Erik M. Corlett handles complex commercial litigation amongst high-asset business owners, often involving family members and shareholders on issues pertaining to shareholder, member and partner disputes, business valuations, trusts and estates disputes, buy-outs, and other sophisticated commercial and corporate law matters. He has extensive experience representing individuals and corporate clients at both the trial and appellate levels, litigating multi-jurisdictional matters, appellate, and post-judgement issues to conclusion. Clients and colleagues appreciate Erik’s comprehensive and collaborative approach to dispute resolution.
Erik also serves as defense counsel for an array of public entities including state transportation entities, municipalities, boards of education, county prosecutor’s offices, and county improvement and utility authorities in contract disputes, regulatory enforcement, and civil rights matters.
- In what is believed to be one of the largest estate litigations in New Jersey, Pashman Stein together with co-counsel successfully defended the trustee of a trust against allegations that the trustee exerted undue influence over his father, who established the trust, causing his father to make certain lifetime transfers of business interests, alter his trust, and reduce plaintiff'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 plaintiff’s claims and ruling in favor of the trustee. The court found that even though the father suffered from a debilitating form of Parkinson’s disease that affected his speech and movement, he was fully competent to choose his heirs.
- In a probate dispute related to family businesses holding substantial real estate interests in New Jersey and New York, obtained dismissal of all claims for alleged misappropriation of assets against our client, one of two beneficiaries of the estate, and appointment of a fiduciary to marshal and sell various disputed assets of the estate.
- Successfully defended a trustee in a suit claiming breaches of fiduciary duties related to the management of several family trusts holding substantial closely held real estate asset interests resulting in a settlement of all claims, reformation of numerous trusts, and the removal of the disgruntled beneficiary from the trusts/family businesses.
- Successfully tried a fraudulent transfer claim, resulting in an opinion and order requiring the return of $18 million in funds secreted overseas. In post-judgment enforcement proceedings, assisted a private individual client in collecting more than $20 million on a judgment and in fee sanctions through various execution avenues from both individual and corporate judgment debtors.
- In a land redevelopment dispute between a private redeveloper and a local designated redevelopment entity involving issues of contract interpretation and claims of breach of contract, successfully briefed and argued the appeal of an adverse jury verdict, resulting in the Appellate Division reversing the jury verdict, and remanding for a new trial.
- In two related civil rights matters, successfully defended a police entity and several individual officers in cases surrounding a fatal police-involved shooting that led to two lawsuits asserting various civil rights and wrongful death claims. Obtained summary judgment for the entity and individual supervisory defendants, dismissing all claims against his clients before trial.
- In matter first impression following the 2019 amendment of New Jersey’s statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims, obtained clarification on application of state law amendment to related federal civil rights claims, and dispositive resolution of all federal claims in client’s favor on a motion to dismiss.
- Obtained favorable appellate decision in matter of first impression concerning net book value partnership buy-out valuation and related unconscionable value claims.
- Verge Properties Urban Renewal, LLC v. Union County Improvement Authority, 2015 WL 6739538 (App. Div. Nov. 5, 2015)
- Estate of Cohen v. Cohen, 2013 WL 5476569 (App. Div. Dec. 12, 2013)
- Cohen v. Booth Computers, 421 N.J. Super. 134 (App. Div. 2011)
- Sipko v. Koger, Inc., 2020 WL 4811565 (App. Div. Aug. 19, 2020), cert. granted, 2021 WL 2931318 (July 9, 2021)
Honors & Recognitions
- New Jersey Law Journal, Unsung Hero, 2020
- New Jersey Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2014-2019
- Selected to the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rating list.
The New Jersey Rising Star 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 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.
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