Porzio is pleased to welcome associate Rahil Darbar to the Litigation Team.
Rahil focuses on commercial, construction defect and personal injury litigation. He has defended depositions and argued discovery and dispositive motions in New Jersey Superior Courts, New York Supreme Courts, and Federal District Courts. Clients have ranged from the banking, telecommunications, hotel and healthcare industries, and from a Fortune 500 company to individuals.
Rahil received his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2010 and his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and History from Lehigh University in 2007. He is fluent in Gujarati and Hindi.
On June 23, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court released its opinion in Mortgage Grader, Inc. v. Ward & Olivo, siding with the arguments advanced by Porzio counsel, Peter J. Gallagher, on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), who appeared as amicus curiae.
The question on appeal was whether a partner in a law firm practicing as an LLP loses the liability protections normally afforded to partners in LLPs if the LLP fails to maintain professional liability insurance as required under Rule 1:21-1C(a)(3). During his oral argument, Mr. Gallagher asserted that, “there's no scenario under the Uniform Partnership Act, or even the spirit of it, that would allow for what the trial court did here.” For video of the oral arguments, click here. (Mr. Gallagher's argument begins at minute 53.)
In its decision, the Court agreed, holding that the insurance requirement for LLPs under the Court Rules does not extend to a firm's windup period, and that there is no requirement that an LLP purchase tail insurance once it ceases to do business. The Court also agreed that the trial court did not have the authority to convert an LLP to a general partnership.
Justice Albin dissented, suggesting that the Court Rules be amended to put attorneys on notice that an LLP will lose its liability protection if its does not meet the insurance requirements, and requiring LLPs to purchase tail insurance for six years following their dissolution.
To read the full Court opinion, please click here.
An eight year-old lawsuit, carrying a potential $9 million damages verdict against New Jersey State Police and South Jersey Transportation Authority, has been dismissed on summary judgment.
On January 19, 2015, in Henebema v. South Jersey Transportation Authority, et al., Docket No. ATL-L-964-07, Eli S. Scheiman of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. ("Porzio"), along with attorneys from Gass Weber Mullins LLC in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Blank Rome LLP in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, successfully obtained summary judgment dismissing a lawsuit against two public entity defendants, South Jersey Transportation Authority and New Jersey State Police, along with a $9 million damages verdict.
To learn more about the case, please click here.
On Feb. 1, the New Jersey Supreme Court heard oral argument in Mortgage Grader, Inc. v. Ward & Olivo, a case that could have been ripped straight from a law school exam. The question on appeal is whether a partner in a law firm organized as a limited liability partnership loses the liability protections normally afforded in those partnerships if the business fails to maintain professional liability insurance.
This article was originally published in the June 2016 issue of New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, a publication of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and is reprinted here with permission.
On June 30, 2016, U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp issued a ruling in Indian Harbor Insurance Company v. NL Environmental Management Services Inc., et al., finding that Porzio client Indian Harbor Insurance Co. (Indian Harbor) has no obligation to defend lead pigment maker NL Environmental Management Services Inc. (nor NL Industries Inc.) in a suit over river contamination. Judge Shipp concluded that failure of the insurance policy to exclude the company was clearly a genuine mistake. Indian Harbor is represented by Porzio principal Charles J. Stoia.
Indian Harbor sought a declaratory judgment denying coverage of NL Environmental Management Services Inc. and NL Industries Inc. for a contamination suit brought by Raritan Baykeeper.
Judge Shipp agreed with Indian Harbor's argument, stating in his order that “solely listing ‘NL Industries’ or ‘NL Industries Inc.’ as excluded from coverage … was merely scrivener’s error and because of this mistake, the writing does not accurately reflect the parties' agreement and should be reformed to also include exclusions as to NL Environmental."
The case was recently covered by Brandon Lowrey in the Law360 article, "Insurer Ducks Pollution Coverage Citing 'Scrivener's Error'." Law360 is a subscription website. Subscribers can read the full article here.
Porzio counsel Peter J. Gallagher was mentioned in the New Jersey Law Journal article, "Malpractice Insurance Not Required During Windup of LLCs; No Automatic Conversion Says Supreme Court," regarding his work in Mortgage Grader, Inc. v. Ward & Olivo. Mr. Gallagher appeared on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) as amicus curiae in the case, and also authored the brief.
On June 23, 2016, the New Jersey Supreme Court released its opinion in Mortgage, siding with Mr. Gallagher's arguments on behalf of the NJSBA.
To learn more about the case, please see the article, "NJ Supreme Court Releases Opinion in Favor of Porzio's Argument on Behalf of the NJ State Bar Association."
Porzio principal Charles J. Stoia has been named Secretary of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation.
For almost 30 years, Mr. Stoia has represented litigants in commercial, insurance and environmental matters in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York. A New Jersey Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, he is recognized by Best Lawyers in America for commercial litigation and by New Jersey Super Lawyers annually since 2009.
Mr. Stoia has been a New Jersey State Bar Association member since 1988 and formerly served on the Association's Board of Trustees as well as Chair of the Young Lawyers Division. He is also an active member of the Morris County Bar Association and the American Bar Association, where he currently serves as Chair of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section's Self-Insurers and Risk Managers Committee.
The New Jersey State Bar Foundation is dedicated to promoting law-related education and giving all New Jersey residents a basic understanding of the legal system. For more information on this organization, please visit www.njsbf.org.
Porzio's Litigation Practice Group is proud to welcome associate David L. Disler, who concentrates his practice in the areas of employment and education law.
David's practice focuses on the representation of boards of education, advising clients on issues including: compliance with applicable state and federal statutes and regulations; employment related matters; tenure issues; grievances; construction concerns; healthcare and benefits; and labor relations. He investigates and advises on allegations of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and breaches of the collective negotiations agreement. David has experience litigating matters in both state and federal courts,
Prior to joining Porzio, David served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Frances A. McGrogan, Superior Court of New Jersey. Most recently he was an associate in the education law practice of a New Jersey law firm.
David earned his Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School in Brooklyn, NY. He earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in both Political Science and Science, Technology & Society from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA, where he graduated magna cum laude.
Porzio, Bromberg & Newman P.C. (Porzio) proudly congratulates principal Kerri A. Wright on her selection to the New Jersey Law Journal's "2016 New Leaders of The Bar" list. This distinction recognizes a new wave of leadership in the New Jersey legal profession. Attorneys named to this list have established themselves early on as leaders within their firms, as well as throughout the larger legal community.
As a member of Porzio's Litigation Practice Group, Ms. Wright focuses her practice in the areas of education law and employment law, specifically in the representation of management in both employment counseling and employment litigation.
Ms. Wright has significant experience representing and counseling school boards, charter schools, private schools and colleges in a variety of areas. She is one of only a few experts in the State in the area of reconfiguring school districts, including the creation and dissolution of regional school districts and the creation and termination of sending-receiving relationships.
Ms. Wright is also an active community leader. As an elected member of the Chester Board of Education in Morris County, she is serving in her third term and currently serves as the President of the Board, the Chair of the Board’s Personnel and Governance Committee and the Chair of the Board’s negotiation team.
Porzio's Litigation practice is profiled in the New Jersey Law Journal article, "Even After 'Metamorphosis,' Litigation Still Central to Porzio," by David Gialanella.
The article focuses on the team's evolution from primarily asbestos litigators to that of a diverse and more robust department.
Diane F. Averell and Vito A. Gagliardi, Jr. co-chair Porzio's Litigation Department. According to Mr. Gagliardi, "The metamorphosis has been, even when the firm was riding the crest of asbestos defense work, the leaders of the firm were astute enough to diversify." The expansion of several practice areas, including bankruptcy, education law, intellectual property and real estate, added to the firm's portfolio while still keeping litigation at its core.
Although clients tend to want to avoid litigation, Mr. Gagliardi points out that having a team with substantial litigation experience is even more valuable. "The experience you have as a litigator makes you a better lawyer for counseling your clients. You're better at it, because you've seen the way things can go wrong."
The full article was published by the New Jersey Law Journal. Subscribers may read the full article here.