Thomas J. Cotton is a commercial litigator. He practices exclusively in the realm of human conflict, representing businesses and individuals in high-stakes litigations. Whether the anticipated lawsuit is expedited or protracted, whether the dispute is plagued with personal grudges or “strictly business,” Tom works nonstop with his clients to satisfy their goals. Tom represents clients in industries that include construction, real estate, marketing, insurance and entertainment. He guides those clients through every imaginable dispute, including non-compete/non-solicitation injunctions, class actions, government enforcement, fraud claims, whistleblower allegations, malpractice lawsuits and bankruptcy. Tom advocates in state and federal courts at every level in New Jersey and New York, from trial level to intermediate appeals to the New Jersey Supreme Court, and serves as national counsel for clients wherever else they might litigate.
Tom is a recognized authority on cutting-edge litigation techniques within state-of-the-art industries. He authors articles and leads conferences on utilizing cost-efficient methods to effectively litigate commercial disputes. Tom regularly puts his skill set at the service of his clients, dedicating himself absolutely to each stage of every representation: from preliminary investigation and discovery, to final judgment and appeal. He takes immense pride in providing his 21st century clients with 21st century legal services.
New Jersey Monthly first selected Tom as a “Rising Star” in business litigation in 2016—after just one calendar year of practice. Few attorneys are ever selected for this prestigious award, and almost none as early in their careers as Tom. He has been selected as a “Rising Star” every year since.
- Listed among the "Ones to Watch" by The Best Lawyers in America® in Professional Malpractice Law (2021)
- Selected to the 2016 through 2020 New Jersey Rising Stars® * lists, featured in New Jersey Monthly magazine, in the field of Business Litigation
- Author, "Asking Why: Taking Expert Depositions with the Goal of Striking Expert Evidence"
- Presenter, "Filing, Preparing and Litigating the Order to Show Cause," County Bar Association: Bench-Bar Conference, June 14, 2019
- Author, “Both Sides’ Playbooks: Knowing Offense Is Important When Defending Whistleblower Suits in the Construction Industry,” New Jersey State Bar Association Construction Law Section Newsletter, December 2018
- Author, "Wave or Ripple? Assessing the Impact of ‘Brugaletta v. Garcia’," New Jersey Law Journal, Sep 17, 2018
- Author, "Using Modern Techniques for an Age-Old Battle: The Scope of E-Discovery," New Jersey Law Journal, April 5, 2018
- Presenter, “Electronic Discovery: In the Construction Industry and Beyond,” New Jersey State Bar Association: Construction Law Section, October 11, 2017
- Earned dismissal for insurance agency, at lawsuit’s earliest stages, in litigation brought by healthcare provider involving complex re-pricing for medical bills
- Won significant victory at New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of international real-estate and property-management firms, which dismissed invasion-of-privacy claims brought by dozens of plaintiffs in connection with a janitorial contractor’s use of surreptitious surveillance cameras
- Defeated putative class action brought under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act via summary-judgment motion, after winning an application at the case’s earliest stage to prevent plaintiff from taking class discovery
- Won $11,000,000 summary-judgment award on behalf of a solar company by proving a competitor’s trade-secret theft
- Defended insurance agency accused of failing to maintain coverage for a go-go bar in connection with loss arising from a patron-on-patron knife fight
- Pursued claims on behalf of electrical subcontractor against hiring contractor for work performed in a complex public project
- Prosecuted adversary proceeding on behalf of health-and-wellness company within a former partner’s personal bankruptcy
- Negotiated favorable settlement on behalf of individual guarantors to a California company’s equipment leases, which had been subject of default judgment in New Jersey state court several years prior
- During the course of mediation, negotiated with-prejudice dismissal in New Jersey state court on behalf of a property-management company accused of negligently winterizing a property
- Secured settlement on behalf of founder and minority shareholders in a craft brewery within litigation against majority shareholder
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of the purchaser of large land tract to rescind tenant and first-refusal rights claimed by holdover hunting club, and successfully defended against hunting club’s efforts to appeal from that judgment
- Succeeded in quashing multiple subpoenas served upon owner of small business, arising from various litigations between business’s former employee and the former employee’s spouse
- Resolved, through multiple rounds of mediation, complex claims against insurance agency that was alleged to have fraudulently procured unnecessary insurance policies for a construction firm
- Litigated, to settlement, fraud claims by limited partners in multiple, elaborate New York City real-estate holdings against general partners
- Defended medical-transport company against claims that it negligently injured a wheelchair-bound client during transit