Angelo J. Genova is the Co-Founder, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Firm. He has extensive experience in complex business and employment litigation, appellate advocacy, labor & employment law, government contracts, procurement, campaign finance, and political and election law. A renowned trial lawyer, Mr. Genova appears regularly in state and federal trial and appellate courts including the New Jersey Supreme Court. For decades, his precedent-setting legal representations have touched all corners of the state and federal legal landscape.
PolitickerNJ has consistently named Mr. Genova to its annual Power List, calling him one of the “deadliest courtroom lawyers in the State." He brings to the table the “most fearsome preparation of any other attorney” and stating further, “Here’s a nightmare scenario, sitting on a witness stand with this guy coming around the corner of a table and bearing down on you with his first question.” Insider NJ has described Mr. Genova as “The attorney for New Jersey’s political stars….the Genova Burns heavyweight is the last guy you want to come face to face with across an imitation wood paneled docket on Judgment Day.” New Jersey Super Lawyers has identified Mr. Genova in its peer-selected, state-wide rankings as the Top Vote Getter (2008, 2010), the Second Highest Vote Getter (2015, 2016) and the Third Highest Vote Getter (2011, 2017). Mr. Genova has been ranked in the Top 10 or Top 100 “Super Lawyers” listings every year since 2005.
Since 1987, Mr. Genova has been ranked as stellar by Best Lawyers in Business & Commercial Litigation and Labor & Employment Law. He is rated AV® from Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating. Chambers USA Guide to America’s Leading Lawyers has named Mr. Genova a Leading Lawyer for Business Litigation and Labor & Employment Law. Human Resources Executive Magazine has named Mr. Genova as one of the country’s Most Powerful Employment Attorneys and Law Dragon® has ranked Mr. Genova in its Top 20 for Traditional Labor & Employment Law.
As a Litigator, Mr. Genova subscribes to a fundamental tenet: know your case inside and out. There is no substitute for preparation, attention to detail and an uncompromising commitment to advancing the client’s interests ethically and passionately. He sees his role as a “counselor” and problem solver, embracing a lawyer’s responsibility to not only educate his clients about their legal rights, responsibilities and vulnerabilities but also to assist them in developing a clear path towards defined outcomes by way of strategies borne of collaboration with clients and colleagues that are intended to achieve a desired result. Mr. Genova considers his principal skill “effective advocacy”, which he defines as the ability to marshal facts quickly, distill them to their core elements and to apply legal principles and strategies to achieve the outcomes that best serve his clients, whether through litigation or settlement.
Mr. Genova has been involved in myriad business disputes, civil litigation matters and complex commercial controversies involving family members, partners, shareholders, vendors, contractors and executives. His expertise is brought to bear on each client engagement. Mr. Genova has served as lead or co-counsel at every stage of litigation from the pleading phase, discovery, and depositions through motion practice, trial and appeal.
Mr. Genova's experience in election law and his representation of political figures spans more than three decades. He has represented candidates for office at every level of government including those running for city council, county executive, mayor, state legislature, governor, Member of the House, U.S. Senator and President of the United States as well as local, state and national political parties as entities themselves. Mr. Genova has successfully represented clients in matters involving all aspects of election law and campaign finance including ballot questions, vote by mail disputes, voter eligibility, election recounts, rechecks and post- election challenges in addition to matters arising under the Voting Rights Act, Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJELEC).
Mr. Genova's Labor & Employment matters include representing management of organizations across a spectrum of industries. It is said that if it happens in the workplace, Mr. Genova has the experience to address the issues, whatever they may be, facing the employer. He has 30 years of experience in collective bargaining, traditional labor law, employment litigation, EEO, Title VII, OSHA, FLSA (wage & hour), prevailing wage laws, project labor agreement negotiation, defense of individual and class action claims under local, state and federal anti-discrimination laws and wrongful employee termination. Mr. Genova has negotiated precedent-setting collective bargaining agreements with public workers in New Jersey, the terms of which have involved difficult issues such as employee contributions for healthcare costs, that have since become the standard in the State, much like Mr. Genova himself with regard to legal practitioners.
Mr. Genova has served as General Counsel to the New Jersey Democratic Party for 25 years. He was a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (2003 – 2007), the Chairman of the New Jersey Urban Development Corporation (1991 – 1992) and General Counsel to the Transition Team of New Jersey Governor, James J. Florio (1989).
- Successfully defended the Campaign of President Barack Obama against an effort to remove the President from the New Jersey primary election ballot due to alleged “birther” claims.
- Successfully secured the dismissal of a citizen-filed official misconduct complaint on behalf of the former Chairman of the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
- Successfully represented U.S. Senator, Frank Lautenberg, securing a judgment allowing him to replace U.S. Senator Robert Torricelli, who resigned as a candidate, on the U.S. Senate ballot after the statutory deadline had expired.
- Successfully resolved a federally-litigated ERISA-related benefits dispute lodged by former employees of a utility under a merger agreement approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
- Served as co-counsel to United States Senator, Robert Menendez, rebuffing an effort to recall him from office.
- Successfully represented the new Meadowlands Racetrack, defeating an action to compel the application of New Jersey’s prevailing wage laws to this venue.
- Served as Special Labor Counsel to the State of New Jersey and former governors, James J. Florio, James E. McGreevey and Jon S. Corzine, negotiating collective bargaining agreements with unions representing the State’s 50,000 plus employees, including the first-ever requirement of employee contributions for healthcare costs.
- Successfully represented a member of New Jersey Assembly in her challenge to a county political party that sought to bar her election as successor to a recently vacated State Senate seat.
- Successfully defended the President of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities in a whistle-blower action initiated by the Agency’s Chief Fiscal Officer, securing a post-trial directed verdict in favor of the Board President.
- Successfully represented the Mayor of Newark, New Jersey’s largest city, in a challenge to restrictions placed on the contracting authority of the Municipal Council.
- Successfully prosecuted a significant defamation and extortion case for a client who was the target of a defamatory Internet campaign, securing a rare, post-trial permanent injunction involving matters of first impression.
- Successfully defended against a post-election run-off challenge on behalf of a long-term incumbent Newark councilman resulting in the dismissal of the challenge.
- Obtained a defense verdict, with co-counsel, on behalf of a New Jersey municipality after a three-week trial dismissing a town employee's allegations of sexual harassment, sexual assault and hostile work environment against its Mayor and the Township, securing an award for defamation damages on behalf of the Mayor.
- Obtained a dismissal on behalf of a municipal councilman accused of violations of local ethics laws as a result of failing to recuse himself on a matter in which he was alleged to have had an indirect personal pecuniary interest.
- Secured on appeal of a judgment in favor of a municipality upholding its decision to terminate a police officer, reversing the trial court’s award of $270,000 in back pay.
- Successfully defended the interests of a significant developer in concert with a public authority in an action seeking to enjoin a multi-million-dollar bond issuance funding a billion-dollar entertainment venue in New Jersey, resulting in the dismissal of the action, which allowed financing of the project to proceed.
- Successfully appealed and vacated a multi-million-dollar divorce judgment on behalf of former New York Giants football star and TV personality, Michael Strahan.
- Successfully settled charges by the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission against a prominent New Jersey elected official in connection with allegations of misuse of campaign funds.
- Successfully represented a professional hockey team and arena management organization in a commercial arbitration resulting in an $81 million award in rent set-offs for the client's 30-year lease against the Newark Housing Authority.
- Successfully defended a municipality against an action brought by 88 current and former municipal employees alleging the municipality violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by failing to pay overtime wages and provide other types of remuneration.
- Successfully defended majority members of the New Jersey Legislative Apportionment Commission in a challenge to the legislative district map adopted at the Decennial Census by the Commission.
- Successfully represented the operator of The Meadowlands, New Jersey’s largest horse racing venue, in its ban of a horse trainer for engaging in “doping”.
- Successfully represented the Democratic National Committee in a voting rights action, preserving a 28-year standing order of the United States District Court enjoining nationally discriminatory ballot security measures, which suppressed minority voter participation.
- Served as counsel and special counsel to the 1980 New Jersey Congressional Redistricting Commission, the 1990 New Jersey Legislative Apportionment Commission, the 2000 New Jersey Legislative Apportionment Commission and the 2010 New Jersey Legislative Apportionment Commission.
- Commissioner, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 2003 -- 2007
- Chairman, New Jersey Urban Development Corporation, 1991 -- 1992
- Trustee, Montclair State University Foundation
- Board Member, New Jersey Hall of Fame
- Chairman, Greater Newark Holiday Fund
- Trustee, John Cabot University, Rome, Italy
- Heroes for Tolerance Award, The Simon Wiesenthal Center, 2018
- Thurgood Marshall College Fund Award of Excellence, 2017
- Distinguished Alumni Award, Montclair State University, 2016
- Honoree, Scholarship Fund for Inner City Children, 2016
- “Good Guy" Award, Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey, 2014
- Chair and Co-Chair, Greater Newark Fresh Air Fund, 2007, 2008 and 2012
- The Carpe Diem Award, Montclair State University Foundation, 2009
- Distinguished Alumnus Award, Rutgers School of Law, 2007
- Civil Trial Attorney Achievement Award, The Essex County Bar Association
- Chair of the Newark Fresh Air Fund’s Battle of the Barristers
- Board Member & Trustee, New Jersey Institute for Social Justice
- Board Member, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties
- Trustee, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties
- Former Trustee, New Jersey SEEDS
- Former Trustee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Newark
- Former President, Legal Services Foundation of Essex County
- Former Trustee, American Conference on Diversity
- Former Trustee, Newark Museum