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Jeffrey L. O'Hara

Partner

Overview

As of June 2021, has served as lead counsel in approximately 85 jury trials, taking 65 verdicts in a wide array of subject areas. Recognized by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney since 1999, Jeff focuses primarily on the defense of large exposure, catastrophic casualty events. He is also called upon to defend complex commercial disputes.

Jeff is a Fellow into the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), widely considered the preeminent organization of trial lawyers in North America. A four-time recipient of the "Bullseye Barrister" distinction for outstanding trial service, Jeff has attained the rank of Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). He is also a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), a Fellow in the International Society of Barristers (ISOB), as well as an active member in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel (FDCC) and the USLAW Network (USLAW). 

Jeff is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims for veterans’ benefits. He is a founding principal in One Vet @ A Time, Inc. d/b/a Project OVAT, a non-profit entity that provides medical and legal support at no cost to select veterans pursuing VA claims. Jeff currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Patriot Fund, having previously served on the legal committee for USA Triathlon and as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games.

Experience

Representative Experience

  • Perez v. Live Nation, Supreme Court of New York (New York County), 16 days damages only trial. Demand - $50M before start of trial, reduced to $35M during trial, Final Offer - $31M. Verdict of $102M, reduced by trial judge to $53M, further reduced by First Department to $34M.
  • Linwood v. Schindler Elevator Corporation, Southern District of New York, Opening Demand - $4.5 million, Final Offer - $300,000, 3 days of trial - directed verdict in favor of defense
  • Vracevic v. Fabcon East, Superior Court of Connecticut (Hartford), Opening Demand $9 million, Final Offer - $1.2 million, 16 days of trial – hung jury (terms of resolution before re-trial confidential)
  • Rattner v. Chubb National Insurance Company, Eastern District of Virginia, Opening Demand - $11.5 million, Final Offer - $0, 6 days of trial – policy declared void per fraud/concealment and intentional acts provisions, verdict of $945,000 on counterclaim.
  • Ahsan v. Staples, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn), Opening Demand - $2 million, Final Offer - $150,000, 6 days of trial – no cause for action
  • Malik v. Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, District of New Jersey (Newark), Opening Demand - $25 million, Final Offer - $3 million, 3 days of trial – case resolved during plaintiff’s proofs (terms of resolution confidential)
  • Kinghorn v. Apex Tool Group, Superior Court of Massachusetts (Middlesex County), Opening Demand - $32 million, Final Offer - $2.5 million, 13 days of trial – verdict of $16 million (terms of post-verdict resolution confidential)
  • Brown-Obot v. Helal, Superior Court of New Jersey (Essex County) Opening Demand - $1 million, Final Offer – $0, 6 days of trial – no cause for action
  • Sosa v. Clayton Concrete, Superior Court of New Jersey (Essex County) Opening Demand - $6 million, Final Offer - $1 million, 8 days of trial – damages only verdict of $675,000
  • Connors v. Target Corporation, Superior Court of New Jersey (Essex County) Opening Demand - $5 million, Final Offer - $350,000, 6 days of trial – verdict of $375,000. Secured full indemnity and reimbursement of all defense costs from co-defendant post-verdict
  • Miller v. Duane Reade, Supreme Court of New York (Kings County) Opening Demand - $100 million, Final Offer - $20 million, 35 days of trial – case resolved at close of plaintiff’s proofs for $22 million
  • Walczak v. Target Corp., Superior Court of New Jersey (Middlesex County) Opening Demand - $1.2 million, Final Offer - $0, 6 days of trial – no cause for action. Secured reimbursement of all defense costs from co-defendant post-verdict
  • Smith v. Ratan R. Park, Superior Court of New Jersey (Bergen County) Opening Demand - $15 million, Final Offer - $4 million, 12 days of trial – no cause for action
  • Melville v. US Bancorp, Supreme Court of New York (Kings County) Opening Demand – $2.5 million, Final Offer – $0, 5 days of trial (terms of post-liability verdict resolution confidential)
  • Olan v. Target Corp., Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn) Opening Demand – $1.2 million, Final Offer - $100,000, 4 days of trial – no cause for action
  • Marrero v. Target Corp., Supreme Court of New York (Bronx County) Opening Demand – $5.6 million, Final Offer – $300,000, 13 days of trial – verdict of $1.3 million (terms of post-verdict resolution confidential)
  • Edison Salvage v. Garden State Paper Company, Superior Court of New Jersey (Bergen County) Opening Demand – $3.25 million, Final Offer – $260,000, 2 phase trial (1st phase 6 days, 2nd phase 2 days) – verdict of $295,000
  • White v. Morcos, Superior Court of New Jersey (Passaic County) Opening Demand $2 million, Final Offer – $0, 14 days of trial, directed verdict as to Morcos, $925,000 verdict as to other defendant
  • Alfone v. Caputo, Superior Court of New Jersey (Essex County) Opening Demand – $1 million, Final Offer – $0, 4 days of trial – no cause for action

Activities

Professional Honors and Affiliations

  • Certified Civil Trial Attorney (1999 – Present)
    • Recertified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in 2006, 2011, and 2016
  • American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL), Fellow (2020 - present)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), Advocate (2003 – present)
    • Senior Life Fellow (2021)
  • Litigation Counsel of America (LCA), Fellow (2019 – present)
    • Peter Perlman Service Award (2019)
    • Barrister, Order of Juris
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Member (2011 – present)
  • International Society of Barristers (ISOB), Member (2015 – present)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Member (2004 – present)
  • USLAW, Board of Directors (2008 – 2013, 2021 – present)
  • O'Hagen Award for Outstanding Service – USLAW (2007)
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), Member; Trial Tactics Steering Committee (2003 – 2012)
  • "Bullseye Barrister" Award Target Corporation: December 2007, July 2009, May 2010 and July 2013

News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

  • The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado, September 23-25, 2021
  • Speaker, "Negotiation Considerations and Strategies Finding a Way to Yes"
    Chubb Group - New Haven, CT, 11.2020; Jersey City, NJ, 08.2021
  • NJICLE & American College of Trial Lawyers; New Jersey Webinar, 07.2020
  • Speaker, "Litigating Traumatic Brain Injury Claims"
    Chubb Group; New Haven, CT, 02.2020
  • ECBA, Essex Fells, NJ, 10.2019
  • Speaker, “Driving Favorable Resolution Through Effective Negotiation,”  
    Chubb Group; New Haven, CT, 02.2019
  • American Bus Association - CEO’s Forum; Louisville, KY, 01.2019
  • Featured Speaker, “Early Resolution Strategies – The Settlement Counsel Model,” 
    Chubb Group; Brandywine, DE, 11.2017; Alpharetta, GA, 4.2018; London, UK, 09.2018
  • Speaker, "Catastrophic Event, Devastating Exposure: A Unique Approach to Fixing the Worst Problems,"
    IADC; Quebec City, Canada, 07.2017
  • Faculty, ITAP,
    Widener University; Wilmington, DE, 2003-2017
  • Speaker, "The Ripple Effect – Employee & Public Safety,"
    Schindler Elevator Corporation Senior Leadership Meeting; West Palm Beach, FL, 02.2017
  • Speaker, "The Nuts and Bolts of TBI Claims," 
    Walmart TBI Center for Excellence Project; Bentonville, AR, 04.2016
  • Speaker, "Is your TBI Really TBS?,"
    ACE Group; Lafayette Hill, PA, 06.2015
  • Speaker, "The Anatomy of a Large Exposure Claim,"
    Great American Insurance Group; Phoenix, AZ, 05.2015
  • Speaker, "Ethics in Negotiations,"
    USLAW; Santa Monica, CA, 06.2013
  • Speaker, "Trial Tactics,"
    DRI; Las Vegas, NV, 03.2013
  • Faculty, ASIS International mock trial presentations
    Chicago, IL 09.2013; Philadelphia, PA 09.2012; Orlando, FL 09.2009
  • Speaker, "Litigation Lessons from Little League,"
    USLAW; Washington, D.C., 10.2012
  • Speaker, "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,"
    USLAW; Phoenix, AZ, 04.2011
  • Speaker, "Damages,"
    DRI; Las Vegas, NV, 03.2011
  • Program Chair, New York Regional Meeting,
    IADC; New York, NY, 11.2010
  • Program Chair, "Spoliation of Evidence – the New Tort?"
    USLAW; Miami, FL, 08.2010
  • Faculty, ABOTA Trial College, 
    at Princeton University; Princeton, NJ, 06.2010
  • Speaker, "Damages,"
    DRI; Las Vegas, NV, 03.2010
  • Faculty, IADC Trial Academy
    at Stanford University; Palo Alto, CA, 07.2008
  • Chair, USLAW Spring Conference
    Miami, FL, 04.2008
  • Program Chair, "Complex Medicine,"
    DRI; Santa Monica, CA, 11.2005
  • Speaker, "Complex Medicine for Trial Lawyers,"
    DRI; Miami, FL, 11.2003

Education

Widener University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1992)

University of California, Davis (B.A., Political Science, Minor in Education, 1988)

Mercer County College (A.A., Humanities, 1986)

Admissions

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