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Appellate Advocacy

Many of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden’s appellate clients are referred to us by other law firms that have successfully (or unsuccessfully) represented the client at trial, but require our firm’s experience to protect the judgment on appeal (or to demonstrate the reversible errors committed below).

Our attorneys have regularly appeared before the New Jersey Supreme Court and the Appellate Division and the Third Circuit Court of Appeals on a wide range of issues. Pashman Stein Walder Hayden attorneys have mastered the art of condensing voluminous trial records into cogent, forceful arguments that demonstrate the merits of our clients’ position.

In crafting their written arguments and preparing for oral argument, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden attorneys draw on retired New Jersey Supreme Justice Gary Stein’s unique insight and experience, reflected in the more than 365 majority and dissenting opinions he authored during his 17 year tenure as an Associate Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, which cover virtually every area of New Jersey state law, including education, constitutional law, insurance coverage, zoning and land use law, civil and criminal procedure, and attorney discipline.

Pashman Stein Walder Hayden also routinely serves as co-counsel with other law firms to assist them in the preparation of appellate papers. Our attorneys also have been called upon to help other firms frame their arguments on appeal, to prepare petitions for certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court, and even to serve as moot court judges to prepare for oral argument.

Representative appellate matters include:

  • Successfully overturned a Judgement in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to vindicate the rights of a Reinsurer who had been deceived by its Ceding reinsurance partner about the extent of rising claims in American Honda, All Terrain Vehicles (“ATVs) . Claims and losses from ATV’s were on a rapid upswing when the later years policies were written without the transmission of pertinent timely information by the ceding company and its client to our reinsuring client.
  • The firm won a 5 to 4 decision in the United States Supreme court to protect the rights of innocent owners of real and personal property (including mortgagees and third party purchasers) from efforts of overzealous federal lawyers seeking to forfeit property on the grounds it was tainted by illegal transactions on the premises or by the use of purchase money funds traced in part to illegal proceeds.
  • PSWH handled the last intellectual property decision on the balance between an employee’s and an employers’ right to an invention and subsequent patent rights. The case involved the last New Jersey Appellate Division decision on the “shop right rule “protecting manufacturers like our client.
  • Successfully represented a New Jersey real estate developer in the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The developer had been sentenced in federal district court to a 3 year sentence based on the valuation of the allegedly fraudulent mortgages at issue in the criminal case by arguing that the value of the underlying property had to be deducted from the valuation resulting in an over 2 year reduction in the sentence and the immediate release of the client from federal prison.
  • Successfully prosecuted an emergency appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court vacating a temporary restraining order that had frozen the accounts of political candidates and closed a local newspaper.
  • Successfully obtained reversal of a $2.8 million judgment against a client that had been found at trial to have breached a supply contract.
  • Successfully obtained reversal of the denial of a fee award against an insurance carrier that had denied coverage for claims that the firm’s client had sent unsolicited advertisements to facsimile machines in violation of the Federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA).
  • Retained to prepare a petition for certification to the Supreme Court after a professional hockey team’s claim for insurance coverage for tragic injuries suffered by several of its players in a limousine accident, was rejected by the Appellate Division based on a narrow interpretation of permissive user coverage for hired autos.
  • Successfully obtained the reversal of the largest child support award in New Jersey history imposed on a former professional football star in his divorce proceedings.
  • In an issue of first impression in this state, we successfully represented an insured who sought a declaration that its comprehensive business owners policy covered the cost of extensive debris removal following the destruction of the insured’s business by fire. We convinced both the trial judge and the Appellate Division that the carrier’s debris removal provision was ambiguous and should be interpreted in accordance with the reasonable expectations of the insured even if a close reading of the written text revealed a contrary meaning.
  • The firm successfully represented an employer at trial, at the Appellate Division and in opposition to a petition for certification to the Supreme Court, against a claim filed under the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD) by the plaintiff who had become 100% disabled prior to the termination of employment by the defendant. The courts agreed with our arguments that an essential element of a cognizable LAD claim requires that the employee have the ability to work with or without reasonable accommodations; as such, an individual who is classified as completely disabled has no claim.
  • The firm successfully defended a prosecutor’s office at the trial level, before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and before the state’s Appellate Division, against claims that it had wrongfully terminated a former deputy prosecutor for insubordination.
  • The firm was retained after an adverse decision at the Appellate Division, and successfully obtained reversal from the Supreme Court, in a precedential decision that established that in the interest of fairness and public policy favoring settlements, the client was bound by her representation to the trial court that the settlement was fair and acceptable to her and barred her from suing her attorney for legal malpractice.
  • We successfully appealed to the Supreme Court to reverse decisions below, which had failed to recognize that the probable intent of the testator under his will was to give his homosexual partner the testator’s home debt free.
  • The firm successfully obtained reversal of a trial court decision at the Appellate Division, which was affirmed by the Supreme Court, where the trial court had denied the defendant-lawyer’s claim for indemnification for legal fees and expenses incurred by the attorney in an action by former corporate officers against the attorney and the corporation alleging libel and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
  • We successfully represented a newspaper publisher in its appeal of decision that would have required it to produce a broad array of documents and present one of its reporter’s for an unlimited deposition in violation of New Jersey’s Shield Law.