Leo Hurley Jr. is a seasoned litigator with a proven record of success in obtaining favorable jury verdicts, as well as guiding matters to resolution and early settlement, and is routinely called upon to represent corporations and individuals in high-stakes, high-profile and “bet the company” litigation. An aggressive advocate in the courtroom, Leo litigates a wide variety of civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts in New Jersey and New York and across the country. His practice ranges from complex commercial matters to white collar criminal defense, employment, products liability, class actions, estate and probate, trade secret, and corporate dissolution/oppressed minority shareholder litigation. He serves as vice chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and White Collar Criminal Defense Groups.
Having served as an assistant prosecutor in Hudson County, New Jersey for six years, Leo has tremendous experience in the courtroom. He regularly defends and advises corporations, government officials and private citizens in connection with governmental investigations, whether from regulators or federal and state grand juries, and associated prosecutions. In the area of white collar criminal defense, he has effectively, efficiently and successfully advised clients in proceedings alleging money laundering, immigration fraud, political corruption, tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and other sensitive yet complex issues. He has handled numerous high-profile cases, including those involving publicly traded companies, and political and other public figures.
In addition, Leo counsels clients on the full range of legal and regulatory issues that are arising as a result of the burgeoning cannabis industry. From advising on applications and regulatory questions, to providing corporate and employment counsel, Leo assists companies nationwide in all aspects of their cannabis businesses. His practice extends to the counseling of non-cannabis companies that are equally affected by cannabis legalization and its impact on a business’s operations, employees and opportunities.
Leo also has extensive experience advising commercial lenders, mortgage servicing companies, private equity firms and other financial institutions that look to him for assistance in complex asset recovery proceedings, loan workout and forbearance agreements, and loan sales and purchases. He has successfully litigated contested commercial foreclosure matters and obtained significant recoveries for creditors from personal guarantors of all manner of loans.
With a deep knowledge of various industries, Leo also serves as outside general counsel for public and privately owned small to medium-sized companies in sectors such as financial services, real estate, health care, energy, cannabis and public relations.
Leo punctuates his practice with the courtroom experience he gained as an assistant prosecutor. In that role, Leo prosecuted hundreds of felony cases, including homicides, armed robberies and complex financial crimes. He served as lead trial counsel on 16 jury trials and several bench trials, many of which required him to present testimony from and cross-examine expert witnesses in diverse fields such as forensic DNA analysis, mechanical engineering and forensic psychology.
While attending Georgetown University, Leo worked on the staff of then-Congressman Robert Menendez.
- In a federal matter venued in the Southern District of New York and with claims totaling $820,412 brought by a prominent, international media conglomerate against his client, a mid-sized technology company, Leo pursued an aggressive and outside-the-box litigation strategy leading to a settlement that absolved the client of any payment on the underlying claims prior to the exchange of discovery.
- Successfully litigated and tried to verdict a defamation matter venued in Nassau County, New York, involving defamatory statements made by a former employee of his client, a prominent, international duty-free company
- Successfully litigated and tried to verdict a probate matter venued in Bergen County, New Jersey, and involving claims that decedent’s will and trust were the product of undue influence by the client. After trial, the court found no cause for the contestant’s claims and awarded only 20% of contestant’s claimed attorney’s fees from the corpus of the estate — a rare result in probate litigation.
- Successfully negotiated a no-pay settlement of significant, threatened litigation over a non-compete and non-solicitation agreement prior to the filing of a complaint against his client
- Successfully negotiated an extremely favorable plea agreement with the State of New Jersey, resulting in the dismissal of Megan’s Law-related charges, a minimization of potential unfavorable collateral immigration consequences, and potential dismissal of the actual charge as against the client, a 16-year-old non-citizen juvenile who was charged with criminal sexual contact, an offense with potential Megan’s Law consequences
- Obtained a dismissal, through motion practice in Bergen County, New Jersey, of Lemon Law and products liability claims against the client, a Fortune 100 automobile manufacturer
- Successfully drafted a motion for summary judgment in a breach of contract action venued in Bergen County, New Jersey, leading to an award of $1.6 million in damages for the client
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Vice-Chairman, Marist High School Board (2013-present)
- Hudson County Bar Association
- President (2018)
- Membership Secretary (2014)
- Treasurer (2013)
- Member, Hudson County Bar Association Committee on Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments (2010-Present)
- Barrister, Morris Pashman Inn of Court (2010-Present)
- Member, Shamrock Society of Bayonne (2008-Present)
- Trustee , Hudson County Bar Association (2006-2013)
- President, Young Lawyers Division - Hudson County Bar Association (2005, 2006)
- Chairman, By-Laws Committee, Bayonne Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee (2004-Present)
- Member, County Corkmen’s Association of Bayonne (1996-Present)
News & Insights
- Super Lawyers, 03.23.2021
- Irish Voice, 10.28.2020
- Insider NJ, 03.15.2019
- Insider NJ, 03.12.2018
- Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, NJ, May 15-17, 2019
- National Conference Center - East Windsor, NJ, 01.23.2019
- New Jersey Business Magazine, 03.12.2020
- Legal Blogs and Updates, 03.23.2020
- Smoldering News: Employers May Face Discrimination Charges for Terminating Workers Based on Medical Marijuana UseLegal Blogs and Updates, 03.11.2020
Irish American Cultural Institute "Annie Moore Award" (2020)
New Jersey Super Lawyers (2020)
New Jersey Super Lawyers (2013-2017, 2021)
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- White Collar Criminal Defense
Irish Legal 100, The Irish Voice (2020)
New Jersey's Irish American Leaders, Insider NJ (2018-2020)
New Jersey Law Journal “New Leaders of the Bar” (2016)
Irish Echo "Irish Top 40 Under 40" Honoree (2014)
Irish Echo "Law and Order 50" Honoree (2012)
- Honorable Edward T. O’Connor, Jr., J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey, Criminal Division, Hudson County (2003-2004)
Notre Dame Law School (J.D., 2003)
Georgetown University (B.A., History and Government, 2000)
- New Jersey
- New York
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York