Photo of Jeffrey L. O'Hara

Jeffrey L. O'Hara

Partner

Overview

As of January 2024, Jeff has served as lead counsel in approximately 90 jury trials, taking 67 verdicts in a wide array of subject areas. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as 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, 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 elevated rank of Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates. He is also a Fellow in the Litigation Counsel of America, a Fellow in the International Society of Barristers, as well as an active member in the Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel and the USLAW Network. 

Jeff is accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs for the preparation, presentation and prosecution of claims for veterans’ benefits. He is a Co-Founder of and currently serves as President for One Vet @ A Time, Inc. d/b/a Project OVAT, a non-profit charitable entity that provides medical and legal support at no cost to select veterans pursuing VA claims. Jeff also serves as an Advisor to the Board of Directors for The Patriot Fund, having previously served on the Legal Committee for USA Triathlon, as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and two terms on the Board of Directors for the USLAW Network. 


Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

Experience

Representative Experience
Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

  • Treme v. Walmart Transportation, Superior Court of Massachusetts (Hampshire County), Opening Demand $20 million, Final Offer (confidential), 20 days of trial - verdict of $1.775 million (net recovery of $0 based on co-defendant settlement credit), post-trial motions pending. 
  • Smerina v. Texas Road Plaza, LLC, Superior Court of New Jersey (Middlesex County), Opening Demand $1.5 million, Final Offer $450,000, 6 days of trial - case resolved at close of plaintiff's proofs for $500,000.
  • Perez v. Live Nation, Supreme Court of New York (New York County), 16 days damages only trial. Demand - $50 million before start of trial, reduced to $35 million during trial, Final Offer - $31 million, Verdict of $102 million, reduced by trial judge to $53 million, further reduced by First Department to $34 million.
  • 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 by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Civil Trial Attorney (1999 – Present)
    • Recertified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey in 2006, 2011, 2016 and 2021
  • American College of Trial Lawyers, Fellow (2020 - present)
    • Chair - Special Problems in the Administration of Justice (US) (2023 - present); Member - New Jersey State Committee (2021 - present)
  • American Board of Trial Advocates, Advocate (2003 – present)
    • Senior Life Fellow (2021)
  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow (2019 – present)
    • Peter Perlman Service Award (2019)
    • Barrister, Order of Juris
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, Member (2011 – present)
  • International Society of Barristers, Fellow (2015 – present)
  • International Association of Defense Counsel, Member (2004 – present)
  • USLAW, Board of Directors (2008 – 2013, 2021 – 2023)
  • O'Hagen Award for Outstanding Service – USLAW (2007)
  • Defense Research Institute, 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

  • Speaker, "Canadian Guide To US Exposure: How To Lose A Trial In 7 Days," Axis Capital, 
    Toronto, Canada, 05.2024
  • Speaker, "Social Inflation - The Experts," Chubb Group CAPI virtual presentation
    03.2024
  • Speaker, “Trial Tactics Impacting Severity - You Be The Jury,” Chubb Classic, Naples, FL
    02.2024
  • Speaker, "Strategies to Obtain Optimal Results for Litigated Matters," W.R. Berkley Insurance Companies, Greenwich, CT 
    10.2023
  • Speaker, "Nuclear Verdicts: Managing Volatility In The Current Litigation Environment," Chubb Classic, Naples, FL
    02.2023
  • Speaker, "Litigation Funding: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly," Chubb Group Virtual Presentation
    01.2023
  • Speaker, "Claim Handling & Defense Counsel Considerations for Managing Casualty Claims in the Current Litigation Environment," Chubb Group
    Jersey City, NJ, 11.2022
  • NJICLE & American College of Trial Lawyers; New Jersey Webinar, 07.2022
  • Co-Speaker, “Project One Vet @ A Time - Finding The Way To Yes,” Citadel Inn of Court Annual Banquet, Charleston, SC, 04.2022; American College of Trial Lawyers - 3rd Circuit Regional Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, 04.2022
  • Virtual, 10.20.2021
  • Colorado Springs, CO, 09.2021
  • 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; Jersey City, NJ, 01.2022
  • 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
  • Speaker, "The Ripple Effect – Employee & Public Safety,"
    Schindler Elevator Corporation Senior Leadership Meeting; West Palm Beach, FL, 02.2017
  • Faculty, ITAP,
    Widener University; Wilmington, DE, 2003-2017
  • 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

Honors

Chambers USA (2024)

  • Litigation - Product Liability

Please see Honor and Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

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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