Michael 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 venue clauses in franchise agreements are presumptively invalid and unenforceable. Mr. Millar argued that that rule should not apply when the venue selection clause found in the franchise agreement designated 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 Mr. Millar’s client maintains its headquarters.
In a one of the first cases of its kind in the nation, a Superior Court 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.
Bruce S. Rosen and
Katie Hirce, representing blogger Tina Renna, appeared before Judge
Karen Cassidy in Union County, N.J. , who issued the ruling which protected Renna from having to submit her unpublished
materials to a prosecutor of whom she had been critical in her blog for seven years. The decision can be found
and a news account of the decision
recently 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 to approximately eighty New York attorneys interested in learning New Jersey litigation skills.
recently spoke at a workshop entitled
"Planning for the Future: Estate Plans are Set, But are Families Prepared?". Laura will be presenting a section entitled "Legal Considerations for
the Special Needs Family: Rights under IDEA, Guardianships vs. Power of Attorney and Special Needs Trusts". If you are interested in attending, please
open the following link for details.
Paul McCusker, with the assistance of
Michael Futterman, recently had Summary Judgment granted on all claims on behalf of a
Fortune 50 Oil Company in a case in which the infant plaintiff sustained serious injuries as a result of a motor vehicle collision on the Grand
Central Parkway in Queens County. The Plaintiff alleged that MARC’s client was responsible for the accident because it allegedly controlled the
acceleration lane in which it occurred. The Court however, agreeing with MARC’s attorneys, found that the New York Court of Claims in a prior decision
did not apportion any percentage of fault against MARC’s client, but rather, found the State of New York 100 percent liable. Because the same issues
presented in this case were also before the Court of Claims and plaintiff had a full opportunity to contest those claims, the court held that plaintiff
was collaterally estopped from arguing any negligence on the part of MARC’s client.
Michael Millar recently won a pre-answer Motion for Summary Judgment in the New Jersey Superior Court dismissing all claims against MARC’s client, a title company.
Plaintiff claimed that the title company failed to perform a "run-down" search on a vacant water front lot that she was buying and on which she planned to build a home. Plaintiff alleged that the run-down search would have revealed a CAFRA permit that imposed building restrictions. She sued the title company for a negligent title search.
Mr. Millar presented legal authority demonstrating that a title search is not performed for the buyer but is rather performed for the title insurer so that the title insurer may determine what risks it will insure. Since the search is not performed for the buyer, the buyer has no claim for a negligent title search. The Court agreed with
Mr. Millar and granted his motion seeking to dismiss all claims made against the title company.
John McCusker, with the assistance of
Kathleen Hirce and
Patrice LeTourneau, recently won a Motion to Dismiss in the New Jersey Superior Court, successfully arguing on behalf of a Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical Company that the entire complaint, which included counts based on New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act and other torts, failed to state a claim.
At workshops entitled "Planning for the Future: Special Considerations for Families of Individuals with Special Needs", Laura Siclari
recently presented a section entitled "Life Beyond School: Transition and Estate Planning for the Special Needs Young Adult". If you are interested in information on this or related topics, please contact Laura at 973-635-6300 or
Alicyn Craig recently garnered success for her client, a Fortune 50 oil company, in a premises liability action by having the New York
Appellate Division, First Department, reverse the lower court’s decision. Her client was sued by a woman who had slipped and fallen on ice on a Bronx public sidewalk,
which was adjacent to a property leased by Alicyn’s client for the purpose of performing investigations to determine if it wanted to use the property to operate a service station.
The woman also sued the property’s owner with whom Alicyn’s client had a lease agreement, and which contained indemnification provisions in favor of Alicyn’s client.
The lower court denied Alicyn’s client’s motion for summary judgment on the basis that the property owner had presented material issues of fact of Alicyn’s client’s
alleged control of the property. On appeal, however, the Appellate Division agreed with Alicyn and her client’s position that it bore no responsibility to maintain
the public sidewalk free of snow and ice, pursuant to the New York Administrative Code, that the lower court had applied the wrong legal standard to the claims.
As such, the Appeals Court reversed the decision of the lower court, thereby dismissing all claims against Alicyn’s client.
See attached order.
Catherine Lopez recently had a summary judgment motion granted on all claims on behalf of a Fortune 50 Oil Company in a case in
which the plaintiff, the owner of a former service station property, filed suit under New York’s Navigation Law. Plaintiff sought recovery
based on claims associated with remediation of the property and diminution in value allegedly caused by a leaking underground storage tank which
plaintiff alleges was the responsibility of the Company during its tenure at the property. Plaintiff’s complaint was dismissed because the Court
found that plaintiff did not meet its burden of proof in establishing that the Company was a “discharger” under Navigation Law, as plaintiff did
not bring forth evidence of a nexus between the Company and the alleged leaking underground storage tank.
Paul Carvelli has been nominated as a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America,
an honorary trial and appellate lawyer society. Fellowship in the LCA 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.
Kathleen Hirce recently spoke to the Media Law Committee of the District of Columbia Bar’s Arts, Entertainment,
Media and Sports Law Section regarding the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decision in Too Much Media, LLC v. Hale, 206 N.J. 209 (2011),
where the Court defined who is a journalist eligible for protection of the state’s newspersons’ 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 Partner Bruce S. Rosen and Katie.
Kathleen Hirce was interviewed by the Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press after U.S. District Judge William Martini decided to withhold jurors' names in the trial of Paul Bergrin, a former defense lawyer who is charged with coordinating the 2004 murder of a confidential witness in a federal drug case against one of his clients. See
John McCusker, with the assistance of
Michael Futterman, recently had a motion to dismiss granted with prejudice on all claims on behalf of a Fortune 50 Oil Company in a case in which the plaintiff employee alleged that a certain 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, we were fortunate enough to succeed on this one, cutting off the client’s expenses at a very early point in the litigation.
The NJ Supreme Court recently defined who is a journalist eligible for protection of the state’s newspersons’ shield law, largely adopting positions advanced by media entities that filed a “friend of the court” brief authored by Partner
Bruce S. Rosen and Associate
The decision can be read by clicking here. Bruce was quoted in a number of news stories and was interviewed on Fox News about the decision.
Click here to view.
John McCusker, with the assistance of
Michael Futterman and
Suzanne Murphy, recently had Summary Judgment granted on all claims on behalf of a Fortune 50 Oil Company in a case in which the plaintiff, pursuant to New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination ("LAD") and the New Jersey Constitution, challenged the legality of the company’s Drug and Alcohol Policy. The challenged policy governs company employees world-wide.
John McCusker, with assistance of
Patrice LeTourneau, recently successfully settled a FINRA matter brought on behalf of a couple whose savings was stolen from them by a broker who was ultimately criminally prosecuted. The FINRA matter was settled with the brokerage house that employed the broker.
John McCusker and
Patricia Prezioso, with the assistance of
Kathleen Hirce, obtained the reversal of a trial court order denying counsel fees and costs pursuant to the fee-shifting provision of New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act (“CEPA”), N.J.S.A. 34:19-6. The MARC attorneys had argued on behalf of a Fortune 500 Pharmaceutical Company, requesting that the Court award fees after a trial on Plaintiff’s CEPA claim resulted in a no-cause verdict. John and Patricia had tried the case on behalf of the Company, as well. The Appellate Division remanded the matter to the trial court, ordering it to make a determination as to whether the Plaintiff’s case was frivolous and filed in bad faith.
Michael Gogal represented a growing company in negotiating a complex line of credit and related agreements with an international bank, resulting in $1.7 million of financing.
Michael Gogal negotiated the sale of a client's contaminated property to a major Northeast municipality along with the assignment of all remediation responsibilities to the municipality and indemnification rights from the municipality.