News

  Cedar Grove, New Jersey – May 22, 2018

By: Nicole M. DeMuro, Esq.*

On May 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its biggest employment decision this session.  In Epic Systems Corporation v. Lewis, 584 U.S. ___ (2018), the Supreme Court confirmed that federal law allows employers to enforce arbitration agreements, even if they bar group claims.  While this decision is new, it is not unexpected.  The Supreme Court’s recent precedent had already made it clear that the FAA requires the enforcement of arbitration agreements according to their terms, which can only be defeated by a clear and contrary congressional mandate.

Cedar Grove, New Jersey - May 21, 2018

From May 16 to May 18, the New Jersey State Bar Association (the “NJSBA”) held its Annual Meeting and Convention at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City.  The NJSBA celebrated the installation of the 2018-2019 president, John E. Keefe, Jr., and a new slate of officers and trustees.  The Annual Meeting and Convention were a great success and O’Toole Scrivo attorneys played an integral part.

 

Cedar Grove, New Jersey – April 5, 2018

By: Nicole M. DeMuro, Esq.*

On April 2, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 584 U.S. ___ (2018), ruled that automobile service advisors are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”).  In doing so, the Supreme Court ended a multi-year battle over the applicability of section 213(b)(1)(A) of the FLSA.

 

Cedar Grove, New Jersey – March 26, 2018

Lawrence S. Cutalo recently obtained zoning and land use approvals on behalf of a developer to convert a manufacturing building into a 105,000 s.f. self-storage facility located on a six-acre site in suburban Essex County, New Jersey. Earlier this year, Larry successfully represented a developer in obtaining site plan approval and use variance relief to convert a three-story office building into a 95,000 s.f. rehabilitation and extended care facility for seniors located on a four-acre site in Morris County, New Jersey. O’Toole Scrivo represents clients in all aspects of real estate development and land use.

Cedar Grove, New Jersey – March 12, 2018

O’Toole Scrivo is pleased to welcome Brian Wolfson who joins the Firm today as Of Counsel.  Brian has spent the last several years as in-house counsel for Edgewood Properties, Inc., working on all aspects of litigation and corporate work, with an emphasis on real estate, land use, and development.  He previously worked at Connell Foley, LLP and was a law clerk to the Hon. Frank Ciuffani, P.J.Ch. (Ret.).  Brian is a graduate of Rutgers Law School and Columbia University.

Cedar Grove, New Jersey – March 12, 2018

The Firm is proud to announce that the Town of West New York has selected Dennise Mejia as the recipient of the Spirit Award for its annual International Women’s Day Event.  The Event celebrates successful women who have made a positive impact on the community, and the Spirit Award honors those who are passionate and dedicated to inspiring women every day.

Cedar Grove, New Jersey – February 27, 2018

The Firm is proud to announce that Seton Hall University School of Law has selected Managing Partner, Thomas Scrivo, to receive its prestigious Distinguished Graduate Award.  Tom is a 1989 graduate of the law school and will be honored at the Seton Hall Law Alumni Gala on May 11, 2018, at the Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.

Cedar Grove, New Jersey – February 7, 2018

O’Toole Scrivo is pleased to announce the addition of Stephanie Mishler, who joins the Firm today as an Associate.  Stephanie served as an Assistant District Attorney and Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.  As an accomplished trial attorney, Stephanie has presented hundreds of cases to the grand jury, handled numerous jury and bench trials, and supervised Assistant District Attorneys during tenure at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.  Stephanie received her B.A. from Colgate University and her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law.  Stephanie will be handling general liability defense and complex commercial litigation matters at the Firm.

 

Cedar Grove, New Jersey – February 5, 2018

O’Toole Scrivo is pleased to welcome Nicole DeMuro as our newest Of Counsel to the Firm.  Nicole will be handling labor and employment and commercial litigation matters. Nicole joins O’Toole Scrivo after serving as Senior Counsel to Governor Chris Christie.  As Senior Counsel, Nicole advised the Governor on various legal, legislative, and regulatory issues in the areas of labor and civil service law, human services, children and families, and information technology.

 

Cedar Grove, New Jersey – January 29, 2018

O’Toole Scrivo is pleased to announce the addition of James DiGiulio as Partner and General Counsel to the Firm.  Jim most recently served as Chief Counsel to Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey.  As Chief Counsel, Jim was responsible for leading the Governor’s legislative initiatives, supervising gubernatorial appointments, and managing all of New Jersey’s authorities.

 

November 20, 2017 – In a written Opinion and Order, the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of New York for the County of Albany dismissed a Complaint for breach of warranty of future performance filed by the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York (“DASNY”) against a general contractor.  Had DASNY prevailed in applying the predominantly UCC concept to save its otherwise untimely construction contract claim, the potential exposure of warranty claims to contractors performing work in New York would be endless.  Greg Trif of O’Toole Scrivo represented the prevailing general contractor.

November 17, 2017 - O’Toole Scrivo partner Robert C. Scrivo has successfully obtained the dismissal of a United States Department of Justice indictment charging a former president of a publicly-traded chemical company with conspiracy to violate the Sherman Act.  The DOJ handed down the indictment in February 2016 and charged Scrivo’s client with restraining trade of aluminum sulfate through market allocation and price fixing.  The matter was scheduled to be tried in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey in January 2018.  The firm congratulates Robert in obtaining this exceptional result.

 

November 16, 2017 - In a published opinion, the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of a challenge to a local smoking ordinance that is stricter than the New Jersey Smoke Free Air Act.  The plaintiffs tried to strike down the ordinance by arguing that the Smoke Free Air Act prohibits municipalities from enacting greater restrictions than the State law.  Had the plaintiffs prevailed, local public smoking ordinances more restrictive than the State law likely would have come under attack.  The Appellate Division’s published opinion puts this question to rest and allows local governments to enact stricter public smoking regulations as they deem best for their community.

 

On November 10, 2017, Managing Partner Thomas P. Scrivo will be speaking at a special NJSBA/NJICLE showcase presentation featuring Bob Woodward.  Woodward will share with audiences on how Watergate forever altered the nature of the Presidency, politics, and journalism.   The program will include a round table discussion with some of New Jersey’s leading legal experts and journalists, including the Hon. Travis L. Francis, A.J.S.C. (Ret.), Thomas J. Cafferty, Esq. of Gibbons P.C., Paula Saha, Director of Communications at the NJSBA, and Charles Stile, Columnist at The Bergen Record. 

 

October 31, 2017 - O’Toole Scrivo partner Juan Fernandez successfully obtained a “No Cause” verdict on behalf of a client following an eight-week jury trial in the Superior Court of New Jersey.  The plaintiff in this high-exposure, multimillion-dollar employment case alleged various claims, including sexual assault and retaliation.  Despite the challenging and complex nature of the case, Juan ultimately prevailed for the client when the jury unanimously dismissed all claims after four days of deliberation.

 

On October 20, 2017, O’Toole Scrivo partners Gary Van Lieu and Joshua S. Lichtenstein participated in the second annual New Jersey Asbestos Litigation Conference offered by NJICLE.  The program, which was coordinated by Kevin J. O’Toole and co-moderated by Gary Van Lieu, featured a panel of speakers that included the Honorable Ana C. Viscomi, J.S.C., the statewide asbestos litigation Judge, Special Master Agatha N. Dzikiewicz, Esq., Joshua Lichtenstein, and other leading practitioners in the area of asbestos litigation.  The program provided critical and practical information for lawyers practicing in asbestos and other toxic tort litigation in New Jersey.

 

Managing Partner, Thomas P. Scrivo, will be speaking with Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino, the Honorable Robert J. Brennan, P.J.Ch., and Frederick W. Alworth of Gibbons P.C. at a CLE program entitled “Crisis Management: Views from the Bench, Law Enforcement, and the Bar.”  This program will be moderated by Lawrence S. Cutalo of O’Toole Scrivo and is one several other CLE programs featured at the Morris County Bar Association’s Legalpalooza on November 2, 2017.  For more information and to register, please click here.

 

On October 10, 2017, O’Toole Scrivo Managing Partners Kevin J. O’Toole and Thomas P. Scrivo moderated a CLE program entitled, “The Art of Early Resolution with the Right Retired Judge as Mediator,” at the offices of Crum & Forster in Morristown, New Jersey.  The program featured several former members of the New Jersey Judiciary and Joseph M. Morris, III, Esq., Vice President, Liability Claims, at Crum & Forster.  With nearly 300 people in attendance both live and remotely across the country, the program provided practitioners and insurance-industry executives with a comprehensive overview of the mediation process and strategies for a successful, early resolution of complex matters.

 

On September 7, 2017, O’Toole Scrivo hosted a wine tasting event for the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, Young Lawyers Division.  Jessica Carroll, who is Of Counsel at O’Toole Scrivo and is one of the co-chairs of the Young Lawyers Division, organized the event.  The event provided an introduction into professional tasting techniques by sampling various wines from around the world guided by an education on how to make meal selections based on each wine’s tasting notes. 

 

On September 8, 2017, Managing Partners Kevin J. O’Toole and Thomas P. Scrivo will be speaking at NJICLE’s special program entitled, “Legal & Ethical Considerations When Navigating Corporate Negotiations & Investigations.”  This CLE program will address ethical issues and dilemmas that may arise during corporation negotiations and investigations for both in-house and outside counsel.

 

On August 4, 2017, O’Toole Scrivo attorneys presented a CLE program in Boston entitled, “Ethical Challenges with the Tri-Partite Relationship.”  This interactive CLE provided clients with a comprehensive discussion on the many different ethical dilemmas facing insurers, their insureds, and counsel.

Law360, Clifton, N.J. (July 13, 2017, 7:02 PM EDT) -- New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has tapped James DiGiulio of O’Toole Scrivo Fernandez Weiner Van Lieu LLC to be his new chief counsel, ending the short-lived tenure of another attorney who has been named a state Superior Court judge, the governor's office said Thursday.

 

July 13, 2017 - U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer honored Kevin O'Toole's distinguished career in the New Jersey legislature and his retirement as New Jersey Senator.  Speaking on the House floor today, Congressman Gottheimer commended O’Toole’s service as a legislator, stating, "[Kevin O'Toole] has been a true leader on business growth and streamlining regulations to attract companies to [New Jersey] . . . .  I applaud the high value that Kevin has importantly placed on constituent service throughout his career as a legislator -- a key and essential priority for any public servant.  Kevin has worked across the aisle with Republicans and Democrats alike -- a practice that is essential in this time of gridlock.  As Kevin departs the Senate, we wish him all the best . . . ."

 

Michael Booth, New Jersey Law Journal

Gov. Chris Christie has turned to another insider to serve as his top legal adviser through the last six months of his final term in office. Christie announced Thursday that he has named James DiGiulio, his former senior counsel, as chief counsel. For DiGiulio, it is a return to the administration after a brief stint in private practice. Until recently he was with the Cedar Grove firm O'Toole Scrivo, headed by Republican state Sen. Kevin O'Toole and former Christie chief counsel Thomas Scrivo.

Trenton, NJ – Governor Chris Christie today announced the appointment of James DiGiulio as Chief Counsel. DiGiulio is an attorney at the Cedar Grove law firm of O’Toole Scrivo, Fernandez Weiner Van Lieu, LLC, and he previously served as a Senior Counsel in the Governor’s Office.

DiGiulio will replace Chief Counsel Gregory Acquaviva, who is assuming his new role as a Superior Court judge, a position to which he was nominated by Governor Christie and approved by the state Senate.

 

Cedar Grove, NJ – The Firm is proud to announce that the American Bar Foundation (“ABF”) has elected Managing Partner Thomas P. Scrivo as a Life Fellow.  According to the ABF, “the Fellows is an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession.”  Notably, membership in the Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction.  Members are nominated by their peers and elected by the Board of the ABF.

 

Cedar Grove, NJ – Managing Partner Kevin J. O’Toole was invited as a guest speaker at the Law & Justice Institute at Fordham University School of Law.  The Law & Justice Institute is an intensive five-week program for rising ninth graders run by Legal Outreach, an organization working with urban youth from underserved communities in New York City for the last thirty years.  Students participating in the program have the opportunity to meet various distinguished leaders in the legal community, as well as learn about our judicial system and careers in law.  Kevin shared with students today his personal path to success and the importance of striving for academic excellence.

 

Cedar Grove, NJ – Longtime lawmaker Kevin J. O’Toole has officially joined The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s Board of Commissioners following his nomination to the position by Governor Chris Christie and his confirmation by the New Jersey State Senate.  Effective July 2, 2017, O’Toole will serve a six-year term on the Board, succeeding outgoing Commissioner Pat Schuber.

 

Law360, New York (May 2, 2017, 6:47 PM EDT) -- A collections company alleging a New Jersey law firm is running a “Mafia-style” operation of filing consumer protection class actions primarily to generate attorneys' fees has blasted the firm’s request for attorney sanctions, arguing that its racketeering theory is backed up by two federal judges.

 

Trenton, NJ - Governor Chris Christie has appointed O'Toole Scrivo partner, Juan C. Fernandez, to the State Ethics Commission (“Commission”).

The Commission has the power to undertake investigations and hold hearings regarding alleged violations of New Jersey's Conflicts Law. The Commission also issues advisory opinions concerning whether a given set of facts and circumstances would, in the Commission's opinion, constitute possible violations of the Conflicts Law or any code, rules or regulations promulgated pursuant thereto.

 

Law360, New York (April 17, 2017, 3:51 PM EDT) -- Attorneys Kevin J. O’Toole and Thomas P. Scrivo have taken different career paths in the 31 years since they sat next to each other on the first day of constitutional law class at Seton Hall Law School, but the longtime friends have each made their mark in New Jersey government and the Garden State's competitive legal scene.

The Senate as a whole today voted in favor of state Senator Kevin O’Toole to go to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as a commissioner. Only state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20) opposed the nomination. “They have not supported equal pay for airport workers,” Lesniak said of the port, who could not extract O’Toole’s support for pay raises to bring them into line with those airport workers in New York. The nomination passed 33-1. LINK TO ARTICLE...

Governor Chris Christie today announced the departure of his Chief Counsel, Thomas P. Scrivo, following a year and a half of service in the Christie Administration. Scrivo, who will return to private practice and form the law firm of O’Toole Scrivo with Senator Kevin O’Toole, was also appointed by the Governor to serve as the new Chairman of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA), according to a release from the governor’s office.

 On the day news emerged of Gov. Chris Christie’s choice for a new chief counsel, lawyers and politicians celebrated the selection ofveteran attorney Tom Scrivo, calling him a man of rare ability, an attorney who literally wrote the book on municipal law, and a catch for the governor. “He’s a very solid lawyer and well-respected within the legal community,” said defense attorney Joe Hayden, a Democrat. “In this business, your word is your stock and trade, and I think he’ll be a solid counsel to the governor.” The past president of the Essex County Bar Association and current trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Scrivo serves as the municipal attorney to several New Jersey municipalities. He served as Chair of the Essex County Bar Association’s WTC Disaster Relief Task Force and supervised the training of more than 250 attorneys to provide free legal services to families and victims of the 9/11 attacks.  He is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey, and the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey. He has served as a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s District V-B Ethics Committee. A frequent lecturer, he has spoken on dozens of occasions at legal seminars on a variety of topics, including attorney ethics.   Mr. Scrivo was appointed by Chief Justice Stuart Rabner as Vice-Chair of the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s Working Group on Ethical Issues Involving Metadata in Electronic Documents. State Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40), a staunch Christie ally and partner in his own law firm, called Scrivo “a brilliant legal mind.” “He’s a combination of David Boies and James Baker,” he said, referring respectively to one of the nation’s top profile attorneys and the attorney/statesman who served as chief-of-staff in the Reagan Administration. Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21), who also heads up his own law firm, called Scrivo one of the top people in the business. “When you’re talking about Tom Scrivo, this is a talented lawyer and a person in government similar to what [former Governor Thomas] Kean did. This is what it used to be: not a government person who spends a lifetime in government, but a really successful private sector person.” Scrivo’s a Republican but not a partisan, say those who know him, someone who gets the intersection of politics and the law, who has argued successfully before the appellate division and the state Supreme Court. John Keefe, Jr., partner in a Red Bank law firm and not in Republican circles, called Christie’s choice of Scrivo “a tremendous coup.” “Tommy Scrivo is a lawyer, not a politician,” Keefe said. “The governor picked one of our best. He’s a tremendous lawyer who’s really well respected; a tremendous professional. Tommy’s not the guy who speaks up the most but when he does people listen. He’s not going to shoot from the hip. He has a lot of experience, everything from business litigation, chancery practice to high profile municipal cases. When things get hot and the RPMs high, his strength is calmness and the ability to pull it down and simplify. He’s a character guy and a very good thing for the governor.” “This is an excellent choice,” added Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo. “I’ve known him for over 20 years; he would do a truly great job. It’s going to be very easy for people throughout the state to work with him. He’s probably one of the best.” ...

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