Litigation Departments of the Year

From Boutique to Litigation Outlet

Javerbaum Wurgaft has expanded geographically and extended its capabilities

New Jersey Law Journal

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Javerbaum Wurgaft's litigation department
Left to right, Javerbaum Wurgaft's Susan Singer, Denise Rekem, Annabelle Steinhacker, John Pinho, Herbert Waldman, Robert Hicks, Edward Wilson, Gary Roth, Rubin Sinins, Anthony Valenti, David Wikstrom, Kenneth Javerbaum, Eric Kahn, Jorden Pedersen, Lawrence Simon, Diane Cardoso, Jeffrey Kampf, Scott Sinins, Lisa Parles, Jack Wurgaft, Robert Schlanger, Marguerite Simon and Jennifer Fleming

Based in Springfield, Javerbaum Wurgaft Hicks Kahn Wikstrom & Sinins has grown from three lawyers when it was founded in 1978, to between six and eight lawyers for many years up until 2007, to more than 30 lawyers today. It has developed into a multivariegated litigation firm, though personal injury remains its core practice.

In January 2013, the firm moved into new office space at 505 Morris Avenue in Springfield, which has allowed consolidation of its operations: 21 of the firm's lawyers now are primarily based there. The firm also maintains offices in Newark, Freehold, Elizabeth and Manhattan.

Javerbaum Wurgaft traditionally has handled personal-injury and workers-compensation matters. Today it is a litigation boutique that, while still primarily handling personal injury, also handles various other types of litigation, including employment litigation, commercial litigation, criminal defense, estate litigation and litigation involving children and adults with disabilities.

Last year was a banner year for the firm. It began with Eric Kahn and Rubin Sinins obtaining a $20 million verdict in Union County Superior Court in a lawsuit filed on behalf of five co-workers against a sixth co-worker over a disputed lottery pool. The year ended with a verdict obtained by Jack Wurgaft and Eric Kahn in the amount of $16.344 million against the Irvington Board of Education on behalf of a student who was assaulted and severely injured by another student during summer school. These were two of the largest verdicts in the state in 2012, and the lottery verdict made the National Law Journal's Top 100 list of verdicts for the year.

In between these eight-figure verdicts, several other cases were resolved — in settlements ranging from $1 million and $4 million — by other firm partners, including Robert Hicks, David Wikstrom and Scott Sinins. Additionally, Rubin Sinins and Eric Kahn successfully represented Molly Wei, one of two Rutgers University students accused of invading the privacy of fellow student Tyler Clementi shortly before his suicide; Wei was accepted into the Pretrial Intervention program.

The firm's lawyers are known in the legal community for their leadership and bar activities, and for their participation as speakers at professional seminars and organizations focused on trial practice.

Javerbaum Wurgaft by the Numbers
  Firm-wide N.J. Office
Department Size 30 30
Department as percentage of firm (head-count) 100% 100%
Department as percentage of firm (revenue) 100% 100%

 

Major Litigators:

• Kenneth Javerbaum (partner, Springfield, 1966) — co-founded the firm with Jack Wurgaft in 1978; has been representing clients in personal-injury matters for over four decades; has a record of success including the largest jury verdict in Union County: $10.7 million in Bernoskie v. Zarinsky.

• Jack Wurgaft (partner, Springfield, 1968) — co-founded the firm with Kenneth Javerbaum in 1978; certified civil trial attorney; has a record of successes including a $2.54 million product-liability settlement from Daimler Chrysler on behalf of a child, a $2.6 million settlement on behalf of a high school baseball player struck by lightning, and a $2.6 million verdict on behalf of the family of a man killed in a head-on collision with a truck.

• Robert Hicks (partner, Freehold, 1982) — certified civil trial attorney; recoveries include $1.9 million for the wrongful death of a five-year-old boy who fell from the window of a high-rise apartment building, $1.38 million to the estate of an eight-year-old child who died of post-operative bleeding, $1.5 million from an obstetrician and sonogram technician for failing to detect fetal abnormalities, and $1.75 million for the wife and children of a construction worker killed after being struck by a temporary support.

• Eric Kahn (partner, Springfield, 1993) — has spent his entire career at the firm and currently is managing partner; handles a broad spectrum of significant and complex claims, including automobile negligence, trucking accidents, construction site accidents, product-liability claims, medical-malpractice cases and claims against public entities; represented the estate of Faheem Williams, a seven-year old found dead in his caretaker's basement, obtaining a $7.5 million dollar settlement from the state Division of Youth and Family Services.

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