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Richard D. Catenacci

Partner

Overview

Richard Catenacci has over 40 years of litigation experience in diverse areas of law, with a focus on federal trial practice. Rich is considered one of New Jersey’s foremost appellate advocates, having argued more than 200 appeals. With more than 100 jury and bench trials in the state and federal courts, he was among the first lawyers to be designated by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, Board of Trial Attorney Certification, as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney.

For more than 30 years, Rich has been an active member and has held numerous leadership positions in the American Bar Association, having chaired five different committees of the Litigation Section. He also served in various leadership roles in the Federal Bar, New Jersey State Bar, and Essex County Bar Associations.

Rich was a member of the Board of Editors and Case Editor of the Notre Dame Law Review. Thereafter, he served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1966-1968, when he joined Connell Foley. He has served the firm as a member of the Executive Committee, a Managing Partner and as Chairman. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Notre Dame Law Association for almost 30 years, having served in various positions including President.

Experience

Representative Experience

  • Represented Bethlehem Steel for more than 25 years in a wide variety of litigated matters ranging from building collapses to alleged underground pollution of municipal water supply. Under Rich’ s supervision, the firm served as national counsel for Bethlehem’s asbestos and toxic tort cases
  • Represented A&P suits over the disposition of $400 million surplus in pension trust
  • Served as defense liaison counsel In Re Corn Derivatives in antitrust case involving allegations of national price fixing conspiracy in the corn derivatives industry with damages alleged to be $700 million
  • Represented Package Shop v. Anheuser Bush antitrust, restraint of trade, geographical beer distribution system
  • Litigation Counsel for Chase Manhattan Bank having successfully headed a team of eight attorneys in litigation of more than $200 million of Chase claims, including a lengthy bench trial before a federal judge
  • Lead Counsel in the Global Landfill cases (1,000 plaintiffs v. the owner-operator and more than 50 other defendants) where the initial demands of settlement exceeded $100 million
  • Represented IFA Insurance Co., supervising defense of more than 1,000 personal injury lawsuits over the past 25 years including all major jury trials
  • Represented NJM Insurance Co., in NJM v. Comm., a dispute between the entire automobile insurance industry and the Commissioner of Insurance (State of New Jersey) over the liability for payment of a $141.3 billion deficit of the MTF (a state run insurance facility)
  • Represented Wakefern (Shop Rite) suit by cooperative in Chancery to restrain sales of five (Shop Rite) supermarkets to its competitor (Pathmark) and enforce the oral contract to sell Wakefern
  • Anthony M. Geracitano and John B. Carnett, III v. Microsoft Corp., Docket No. A-0646-05T1. Successful defense of Microsoft against anti-trust class actions
  • Caspi, et al. v. MSN and Microsoft Corporation, 323 N.J. Super. 118, 732 A. 2d 528 (1999). Successfully defended Microsoft in class action suit
  • In The Matter of Estate of Cantor, represented the daughter of a decedent in a $100M+ estate litigation. The matter was tried over 5 months in Morris County

Activities

Professional and Community Affiliations

  • Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Adjunct Professor for more than ten years, Uniform Commercial Code (Sales and Secured Transactions, Banking and Commercial Paper), Seton Hall Law School
  • Master, John J. Gibbons American Inn of Court, Intellectual Property Law
  • Member, American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Board of Fellows (1986-2013)
  • Member, Notre Dame Law Association, National Board of Directors (1980-2013)
  • National President, Notre Dame Law Association (1999-2000)
  • Chancellor, Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey (1994-2000)
  • Chair, American Bar Association,  Litigation Section, Resource Development (1991-1994)
  • Vice President, Federal Bar Association (1988-1992)
  • Chair, American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Task Force on Excessive Litigiousness (1988-1989)
  • Chair, American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Program Evaluation and Utilization (1988-1989)
  • Chair, American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Committee of Communications (1986-1989)
  • Trustee, Essex County Bar Association (1982-1985)
  • Chair, American Bar Association, Litigation Section, Constitution-By-Laws (1981-1985)
  • President, Notre Dame Alumni Association of New Jersey (1975-1979)
  • District Representative, American Bar Association, Young Lawyers Division, Executive Council (1976-1977)
  • Trustee, New Jersey State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section (1973-1976)
  • Member, Judicial Selection of the New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Essex County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association

News & Insights

Honors

New York's Best Lawyers, Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation (2013)

"New Jersey's Top Rated Lawyers," Inside Jersey magazine (2012)

New Jersey Super Lawyers (2005, 2006, 2009-2013)

Best Lawyers in America (2005-2017)

Best Lawyers Award Badge

Clerkships

  • Honorable Robert Shaw, United States District Judge, District of New Jersey

Education

University of Notre Dame Law School (J.D., 1965)

University of Notre Dame (B.A., 1962)

Admissions

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