HDRB&B Defeats Class Certification at Pleading Stage

(River Edge, NJ; June 5, 2017) The New Jersey Superior Court, Bergen County, entered an order today denying class certification in a putative consumer fraud class action filed against an HDRBB client. Plaintiff alleged that Defendant – a prominent New Jersey vehicle towing company – had violated the Predatory Towing Prevention Act (PTPA), as well as the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA) and the Truth in Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice Act (TCCWNA), by charging fees not permitted under the PTPA. HDRBB filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that the case could not proceed as a class action because the issue of whether each individual class member suffered a loss or not, that is, whether each class member received services in exchange for each of the fees charged or not, would predominate over any class-wide issues. The Superior Court agreed and ordered that Plaintiff’s case could not proceed as a class action. The decision is notable because class certification is often decided only after discovery has been completed, imposing a significant cost on defendants. The Superior Court here, however, denied class certification at the motion to dismiss stage, agreeing with Defendant that the issue of class certification can and should be decided on a Defendant’s pre-answer motion to dismiss the class claims, avoiding the costs and complications of class action litigation where appropriate.

The case is Pellegrino v. Nick’s Towing Service, Inc., et al., No. BER-L-1606-17. Defendants were represented by Paul S. Doherty, III, Jeremy B. Stein, and Christine M. Caputo. Jeremy Stein argued for Defendants.

HDRB&B WINS JUDGMENT IN FAVOR OF LHB AG

New York, NY. On August 4, 2015, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Hon. Colleen McMahon, USDJ) granted summary judgment in favor of HDRBB’s client, LHB AG, a European financial institution, which was sued for failure to make payment under an irrevocable letter of credit issued to a New York-based export company, Mago International, LLC . The letter of credit had been issued to guarantee payment on a large maritime shipment of food goods from New York to a company based in Kosovo, which ultimately failed to make payment for the goods. Adopting HDRBB’s arguments on behalf of LHB, Judge McMahon held that LHB had rightfully refused payment under the letter of credit because the beneficiary of the letter of credit (Mago) had failed to submit documentation in compliance with the strict terms of the letter of credit, which required submission of documentation “evidencing shipment of the goods,” as interpreted under the International Chamber of Commerce’s Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits. Specifically, the Court held that Mago’s repeated submission of photocopies of non-negotiable copies of bills of lading, which did not evidence shipment of the goods, failed to satisfy the strict terms of the letter of credit. The case is captioned Mago International, LLC v. LHB AG et al., 13-civ-3370 (SDNY). Mark A. Berman and Jeremy B. Stein appeared in the case on behalf of the firm and LHB.

Stephanie Lehman to Speak on Alimony and Maintenance

On November 18, 2014, Stephanie Lehman will be speaking on the differences between alimony and maintenance in NJ and NY at a program sponsored by Eisner Amper. The presentation with take place live at Eisner Amper’s Metro Park offices and will be video-streamed to Eisner’s NY and PA offices.

Allison Busch to Speak on Ethical Considerations in Estate Planning

Allison Busch, a partner in the area of Trusts and Estates and Elder Law, will be speaking on “The Ethical Considerations in Estate Planning” at the National Business Institute’s Tax Planning for Trusts and Estates seminar on Dec. 10 in Princeton. The program is a basic-to-intermediate program geared towards lawyers, accountants, investment advisors, tax planners and paralegals.

Leonard P. Rosa Resolves Injury Lawsuit

Leonard P. Rosa recently resolved a personal injury lawsuit arising from a car accident where the client underwent lumbar disc surgery aggravating a prior injury. The case settled for $150,000.00 shortly before the scheduled trial date.

Jeremy B. Stein Named Partner

Jeremy B. Stein has been named as a Partner in HDRB&B’s Litigation Department. Jeremy’s practice focuses on the representation of closely held businesses and their principals in partnership and shareholder disputes, as well as corporate and individual clients in a broad range of complex commercial litigation. Before joining HDRB&B in 2012, Jeremy was a litigation associate for five years in the New York office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP. He also clerked for the Honorable Anne E. Thompson, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. Jeremy received his J.D. from New York University School of Law, an M.S. from Columbia School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and a B.A., magna cum laude, from Yeshiva University.

RICHARD J. ADAGO JOINS HDRB&B MATRIMONIAL GROUP IN NYC

New York, NY (Sep 3, 2013): Richard J. Adago has joined HDRB&B as a partner in the New York office’s matrimonial practice group. For over twenty years, Richard has represented high-net worth individuals in contested and uncontested matrimonial actions and child-related matters, including custody, parenting time, relocation and paternity, in the New York courts. Richard also is experienced at negotiating prenuptial, postnuptial, settlement and separation agreements. He advises clients regarding related tax planning, including the valuation of businesses, professional licenses, enhanced earning capacity and celebrity status, and has represented clients in same-sex prenuptial and divorce situations. Prior to joining HDRB&B, Richard was a partner with the Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group in the New York offices of Blank Rome LLP, one of the largest law firms in the country, with one of the largest family law practices of its kind in the nation. After graduating from Seton Hall Law School, Richard was a prosecutor for more than five years at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. He presently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School.

ALLISON BUSCH TO SPEAK ON ELDER LAW

March 2013: Allison Busch is speaking in New York at the Practising Law Institute’s Elder Law Institute on April 17th. Allison’s presentation is titled: “Taxes: What Every Elder Law Attorney Needs to Know for a Consultation.” Allison will also be speaking in New Brunswick on July 31st on Medicaid and Elder Law with Lorman Education Services.