Michael S. Stein

Managing Partner

Michael S. Stein

Managing Partner

Practice Areas




Chambers USA 2020 Reports 

Michael Stein offers vast experience in civil litigation, spanning breach of contract disputes and business torts. Interviewees endorse him as a "strategic thinker and a knowledgeable, high-caliber attorney."


Michael Stein is the Firm’s chair and managing partner. He specializes in general commercial litigation, chancery litigation, legal ethics and appellate advocacy. He has substantial trial and appellate experience in both state and federal courts, concentrating his practice primarily on complex and sophisticated corporate, business and probate disputes. He also serves as an advisor to the Firm’s corporate clients on a wide variety of matters, including partnership and shareholder disputes, intellectual property rights, antitrust matters, professional malpractice, chancery litigation, legal ethics, land use and restrictive covenants.

Clients come to Mike for matters big and small, knowing that he will roll up his sleeves, sweat the details, always make himself available to offer careful and thoughtful counsel from beginning to end, and be fully prepared to aggressively try the case should settlement efforts prove unsuccessful. In addition, Mike is routinely engaged as counsel and local counsel by major multinational AmLaw 100 firms to meet their regional litigation needs. The combination of Mike’s years of experience, his work ethic, his knowledge of New Jersey’s judicial culture, and, most importantly, the depth and strength of the Firm’s litigation bench, puts him at the forefront of our state litigation bar and makes him one of the go-to litigators in New Jersey  for major “bet the business” litigations.

Reported Decisions

  • In re Earle Asphalt Co., 198 N.J. 143, 966 A.2d 460, 461 (2009)
  • Kiken v. Kiken, 149 N.J. 441, 694 A.2d 557, 557 (1997)
  • Sipko v. Koger, Inc., 214 N.J. 364, 70 A.3d 512, 514 (2013)
  • In re Estate of Payne, 186 N.J. 324, 895 A.2d 428, 429 (2006)
  • Strahan v. Strahan, 402 N.J. Super. 298, 953 A.2d 1219, 1222 (App. Div. 2008)
  • Sun Coast Merch. Corp. v. Myron Corp., 393 N.J. Super. 55, 922 A.2d 782, 784 (App. Div. 2007)
  • Puder v. Buechel, 183 N.J. 428, 430, 874 A.2d 534, 534-35 (2005)
  • Syncsort Inc. v. Sequential Software, Inc., 50 F. Supp. 2d 318, 321 (D.N.J. 1999)
  • Fancaster, Inc. v. Comcast Corp., 832 F. Supp. 2d 380, 388 (D.N.J. 2011)

Representative Matters

  • Representing prominent cardiology group and individual cardiologists in a business tort case brought against them and a major regional healthcare system by a specialty hospital asserting claims of tortious interference and unfair competition relating to the group's referral practices. Retained after the trial court had just denied defendants' motions for summary judgment and facing a trial that was expected to last several months, PSWH spearheaded the filing of new motions for summary judgment that raised dispositive issues that had not yet been addressed in the more than seven-year-old litigation. Following extensive briefing, the trial court dismissed all of the hospital's claims with prejudice. The hospital had been seeking nearly $30 million in compensatory damages and an award of punitive damages. On appeal, the Appellate Division affirmed the dismissal of 99% of the hospital’s damages claim and remanded for further proceedings on claims valued at less than $300,000. PSWH filed a new round of dispositive motions in May 2020 seeking the dismissal of the remaining claims. Those motions remain pending.
  • Represented a leading heart valve manufacturer in a patent licensing dispute involving rights to a minimally invasive method for repairing and replacing aortic heart valves (transcatheter aortic valve replacement therapy). The dispute focused on whether only a particular patent or an entire family of patents to the revolutionary heart valve device and procedure had been licensed. Following an evidentiary hearing on our application for summary judgment, the matter was resolved through a confidential settlement.
  • Representing the plaintiff in an oppressed minority shareholder suit concerning issues of oppression in a closely held corporation. This case resulted in the New Jersey Supreme Court issuing a precedential decision clarifying the State's oppressed shareholders jurisprudence and provided needed guidance on the question of the proofs necessary to trigger the availability of remedies under the oppressed shareholder statute. The case was remanded and is on appeal again following the entry of a $25 million judgment in our client’s favor on remand. In post-judgment enforcement proceedings, assisted in collecting more than$10 million on a judgment through various execution avenues from both individual and corporate judgment debtors. Successfully tried a fraudulent transfer claim, resulting in an opinion and order requiring the return of $18 million in funds secreted overseas.
  • As co-counsel with DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLP, Pashman Stein successfully defended James Cohen, CEO of Hudson Media Inc., in a lawsuit filed by Samantha Perelman ("Perelman"), and funded by her father, billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, in which Perelman alleged that James Cohen exerted undue influence over his father (Perelman's grandfather), Robert Cohen, causing him to alter his will and reduce Perelman's share of the estate by upwards of $500 million. Following a highly publicized trial that lasted 85 days and included more than 50 witnesses, Superior Court Judge Estela M. De la Cruz issued a 119-page opinion rejecting Perelman's claims and ruling in favor of James Cohen. The court found that although Robert Cohen suffered from a debilitating form of Parkinson's disease that affected his speech and movement, he was fully competent to choose his heirs.
  • Representing two attorneys brought up on ethics charges by the New Jersey Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) for allegedly instructing a paralegal to "friend" a represented adversary on Facebook in an underlying personal injury case. The adversary in that matter filed charges against the attorneys before the District II-B Ethics Committee (DEC), who reviewed the grievance, and determined that the attorneys' conduct did not amount to a violation of the Rules of Professional Responsibility. After the DEC dismissed the grievance, the adversary's attorney demanded that the OAE review and reverse the DEC's decision. The OAE docketed and investigated the matter and filed charges against the attorneys. Following a five-year litigation, from the trial court to the Supreme Court, to resolve a novel procedural issue concerning the scope of the OAE's authority to investigate and prosecute attorney grievances, the matter was ultimately remanded for an ethics hearing. The case proceeded to an ethics hearing before a Special Master, during which the OAE voluntarily dismissed the case against one of the attorneys. Following a complete trial as to the second attorney, the Special Master issued a decision dismissing all charges in their entirety, holding that the OAE failed to establish by clear and convincing evidence any violation of the RPCs. The OAE has appealed the Special Master’s decision to the Disciplinary Review Board (DRB). Following briefing and oral argument, a four-member majority of the DRB reversed the Special Master’s decision, finding that the attorney’s conduct violated the RPCs and imposed an admonition. That decision was not unanimous, as five DRB members dissented in three separate opinions. On behalf of the client, Pashman Stein just filed a Petition for Review with the Supreme Court. This case involves cutting edge issues pertaining to the application of our rules of ethics to the still new and emerging environment of social media and will be the first time that any New Jersey court has opined on the issue. This matter has received wide spread media attention concerning online privacy and ethics issues.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Member, Editorial Board, New Jersey Law Journal
  • Member, Vineyard Power Cooperative’s Advisory Committee
  • Past Member, Professional Responsibility Rules Committee
  • Past Member, Civil Practice Rules Committee
  • Past Chair, District II-B Ethics Committee
  • Supreme Court Approved Mediator
  • Past Chair and Member, Montclair Cooperative School, Board of Trustees

Bar/Court Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • United States District Court, District of New Jersey
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • United States District Court, Southern District of New York
  • United States Supreme Court


  • B.A., Duke University, 1984
  • J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, 1989

Honors and Accolades

  • Benchmark Litigation, Local Litigation Star - Litigation, 2016
  • Best Lawyers, Commercial Litigation, 2013-2022, Appellate Practice, 2022
  • Chambers USA, Leading Individual New Jersey Litigation: General Commercial, 2013-2020
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2012-2021
  • Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent

The Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings list is issued by Martindale-Hubbell. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.martindale.com/Products_and_Services/Client_Review_Ratings.aspx.

The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.

The Best Lawyers list is issued by Woodward/White, Inc. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://www.bestlawyers.com/About/MethodologyBasic.aspx.

The Chambers USA ranking list is published by Chambers & Partners. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.chambersandpartners.com/methodology.

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Practice Areas