsible because it allegedly controlled the acceleration lane where the accident occurred. The court, however, agreeing with MARC’s attorneys, noted that the New York Court of Claims, in a prior decision, found New York State 100 percent liable. Because the same issues in this case were also before the Court of Claims and the plaintiff had an opportunity to contest those claims, the court held that the plaintiff was collaterally estopped from arguing negligence by MARC’s client.
Negligent-Search Claims Dismissed Against Title Company
Michael Millar recently won a pre-answer motion for summary judgment in New Jersey Superior Court dismissing all claims against his client, a title company. The plaintiff claimed that the company failed to perform a "run-down" search on a vacant waterfront lot she was buying to build a home. She alleged that the search would have turned up a Coastal Areas Facility Review Act (CAFRA) permit that imposed building restrictions. She sued the company, alleging a negligent title search. Michael presented legal authority demonstrating that a search is not performed for the buyer but for the title insurer so it may determine what risks it will insure. As a result, Michael contended that the buyer had no claim for a negligent search. The court agreed and granted Michael’s motion to dismiss all claims against the company.
Pharmaceutical Corporation Wins Dismissal Motion in CEPA Suit
John McCusker, with the assistance of
Kathleen Hirce and
Patrice LeTourneau, recently won a motion to dismiss in New Jersey Superior Court, successfully arguing on behalf of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company that the complaint, which included counts based on New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA) and other torts, failed to state a claim.
NYC Appeals Court Sides With Oil Company in Sidewalk-Maintenance Case
Alicyn Craig garnered success for a Fortune 50 oil company in a premises liability action when the New York Appellate Division, First Department, reversed a lower court. Her client was sued by a woman who fell on ice on a Bronx public sidewalk, adjacent to property the client leased to determine whether it wanted to use it for a service station. The woman also sued the property’s owner with whom the client had a lease agreement that contained indemnification provisions in favor of Alicyn’s client. The lower court denied the client’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that the property owner had presented material issues of fact of the client’s alleged control of the property. But the Appellate Division disagreed, finding that the client bore no responsibility to keep the sidewalk free of snow and ice, pursuant to the New York Administrative Code, and that the lower court applied the wrong legal standard. As such, the appeals court reversed, dismissing all claims against Alicyn’s client. The order can be found
Remediation Suit Against Oil Company Fails; No Link Found to Allegedly Leaky Tank
Catherine Lopez recently won summary judgment motion on all claims on behalf of a Fortune 50 oil company in a case in which the owner of a former service station property sued under New York’s Navigation Law. The plaintiff sought recovery based on claims associated with remediation of the property and diminution in value allegedly caused by a leaking underground storage tank that the plaintiff contended was the responsibility of the company during its tenure at the site. The complaint was dismissed because the court found that the plaintiff did not meet its burden of proof in establishing that the company was a “discharger” under the Navigation Law, as the plaintiff did not show a nexus between the company and the allegedly leaky tank.
Carvelli Is Named Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America
Paul F. Carvelli has been nominated as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, an honorary trial and appellate lawyer society. Fellowship is by invitation only, and Fellows are selected based on excellence and accomplishment in litigation, both at the trial and appellate levels, as well as superior ethical reputation.
Hirce Speaks to DC Bar About Too Much Media Ruling by NJ Top Court
Kathleen Hirce spoke to the Media Law Committee of the District of Columbia Bar’s Arts, Entertainment, Media and Sports Law Section about the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Too Much Media, LLC v. Hale. There, the Court defined who is a journalist eligible for protection of the state’s newsperson's shield law. The opinion, which broaches an area of media law that is expected to become increasingly contentious, largely adopted positions advanced by media entities that filed a “friend of the court” brief authored by Bruce S. Rosen and Kathleen.
Hirce Is Interviewed About Jurors’ Names Being Withheld in Criminal Trial
Kathleen Hirce was interviewed by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press after U.S. District Judge William Martini withheld jurors' names in the trial of Paul Bergrin, a former defense lawyer charged with coordinating the murder of a confidential witness in a federal drug case against one of his clients. Click here for the Oct. 21, 2011 interview.
Implied Employment Contract Claim Dismissed Against Oil Company
John McCusker, with the assistance of Michael Futterman, won a motion to dismiss with prejudice on all claims on behalf of a Fortune 50 oil company in an employment case. The plaintiff employee had alleged that a company document created an implied employment contract, known under New Jersey law as a Woolley claim. While motions to dismiss in employment cases are rarely granted, John and Michael succeeded, cutting off the client’s expenses at a very early point in the litigation.
NJ Justices Clarify Protections Under Newsperson’s Shield Law
The NJ Supreme Court defined who is a journalist eligible for protection under the state’s newsperson’s shield law, largely adopting positions advanced by media entities that filed a “friend of the court” brief authored by Bruce S. Rosen and
Kathleen Hirce. Bruce was quoted in a number of news stories and was interviewed on Fox News on June 9, 2011 about the decision. Click here to view.
Challenge to Corporation’s Drug and Alcohol Policy Is Unsuccessful
John B. McCusker, with the assistance of Michael F. Futterman and Suzanne M. Murphy, recently won summary judgment on all claims on behalf of a Fortune 50 oil company in a case in which the plaintiff, under New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination and the New Jersey Constitution, challenged the legality of the company’s drug and alcohol policy. The policy governs employees worldwide.
Couple’s Case Against Broker Settles
John McCusker, with assistance of Patrice LeTourneau, successfully settled a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) matter brought on behalf of a couple whose savings were stolen by a broker who was ultimately criminally prosecuted. The FINRA matter was settled with the brokerage house that employed the broker.
Denial of Counsel Fees Overturned in No-Cause CEPA Case
John McCusker and Patricia Prezioso, with the assistance of Kathleen Hirce, obtained the reversal of a trial court order denying counsel fees and costs under the fee-shifting provision of New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA). The attorneys had requested, on behalf of a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company, that the court award fees after a trial on the plaintiff’s CEPA claim resulted in a no-cause verdict. John and Patricia also had tried the case on behalf of the company. The Appellate Division remanded the matter to the trial court, ordering it to make a determination on whether the plaintiff’s case was frivolous and filed in bad faith.
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