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, New York and across the country. His practice includes the litigation of a wide variety of complex commercial matters and white collar criminal defense and investigations, as well as employment, cannabis, securities, class actions, trade secret, and corporate dissolution/oppressed minority shareholder litigation. He serves as Co-chair of the firm’s Commercial Litigation and White Collar Criminal Defense Groups.
Leo has unmatched courtroom and trial experience. Building upon his prior experience as an Assistant Hudson County Prosecutor, Leo regularly defends and advises corporations, government officials and private citizens in connection with governmental investigations and prosecutions, whether emanating from state and federal regulators or prosecutors. He has effectively, efficiently and successfully assisted clients in navigating matters involving allegations of money laundering, immigration fraud, political corruption, tax fraud, bankruptcy fraud, and other sensitive and complex issues.
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 corporate matters, financing, and regulatory questions to providing employment counsel, Leo assists cannabis companies 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 more than 20 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.
- Secured the dismissal, with prejudice and prior to filing a responsive pleading, of a New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act Class Action venued in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County against a state regulated energy provider.
- Secured a favorable result for a nationwide medical technology company of a TCPA class action venued in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.
- Successfully briefed and argued a motion to dismiss a complaint venued in the Supreme Court of New York, New York County alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and duties of loyalty brought against a condominium association.
- After securing the grant of a Petition for Certification to the New Jersey Supreme Court on an issue of first impression involving the applicability of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination in the context of the purchase and sale of real estate, and after significant discovery, secured the dismissal of claims brought against his clients, including a public retraction by the plaintiff of all allegations made in the operative complaint.
- Secured a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction, venued in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Morris County, removing the manager of an LLC on behalf of a commercial real estate developer and nursing home operator.
- Secured summary judgment dismissing all claims against a residential real estate developer in a matter venued in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson County, alleging breaches of contract and violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
- Secured a favorable result for an individual member of a New Jersey chemical company in an oppressed minority shareholder action venued in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County.
- Secured a favorable result for a former employee of an international medical device manufacturer in a matter alleging violations of a non-compete and non-solicitation agreement venued in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey.
- Served as lead trial counsel in a matter venued in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Hudson county, alleging breaches of contract and violations of the Consumer Fraud Act against his client, a commercial landlord. Matter was resolved favorably to the client after six weeks of trial.
- 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.
- Obtained a dismissal, through motion practice in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, 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 the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Bergen County, leading to an award of $1.6 million in damages for the clients, shareholders of an international technology services company.
White Collar Criminal Defense and Investigations
- Successfully represented the CEO of an international technology services and software company in an investigation by federal law enforcement into allegations of immigration fraud and money laundering. No charges ever filed.
- Successfully represented an officer and director of a New Jersey consumer products company in a criminal matter involving allegations of money laundering and structuring.
- Successfully represented a New Jersey schoolteacher in a criminal matter involving allegations of possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose on school property.
- Successfully represented various private individuals and public entities in investigations by state and federal regulators and prosecutors.
- Successfully briefed and argued an appeal before the Court of Appeals of Ohio, Tenth Judicial District, securing the reversal of an order compelling compliance with a subpoena issued by a state cannabis regulator to an Ohio medical marijuana cultivator in a matter of first impression involving the interpretation of the Ohio medical marijuana statutory and regulatory scheme.
- Successfully secured the dismissal, through motion practice, of a complaint venued in the United States District Court for the District of Utah, alleging that a Utah medical cannabis company engaged a conspiracy and fraud in seeking a license to cultivate medical cannabis.
- Successfully assisted a multistate cannabis operator in securing debt through multiple lenders across multiple states.
- Regularly represents cannabis clients across the United States in regulatory, investigative, and enforcement matters brought by state cannabis regulators.
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Hudson County Bar Association
- President (2017-2018)
- Member, Committee on Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments (2010-Present)
- Trustee (2007-2017)
- Membership Secretary (2014)
- Treasurer (2013)
- President, Young Lawyers Division (2006-2007)
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Hudson County representative - Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee
- 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
- ROI-NJ, 07.28.2022
- New Jersey Super Lawyers, 03.17.2022
- Insider NJ, 03.15.2022
- New Jersey Globe , 12.21.2021
- Irish Voice, 11.2021
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.19.2021
- 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
- “Law Influencers” (2022)
- Criminal Defense: White-Collar
- Cannabis Law (2023)
New Jersey Globe
- "Power List" — #95 (2021)
New Jersey Super Lawyers (2013-2017, 2020-2022)
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- White Collar Criminal Defense
Irish Legal 100, The Irish Voice (2020-2021)
New Jersey's Irish American Leaders, Insider NJ (2018-2022)
New Leaders of the Bar, New Jersey Law Journal (2016)
Irish Top 40 Under 40 Honoree, Irish Echo (2014)
Law and Order 50 Honoree, Irish Echo (2012)
Please see Honor and Award Methodology. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- 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