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Practices & Industries

Commercial Litigation

Our Commercial Litigation group was honored by the New Jersey Law Journal in 2021 as the “Litigation Department of the Year” for our outstanding litigation practice. Also in 2021, Law360 named the Firm a “New Jersey Powerhouse,” with Riker Danzig making the list of only five firms to receive this honor.  Law360 recognized firms that stand out for their “stellar reputations and victories in both courtrooms and the marketplace. In 2020, our Securities Litigation, Arbitration, Regulation and Investigations practice group was named “Litigation Department of the Year for a Specialty Practice Area” by the New Jersey Law Journal.  In 2019, the Firm was honored with the “Insurance Litigation Department of the Year” award, in 2018, with the “Dealmakers of the Year” award, and in 2017, with the “Litigation Department of the Year” award.

The Group has been a "top-listed" law firm practice in New Jersey by Best Lawyers in America® since 2008. Our Commercial Litigation group is also consistently highly ranked by Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, which since 2004 has hailed our attorneys for their "first-rate communication skills," "tenacity and detail-oriented attitude," "ability to bring speed and energy to matters without sacrificing thoroughness and diligence," and "ability to connect well with both juries and the authorities." Chambers says ours is a “highly respected litigation group known for its handling of a broad range of commercial disputes, including banking, real estate and environmental matters. Also active in securities disputes." The 2018 publication describes the General Commercial Litigation group as a "go-to firm for people with a problem in this region." Previous Chambers editions describe the group as being ”very experienced and able to get their arms round an incredibly complex case. Plus they have a great national reputation.”  More than half of our attorneys are full-time litigators and are distinguished by Chambers for being able to "handle large research-intensive cases, as well as offer a carefully tailored approach." In addition, our Commercial Litigation Practice was recognized nationally among all U.S. firms in the U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers inaugural “Best Law Firms” rankings in 2010, and has continued to be listed in Tier 1 for New Jersey law firms each year since 2011.  See Awards and Honors Methodology.

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Our litigators are engaged in all types of complex civil litigation in federal and State courts, both at the trial and appellate levels, as well as before federal and State administrative agencies.

Riker Danzig excels in handling business-related litigation.  Our clients run the gamut from start-ups and family owned businesses to some of the largest public corporations in America.  With over 80 litigation attorneys, we are involved on a daily basis with every type of commercial and corporate litigation, from the most complicated commercial cases to everyday breach of contract suits and partnership disputes.  A large part of our litigation practice involves commercial arbitrations and mediations of every kind and nature.

Riker Danzig is engaged in all types of complex litigation under the Uniform Commercial Code involving sales of goods, security interests, equipment leasing and financing, and holder in due course status. We are active in litigation concerning distribution contracts, commercial fraud claims (including fraudulent conveyances), replevin actions, maritime leases, and franchise disputes.

Our litigators have extensive experience with antitrust and securities fraud claims arising under both state and federal law in private litigation. We have been involved in both the prosecution and the defense of a wide range of cases involving RICO, and claims of tortious interference, claims under the New Jersey Franchise Practices Act, restraints of trade and commercial fraud.

Representative Work:

We obtained a $73 million settlement for our client, a pension fund, in connection with a securities fraud action against a Fortune 100 public company and its senior officers.

We obtained a substantial settlement on behalf of a local utility in a lawsuit seeking $200 million in damages from a manufacturer of defective components for the loss of use of two nuclear power stations and the cost of replacement power.  The case raised complex questions of the scope and enforceability of certain contractual disclaimers of liability.

We represented one of the country’s largest owners of commercial real estate in a lawsuit seeking to recover hundreds of millions of dollars of costs involved in abating asbestos building products in some 60 building complexes throughout the United States. Our client was the first known plaintiff to plead a federal racketeering (RICO) claim in such a lawsuit and the claim survived strenuous efforts by all of the defendants to dismiss.

Riker Danzig handled parallel arbitration and litigation proceedings on behalf of a real estate developer against its partner in  connection with a complex joint venture agreement to develop and build a $200 million mixed-use high-rise project in the New York metropolitan area.  The agreement involved the transfer of several large properties to the joint venture and an intricate capital contribution arrangement.  When changes in the market made the project as designed less desirable, the inability of the parties to agree to a dissolution led to arbitration demands, a suit seeking recission of the Operating Agreement, declaratory relief and damages for fraud and breach of contract.  The matter is legally significant because of the interplay of the litigation and the arbitration, the respective roles of the court and the arbitrator, and the variety of novel legal issues argued by the developers and investors.

For many years, we have represented the world’s largest manufacturer of computer and electronic equipment in New Jersey suits involving its products, employees, services and licensed programs. We represent various companies in commercial litigation matters involving copyrights, trademarks, post-employment restrictive covenants, trade secret agreements and technology-related matters.

Our litigators advised a major petrochemical concern in international contract litigation involving the “act of state doctrine” and the enforceability of “force majeure” clauses.

The Firm also represents individuals, partnerships and corporations in disputes arising out of the formation and dissolution of businesses.

Our Team

Michael R. O'Donnell

Michael R. O'Donnell
Partner

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