Trial, Arbitration, and Mediation

Overview

Bringing exceptional quickness, insight, and experience to bear, Friedman Kaplan attorneys perhaps most distinguish themselves by their ability to think on their feet.  For this reason, our firm especially shines at trial and in arbitration and mediation.  We have significant, ongoing experience acting as lead counsel in significant jury and non-jury trials and arbitrations, and over the years have procured numerous victories and favorable settlements for our clients at trial in state and federal courts and before FINRA, the AAA, and other arbitration bodies. We also frequently help our clients to avoid litigation, or settle, by resolving their disputes through mediation.

From successfully representing one of the world’s most prominent inter-dealer brokerage firms as defendant in eight consolidated FINRA arbitrations and a follow-on jury trial - one of the longest in the history of New Jersey state court - to achieving settlements for our clients, including banks, investment funds, and end users, with claims against the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy estate through mediation, we excel at advocating for our clients at all stages in the pre-litigation, litigation, and alternate dispute resolution processes.

In addition to their work for firm clients, several of our attorneys also serve as mediators and arbitrators. Firm co-founding partner Edward Friedman serves as a court-appointed mediator in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, partner Hal Neier is a member of the roster of commercial mediators and arbitrators of National Arbitration and Mediation (NAM), and partners Lance Gotko and Scott Berman serve as mediators for the New York Supreme Court Commercial Division in New York County. Mr. Gotko is also an arbitrator for the Civil Court of the City of New York.  This work further enhances these attorneys’ insight when themselves representing clients in mediation or arbitration.

Selected Experience

  • We represented one of the world's most prominent inter-dealer brokerage firms in eight consolidated FINRA arbitrations, defending against claims of "raiding," unfair competition, breach of non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, and other business torts. The FINRA panel ultimately awarded plaintiffs a fraction of the damages they sought, and awarded significant damages to the employees hired by the client. Most recently, the firm represented the client in a follow-on five-month jury trial that settled favorably.
  • We represented the world’s largest manufacturer of artificial turf fields as plaintiff in a fraud and breach of warranty action. On summary judgment, the firm secured the dismissal of trademark infringement, defamation, false advertising, and related counterclaims valued by the adverse party in the case at more than $100 million. Following a two-week jury trial in federal court, the case was settled for an amount that the client viewed as a great success.
  • We represented a member of one of the world’s wealthiest families in litigation and a six-month trial involving a will contest and claims of undue influence. The firm continues to handle this matter in connection with two appeals before the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court.
  • We represented a prominent Canadian pension fund as well a major bank in disputes with Lehman Brothers regarding terminated derivatives transactions. In both instances, we represented our clients in mediations and achieved settlements for them
  • We represented a high-level executive of Merrill Lynch in connection with an arbitration before FINRA pertaining to the terms of his departure from the bank. The arbitration  resulted in a multi-million dollar award to our client.
  • We represented an international law firm before the American Arbitration Association in defense of claims including breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, malpractice, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract filed by a former client of the firm, as well as related claims of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud brought by a former firm partner.  The principal case pertained to real estate and financing transactions valued in excess of $1 billion. 
  • We represented a major media and merchandising company in defense of claims of breach of a licensing agreement with Macy’s in a two-year litigation that included multiple preliminary injunction motions and a six-week bench trial in the Commercial Division of New York State Supreme Court.
  • We represented Velocity Technology Solutions, which hosts enterprise resource software in a cloud environment, in prosecuting breach of contract claims in Delaware Superior Court against a customer in default.  After the Court denied the defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings and referred the case to mediation, the mediator (at our suggestion and with the parties consent) converted the mediation into a binding “baseball” arbitration, which we then won.
  • We represented a prominent real estate developer following the collapse of the 7 World Trade Center building on September 11, 2001 in connection with a dispute with their insurance company over payment on their policy. Our clients sought the replacement cost, and the company sought to pay cash value. Following extensive litigation and arbitration, our client recovered virtually all of the insurance proceeds it had sought.

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