The Tattler

Hydro-bikers, multitasking meatheads and more

Published in 2008 New Jersey Super Lawyers — April 2008

Michael Canning of Giordano, Halleran & Ciesla in Middletown has been certified as a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a 3,000-member national group open only to those who have won million-dollar or multimillion-dollar verdicts.

Samuel Davis of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon in Teaneck organized a rally of 51 volunteers on hydro-bicycles at Liberty State Park on Veterans Day to raise awareness for injured veterans.

Frederick J. Dennehy of Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer made the news in connection with the long-running legal battle over the estate of Spring Lake widow Madeline Stockdale when the New Jersey Supreme Court heard arguments for and against awarding punitive damages and legal fees in the case. Dennehy, who has an extensive background working on legal ethics cases, argued against punitive damages for a neighbor of Stockdale’s and another attorney who helped Stockdale prepare a will shortly before the woman’s death; that will was later discredited. The court did not immediately rule.

Marc S. Friedman of Sills, Cummis & Gross, got his day in the sun on Oct. 4 when he was quoted in an article in The New York Times that dealt with damage done by online business critics and steps that can be taken to minimize the impact. “There is all type of damage by miscreants on the Web to a business,” Friedman, chairman of the firm’s intellectual property practice, was quoted. “The number of methods depends only on the creativity of the wrongdoer.”

William S. Greenberg, a partner with McCarter & English, received the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Presidential Achievement Award for his efforts in creating and implementing the Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Pro Bono Program. The program provides pro bono legal assistance in the areas of family, employment and debtor/creditor law to military personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Michael Horn, a partner at McCarter & English, was featured in a Newhouse News Service newspaper story decrying the use of “multitasking meatheads” who waste time firing off text messages during business meetings, only to ask rudimentary and irritating questions afterward because they haven’t been paying attention. “At a meeting, it is impolite and disrespectful to engage in text messaging,” the news service quotes Horn, a former New Jersey state treasurer. “You don’t have their undivided attention.”

Michael Schaff, a partner with Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, was recognized as one of the Outstanding Physician Practice Lawyers for 2007 by Nightingale’s Healthcare News.
Paul Shur of Sills, Cummis & Gross was spotlighted in the press on two occasions during 2007. In February, the Bergen Record interviewed him about the competition among New Jersey banks for small-business clients. “What most are doing is bulking up small-business loan portfolios,” he told the newspaper. Earlier he appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box program to talk about distressed debt.

Gregg Stone, of Kirsch, Gelband & Stone in Newark, won a March 7 case in which an Essex County jury awarded his client $2 million after she sustained numerous injuries that required bone grafts in a hit-and-run accident. The plaintiff, Sheila Brooks, was a front-seat passenger in a car that was broadsided in 2002 by a stolen vehicle, which fled the scene. The award was halved due to an out-of-court settlement and because of coverage limits.

Kenneth M. Van Deventer, a partner at Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti, prevailed in a New York case in which a jury rendered an approximately $10 million judgment against CS SCF Management Ltd., an affiliate of Credit Suisse. The case involved allegations by C2C Consulting, an affiliate of Cabot Square Capital, that CS SCF Management had breached a contract by failing to pay a breakup fee upon termination of a private equity fund that was being managed by Cabot. The jury held for C2C on all counts after a single day of deliberations.

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