Photo of Lewis J. Pepperman

Lewis J. Pepperman is a Shareholder and Chair of Stark & Stark’s Business Group practices. He has over forty years of experience as a civil trial attorney in the Federal and State Courts, concentrating in the areas of commercial, corporate and probate trial work. He is an experienced Mediator, Arbitrator, Discovery Master and Receiver. Several cases litigated by Mr. Pepperman have resulted in reported and published decisions, in some instances changing the state of the law in New Jersey.

A will is obviously prepared when a individual is still alive. A will contest usually comes about after the individual dies. However, a California Appellate Court has recently decided that when a conservator secures Court approval of an estate plan while the individual is still alive, any challenge to the will must be made at that time and not after the individual dies.
Continue Reading Claim of Undue Influence Resolved by Court Before Death of Testator

Public policy supports the resolution of disputes before a lawsuit is filed. What happens when a contract calls for mediation prior to filing suit as a condition of securing attorneys fees, if the party filing the suit suggests mediation after the lawsuit is filed? Is the failure to seek mediation a bar to a recovery of attorneys fees or is the request for mediation made just after suit is filed deemed to be substantial compliance?
Continue Reading Failure to Request Mediation Bars Claim For Attorney’s Fees

The mediator privilege is extremely important to the mediation process. Without it, participants would have no confidence in the process and information necessary to assist the mediator in resolving a case would not be communicated. It has often be said that the mediation process involves two levels of confidentiality. The first level is when the parties are together in a joint session. While the communication itself at a joint session cannot be used at a later proceeding, the information conveyed has been heard by all and that cannot be changed.
Continue Reading Mediator Privilege Amended as of July 1, 2008

In a case recently decided by the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey (In the Matter of the Estate of Samia Balgar, Docket No. A-6621-04T5) the Appellate Court dealt with an issue concerning the disposition of certain joint bank accounts on the death of one of the parties to the account.
Continue Reading Proof of confidential Relationship Creates Heavy Burden on a Party Receiving a Gift

In Michael S. Kimm v. Blisset, LLC., et als. the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey drew distinctions between: 1) fee disputes between attorneys and clients; 2) arbitrations in Court annexed proceedings; and 3) arbitrations held pursuant to private agreements. In addition, the Court focused on the meaning of the recently enacted New Jersey Arbitration Act, N.J.S.A. 2 A: 23 B-1 to 32 as it relates to the powers of an arbitrator.
Continue Reading Arbitrator’s Powers Under Revised Arbitration Act

In a recent case, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that auditor responsibility was not limited to only auditors who actively participated in the corporate fraud. The Court found that independent auditors can be held liable for a corporate client’s fraud, even if they did not participate in or have direct knowledge of the misconduct.
Continue Reading New Jersey Supreme Court Rules That Independent Auditors Can Be Liable for a Corporate Client’s Fraud

When first entering into the mediation process, it is not unusual for one or both sides to not have much faith that mediation will be able to solve the dispute. However, experience has shown that a skilled, trained, mediator, with knowledge of the industry, can help to bring an amicable solution to even the most adverse situation.
Continue Reading $25 Million Dollar Dispute Ordered To Mediation