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David C. Roberts, Chair of the firm, devotes his practice to handling complex commercial litigation matters such as fraud, fraudulent transfers, trade secrets, and restrictive covenant litigation, with particular emphasis on business partnership and shareholder disputes in New Jersey.

Often called business divorce litigation, the business owner disputes Dave routinely handles include shareholder and LLC member oppression, business fraud, embezzlement, owner freeze-outs, dissenter’s rights cases, and suits seeking to dissociate or expel an owner from a company. He focuses on resolving matters through mediation, if that approach fits the client’s goals and objectives, but is an experienced trial attorney who can effectively try any case that can’t otherwise be resolved. In 2007, Dave launched the firm’s Shareholder Disputes in New Jersey Law Blog “Business Divorce in NJ,” which addresses minority shareholder disputes in New Jersey. He also writes and lectures extensively on this topic.

Dave often represents a minority shareholder seeking to assert his or her rights to relief, usually seeking a forced buy-out. And just as often, he represents majority owners of businesses defending against such claims. This experience gives him insight into how his adversary in a case may be thinking and strategizing. Dave has handled business divorce litigation involving companies in almost every industry, especially family-owned businesses. As a result, he understands the unique challenges involved in suing, or being sued by, a relative.

Due to his unique ability to help companies navigate complexity and avoid litigation, Dave has served as outside general counsel to several small-to-midsized companies. He has served in this capacity for almost two decades for Old Bridge Chemicals and Madison Industries, two leading companies in the animal feed additive industry. Dave also has handled complex litigation matters for the Diocese of Metuchen.

Additionally, Dave is a founder and former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Monmouth Beach Education Foundation and has served on the Monmouth Beach Board of Education for 12 years.

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Blog - Business Divorce in NJ

When Do You Have “Enough” Facts to File Business Divorce Litigation?

Even a Non-Competing Side-Business Can Be Problematic for a Minority Shareholder

Avoid Minority Shareholder Suppression Claims with a “Business Divorce Audit”

When Your Business Partner Uses Company Money to Purchase Assets for Himself, You Have a Remedy – If You Don’t Wait Too Long

Trusting Your Business Partner Does Not Mean Never Looking at the Books

Dealing With Delays in Realizing Your Business Partner Is Oppressing You

Failure to Pay Distributions May Be Shareholder Oppression, but Not Always

Don’t Focus On Who the Majority Shareholders Hire to Defend Your Business Divorce Litigation

Some Business Partners Are Blaming COVID as an Excuse for Bad Behavior

My Business Partner May Not Be Stealing, but Are They Breaking the Law?

New Jersey Shareholder Oppression: Mismanagement

Are the Costs and Disruptions of Business Divorce Litigation Worth It?

Business Divorce Litigation Considerations: Strength in Numbers or Should You Go It Alone?

Business Divorce Attorneys Often Must Help Their Clients Navigate the Emotions of Inter-Family Litigation

Is It Realistic to Expect a Legal Fee Award in a Shareholder Oppression Lawsuit?

Get Creative To Win Your Business Divorce Litigation

If Your Partner Won’t Give You (Accurate) Information, Subpoena the Accountant

Pushing for the Documents You Need May Be Costly, but Not Pushing May Cost More

What to Do When Your Business Partner Keeps Freezing You Out of COVID Zoom Meetings

Avoid Business Divorce Litigation by Protecting Yourself up Front

Don’t Let Your Business Partner Use the Pandemic as an Excuse to Keep You in the Dark

Majority Shareholder Threats May Backfire

Don’t Let Your Business Partner Use the COVID-19 Pandemic to Hide Misconduct

While Filing a Shareholder Oppression Claim Might Be the Last Thing on Your Mind Right Now Due to the COVID-19 Virus, Waiting to File Could Potentially Prejudice Your Valuation

In an Oppression Case, Think Strategically and Don’t File Motions You Know You Can’t Win

Hidden Competition: A Common Form of Oppression

Mediation Can Be an Especially Effective Tool in Business Divorce Litigation

As a Minority Shareholder, Can I Quit and Still Sue for a Business Divorce?

Have Your Business Divorce Attorney Retain a Valuation Expert on Your Behalf – Don’t Do It on Your Own

Potential Alternatives to Shareholder Dispute Litigation in Your Business Divorce

Shareholder Dispute Litigation: When You Can Choose to Sell or Buy Your Company Shares in a Business Divorce

Minority Business Owners Are Not Always Bound by an Operating or Shareholder Agreement

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands to Prepare for Business Divorce Litigation Can Backfire

Don’t Let Ego – Yours or Your Attorney’s – Get in The Way of a Settlement

Bad Faith Is Not Necessary for a Business Divorce

Minority Shareholders Don’t Always Have a Right to Information

Kicking a Member Out of an LLC – Dissociation Under the New Jersey LLC Statute

New Case Addresses Termination of Employment as Shareholder Oppression

Is Secretly Recording Your Business Partner Ever a Good Idea in New Jersey?

Prosecutors Are Rarely Interested in Business “Theft” Cases

What Happens When Equal Shares Does Not Mean Equal Power?

Shareholder Pay – Need it Always be Equal When Ownership is Equal?

Minority Shareholder Oppression Damages in New Jersey: More Than Just a Buyout?

If You Lose A Minority Shareholder Oppression Lawsuit, Things Will Likely Get Worse – So Do It Right

Termination of Employment as Minority Shareholder Oppression

Court-Appointed “Tiebreakers” In a 50/50 Ownership Setting

New Jersey Courts Recognize Equitable Ownership In Cases Where Full Ownership May Be Difficult To Prove

Protection of the Minority Oppression Statute Is Not Waivable

LLC Members Have Equal Rights as Corporate Shareholders When It Comes To Minority Owner Oppression

Are Dividends A Mask For Financial Fraud?

Can A Shareholder Compete With That Company After Employment Termination?

Shareholder Oppression Remedies Are No Substitute for Control

Creative Ways to Contractually Minimize the Chances of Shareholder Dispute Litigation

Pros & Cons of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Shareholder Dispute Litigation

Unnecessary Capital Call as Means of Dilution Can Be Shareholder Oppression

Termination of LLC Member Employee Could Soon Be Considered “Oppression”

Discovering Fraud By Your Business Partner: Act Now or Forever Hold Your Peace?

If You Suspect Your Business Partner is Cheating You, Listen To Your Gut and Seek Legal Advice

Should We Create a Corporation or an LLC? – From a Minority Owner’s Point of View

Listen to the Little Voice Telling You Your Business Partner is Treating You Unfairly and Seek Advice Sooner Rather Than Later

Injunctions in Shareholder Dispute Litigation

I Want to Be a Buyer, Not a Seller, Part 2

I Don’t Want To Sell To My Business Partner. I Want To Buy Him Out

New Case Reaffirms the Difference Between Corporations and LLC’s When It Comes to Rights of Minority Owners

An Oppression Case Can Get You More Than Just Monetary Damages

Minority Shareholders Frozen-Out

Majority Shareholder Abuses Could Harm The Minority Shareholders In More Ways Than One

May a Shareholder Compete After He is Fired as an Employee?

Suing a Family Member Is Never Easy

Excess Compensation as Oppression

The Special Situation of “Passive” Shareholders

Employment Termination As Oppression

Fifty Percent Shareholders Have Rights Too

Minority Shareholder Rights

See More

Publications

  • “Business Owner Rights: What Every Shareholder Should Know,” Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank, New Jersey, March 29, 2018
  • “Shareholder Oppression: What Every Business Owner Should Know,” Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Bridgewater, New Jersey, November 2, 2017
  • “The Pros and Cons of Arbitration,” Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Bridgewater, New Jersey, November 11, 2015
  • “The Good, Bad & Ugly of a Business Divorce,” Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Bridgewater, New Jersey, April 16, 2015
  • Hidden Danagers of Representing Multi-Owner Businesses: Legal Pitfalls Accountants Must Avoid,” Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Bridgewater, New Jersey, October 27, 2010

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