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  • Nov 05, 2020Norris McLaughlin Has Been Named a Tier 1 Metropolitan “Best Law Firm” in 11 Practice Areas by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in 2021

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is proud to announce that it has been selected for inclusion in eleven practice areas for the 2021 “Best Law Firms” metropolitan rankings by the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®. The firm’s full listing of First Tier Metropolitan rankings is as follows:

    • Arbitration
    • Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights/Insolvency and Reorganization Law
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Energy Law
    • Environmental Law
    • Litigation – Construction
    • Litigation – Environmental
    • Mediation
    • Product Liability Litigation – Defendants
    • Trusts & Estates Law
    • Workers’ Compensation Law – Employers

    Norris McLaughlin has also received a Tier 2 Metropolitan ranking in the following practice areas:

    • Banking and Finance Law
    • Communications Law
    • Corporate Law
    • Family Law
    • Family Law Mediation
    • Litigation – Bankruptcy
    • Natural Resources Law

    “This listing of Norris McLaughlin is an outstanding achievement for the practice groups and dedicated attorneys who serve our clients. The rankings represent independent substantiation of the value we provide our clients, producing real results through efficient and diligent counsel,” said John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm.

    About U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms”

    From the start, the mission of “Best Law Firms” has been to help guide referring lawyers and clients – from the country’s largest companies needing corporate legal advice to individuals needing a divorce or a will – issues with bet-the-company implications or potentially life-changing results respectively. The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their fields, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. For more information, including methodology, and the full listing, see bestlawfirms.usnews.com.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin is a multi-practice, commercial law firm with offices in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Though regionally based, the firm has grown its capabilities to include counseling on matters of national and international scope. Boasting a team of more than 120 attorneys practicing in over 25 legal disciplines and industry-focused groups, Norris McLaughlin is well-positioned to represent a wide range of client segments, including small business, middle-market companies, and Fortune 500 corporations, as well as the private individuals and families who own and run them.

    Once a humble two-man practice in Somerville, New Jersey, the firm has leveraged a multi-disciplinary legal practice with a deep dedication to superior client service to become the largest law firm in Somerset County and one of the Top 20 law firms based in New Jersey. To respond to the changing needs of the firm’s clients and the business community, Norris McLaughlin expanded its geographic reach by merging with like-minded firms in New York City (1999) and the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania (2009). As a result of this expansion, and with the resources of international law firm networks providing additional bench strength and service capability, Norris McLaughlin now delivers a total package of legal solutions to represent clients wherever they are and whatever their legal issues may be.

    Posted in: Banking & Financial Services, Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights, Business Law, Construction Law, Environmental, Estate Planning & Administration, Litigation, Matrimonial & Family Law, News, Products Liability Defense, Solar Energy, Telecommunications, Workers’ Compensation—Pennsylvania Office | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Oct 21, 2020Norris McLaughlin Continues to Expand Amid Pandemic; Welcomes New Associates to the Firm

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Anthony P. D’Elia as an Associate for the Litigation Practice Group in New Jersey and Jillian P. Levitt as an Associate for the Real Estate & Finance Practice Group and the Cooperative (“Co-op”) and Condominium Law Industry Group in New York.

    “We are excited to add these new Associates to our firm, and we are particularly proud of the way we have been able to continue the expansion of our firm, even during the COVID pandemic. We continue to add high-quality talent across all our offices to further enrich our practice and build towards further success in the future,” said John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm.

    About Anthony D’Elia

    D’Elia focuses his practice on litigation matters including commercial litigation, corporate and business disputes, intellectual property disputes, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, construction, and professional liability. He also has a general litigation practice.

    Through his litigation practice, D’Elia represents creditors and other interested parties in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings, as well as lenders and other creditors in litigation over unpaid loans. He handles the appointment of rent receivers, collection of debts, and enforcement of settlement agreements. D’Elia’s intellectual property practice includes copyright and trademark litigation. He also handles disputes over defective construction and claims for delays, damages, and back charges. His work in the area of professional liability has involved matters relating to engineering and accounting liability.

    D’Elia’s pro bono work has involved assisting incarcerated individuals in litigation over claims of assault, seeking unpaid judgments in bankruptcy court through the filing of proofs of claim and adversary complaints, and negotiating plea bargains in family court.

    Following law school, D’Elia served as law clerk to the Honorable Garry J. Furnari, J.S.C., who, in addition to his civil docket, managed the environmental docket of the Essex County Superior Court. He assisted Judge Furnari in matters involving tort, contract, property, insurance, and environmental law.

    D’Elia received his J.D., cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2016, where he was a member of its nationally-ranked Interscholastic Moot Court Board, the Courtroom Advocates Project, and the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic. He received his B.A. from Monmouth University, Honors School, summa cum laude, in 2013.

    About Jillian Levitt

    Levitt focuses her practice on litigation, transactional, and regulatory matters in the real estate industry.

    She advises property owners on real estate matters and handles negotiations and buyouts of residential and commercial buildings. Levitt also litigates commercial and residential matters in New York Supreme Court and Civil Courts, as well as matters before the New York State Court of Appeals and the First, Second, and Fourth Appellate Divisions.

    In addition to her real estate litigation practice, Levitt drafts lease agreements for residential, commercial, and mixed-use developments. She prepares applications for developers to obtain various economic incentives.

    Levitt conducts due diligence for purchases of large residential and commercial buildings, for compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. She also advises clients on federal, state, and city affordable housing rules and regulations, including the Mitchell-Lama program, section eight vouchers, SCRIE, rent control, and rent stabilization.

    While in law school, Levitt was Managing Editor of Articles for the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal. She received her J.D. from Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University in 2016 and her B.A. from Union College in 2011.

    Posted in: Anthony P. D'Elia, Cooperative ("Co-op") and Condominium Law, Jillian P. Levitt, Litigation, News, Real Estate & Finance | Tags: , , , ,

  • Oct 01, 2020How to Become a Neutral

    The Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Litigation Practice Group, will be a panelist for the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Lunch Time Learning Program, “How to Become a Neutral.”

    How to Become a Neutral

    This program boasts a panel of mediators and arbitrators who will talk to participants about their career paths and how they became neutrals. Judge Giordano will be joined by Mary Kate Coleman, Sunu Pillai, and Selina Shultz.

    When: Tuesday, October 13, 2020

    Registration for PBA Members: pabar.org

    About Judge Giordano

    Judge Giordano focuses his practice on estate and commercial litigation, and mediation and arbitration. As an arbitrator and mediator, he is certified through Harvard Law School Negotiation Institute in Advanced Mediation, is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, and is affiliated with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediation. Judge Giordano serves as an arbitrator and mediator to the Judicial Roster, Real Estate, and Pennsylvania at Large ADR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution.

    Judge Giordano served as a presiding judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Third Judicial District, from 2004 through 2018. He was Northampton County’s first administrative Judge of the Orphans’ County Division, overseeing estates and trusts of the county, and was named to the Statewide Orphans’ Court Task Force, an organization charged with implementing changes to Orphans’ Court. He was also the first Judge in Pennsylvania to institute guardianship certification requirements for the protection of senior citizens. For fifteen years, Judge Giordano served as judge for many jury trials and non-jury trials, hearings and motions, and a wide range of disputes under Pennsylvania and Federal Law, including construction, commercial litigation, professional malpractice, CERCLA, Civil Rights, condemnations, labor and land use appeals, criminal, and domestic relations.

    Judge Giordano is Vice-Chair of the Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He is a Diplomate Member for mediation for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. He is also a member of the Board of Governors for Saint Thomas More Society and the Northampton County Bar Association Wills and Trusts Committee Lecturer. In 2005, Judge Giordano was the first judicial recipient to receive the Lehigh Valley Crime Victims Council Award for Outstanding Commitment to Victim’s Rights. He was also a recipient of the Bethlehem Catholic High School Distinguished Graduate Award.

    Posted in: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Events, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), Litigation | Tags: , ,

  • Jul 20, 2020Trial Lawyers Section: Mediation Practice Tips

    The Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.), a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Litigation Practice Group, will be a panelist for the Montgomery Bar Association’s webinar, “Trial Lawyers Section: Mediation Practice Tips.”

    Mediation Practice Tips

    Discussion topics will include:

    • Pre-mediation submissions
    • Joint session statements
    • Client expectations
    • Useful negotiation tactics
    • Mediator recommendations
    • Follow-up strategies

    When: Thursday, August 20, 2020

    noon – 1:00 p.m.

    Registration: montgomerybar.org

    • Law Student: $14.50
    • Paralegal: $14.50
    • Member – No CLE Credit: $14.50
    • Member: $30.00
    • Non-Member: $50.00

    1 CLE credit is pending.

    About Judge Giordano

    Judge Giordano served as a presiding judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Third Judicial District, from 2004 through 2018. He was Northampton County’s first administrative judge of the Orphans’ County Division, overseeing estates and trusts of the county, and was named to the Statewide Orphans’ Court Task Force, an organization charged with implementing changes to Orphans Court. He was also the first judge in Pennsylvania to institute guardianship certification requirements for the protection of senior citizens.

    For 15 years, Judge Giordano presided over many jury trials and non-jury trials, hearings and motions, and a wide range of disputes under Pennsylvania and federal law, including construction, commercial litigation, professional malpractice, CERCLA, Civil Rights, condemnations, labor and land use appeals, criminal, and domestic relations.

    As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Giordano is certified through Harvard Law School Negotiation Institute in Advanced Mediation. He is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators; is affiliated with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediation; has been inducted into the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN) as a Diplomate Member for mediation; and has been selected to serve as an arbitrator and mediator to the Judicial Roster, Real Estate, and Pennsylvania at Large ADR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution.

    Judge Giordano is a member of the Board of Directors for the Notre Dame CYO, and of the Board of Governors for Saint Thomas More Society; and is the Northampton County Bar Association Wills and Trusts Committee Lecturer. In 2005, he was the first judicial recipient of the Lehigh Valley Crime Victims Council Award for Outstanding Commitment to Victims’ Rights. On January 1, 2020, Judge Giordano was designated Vice-Chair of the statewide Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

    Posted in: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Events, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), Litigation | Tags: , ,

  • Jul 15, 20202020 Pennsylvania Defense Institute Annual Conference and Continuing Legal Education

    The Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.), a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Litigation Practice Group, will be a panelist for the 2020 Pennsylvania Defense Institute (PDI) Annual Conference and Continuing Legal Education’s “Mediation” program.

    About the Pennsylvania Defense Institute Conference

    In addition to the six CLE credits, participants can enjoy the many networking opportunities at the mixers, breakfast, golf, lunch, awards ceremony, and president’s reception and dinner. Other continuing legal education (CLE) program topics include:

    • Emerging legal issues in cannabis
    • Business interruption claims
    • Civil litigation
    • Personal injury
    • Generational issues and changes
    • Women and diversity in law

    When: July 15 – 17, 2020

    “Mediation:” Friday, June 17, 2020, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

    Where: Omni Bedford Springs Resort

    2138 Business 220, Bedford, PA 15522

    Registration: padefense.org

    About Judge Giordano

    Judge Giordano served as a presiding judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Third Judicial District, from 2004 through 2018. He was Northampton County’s first administrative judge of the Orphans’ County Division, overseeing estates and trusts of the county, and was named to the Statewide Orphans’ Court Task Force, an organization charged with implementing changes to Orphans Court. He was also the first judge in Pennsylvania to institute guardianship certification requirements for the protection of senior citizens.

    For 15 years, Judge Giordano presided over many jury trials and non-jury trials, hearings and motions, and a wide range of disputes under Pennsylvania and federal law, including construction, commercial litigation, professional malpractice, CERCLA, Civil Rights, condemnations, labor and land use appeals, criminal, and domestic relations.

    As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Giordano is certified through Harvard Law School Negotiation Institute in Advanced Mediation. He is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators; is affiliated with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediation; has been inducted into the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN) as a Diplomate Member for mediation; and has been selected to serve as an arbitrator and mediator to the Judicial Roster, Real Estate, and Pennsylvania at Large ADR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution.

    Judge Giordano is a member of the Board of Directors for the Notre Dame CYO, and of the Board of Governors for Saint Thomas More Society; and is the Northampton County Bar Association Wills and Trusts Committee Lecturer. In 2005, he was the first judicial recipient of the Lehigh Valley Crime Victims Council Award for Outstanding Commitment to Victims’ Rights. On January 1, 2020, Judge Giordano was designated Vice-Chair of the statewide Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

    Posted in: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Events, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), Litigation | Tags: , ,

  • Jul 01, 2020Mediator’s Tips for Successful Virtual Mediation

    More than ever, attorneys must now utilize creative and efficient alternatives to traditional litigation when assisting clients with legal disputes. Virtual mediation seems to have become the “new normal,” so if you have one scheduled, here are some tips:

    Virtual Mediation Tips

    • Learn the technology
      • Loading Zoom onto your phone or computer is easy
        • Give it a test run with your family and/or officemates
      • Make sure the client has loaded Zoom and has a stable source of WIFI
      • Ask mediator for a run-through
      • Make sure no one records the mediation
    • Backup plans
      • Have two phones available
      • Get everyone’s phone numbers
    • Do not schedule mediation unless you are ready to settle
      • If your client who is the defendant says, “there’s no way I’m going to pay any money,” don’t go to mediation
    • The parties and all decision-makers must be present
      • Joint sessions vs. private sessions
    • Memos should be done well in advance and should be shared with the other side with plenty of time for evaluation of your claim
      • Pictures
      • Medical reports (not every piece of paper generated by the hospital)
      • Relevant portions of deposition transcripts (not the tiny print ones)
    • Negotiations
      • Prepare your client for a long day and they will feel insulted at times
      • Don’t quit or lose your cool (this can be tedious at times)
      • Don’t make outrageous demands
      • Don’t make dinner plans or plane reservations
      • Bring other work
      • Do keep talking and no ultimatums

    This article was written by the Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Litigation Practice Group. A printable version is available to download here.

    If you have any questions about this article or any related matter, please feel free to contact him at egiordano@norris-law.com. For more topics related to COVID-19, visit our Coronavirus Thought Leadership Connection.

    The information contained in this post may not reflect the most current developments, as the subject matter is extremely fluid and constantly changing. Please continue to monitor this site for ongoing developments. This article provides information about current legal developments of mediation in the area of litigation and alternative dispute resolution. The information contained in this article should not be construed as legal advice and readers should not act upon such without professional counsel. Copyright © 2020 Norris McLaughlin, P.A.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    As well as representing our clients during commercial and civil disputes, our attorneys often serve as independent arbitrators and mediators. They are experienced in handling disputes for matters involving attorney ethics and fees, banking, corporate dissolutions, deadlocks and acquisitions, energy, environmental, estates, health care, information technology, insurance, intellectual property, labor and employment, matrimonial, products liability, and utility issues. We also offer innovative services in case consultation and complex case management.

    Posted in: Alternative Dispute Resolution, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), Litigation |

  • Mar 11, 2020Norris McLaughlin Welcomes New Litigation Associate Akshar Patel

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Akshar U. Patel to its New Jersey office as an Associate in the Litigation Practice Group.

    “We are thrilled to have Akshar join our team. We look forward to seeing him grow and succeed with us. His excellent experience, dedication, and passion will benefit our clients,” said Daniel R. Guadalupe, who co-chairs the Litigation Practice Group with David C. Roberts, Saleem Mawji, and the Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.).

    About Akshar Patel

    Patel concentrates his practice in the area of commercial litigation disputes. He handles leasing and commercial litigation, focusing on commercial landlord disputes and secured transactions before state and federal courts. Patel frequently engages in motion practice and argues summary judgment and discovery motions before the New Jersey Superior Court.

    In addition, Patel manages all aspects of discovery, including drafting requests and responses, performing document review, conducting depositions, and preparing witnesses for depositions. He is experienced in conducting client intakes, drafting correspondence to clients and opposing counsel, and drafting and filing complaints and answers.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Patel was an intern at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey where he drafted trial motions, performed legal research, and contributed to trial preparation. He also interned in the Office of Public Engagement at the White House where he assisted in drafting and preparing research and public policy memorandums.

    As a young professional, Patel is dedicated to giving back to his community. He is a member of the South Asian Bar Association and an active advocate for the Rescue Mission of Trenton. Patel speaks Gujarati, Arabic, and Spanish.

    Patel received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2018, where he was Executive Editor of the Seton Hall Legislative Journal, a member of the Seton Hall Law Mock Trial Board, and part of the Equal Justice Clinic for the Seton Hall Center for Social Justice. He received his B.A. from George Washington University in 2013.

    About the Norris McLaughlin Litigation Practice

    The Norris McLaughlin litigation attorneys represent individual and business clients in a wide variety of industries and personal matters in state and federal courts in the United States as well as in domestic and international arbitrations through the firm’s participation in domestic and international legal networks. The group’s reflection our the firm’s core values through reasonableness and efficiency, technical and industry-specific experience, knowledge of courts and judges, and trial and appellate experience, combined with the strengths and skills of the firm’s Business Law Practice Group, have earned the loyalty and respect of clients, peers, and the community for over six decades.

    Posted in: Akshar U. Patel, Litigation, News | Tags: ,

  • Feb 24, 2020Norris McLaughlin Welcomes Two New Members to Pennsylvania Office

    The Pennsylvania office of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Christopher R. Gray and the Honorable Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.) as Members of the firm. Gray joins both the Tax, Trust, and Estates Practice Group and the Business Law Practice Group, while Warren will be a part of the Labor & Employment, Litigation, and Business Law Practice Groups.

    “We are grateful to have these two established attorneys join our team and look forward to enhancing our multiple practices at Norris McLaughlin. Our clients will benefit from the additional experience Chris and Rebecca are bringing,” said S. Graham Simmons, III, Administrative Partner of the firm’s Pennsylvania office.

    About Christopher Gray

    Gray focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, and income tax planning.

    In addition, Gray is experienced in corporate matters, business transactions, non–profit issues, health care governance, elder law, and general litigation. He represents high net-worth clients and their businesses in developing estate, gift, income tax, and succession planning strategies.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Gray has worked both in private practice and with a financial strategies company advising affluent private clients on business investments, multigenerational estate preservation, and wealth planning.

    A long-time resident of Pennsylvania, Gray is a past officer of the Lehigh Valley Estate Planning Council, and currently serves on the Northampton Community College Foundation Board of Directors, where he is also Chair of its Planned Giving Committee.

    With 25 years of experience, Gray frequently presents on tax law and initiatives, estate planning tools and techniques, and asset protection.

    Gray received his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, cum laude, in 1993 and his B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College in 1987. He also earned his LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994.

    “Our Practice Group has witnessed recent and robust growth. We are delighted to welcome Attorney Gray to join our Team at this auspicious time. Chris is a fine asset to our firm and to our clients,” said Judith A. Harris, Co-Chair of the Tax, Trust, and Estates Practice Group.

    About Rebecca Warren

    Warren devotes her practice to labor and employment, business and corporate matters, and general liability litigation.

    As a former in-house corporate attorney and having counseled businesses for over 25 years, Warren is acutely aware of the unique and varied legal needs of business clients. She has created thousands of customized legal documents for corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietors. Warren is also well-versed in providing legal strategy and guidance regarding daily business issues and concerns ranging from employment matters to third-party disputes.

    As a former prosecutor, Warren is well-positioned to counsel clients in crisis management, internal and governmental investigations, and regulatory and business compliance. She has represented prominent clients in high-stakes and multi-million-dollar cases at the county, state, and federal levels in multiple states.

    In addition, Warren has extensive experience in insurance defense, white-collar crime, election law, health care, commercial law, estate practice and administration, family law, and real estate.

    Warren handles all aspects of litigation for her clients, having appeared in court on thousands of hearings, proceedings, arbitrations, jury and non-jury trials, and appeals. She was formerly appointed Solicitor for various non-profit organizations and government agencies and had regularly served as a county Arbitration panel member and Chairperson.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Warren founded a multi-county law firm and real estate closing company and was a partner in a Philadelphia firm.

    Warren was elected as the first female District Attorney of Montour County by a 3:1 margin. In that role, she designed and implemented an intensive, personalized victim rights program; created the Multi-Disciplinary Investigative Team for child abuse cases to minimize trauma for minor victims; and collaborated with agencies to provide services and treatment for offenders.

    Warren received her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law in 1991 and her B.A. with honors from Bloomsburg University in 1988.

    “We are excited to see growth within the firm and I am proud to be able to extend our team’s reach in Pennsylvania by adding Rebecca’s many years of experience. Having her in-house perspective, as well as her service as a District Attorney, will be a great addition to our group,” said Patrick T. Collins, Chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group.

    Posted in: Business Law, Christopher R. Gray, Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.), Labor & Employment, Litigation, News, Taxation | Tags: , , , , , , ,

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