The Section of Litigation has appointed Beth Kaufman as Chair of the Section for the 2020-2021 Bar year.
Schoeman Updike Kaufman & Gerber LLP is happy to announce that it has become a Member and Sponsor of Women Owned Law (WOL). WOL is a national organization consisting of women-owned law and legal services firms that help one another develop, expand and advance in the legal industry. WOL works toward the equality of women entrepreneurs in law and helping them to achieve a greater presence in the field. To find out more about WOL, please visit its site https://www.womenownedlaw.org/
The Firm is proud to announce that it has again been rated as one of the “Best Law Firms” in New York City by Best Lawyers. It has been ranked as one of the “Best Law Firms” for 2018 in the following categories: Ranked Tier 1 for Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law and Product Liability Litigation – Defendants; Tier 2 for Commercial Litigation; and Tier 3 for Litigation – Securities and Securities/Capital Markets Law.
The Firm is proud to announce that three of its Partners have been selected by Best Lawyers for the 2018 “The Best Lawyers in America.” Partner Lawrence Fox was chosen for his Commercial Litigation, Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law, Litigation – Securities Law and Securities / Capital Markets Law; Partner Steven Gerber was selected for Litigation – Labor and Employment Law; and Partner Beth Kaufman was selected for Product Liability Litigation – Defendants.
In October 2017, the Firm obtained summary judgment for its municipal clients in a First Amendment retaliation case. The plaintiff, a long-time treasurer and secretary for a municipality alleged that the municipality, its board, and former chair violated his constitutional rights when they eliminated his salary and terminated his benefits. Specifically, the plaintiff alleged substantive due process violations, a bill of attainder claim, and First Amendment retaliation claims based on his alleged objections to the process by which the municipality attempted to sell a parcel of land. The defendants presented evidence that their actions against the plaintiff were the result of significant job performance issues that included irregularities and deficiencies in the municipality’s finances, a belief that the plaintiff had engaged in forgery, and the plaintiff’s failure to report to work and carry out his duties for months.
The District Judge granted summary judgment on all claims in favor of the defendants, adopting recommendations of the Magistrate Judge with respect to the bill of attainder, substantive due process, and First Amendment claim against the Board Chair. With respect to the First Amendment claim against the District, the District Judge rejected the Magistrate Judge’s recommendation that the claim should proceed to trial and sustained the defendants’ objection, finding that the Mt. Healthy defense applied and “a reasonable jury would have to conclude that the Board would have taken the same actions against Plaintiff in the absence of the protected speech.”
The Firm is proud to announce that six of its partners have been recognized as 2017 New York Super Lawyers. The following Partners were selected for inclusion to the 2017 New York Metro Super Lawyerslist in the respective practice areas: Jeffrey Chester and Nancy Connery – Real Estate; Steven Gerber – Employment & Labor; Norman Greene – General Litigation; and Beth Kaufman and Charles Updike – Business Litigation.
Heather Heft is scheduled to be a Panelist at the 2017 NAMWOLF Annual Meeting & Law Firm Expo. The topic of discussion– Trolls, Not Just a Cute Doll: How to Protect Your Company from Patent, Copyright and Trademark Trolls, New York Marriott Marquis, New York, New York, September 18, 2017. For more info, please go to http://namwolfmeetings.org/2017-am-meeting-agenda/.
On May 16, 2017, the Firm notched a significant win for one of its New Jersey higher education clients. After nearly five years of litigation, and just three weeks before trial, the U.S. District Court granted the university Defendants’ otion for summary judgment in its entirety, dismissing a case brought against the university and a full-time tenured faculty member. The dispute arose after the tenured faculty member learned that Plaintiff, an adjunct faculty member, had misappropriated, in violation of the governing collective bargaining agreement, her intellectual property, specifically a detailed syllabus for a graduate course she had created. The tenured faculty member circulated a few emails to a small group of individuals at the university regarding Plaintiff’s misappropriation that Plaintiff claimed were defamatory. Plaintiff was disciplined for his misappropriation and a grievance and arbitration followed. After settling the grievance, Plaintiff filed suit alleging claims for libel, fraud and equitable fraud, and breach of contract.
Partner Steven Gerber has published an article titled “No One-Size-Fits-All: Investigating and Addressing Complaints of Historical Sexual Harassment and Abuse” in the DRI’s In-House Defense Quarterly, Spring 2017 edition. The article focuses on investigations of recent complaints of historical sexual abuse and suggest plans of action for businesses and educational institutions when hit with sexual misconduct allegations. To read the article, please click here “No One-Size-Fits-All: Investigating and Addressing Complaints of Historical Sexual Harassment and Abuse”.
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