Areas Of Practice
Estate & Trust Litigation | Real Estate Transactions & Litigation | Land Use Applications & Litigation
Construction Litigation | Condominium Issues | Employment Agreements | Commercial Litigation & Business Disputes
Commercial Litigation & Business Disputes
Business disputes are about problem solving. Sometimes you can solve problems without litigation, but sometimes it takes litigation to drive parties to solve problems. Either way, I have 20 years of experience, and I have the legal abilities and interpersonal skill to bring the matter to closure in the boardroom or the courtroom, as the case may dictate. I have represented commercial tenants, commercial landlords, doctors, lawyers, large corporations, small businesses, contractors, and many other types of businesses and business people in mediation, arbitration and court. My introduction to the law was as a law clerk to the top rated Chancery (business court) Judge in the State. I was the top graduate in the field of corporate law at Villanova University, and I was the co-winner of the National Corporate Law Moot Court Competition in Wilmington Delaware. I am also a court approved civil mediator. Whether through negotiation or litigation, I can work with you to resolve your business dispute by all appropriate means.
A large part of my practice is dedicated to litigation issues relating to construction. I enjoy the complexity of the engineering, insurance and liability issues that impact nearly every construction case. I represent parties ranging from the homeowner with a defective foundation, to the multimillion dollar developer who is accused of having deficiently constructed a major commercial building. I have represented Boards of Education pursuing claims for defective construction of school facilities, I have represented developers of major residential developments in construction defect cases, and I have successfully sued major developers in construction defect cases. I have the experience to litigate the matter, and the good sense to resolve it when appropriate. I work well with the experts to succeed in such matters, and have access to and credibility with those experts. I have given seminars on the Consumer Fraud Act to members of the public, as well as lawyers and Judges. No matter the size of the project, I know the issue is important to you, therefore it is important to me, and I will work to find a solution, through litigation or otherwise.
I do not hold myself out as a Tax Attorney or complex Estate Planning Expert. I certainly understand complex Estates, and I do have clients with complex estates I helped develop, but I would not independently draft planning documents for Estates in excess of $5,000,000.
However, very few people need that type of estate planning, and do not need to spend the kind money often charged for such complex planning. I make a sincere effort to keep an Estate plan as simple as possible while still providing a sound and sensible transfer of wealth upon death. I will determine if you need a simple or complex estate plan, and if you need a complex plan, I will recommend an attorney specializing in that area. However, for most people a simple Will, Living Will and/or Power of Attorney is more than sufficient, and I provide this service at a reasonable price and use that experience as an opportunity to get to know new clients and their families, and hopefully establish a lasting relationship of trust and confidence so that I may serve as counsel and “first stop” for all of your legal matters.
I have reviewed and prepared employment contracts for physicians, executives and other professionals. I have also represented employers in the negotiation and drafting of employment agreements. I am experienced with covenants not to compete and other issues impacting the terms and conditions of employment, as well as the implications of such provisions upon the termination of employment. I have not only been involved in the drafting of such agreements, but I have also litigated their enforcement and breach, both on behalf of employees and employers.
Real Estate Transactions & Litigation
My first 10 years as an attorney were largely spent representing Fidelity National Title Insurance Company in land title litigation throughout the state. I have litigated, drafted, negotiated and interpreted hundreds of issues relating to contracts of sale, title, mortgages, easements, licenses, and just about every other issue involving real estate. I have represented homeowners in the purchase of their "starter house," and I have prepared the documentation for the sale and lease of multi-million dollar commercial properties. I have successfully defended foreclosure in the residential and commercial context, and I have litigated substantial commercial lease issues on behalf of landlords and tenants. As a litigator, I have seen first-hand what works and does not work in the drafting of contracts, and if there is a problem, I am not a mere “negotiator” who is afraid to go to court to meet a challenge to a contract.
Estate & Trust Litigation
Resolving such cases can be challenging, but I am up to the challenge. There are usually high emotions in these cases, and my role is to keep things in proportion, analyze the law and facts, and do what is necessary to either bring those facts to the court for resolution or bring the parties together to find a way past the conflict.
I have used the court process to compel accountings of Trusts and Estates. I have removed Executors and Trustees for misappropriation of funds and other breaches of fiduciary duties. I have been involved in complex actions for Guardianships, and I have defended Executors and Trustees for alleged wrongdoing. I have been involved in cases alleging undue influence (alleging someone tricked or pressured another into making a will or gift). Some of the cases involved millions of dollars, and others a single house or bank account. I clerked in the Chancery Division, which includes the probate court, and worked side by side with a retired chancery Judge in my former firm for 7 years. This is an area of the law I particularly enjoy, and feel I am well qualified to handle.
Insurance companies and their insureds do not always agree on whether a claim is covered, and if covered, how much should be paid. I have represented insureds in many different types of claims, including flood, fire, homeowners, business interruption and many others. I can read and understand policies that are often written so they are incomprehensible to the insured, and I have the creativity and intelligence to find ways to get my clients the coverage they deserve. I have represented people with collapsed basements, fire damage, flooded luxury cars, destroyed businesses, and may other types of damage or loss for which insurance may be available. The insurance companies have experienced attorneys representing their position, and it takes a combination of tough litigating, legitimate valuation, and sensible negotiation to maximize the return on your premium investment. I have resolved scores of such cases, whether it be in arbitration, appraisal, mediation or litigation, and I have the ability and experience to see the matter through to a successful conclusion.
Land Use Applications & Litigation
I am qualified to both obtain a land use approval, and equally as important, defend it in court. I have represented homeowners, business owners and developers before land use boards in Atlantic, Cape May and Ocean Counties. I also have litigated zoning issues before the Superior Court for applicants, objectors and municipalities. I have represented the City of Cape May and the City of Linwood in Superior Court, and I have successfully served as an objector to zoning applications. On behalf of “objectors”, I have compelled the relocation of an adjacent home that was built in violation of the zoning ordinance, and I have prevented the addition of additional floors on a hotel impacting my client’s view of the ocean. I have successfully presented subdivision, site plan and variance applications for homes and businesses. I served for several months as the attorney for Galloway Planning Board, and have represented the City of Cape May Planning Board in litigation. I have the experience to handle zoning issues before Boards and in Court, and have done so for nearly 20 years.
Personal Injury and Workers Compensation Referrals
Although I do not practice in these areas, I nevertheless have provided valuable services to my clients through the referral process. I take this role very seriously, and I work hard to find my clients the right attorney for their case. I have interviewed and selected nationally recognized aviation attorneys for my dear clients following an airplane crash. I have successfully identified a medical malpractice attorney for the family of my deceased client, with very good results, despite the case being turned down by two prior firms. I have referred car accident cases, workers compensation cases, and slip and falls to a network of attorneys I trust to not only handle the case, but to keep me informed of the progress so I can answer your questions as the need arises. I am often paid a referral fee, and I believe do my best to earn that fee by finding you the right attorney for the case. The attorneys I select for these cases often have represented my dearest friends and family, thereby demonstrating the trust I repose in them. I have referred a large number of cases with great success, and I encourage you to allow me to be your source for the right legal representation, even when I cannot personally handle your case.
I am not an attorney who regularly represents condominiums in the collection of dues, or evictions, or the other standard activities of being an attorney for a condominium. My role is as special counsel when there is a serious problem. I have been appointed by the Superior Court to serve as an election monitor for a contested election in a several hundred unit condominium. I have represented disenfranchised or abused residents, and I have defended Boards and Board Members against allegations of wrong doing. I have litigated construction related issues on behalf of Boards and owners. I have litigated disputes regarding use restrictions on commercial condominium units. Whether through mediation or litigation, I have been called upon by owners, Boards and Board Attorneys to handle particular legal conflicts in condominiums and find a solution through whatever means are appropriate in the circumstance.