Rebekah Conroy is an experienced trial attorney who appears regularly in state and federal courts, Rebekah’s practice is focused on complex business litigation including contract and franchise disputes, products liability actions, shareholder and intra-family financial disputes, and the representation of attorneys in ethics proceedings. Rebekah also defends clients in white-collar criminal matters involving, among other things, charges of bank and wire fraud, commercial bribery and other financial crimes.
Ken Moskowitz, Steve Rowland and Shalom Stone are representing an international storage and logistics company in connection with an insurance coverage dispute that presents a substantial issue of New Jersey law. The matter has already been litigated in the U.S. District Court of New Jersey and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, and the coverage issue may now be resolved by the New Jersey Supreme Court.
BMK won summary judgment for its client in the federal trial court. The District Court held that our client was entitled to coverage under its Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance policy for the damages caused by the client’s subcontractor to property belonging to a customer. Among other things, the District Court held that the property damage at issue constituted an “occurrence” under the CGL policy, and that the client was entitled to indemnity under the policy and to reimbursement of the attorneys’ fees that had been expended in litigating the coverage matter.
The Third Circuit heard oral argument on the insurance carrier’s appeal in June 2015, and recently took the extraordinary measure of petitioning the New Jersey Supreme Court for certification to resolve what the Third Circuit regards to be a substantial and unsettled question of New Jersey insurance law.
Specifically, the Third Circuit has asked the New Jersey Supreme Court to resolve the issue of whether the damage caused to the property of the insured’s customer by the defective work of the insured’s subcontractor constitutes an “occurrence” under the standard form of CGL policy that has been in effect since 1986. The case presents an important and recurring issue not only in New Jersey, but nationwide. Courts across the country have repeatedly cited New Jersey law (the Weedo doctrine) in addressing the issue which may now be resolved directly by New Jersey’s highest court.
Coincidentally, the day before the Third Circuit petitioned the New Jersey Supreme Court for certification in our client’s case, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Cyprus Point Condominium Association, Inc. v. Adria Towers, LLC, A-2767-13T1, held that, in analogous circumstances, a subcontractor’s faulty workmanship constitutes an “occurrence” within the meaning of the insured general contractor’s CGL policy.
In the event that the New Jersey Supreme Court certifies the issue presented in our client’s case, the matter will likely be heard early next year.
Since the merger and acquisition middle marketplace in New Jersey is highly fragmented and inefficient, with no effective means of sharing information on current and prospective deals, forward-looking trends and key topics of interest, Stuart Brown has formed — and chairs — the New Jersey Merger & Acquisition Forum. Stuart’s primary goals for organizing the multidisciplinary Forum are to:
- Devise a platform for the efficient sharing of non-proprietary deal information in real time, and
- Create a mechanism for capturing and sharing key industry information and trends
The M&A Forum is comprised of M&A professionals from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including accountants, attorneys, bankers, intermediaries, financial advisors and strategic consultants. Although it is still relatively new, the impact of the Forum is already evident. To date, one significant financing has been completed as a result of communications among Forum members and several M&A transactions are in the early stages. The Forum hosts guest speakers to present to the members. For more information, contact Stuart Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Partner Rick Schkolnick has created and, on September 17, will moderate a half-day seminar sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Land Use Section, titled “The Hotly Contested Land Use Application: Case Studies, Social Media and Ethical Considerations.” This seminar will bring together land use practitioners and judges from throughout the state to discuss practice and procedures related to “hotly contested” land use matters.
Partner Alan Goldberger served as a panelist for “Legal Issues Implicating Referees and Officials” at the 41st Annual Sports Lawyers Association Conference in Baltimore. The Sports Lawyers Association is a non-profit, international professional organization whose common goal is the understanding, advancement and ethical practices of sports law.
Alan also spoke at the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials annual meeting, the US Lacrosse National Convention (for the seventh consecutive year) and the Professional Association of Volleyball Officials National Convention.