Joseph J. Colao, Jr.

Partner

Background

Jay Colao’s practice is primarily devoted to litigation involving matters related to small and mid size businesses before all levels of New Jersey state and federal courts as well as the American Arbitration Association. In addition to litigating business disputes, Jay also assists his ongoing business clients to avoid those disputes; manages crises; and addresses clients’ routine legal issues.

He has extensive experience in matters involving shareholder/partner disputes and separation; unfair competition and business torts; employment and restrictive covenants; franchise, real estate interests and construction claims; and all facets of general commercial and contract law. Jay also has extensive experience litigating probate matters such as will contests, guardianships, and all other areas related to estates and trusts. He has performed numerous court appointed duties related to these matters and served as an arbitrator for the Commercial/Contract Arbitration Program, Monmouth Vicinage Arbitration Program.

Jay has also devoted substantial effort to matters pending before various governmental entities on behalf of private parties, as well as litigated cases before courts and administrative agencies for both private- and public-entities. He has specific experience with matters involving redevelopment zones, business improvement districts, public contracts, the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, general prerogative writs and land use matters, as well as the Open Public Records Act. He presently serves as the attorney for the Borough of Spring Lake, special counsel to Monmouth County and counsel to the Monmouth County Construction Board of Appeals.

Prior to joining Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, Jay was a shareholder at Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C., where he concentrated his practice in the area of commercial litigation.

Representative Matters

Served as outside general counsel to the world’s largest high speed passenger ferry. Addressed terminal licenses, landing leases, governmental regulatory processes, and related routine legal issues as well as acquisition and financing transactions.

Guided members of a Limited Liability Company and Limited Liability Partnership valued in excess of $24 million through 8 years of litigation and arbitration culminating in a favorable settlement. Efforts included emergent applications for the appointment of a Receiver and Special Fiscal Agent while regularly and vigorously advocating for relief from the oppressive conduct of those members controlling the business.

Obtained a favorable settlement after seeking emergent discovery on behalf of business owners whose partner formed and operated a competing business. Avoided protracted litigation through prompt and aggressive Court action.

Successfully negotiated and then enforced a favorable buy out settlement among sibling owners of a highly profitable health service business. Obtained the appointment of a Special Fiscal Agent and avoided catastrophic harm to the business pending litigation.

Successfully defended a private equity entity against fraud allegations following its acquisition of highly valuable proprietary software. Obtained a favorable settlement after extensive discovery and a multi-day mediation involving several parties.

Avoided litigation and all liability on behalf of a national manufacturer that shipped non-conforming goods to a Fortune 500 customer/supplier. Addressed complex issues pertaining to the Uniform Commercial Code and aggressively refuted a claim that exceeded $2.5 million.

Served as Court Appointed Fiscal Agent and Provisional Director for a food service business and orchestrated a favorable partner buyout deal favorable to all parties.

Defended a trustee of allegations of self-dealing and fraud along with vigorous and extensive efforts to remove her from that role. Obtained a dismissal of all claims following a nine day trial and then successfully defended an appeal of the dismissal.

Obtained an Appellate reversal of an adverse ruling on behalf of a public Business Improvement District involving litigation over utility improvements in the right of way. The Appellate Court determined that the extensive improvements required the prior approval of the municipality. 

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Member, Monmouth County Bar Association

Clerkship

  • Judicial Clerk for Honorable Patrick J. McGann, J.S.C. Presiding Judge, Chancery Division, General Equity, Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County

Bar/Court Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • United States District Court, District of New Jersey

Education

  • B.A., Bucknell University, 1985
  • J.D., The Catholic University of America, 1989

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