Charles J. Messina is a Partner in the Firm's Newark, NJ office. He is a member of the Complex Commercial Litigation, Employment Law & Litigation, Class Action Defense, Insurance Law, Intellectual Property and Construction Law & Litigation Practice Groups as well as Co-Chair of the Agriculture, Cannabis and Franchise & Distribution Industry Groups.
Accomplished in many aspects of litigation, Mr. Messina has substantial experience handling complex contract and commercial disputes, franchise and trademark litigation, insurance and employment defense matters, professional liability and coverage issues, personal injury defense, and construction litigation.
Mr. Messina regularly advises businesses and their executives on a wide range of commercial transactional matters and consumer and employee related issues as well as on various aspects of the legal cannabis industry. He is experienced at the trial and arbitration levels including AAA arbitration and other forums for alternative dispute resolution.
Recently, Mr. Messina worked in-house part time at a Fortune 500 Insurance Company, helping that company’s Global Management Liability Insurance team manage litigation claims and coverage issues.
Prior to joining the Firm, Mr. Messina clerked for the Honorable Deanne M. Wilson in the Superior Court of New Jersey, and then worked as a litigation associate at a large, well-respected firm where he gained extensive experience handling complex commercial, employment, class action, insurance defense and franchise law matters.
- Successfully litigated complex commercial, employment litigation and professional liability matters in state and federal district courts in New York and New Jersey.
- Represented national franchisors, securing numerous injunctions on their behalf as well as several judgments exceeding a million dollars, including a significant victory in connection with a franchisor’s trademark infringement and breach of contract claims against a New York franchisee who was subsequently indicted for masterminding a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme.
- Defended an accounting firm from inception to trial in a professional malpractice action where plaintiffs alleged millions of dollars in damages, ultimately securing a dismissal with prejudice for the client.
- Negotiated sizable contracts on behalf of professional athletes and their sports agents, including litigation counseling and defense in connection with a $20 million NBA agent dispute.
- Obtained numerous dismissals with prejudice of lawsuits filed against hotels and car dealerships in New Jersey and New York by plaintiffs alleging claims ranging from discrimination to misrepresentation and fraud, including two recent verdicts on behalf of reputable car dealerships following days of hearings and testimony in AAA proceedings involving alleged violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of a gender and sexual orientation wrongful termination lawsuit filed by a plaintiff in New Jersey State Court against a national bus company and the company's managers.
- Successfully assisted client in obtaining an award to operate a medical cannabis dispensary.
- Overcame summary judgment as to liability on a Labor Law 240 lawsuit filed against a solar panel company in the County of Westchester, New York involving a worker in his 30s suffering significant injuries, and settled the case for under half a million dollars on the day of trial after rejecting a $5 million demand in open court earlier that day.
- Successfully vacated a six-figure judgment entered against a general contractor on a motion for reconsideration for alleged violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
- Secured a very lucrative, confidential settlement on the day of trial in Monmouth County Chancery Division, New Jersey, on behalf of a plaintiff in a dispute involving two former high level construction company executives.
- Secured a noteworthy dismissal and summary judgment award with national implications after four years of litigation and several Appellate Division successes on behalf of a client, defending plaintiffs’ claims that the County of Essex’s contractual arrangement for housing over 1,000 inmates at certain facilities constituted an unlawful privatization of county jail operations.
- Led the Firm’s Litigation Team in obtaining a dismissal of a high-profile politician’s emergent complaint just before a municipal election.
- Represented clients in commercial arbitration disputes and administrative hearings in New York and New Jersey, including securing a significant victory overturning a contract award made by an independent state agency.
- Recognized each year since 2012 in New Jersey Monthly Magazine and Super Lawyers in the New Jersey Rising Star List, a distinction given to no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in any state.
- Selected as a New Leader of the Bar by the New Jersey Law Journal, 50 Under 40 Award, 2015.