For over 25 years, Jeffrey W. Plaza has litigated complex civil matters before the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York with a heavy concentration in commercial litigation and divorce/family law matters. He also has extensive experience handling catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death cases.
As an experienced litigator, Mr. Plaza understands that litigation represents a significant investment of time and money that must be carefully managed to meet each client's unique objectives. To that end, Mr. Plaza thoroughly analyzes each case in order to formulate and execute the most effective strategy to achieve those goals. While no two cases or clients are ever the same, the ultimate goal remains constant: maximize the client's return on investment. He is also approved by the Superior Court of New Jersey to serve as a mediator in civil matters, including commercial, equity and probate matters.
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In his commercial litigation practice, Mr. Plaza represents individuals, small businesses and publicly traded corporations in disputes relating to a variety of issues, including breach of contract, breach of warranty, sale of business, dissolution of business, shareholder/partner deadlock, minority shareholder oppression, business torts, the Uniform Commercial Code, land use and zoning, and insurance coverage/bad faith claims. Mr. Plaza also has extensive experience representing national banks and mortgage servicers in connection with insurance litigation resulting from property damage to foreclosed or distressed properties, including fire and unauthorized demolition. Mr. Plaza is a court approved mediator in all commercial, equity and probate matters.
Mr. Plaza also utilizes his significant litigation experience in handling matrimonial and family law matters. While many matrimonial matters are resolved by way of settlement, a divorce case is extremely serious litigation that will have a direct and dramatic impact upon the financial and parental rights of the parties. As such, a party must be willing and, more importantly, prepared to proceed to trial when the opposing spouse is unwilling to agree to reasonable settlement terms. In that context, Mr. Plaza provides representation in divorce cases, including those which involve complex issues of alimony and equitable distribution, such as the valuation of a spouse's interest in a business or stock options. He also has extensive experience in both prosecuting and defending applications for temporary restraining orders (TRO's) and final restraining orders (FRO's) under the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, which are often the first event in the most contentious divorce cases and may have dire consequence to a party's parenting rights and employment.
Mr. Plaza has significant experience litigating cases involving all facets of child custody, child support, paternity, visitation and parenting time, and applications to remove minor children from New Jersey. Mr. Plaza also handles post-judgment motions and hearings involving the enforcement or modification of divorce settlements or judgments, which most frequently relate to requests for an increase or reduction of alimony/child support, changes in custody/parenting time, the emancipation of adult children, or allegations of cohabitation. Mr. Plaza also provides mediation services concerning all aspects of divorce and family law. He is approved by the Superior Court of New Jersey to serve as an economic mediator in divorce and family law matters. Additionally, he currently serves as a panelist for the Superior Court of New Jersey Early Settlement Panel, Essex County Family Part.
Additionally, Mr. Plaza has successfully represented clients on appeals before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey. He handles appeals on behalf of both Appellants (parties seeking to overturn a trial court decision) and Respondents (parties seeking to uphold a trial court decision).
Mr. Plaza earned his law degree from Fordham University School of Law. He is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and has served on the Bernards Township Zoning Board of Adjustment (2004 - 2012) and the Bernards Township Planning Board (2012 - 2017; Chairman 2013 - 2017).
Areas of Practice
- Commercial Litigation / Business Disputes
- Divorce and Family Law
- Insurance Coverage
- Personal Injury/Wrongful Death
- Will Contests/Probate Litigation
- 95% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- New Jersey, 1993
- New York, 1995
- U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1993
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 2002
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 2006
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2016
- Fordham University School of Law, New York, New York
- Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey
- Bachelor of Arts (Magna Cum Laude) - 1990
- Major: Political Science
- Wells Fargo Home Mortg. v. Cumberland Mut. Fire Ins. Co., 2011 WL 2341227, N.J.Super.A.D., June 13, 2011 (NO. A-4289-09T4) (2011)
- Manning v. Lithium Technology Corp., 2011 WL 6260632, N.J.Super.A.D., December 16, 2011 (NO. A-2389-10T4) (2011)
Honors and Awards
Professional Associations and Memberships
- New Jersey State Bar Association
Past Employment Positions
- Hon. Rosemary Higgins Cass, J.S.C., Law Clerk, 1993 - 1994