Michael R. Griffinger – a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and the American Bar Foundation – has been an active litigator for over 50 years. His practice is focused primarily on sophisticated corporate and commercial disputes, securities litigation, and antitrust matters. He represents major United States and foreign corporations from numerous industries, including manufacturing, railroad, automobile, food, financial, telecommunications, and pharmaceutical. He is experienced in both jury and non-jury trials as well as class action and derivative litigation. Regularly included in the Best Lawyers® annual guide, Mr. Griffinger has been selected for inclusion by his peers in the 2020 edition in seven different categories. He has also been listed in the most recent editions of New Jersey Super Lawyers and Chambers USA and received the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s Medal of Honor Award in 2013.
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:
- Listed in Best Lawyers for over 20 years.
- For 2020, 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
- Fellow, American College of Trial Lawyers, International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and American Bar Foundation.
- 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.’”
- From publication:
- Listed by Super Lawyers as #1 Lawyer (Top Point-Getter) in New Jersey (2011).
- Listed by Super Lawyers as #2 Lawyer (2014).
- Chairman, New Jersey State Bar Association Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee (2009-10).
- Chairman of Board of Trustees, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (2007-10).
- 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).
Areas of Focus
Mr. Griffinger has extensive experience in antitrust challenges facing the pharmaceutical, health care, 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 manufacture against antitrust allegations arising out of the practice of “bundled rebates,” achieving both the denial of a requested preliminary injunction and the dismissal of a related class action.
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. The dispute involved jurisdiction issues, and the interaction between US and Taiwanese law.
Mr. Griffinger also represented the shareholders of a multibillion-dollar, family-owned company in a contentious dispute over control of the company. The dispute included successful trials in New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and a later dispute before the Delaware Court of Chancery.
He has also been involved in high profile estate matters including a matter involving a claim to a percentage interest in property worth in excess of $40 million. The issue revolved around a partnership agreement and provisions for a buy-out of a partner at “net book value.”
Mr. Griffinger has defended many Securities Exchange Act and shareholder derivative suits over the course of his storied, 40+-year career. Recent relevant matters include filing an individual federal securities action against Peter Madoff on behalf of the Lautenberg Foundation, and family interests. He has also handled numerous Rule 10(b)(5) and Section 20 cases including derivative and class actions brought against corporations and Boards of Directors. He was on the winning side of a derivative litigation that led to a landmark decision from the New Jersey Supreme Court.
Corporate Reorganizations and Bankruptcy
Mr. Griffinger has considerable experience in corporate reorganizations under former Chapters X and XI as well as current Chapter 11. As counsel, he has successfully guided numerous reorganizations, including: a publicly-traded company, Imperial “400” National, Inc., that ran a national hotel chain; New Jersey’s second largest bus line; and 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, as well as in Bankruptcy Courts and District Courts in numerous jurisdictions. 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. He has conducted investigations of major corporations involving fraud, accounting irregularities and breach of fiduciary duty. He has lectured at the Annual Bankruptcy Litigation Institute and at various American Bar Association and New Jersey State Bar Association programs.
Service to the Legal Profession and the Community
Mr. Griffinger’s service to the judicial system is long-standing 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.
Columbia Law School (J.D.)
Columbia Business School (M.B.A.)
Cornell University (B.A.)
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
New Jersey State Bar Association
Founder and Past Chairman of Federal Practice and Procedure Committee
Board of Trustees, 1997-2001
Judicial & Prosecutorial Appointments Committee (JPAC)
Essex County Bar Association
United States District Court, District of New Jersey
Lawyers Advisory Committee, 1996-present
Essex County Legal Services Corporation
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, 1968-1970
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
Trustee Emeritus 2013-present
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, 2008-2012
Third Circuit Judicial Conference
Third Circuit Lawyers Advisory Committee
Lifland Inn of Court
Columbia University Law School
Board of Visitors
American College of Trial Lawyers
International Academy of Trial Lawyers
American Bar Foundation
Judicial Clerk, Superior Court, Law Division, 1964-1965
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
Fresh Air Fund
Columbia Law School Reunions
Lieutenant, United States Navy, 1958-1961