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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: , , , , , , ,

  • Jan 02, 2020Norris McLaughlin Promotes Litigators Nick Duston, Amy Kruzel, and Jessica Palmer to Members of the Firm

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A., a full-service, mid-sized regional law firm of 130+ attorneys with main offices in Bridgewater, NJ; New York, NY; and Allentown, PA, is pleased to announce the promotion of three associates to Members of the firm. The promotions for Nicholas A. Duston, Amy L. Kruzel, and Jessica L. Palmer are effective January 1, 2020, and follow the firm’s announcement earlier this month that four associates joined the firm, building upon the firm’s unique position to represent middle-market companies, Fortune 500 corporations, and individuals across a number of legal practices.

    John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm, said, “Norris McLaughlin is growing, and we are further strengthening our ability to provide a range of legal services to businesses and families in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. As rising leaders in the firm, Amy, Jessica, and Nick will diligently counsel clients and maintain the firm’s values in our commitment to our clients and our communities.”

    “I have had the pleasure of working with Amy, Jessica, and Nick, and I can attest to their exemplary litigation skills and dedication to their clients,” added David C. Roberts, who co-chairs the Litigation Practice Group along with the Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.)Daniel R. Guadalupe and Saleem Mawji.

    About the New Members

    Nick Duston

    Since joining Norris McLaughlin in 2014 in the firm’s Bridgewater office, Duston has focused his practice on complex commercial disputes involving business owners, their managers, and their employees.

    With significant litigation experience in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York, Duston handles cases related to fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty, employee theft of trade secrets, diversion of corporate opportunities, and breaches of restrictive covenants or non-compete obligations. He is adept at unwinding complex fact patterns arising from complicated financial instruments, multi-entity business structures, and large amounts of electronically stored information. He also represents clients in arbitrations with the American Arbitration Association and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

    Duston’s practice also includes white-collar criminal matters, such as conducting internal investigations or defending companies and individuals during internal or government investigations into alleged securities fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes. He has also handled many matters at the intersection of white-collar and civil litigation. Duston regularly handles issues relating to government seizure of property, particularly on behalf of secured lenders, including defense against civil and criminal asset forfeiture, as well as civil rights litigation when the government seizes property without due process or in violation of other constitutionally-protected rights.

    Duston earned his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law in 2010 and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Boston University in 2007.

    Amy Kruzel

    As a Member of the firm’s Matrimonial & Family Law Group in the Allentown office, Kruzel works closely with clients on all aspects of matrimonial law including divorce, custody, support, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. With more than 12 years of experience, Kruzel is a compassionate and assertive advisor, representing clients in all stages of divorce, including post-judgment litigation. She serves as a mediator in divorce, custody, and support matters, and has presented oral argument in the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, Eastern District.

    Active in the Lehigh Valley community, Kruzel serves on the Executive Leadership Board of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, volunteers at the legal clinic at the Bradbury Sullivan LGBT Community Center; is the Treasurer of the Family Law Section of the Bar Association of Lehigh County; and is on the Advisory Council of the Allentown Branch of the YMCA. She recently was nominated by The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as the Lehigh Valley Branch’s first-ever All-Star Alumni candidate for the 2020 Man & Woman of the Year Campaign.

    Kruzel joined Norris McLaughlin in 2017. She earned her J.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law, in 2005 and her B.S. from Dickinson College in 2002.

    Jessica Palmer

    Based in the Bridgewater office, Palmer is a litigator and advisor with more than ten years of experience assisting clients with complex commercial and environmental matters.

    As a litigator, Palmer is known for her thoughtful and diligent representation of clients in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). Palmer has extensive experience with both federal and state environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”), the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”), the Industrial Site Recovery Act (“ISRA”), the Major Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).

    Palmer also devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing clients in regulatory compliance, permitting, and remediation efforts. She frequently advises clients on issues related to environmental insurance coverage and other cost recovery options. Finally, Palmer has extensive knowledge of the regulations governing licensed site remediation professionals (“LSRPs”).

    Palmer serves as Board Secretary for the Hunterdon County YMCA Board of Trustees. Licensed in New Jersey and New York, she has been selected for inclusion in the General Litigation section of New Jersey Rising Stars every year since 2014. Palmer is also a Barrister with the Justice Stewart G. Pollack Environmental Inn of Court.

    Palmer joined Norris McLaughlin in 2013. She served as a law clerk to the Honorable Robert P. Contillo, P.J.Ch. for the 2009-2010 court term. Palmer earned her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law in 2009 and her B.A., with honors, from McGill University in 2006.

    Posted in: Amy L. Kruzel, Jessica L. Palmer, Litigation, News, Nicholas A. Duston | Tags: , , ,

  • Dec 05, 2019Norris McLaughlin, Attorneys at Law, Welcomes New Associates to the Firm

    Law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome three new associates to the firm. Sarah M. Bouskila joins the Litigation Practice Group and Milan Jakubcak joins the Business Law Practice Group.

    “We are excited to have these new hard-working, passionate, and dedicated Associates join Norris McLaughlin. In addition to expanding our attorney-base, we will soon be moving our New York office to Times Square. It’s a very exciting time for Norris McLaughlin right now and we look forward to what the future will bring for us,” said John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm.

    About Sarah Bouskila

    Bouskila focuses her practice on real estate and complex commercial litigation. Her experience includes representation of individuals and corporate clients in a variety of practice areas, such as breach of contract, business torts, fraud, bankruptcy, employment and restrictive covenant disputes, foreclosure litigation, and an array of real estate-related litigation.

    Prior to entering private practice, Bouskila served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jessica R. Mayer in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

    While in law school, Bouskila was a Dean’s Merit Scholar and served as an Articles Editor for the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal. She received her J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, cum laude, in 2016 and her B.A., magna cum laude, from City University of New York—Brooklyn College in 2012.

    About Milan Jakubcak

    Jakubcak focuses his practice on all areas of taxation and business law.

    Jakubcak is experienced in preparing tax structure papers and identifying US tax consequences of domestic and cross-border transactions, including the impact of the US tax reform on clients structures and contemplated transactions. He advises private equity and corporate clients on a range of domestic and cross-border transactions, including entity mergers and acquisitions, tax-free corporate reorganizations, Section 351 transactions, and business joint ventures.

    Prior to joining the firm, Jakubcak was Manager in Mergers and Acquisitions Tax practice at KPMG LLP where he focused on providing tax due diligence and structuring advice to his clients.

    Jakubcak received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2014, while he interned with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel and the Honorable Michael A. Shipp, U.S.D.J., for the District of New Jersey. He received his LL.M in Taxation from New York University School of Law in 2019 and his B.A., magna cum laude, from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 2009.

    Posted in: Business Law, Litigation, Milan Jakubcak, News, Sarah M. Bouskila | Tags: , , ,

  • Jun 17, 2019Norris McLaughlin Welcomes Judge Giordano to Pennsylvania Office

    The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome the Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.) as a Member of the firm.  He joins the firm’s Litigation Practice Group as Co-Chair and focuses his practice on estate and commercial litigation, and mediation and arbitration.

    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. Judge Giordano 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.

    As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Giordano 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 is a member of Board of Governors for Saint Thomas More Society, and the Northampton County Bar Association Wills and Trusts Committee Lecturer. In 2005, he 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.

    Judge Giordano earned his J.D. in 1985 from Villanova University School of Law and his B.A. from Moravian College in 1982. A proud Moravian College alumnus, he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor for Undergraduate classes. Born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrant parents, Judge Giordano was the first to attend high school and is a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School.

     

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), Litigation, News | Tags: , , , , , ,

  • May 08, 2019Barbara Hollenbach Named Among Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Again in 2019

    Barbara L. Hollenbach, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin P.A., has been selected for inclusion in the 2019 Edition of Pennsylvania Super Lawyers. She was first selected for inclusion in 2006 and has been selected every year since 2008.  Only five percent of Pennsylvania lawyers are given this honor.

    Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, is published in the Super Lawyers Magazine and Philadelphia magazine. The multi-phased selection process includes independent research, peer nominations, and peer evaluations.  Super Lawyers Magazine, which features the list and profiles of selected attorneys, is distributed to attorneys in the state or region and the ABA-accredited law school libraries. Super Lawyers is also published as a special section in leading city and regional magazines across the country.  In the United States, Super Lawyers Magazine is published in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., reaching more than 13 million readers.

    A resident of Bethlehem, Hollenbach focuses her practice on workers’ compensation, professional liability, products liability, and general litigation.  Her civil litigation experience includes representing manufacturers of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and other products, as well as professionals including psychiatrists and veterinarians.  She also represents clients in will contest actions including allegations of undue influence and lack of mental capacity. Hollenbach is certified as a specialist in workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  She was the first woman elected president of the Northampton County Bar Association, and is a past chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Law Section.  From 2011 – 2016, Hollenbach served on the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Rules Committee.  A Fellow of The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers, Hollenbach has co-authored and co-presented the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Workers’ Compensation Practice & Procedures manual and course since 2000.  An active community volunteer, she is Chair of the Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Board of Trustees.  She has also served on the boards and has been president of numerous charitable organizations, including Quota International of Bethlehem and the YWCA of Bethlehem. She earned her J.D., cum laude, in 1978 from Dickinson School of Law and her B.A., with highest distinction, in 1975 from Pennsylvania State University.

    Posted in: Barbara L. Hollenbach, Litigation, News, Products Liability Defense, Professional Liability & Malpractice, Workers’ Compensation—Pennsylvania Office | Tags: , , , ,

  • Apr 26, 2019Saleem Mawji Named Co-Chair of Litigation Department

    Saleem Mawji, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A.,  has been elected Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Department and Chair of Litigation – Pennsylvania office, three years after being named a Member of the firm.  He also serves as a member of the firm’s diversity committee.

    A Lehigh Valley native and Salisbury High School alumni, Saleem has been with Norris McLaughlin, P.A. for 9 years. “I am honored to be Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Group and look forward to contributing to the continued success of the department and firm as a whole,” he said.

    “Saleem is a great fit to Co-Chair our Litigation Group. He is an accomplished litigator and has established himself as a talented leader within the firm,” said John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm.

    Mawji devotes his practice to complex commercial litigation matters, focusing primarily on three areas: shareholder disputes, fraudulent investigations, and construction law.  He represents businesses of all sizes, including some of the Lehigh Valley’s largest companies, in state and federal court.  He acts as outside “general counsel” for Global Export Marketing, Ltd. and Access Innovations Global, and regularly advises clients on a variety of general business issues, including contract negotiation, review, and enforcement.  He regularly contributes to the firm’s Pennsylvania Shareholder Dispute blog.

    He has represented corporations, majority shareholders, and minority shareholders in legal disputes including oppression rights cases and disputes within closely-held companies.  He helps clients to understand their rights and obligations under Pennsylvania’s Business Corporation Law, and the issues involved in allegations of shareholder “freeze-out.”

    He was honored in 2016 as one of the Forty Under 40 in Lehigh Valley Business, which recognizes young professionals who exhibit talent and promise and have a well-documented track record of achievements in business. He has been recognized as a Pennsylvania Rising Star Lawyer in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

    A 2014 graduate of Lehigh Valley Leadership, Saleem is a member of the Board of Associates of Lehigh Valley Health Network and Muhlenberg College. He is on the Board of Community Bike Works, is a Member of the Allentown Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the Fellowship of the Construction Lawyers Society of America.  He is a past board member of the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley and a past member of the Steering Committee of the Philadelphia Young Lawyer’s Division of the American Bar Association’s White Collar Crime Committee.

    Mawji earned his J.D., magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Woolsack National Honor Society, Penn State Law Review Comments Editor, from Pennsylvania State University’s Dickinson School of Law in 2005, and his B.A., magna cum laude, Pi Sigma Alpha, from Muhlenberg College in 2002.

    Posted in: Construction Law, Electronic Discovery ("E-Discovery"), John N. Vanarthos, Litigation, News, Saleem Mawji | Tags: , , , , , ,

  • Apr 15, 2019Danielle DeFilippis and Dan Guadalupe to Present at Launch Pad Newark

    Danielle M. DeFilippis and Daniel R. Guadalupe, Members of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will present “Must-Know Legal Basics to Protect Your Business” on Thursday, April 18, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m., at Launch Pad Newark.

    The presentation, sponsored by Makerhoods and The Honors Program, will cover how having a strong legal foundation gives you the peace of mind to go after your business goals with confidence. Topics will include branding, essential initial contracts, and intellectual property, such as trademarks and copyrights. A Q&A session, led by Peter Hader, will include questions submitted through tweeting @makerhoods. Attendees will also have the opportunity to give a 30-second presentation to promote their project or business and seek advice and networking from peers. For more information and to register, please click here.

    DeFilippis focuses her practice on intellectual property matters and litigation. She represents individual and corporate clients in all phases of litigation, from commencement through trial, and regularly serves as lead counsel in cases before federal and state courts, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and alternative resolution forums. She has represented clients in a variety of industries, most notably, food and beverage, liquor, jewelry, and cosmetics. She has handled cases involving trademark and copyright infringement, false advertising, commercial disparagement, business torts, deceptive trade practices, Lanham Act claims, state and federal unfair competition laws, and other business disputes.  She is an author for Norris McLaughlin’s trademark, copyright, and unfair competition blog, More Than Your Mark, www.morethanyourmark.com.

    Guadalupe represents clients in commercial litigation and provides “outside” general counsel assistance with a specialty in business disputes, medical device companies, construction, professional liability defense, arbitrations, will and trust litigation, and international disputes. He is on the exclusive roster of construction arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association and is an arbitrator for the International Court of Arbitration, International Chamber of Commerce in Paris, France. He also served on the Supreme Court of New Jersey Disciplinary Oversight Committee and Lawyers Advisory Committee to the Federal Courts and was a member of the Merit Selection Panel for Selection of U.S. Magistrates, the Local Federal Rules Revision Committee, and the District XIII Ethics Committee for the Office of Attorney Ethics. He is a former President of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and a former General Counsel for the Hispanic National Bar Association. He was also on the Board of Trustees of CentraState Hospital in Freehold, New Jersey, for 4 years.

    Posted in: Daniel R. Guadalupe, Danielle M. DeFilippis, Intellectual Property, Litigation, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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