E. Evans Wohlforth, Jr.

E. Evans Wohlforth, Jr.

Director, Commercial & Criminal Litigation

Mr. Wohlforth is a business litigator and appellate practitioner advocating on behalf of business interests, primarily in the federal courts but also in state courts, arbitrations, and mediations throughout the country. He combines wide experience of the complex and technical issues that arise in sophisticated litigation with an ability to identify and achieve practical solutions in commercial disputes. Mr. Wohlforth particularly focuses on code-based areas of federal law, such as ERISA, intellectual property, and bankruptcy litigation and complex class and multi-district actions. He has also litigated a wide range of commercial issues. Mr. Wohlforth has represented clients in the federal district and bankruptcy courts of New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Idaho, Kansas, and Pennsylvania; the Third Circuit Court of Appeals; the state trial and appellate courts of New Jersey, Florida, New York, and Nevada; and the trial courts of North Carolina and California. Recognized as a go-to litigator, he frequently is on his feet advocating on behalf of business interests in trial and appellate courts, arbitrations, and mediations, and he has numerous reported and unreported decisions to his credit.

Recent representative cases include serving as appellate counsel to the New Jersey Supreme Court regarding an adverse verdict in a large contract dispute. Mr. Wohlforth also represents a major ERISA benefits administrator in matters with wide-ranging impact. For this client, he has recently secured the dismissal of a putative ERISA class action concerning payment for an unproven medical procedure and defended an appeal to the Third Circuit regarding a coverage issue of statewide significance, and he is currently handling numerous trial level matters in the United States District of New Jersey and the Southern District of New York.

Mr. Wohlforth’s broad experience in substantively and procedurally complex matters and his frequent appearances in the courts in New Jersey and elsewhere have made him a trusted authority and advocate by litigants and judges alike. The Federal District of New Jersey has called on him to act as pro bono counsel in prisoners’ rights class action litigation. Mr. Wohlforth serves on the Gibbons Professional Responsibility Committee, assisting the General Counsel of the firm. He has served as adjunct professor of law at Rutgers Law School – Newark, where he taught trademark and copyright law. He has spoken at continuing legal education seminars and trade group meetings on insolvency and intellectual property topics.

Areas of Focus

Commercial/Securities Litigation

Mr. Wohlforth has litigated a wide range of contract, business tort, and securities matters, including a trade secret/misappropriation case; a high-profile case concerning a consulting agreement; two extended matters concerning municipal bonds; numerous trademark and copyright disputes; and a lawsuit over a regional photocopy machine distributorship agreement for a major manufacturer. In representing a bond trading house, Mr. Wohlforth succeeded in blocking the call of a Florida Highway Authority’s general obligation bonds, a result that was upheld on appeal.

ERISA Litigation

Mr. Wohlforth has represented a major ERISA benefits administrator and carrier for a number of years, handling matters of statewide and national importance and litigating a series of high impact issues, including cases that concern coverage for so-called “extension of practice” unlicensed surgical facilities, waiver of co-insurance/co-pay by medical providers, and “usual and customary” rates for reimbursement. Numerous decisions won by Mr. Wohlforth have moved the law in favor of the correct interpretation of common ERISA plan provisions and the preemption of state law by ERISA.

Bankruptcy Litigation

Mr. Wohlforth has been involved with some of the largest and most prominent asbestos-based bankruptcies in the nation. During his five-year clerkship with Judge Wolin of the District of New Jersey, he was involved with cases that changed the landscape in this complex and evolving area, including Federal Mogul, Owens Corning, and the W.R. Grace/Sealed Air matters. Since then, he has counseled and appeared for clients in the G-I Holdings, United Gilsonite Laboratories, and Kaiser Aluminum chapter 11 cases. Important, non-asbestos bankruptcy representations include the multi-districted In re Tribune Co. Fraudulent Conveyance Litigation and the very large, Idaho real estate Ponzi-scheme, In re DBSI, in which Mr. Wohlforth has appeared for the chapter 11 and litigation trustees in numerous contested matters.

Credentials

Education

Rutgers School of Law - Newark (J.D.)

  • Senior Articles Editor, Rutgers Law Review
  • Order of the Coif

Manhattan School of Music (M.Mus.)

San Francisco Conservatory of Music (B.Mus.)

Professional Admissions

State of New Jersey

State of New York

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Supreme Court of the United States

Professional Activities

John C. Lifland Inn of Court
Master

Rutgers Law School – Newark
Adjunct Professor of Law

Essex County Bar Association

New Jersey State Bar Association

American Bar Association

Judicial Clerkship(s)

Judicial clerk to the Honorable Gary S. Stein, New Jersey Supreme Court

Judicial clerk to the Honorable Alfred M. Wolin, United States District Court