Michael Rolek is a commercial litigator who represents a wide array of clients in state court, federal court and arbitrations across the country. An assertive advocate, Michael handles cases involving business torts such as unfair competition and fraud, breaches of contract and fiduciary duty, infringement of intellectual property, catastrophic injury defense and disputes concerning commercial real estate.
Michael’s clients have included asset management firms, commercial and residential real estate developers, general contractors, limited liability companies, partnerships, insurers, national non-profit organizations, and high-net worth individuals. He is adept at developing litigation strategies to suit each client’s individual business needs, and is skilled in working efficiently to measure the viability of available claims and defenses and assess potential liability and exposure.
Michael graduated cum laude from Seton Hall University School of Law, and was a member of the Schools’ Interscholastic Moot Court Board. Upon graduation, Michael clerked for the Honorable Donald J. Volkert, Jr., A.J.S.C. (retired) in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division – Civil Part. After his clerkship, Michael joined Connell Foley where he represented insurers in a wide range of coverage-related disputes. Prior to rejoining Connell Foley in 2018, Michael practiced for three years at a mid-size full-service law firm in Manhattan, where he gained extensive experience practicing in federal and state court, including the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court.
Michael has been selected for inclusion as a “Rising Star” in New York Super Lawyers in 2017. An active member in his community, Michael is an Executive Board Member of the Board of Associates of the Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children and a member of the Seton Hall University School of Law Alumni Council. Prior to attending law school, Michael was a Teach for America corps member and taught elementary school in Newark, New Jersey for three years.
Successfully negotiated the buyout of a minority-member’s interest in a limited liability company which owned and operated one of the highest-rated bars on Yelp in New York City.
- Defended a Denver-based asset management firm in a complex trademark infringement litigation in federal court in Delaware. In contrast to the usual claim of consumer confusion, plaintiff claimed that the defendant’s use of a name containing the same distinctive element as the plaintiff’s name caused confusion among the major broker-dealer financial institutions through which both parties traded securities. Shortly before trial commenced, the parties reached a settlement on a mutually satisfactory basis.
- Successfully defended a renowned non-profit organization in two simultaneous New York state court actions where multiple real estate developers were attempting to claim a right and cloud title on a $30 million Manhattan building that the non-profit owned and was attempting to sell in order fund its program service objectives. After achieving favorable results in multiple dispositive motions in both actions, the non-profit organization was able to sell the building and further fund its organization.
- On behalf of a general contractor, successfully defeated a subcontractor’s claims for monies owed on summary judgment.
- Represented a commercial real estate developer seeking delay damages against a subcontractor and its surety. After successfully defeating multiple summary judgment motions, the parties reached a settlement on a mutually satisfactory basis shortly before trial commenced in the Commercial Division of the New York Supreme Court.
- Represented numerous companies and insurers in premise liability cases in New York and New Jersey state and federal courts.
- Represented multiple insurers in numerous lawsuits arising from Superstorm Sandy in New York and New Jersey state courts.
Professional and Community Affiliations
- Member, United States Track and Field Task Force on Diversity, Engagement and Inclusion
- Executive Committee, The Scholarship Fund for Inner-City Children, Board of Associates (2016 – Present)
- Co-Chairman, Seton Hall University School of Law, Graduates of the Law Decade (“GOLD”) (2016-2018)
- Member, Seton Hall University School of Law Alumni Council, Member (2016 – Present)
- Member, Essex County Bar Association (2018 – Present)
News & Insights
- The Best Lawyers in America©, 08.20.2020
Best Lawyers in America Ones to Watch (2021)
New York Metro Super Lawyers – Rising Stars (2017, 2018, 2020)
Teach for America Corp Member (2008-2010)
Seton Hall University School of Law
- Member, Interscholastic Moot Court Board
- Member, Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Board
- Cross Country/Track and Field Team; Member (2004-2008), Captain (2007-2008)
- NCAA Post-graduate Scholarship Recipient, first in Marist College history (2008)
- Male Sportsperson of the Year at Marist College (2008)
- Third-team ESPN the Magazine Academic All-American (2008)
- Hon. Donald J. Volkert, Jr., A.J.S.C. (retired), Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division – Civil Part
Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 2013)
Marist College (B.A., summa cum laude, Journalism, 2008)
- New Jersey
- New York
- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
- 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