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Michael R. Griffinger

Michael R. Griffinger

Director, Commercial & Criminal Litigation

Mr. Griffinger has been recognized by his peers as an outstanding litigator in significant complex litigation. That is why he has been listed in the Best Lawyers® publication for bet-the-company litigation and six other categories for over 20 years, and why clients and peers rank him in the top tier for commercial litigation in the Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He has also earned extensive recognition by way of honors and awards from the legal community. In addition to earning these accolades, Mr. Griffinger is the author of the seminal treatise on New Jersey Estate and Trust Litigation, and his decades of successful representations include, notably, representation of the Legislature of the State of New Jersey in the Supreme Court of the United States case that authorized sports betting, Murphy vs. NCAA – 138 S. Ct. 1461 (2018).

Mr. Griffinger has conducted trials and hearings in federal and state courts in New Jersey, New York, Florida, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, California, and Nevada.

Highlights of his career include:

  • Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and American Bar Foundation
  • Listed in Best Lawyers for over 20 years; for 2021, listed in seven categories:
  • Appellate Practice (Complex Assets, Defendants, Federal, Fiduciary Duties, Litigation)
  • Bet-the-Company Litigation (Defendants)
  • Commercial Litigation (Antitrust, Bankruptcy, Business Disputes, Civil Litigation, Complex Litigation, Defendants, Fraud, Large Case Litigation, Securities)
  • Litigation – Antitrust
  • Litigation – Bankruptcy
  • Litigation – Securities
  • Litigation – Trusts and Estates
  • Top tier for Commercial Litigation in Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. From publication:
  • “Interviewees confirm the ‘outstanding talents’ of first-rate commercial litigation partner Michael Griffinger, who is well versed in helping companies from myriad sectors in seeing off litigious threats. ‘We have nothing to say except only the most glowing of words,’ sources report.”
  • “Michael Griffinger is a fixture of the New Jersey Bar and offers expertise in securities, bankruptcy and antitrust litigation. Sources say he is ‘very thoughtful and substantively strong. He has earned his reputation and doesn’t take it for granted.’
  • Listed in New Jersey Super Lawyers as #1 Lawyer (Top Point-Getter) in New Jersey (2011)
  • Chairman, New Jersey State Bar Association Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee (2009-2010)
  • Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (2007-2010)
  • Recipient, William J. Brennan Jr. Award, Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey (2010)
  • Recipient, Trial Attorneys of New Jersey Trial Bar Award (2010)
  • Recipient, “Francis X. Dee Award, New Jersey State Committee of the American College for Trial Lawyers, 2021

Areas of Focus

Antitrust

Mr. Griffinger has extensive experience in antitrust challenges facing the pharmaceutical, healthcare, consumer electronics, dyestuffs, and spray foam industries. Matters have included the controversial settlement of patent infringement claims between brand name and generic drug manufacturers under the Hatch-Waxman Act. Mr. Griffinger has also successfully represented a major pharmaceutical manufacturer against antitrust allegations arising out of the practice of “bundled rebates.”

Estate Litigation

Mr. Griffinger has handled complex estate litigation matters including an estate dispute involving a Taiwan industrialist who was the 178th richest billionaire in the world, who died intestate in New Jersey.

Mr. Griffinger also represented the shareholders of a multibillion-dollar, family-owned company in a contentious dispute over control of the company. He spearheaded lengthy, successful trials in New Jersey and Puerto Rico.

He continues to be the principal author of the New Jersey Estate & Trust Litigation, first published in 2006.

Securities Litigation

Mr. Griffinger has defended many Securities Exchange Act class actions and shareholder derivative suits over the course of his storied, 40+-year career. Matters include multiple suits against insulin manufacturers alleging securities and antitrust allegations, as well as consumer fraud. He was on the winning side of a derivative litigation that led to a landmark decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court on the business judgment rule.

Corporate Reorganizations and Bankruptcy

Mr. Griffinger has had considerable experience in corporate reorganizations under former chapters X and XI and current chapter 11, achieving many successful corporate reorganizations early in his career, including the first New Jersey casino to successfully come through a chapter 11 proceeding. He counseled the Trustee in proceedings in Delaware in the Marvel case and has litigated bankruptcy issues in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 9th circuits. Mr. Griffinger has been appointed by the United States District Court as trustee in two securities firm liquidations pursuant to the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970, as amended, including the SIPC proceeding related to the largest over-the-counter broker-dealer liquidated under the Act.

Service to the Legal Profession and the Community

Mr. Griffinger’s service to the judicial system is longstanding and impressive. In recent years, he has served as Chairman of the Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association; Chairman of the Board of Volunteer Lawyers for Justice; and Chairman of the Board of Legal Services Foundation. In the broader community, Mr. Griffinger has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center since 1995, and he founded the Fresh Air Fund Games. Recognition for his outreach efforts has been extensive. For example, in a single year, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice bestowed on Mr. Griffinger its “Champion of Change” Award; Trial Attorneys of New Jersey its Trial Bar Award; and the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey its William J. Brennan, Jr. Award.

Credentials

Education

Columbia Law School (J.D.)

Columbia Business School (M.B.A.)

Cornell University (B.A.)

Professional Admissions

State of New Jersey

State of New York

District of Columbia

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 District of Colorado

United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Supreme Court of the United States

Professional Activities

New Jersey State Bar Association

Judicial & Prosecutorial Appointments Committee (JPAC)
Chairman, 2009-2010

Essex County Bar Association
Trustee, 1991-1997

United States District Court, District of New Jersey
Lawyers Advisory Committee, 1996-present

Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
Trustee Emeritus, 2013-present
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, 2008-2012
Trustee Emeritus

Lifland Inn of Court
Master

Columbia University Law School
Board of Visitors

Civic/Charitable Activities

Essex-Newark Legal Services Foundation
President, 1992-1995; Trustee, 1995-2019

New Jersey Performing Arts Center
Board of Trustees, 1995-present; Recipient, Chambers Award, 2004

Greater Newark Holiday Fund
Chairman, 2002-2003

Fresh Air Fund
Co-Chairman, 1991-1992

Columbia Law School Reunions
Co-Chairman

Cornell University
Council, 2011-2014, 2012

Military Experience

Lieutenant, United States Navy, 1958-1961