Robert Novack

Principal

  • Direct 212.235.6432
  • Fax 973.514.1660
Robert  Novack
Robert  Novack

“My clients’ legal needs are diverse and complex.  My approach is consistent and simple —  deliver practical and cost effective solutions.” 

For nearly four decades, Robert Novack, Chair of Bressler’s Commercial Litigation practice, has successfully helped clients to navigate the increasingly complex legal landscape, and the results speak for themselves. Clients and trade publications recognize the value of Bob’s approach and skill.  Bob has served an array of noteworthy institutions, businesses and organizations, including one of the nation’s largest insurers, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC),  one of the largest nutritional supplement companies in the world, financial institutions, and a professional sports league. Although this selection of clients represents vastly different industries and challenges, each organization has turned to Bob to represent them in key litigation matters.  His practical and veteran experience runs the gamut of complex insurance coverage, securities litigation and enforcement, commercial litigation, employment, professional negligence and shareholder/partnership disputes. 

Bob has been recognized by New Jersey Monthly as one of the state’s “Top Lawyers” in Business and Commercial Litigation.  New York magazine named Bob one of a short list of “New York Area’s Best Lawyers.”  Bob is also consistently selected to the Super Lawyers list in the areas of Business Litigation and Insurance Coverage, as well as selected to The Best Lawyers in America® list. 

Bob focuses on complex insurance coverage disputes and bad faith litigation, counseling and representing insurers on coverage issues, as well as complex litigation that involves directors and officers, securities, professional liability, media, fidelity, public entity and fiduciary claims.  Because Bob has handled the defense of matters in these substantive areas, he brings to bear a breadth of experience, perspective and judgment.  Outside of his insurance practice, Bob continues to represent clients across a wide range of complex, civil litigation matters. In a recent jury trial in New Jersey Federal District Court, Bob successfully represented a former CEO of a webhosting company in a breach of contract action.  Kerns v. Logicworks Systems Corp., Civ. No. 12-4146 (D.N.J.).

In the insurance arena, Bob successfully reduced the potential damages exposure in a Bernard Madoff related fidelity insurance coverage claim from $107 million to $5 million.  Jacobson Family Invs., Inc. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 955 N.Y.S.2d 338 (1st Dep't 2012).  Later, Bob was successful in having the entire action dismissed. Jacobson Family Invs., Inc. v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 12 N.Y.S.3d 41 (1st Dep’t 2015).  Bob also successfully represented an insurer in a multi-year tower insurance coverage action in New York, where the court held the insurer didn’t have to pay defense costs for individual and proposed class action suits brought by mortgage borrowers who claim QBE Holdings Inc. paid improper kickbacks to banks because the policy lacked a duty-to-defend provision and the insured had not established the claims were covered.  QBE Ams., Inc. v. ACE Am. Ins. Co., 997 N.Y.S.2d 670 (Sup. Ct., NY Cnty. 2014). Most recently, Bob successfully argued that alleged ambiguities in a policy should not be construed against the insurer where the insured is a sophisticated party, represented by a broker, and where the policy was actually negotiated by the parties.  Merrick Bank Corp. v. Chartis Specialty Ins. Co., Civ. No. 12-7315 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 20, 2015).

Bob is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Civil Trial Attorney.  He has tried cases before judges, juries and arbitration tribunals, as well as argued appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeals, New Jersey Supreme Court and New York trial and appellate courts.  He has extensive experience in mediation and alternative dispute resolution strategy.  Whatever the challenge, Bob brings the experience to navigate beyond the obstacle at hand and to resolve the problem both efficiently and effectively.  Whether before a trial court or arbitrator, on appeal, or through alternative dispute resolution, Bob is called again and again by clients who value his proven ability to effectively advocate their rights while minimizing their overall liability.

Prior to joining Bressler, Bob co-chaired the nationwide Litigation Department of Edwards Wildman, an international law firm.  Bob has served on the Lawyer’s Advisory Committee for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, and as an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers Law School.

  • Represented the insurer in fidelity bond claims arising out of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme.  Jacobson Family Invs., Inc. v. National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA, 102 A.D.3d 223, 955 N.Y.S.2d 338, (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep't, 2012)
  • Represented an international accounting firm in defense of investor suits arising out of the audits of feeder funds that invested with Bernard Madoff
  • Successful defense of a public company and its executive officers in securities fraud class actions in the Eastern District of New York, In re NBTY Inc. Securities Litigation, 2002
  • Successful defense of public company directors and officers in securities fraud derivative actions in the Eastern District of New York and in Delaware Chancery Court
  • Represented the FDIC as receiver in 11 consolidated securities fraud class actions in the District Court of New Jersey arising out of one of New Jersey's largest bank failures
  • Represented the FDIC in prosecuting professional negligence claims against attorneys, appraisers and accountants
  • Represented several of the largest banking institutions in the Northeast in creditor's rights litigation
  • Represented a national telecom company in terminated distributor/franchise litigation
  • Regularly represents public and private companies in employment litigation
  • Successful argument resulting in New Jersey Supreme Court liberalization of the standards of review governing summary judgment applications in the New Jersey State Courts, Brill v. Guardian Life Ins. Co. of Am., 142 N.J. 520, 540 (1995)
  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America, Commercial Litigation, 2003-2017
  • Super Lawyers, 2005-2017
  • New York Magazine's annual "New York Area's Best Lawyers"
  • Certified Civil Trial Attorney, New Jersey Supreme Court
  • Listed in New Jersey Monthly magazine for Business and Commercial Litigation
  • Selected as a “Top Rated Lawyer” in Commercial Litigation, ALM, 2012