John L. Slimm
Areas of Practice
John 'Jack' Slimm concentrates his practice in complex litigation, with an emphasis on the defense of professionals including attorneys, accountants, architects and engineers, directors and officers, and investment and insurance professionals. As well, Jack represents product manufacturers in product liability and toxic tort actions. Jack has significant experience in the argument of appeals in the New Jersey Supreme Court, the New Jersey Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
In addition to his law practice, Jack has served as a lecturer for the American Bar Association, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey Law Journal, and the Camden County Bar Association on professional liability matters. He has also provided seminars for insurance carriers regarding the defense of professional liability and product liability cases.
Jack is admitted to the bars of the states of New Jersey and New York, and admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, and the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Jack is a member of the American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, New Jersey Defense Association, International Association of Defense Counsel and the American College of Trial Lawyers.
He has an AV® Preeminent™ rating in Martindale-Hubbell. Since 2005, he has been named to New Jersey Super Lawyers, and from 2010 to present, he has been recognized as a member of Best Lawyers in America.
In 1970 Jack graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School, after which he served as law secretary for the Honorable Thomas F. Dalton, J.S.C., Superior Court of New Jersey.
Lockette v. Brewington, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, Docket No: BUR-L-2285-99. This case involved a New York attorney who was sued in the state of New Jersey. Successfully tried and obtained defense verdict in complex legal malpractice action arising out of a Title 7 Employment Case.
Vogt v. Toll, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Burlington County, Docket No: L-1432-02, (Successful defense of appeal in App. Div. under Docket No: A-2192-02T5). In this Appellate Division decision argued by Mr. Slimm, the Appellate Division held that counterclaims for legal malpractice are mandatory and, if not filed, must be dismissed.
Camden Iron & Metal, Inc. v. Klehr Harrison, 384 N.J. Super. 172 (App. Div., certif. denied), 187 N.J. 83 (2006). This is a seminal case in New Jersey in which Mr. Slimm successfully appealed the decision of the trial court. The Appellate Division has now ruled that New Jersey courts do not have the authority to regulate attorney conduct in Pennsylvania simply because the attorneys are admitted in New Jersey and have offices in New Jersey. Also, the court ruled that forum non conveniens Motions for Disqualification must be filed in the jurisdiction where the underlying litigation is pending. The court also ruled that the Rules for Professional Conduct do not provide a basis for a legal malpractice action. The New Jersey Supreme Court denied plaintiff's petition for certification.
Broadway Family Practice v. Willitts, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Docket No: CAM-L4093-02. (Successful defense of appeal in App. Div. under Docket No: A-3700-04T1) (App. Div. 2005). In this Appellate Decision argued by Mr. Slimm, the court held that the Entire Controversy Doctrine does apply to bar legal malpractice if the attorney commits malpractice in the course of handling a case and the client becomes aware of the facts supporting the potential claim while the case is still pending. The malpractice action against the attorney must be joined with the underlying lawsuit, or it will be barred by the Entire Controversy Doctrine. The Entire Controversy Doctrine applied in that case because in April of 1997, when the underlying Chancery Division action was pending, the law was such in New Jersey that the attorney could have and should have been joined as a defendant pursuant to Mystic Isle Development Corp. v. Perskie & Nehmad, 142 N.J. 310 (1995), a case which Mr. Slimm successfully argued in the New Jersey Supreme Court.
Mystic Isle Development Corp. v. Perskie & Nehmad, 142 N.J. 310 (1995). Successful handling of appeal regarding Entire Controversy Doctrine in New Jersey Supreme Court. This is a seminal case on the Entire Controversy Doctrine as it applies to legal malpractice actions.
Trivedi v. Martin-Simmonds, A-3166-05T5 (App. Div., May 14, 2007). The Appellate Division affirmed an order for summary judgment obtained by Mr. Slimm in a legal malpractice action against Allstate's defense counsel, where there was an underlying excess verdict. Mr. Slimm successfully argued that the opinions of plaintiffs' experts were net opinions. The Appellate Division found that expert testimony is necessary in professional malpractice cases in order to establish both the applicable standard of care and whether damages were proximately caused by the alleged negligence of the attorney. This case is significant because in it the Appellate Division affirmed the order for summary judgment granted by the trial court in favor of the defense attorneys appointed by All State to defend their insured in the underlying litigation. Unfortunately, there was an excess verdict, which resulted in a legal malpractice action. Nevertheless, Mr. Slimm was successful and the Appellate Division ruled that plaintiffs' experts referenced no judicial or statutory authority establishing the existence of a standard of care for defense attorneys when the client's monetary exposure over the policy limits places the client in jeopardy of substantial excess verdict.
Torban v. Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, LLP, A-3660-05T3 (App. Div., June 27, 2007). Mr. Slimm obtained a dismissal at trial on behalf of the law firm in connection with duty of attorneys regarding post-mortem tax planning. The case was decided pursuant to the Estate of Craig Fitzgerald v. Linnus, A-6626-98T3 (App. Div. Jan. 22, 2001). This matter was affirmed on appeal. Mr. Slimm was successful in arguing that the attorneys had no duty to the testator's son for post-mortem tax planning. The Court found that the estate plan drafted by the attorneys would have been affected had the testators followed the attorney's instructions regarding retitling certain assets. This case holds that attorneys retained to counsel an executor during administration of an estate are under no duty to advise regarding post-mortem estate planning options.
Mellon Bank v. Kishbaugh, Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, Docket No: AM-385-99-T3. In this action, Mr. Slimm handled both at the trial and appellate level the successful defense of professional in connection with improper appraisal use for lending purposes, leading to a failed transaction.
Herring v. NMB & AT&T, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Middlesex County, MID-L-00973-95. This is a seminal case involving the liability of manufacturers of keyboards in New Jersey. This was the first test case tried in New Jersey. Mr. Slimm tried this case for six weeks resulting in a defense verdict for the computer keyboard industry.
Chemical Bank v. Mairone Biel, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Cape May County. Complex legal malpractice action. Directed verdict after two-month trial involving claims by developer against bank and bank counsel for lender liability and fraud.
Shuster v. Needle & Feldman, Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, (Appellate Division Docket No. A-006288-95.) Mr. Slimm handled the trial resulting in the Court granting the Motion to Dismiss barring all the evidence. Mr. Slimm also successfully defended the appeal. This case arises out of an attorney's handling of a complex commercial transaction and the issuance of lis pendens. Lynch v. New Jersey Education Association, 161 N.J. 152 (1999). In this action, Mr. Slimm represented the editor of the New Jersey Education Association. Senator Lynch filed an action for libel and slander against the Association, its editor, and other political figures arising out of comments made about him in his campaign for re-election. Mr. Slimm successfully argued this case in the Appellate Division and in the Supreme Court on behalf of the editor. This case is important in defamation cases as the rights, duties, and obligations of political figures are concerned. This case is cited in the comments to New Jersey Summary Judgment Rule, R.4:46-2. This case holds and encourages the Summary Judgment technique in defamation actions.) Lynch v. N.J.E.A., 161 N.J. 152 (1999).
Twp. of Gloucester v. Maryland Casualty, 702 F. Supp. 1126 (D. N.J. 1987). Mr. Slimm was lead counsel in this environmental coverage case. This is the first case in New Jersey to establish the doctrine of known risk. The case involved $100 million in damages to the township property.
Monsanto v. Lacy's Express, 5 F.3d 1490 (3d Cir. 1993). Mr. Slimm argued as lead counsel and was successful in obtaining a dismissal based upon New Jersey's entire controversy doctrine.
Meta v. Twp. of Cherry Hill, 152 N.J. Super. 228 (App. Div. 1977). Mr. Slimm handled this case at the trial and appellate levels. This is a seminal case on the immunity of municipalities in connection with injuries caused by the effect on the use of streets and highways of weather conditions.
Bell v. County of Camden, 47 N.J. Super. 139 (App. Div. 1977). Mr. Slimm handled this matter at the trial and appellate level. In this case, the Appellate Division dismissed the action based upon plaintiff's failure to comply with New Jersey Tort Claims notice requirements. A trial court, according to the Appellate Division, does not have discretion to act after an interval of one year has elapsed from the date the cause of action accrued.
Else v. O'Malley, A-4656-06T1 (App. Div., February 19, 2008). In this matter, Mr. Slimm obtained an order for summary judgment in a complex legal malpractice action arising out of an estate. The administrator was also an attorney who was appointed to administer the estate. There were delays in administration resulting in a de-valuation of property. However, Mr. Slimm was successful in arguing that the action was barred under New Jersey six-year Statute of Limitations because the plaintiff (son of the Testator) knew of these issues regarding the property and its transfer and failed to file suit within the time provided in the statute of limitations.
What Can Go Wrong At Trial?, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, April 2014
Where Has All the Privity Gone?, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, March 2013
Legal Malpractice, New Jersey Law Journal Continuing Legal Education Series, December 2012
Examining Non-Traditional Claims Against Lawyers, The Hartford, May 2012
Non-Traditional, Complex Professional Liability Claims, PLUS, April 2012
New Jersey's Litigation Privilege, How It Applies and Can Be Used In Defense of Attorneys in Actions Filed in Both State and Federal Courts in New Jersey, New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, April 2012
Civil Practice, Camden County Bar Association, November 2011
Legal Malpractice, Mercer County Bar Association, November 2011
False Arrest and Malicious Prosecution, CNA Insurance Company, October 2011
2010 Review of the New Jersey Environmental Law Seminar: Issues of Legal Malpractice and Ethics Arising Out of the Handling of Transactions in Which Environmental Issues are Involved, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, March 2010
Defense Perspective of Civil Practice Under the Rules of Court, Camden County Bar Association Civil Practice Committee, November 2009
Legal Malpractice Seminar, Burlington County Bar Association, November 2009
Civil Practice, Camden County Bar Association, February 2009
Lecturer, New Jersey State Bar Association, annual meeting, June 2004, June 2005
What Every Attorney Must Know About Professional Liability Insurance, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Education, August 30, 2004
Recent Developments Affecting the Liability of Attorneys in New Jersey, New Jersey State Bar Association Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, June 2004
17th Annual Review of New Jersey Environmental Law, Legal Malpractice in Environmental Cases, ICLE, January 2003
What Every Lawyers Needs to Know About Environmental Law, ICLE, September 1999
Legal Malpractice Seminar, Camden County Bar Association, Spring 1999
Products Liability Seminar, Chubb, Spring 1999
The Role of Mediation in Legal Malpractice, American Bar Association, National Legal Malpractice Conference, Asheville, North Carolina, Fall 1998
Mediation of Professional Liability Actions, CNA Pro, Fall 1997
Mediation of Professional Liability Actions, Zurich, Fall 1997
Proximate Cause in Professional Negligence Actions, ICLE, Spring 1996
What Every Lawyer Needs to Know About Environmental Law In New Jersey, ICLE, Summer 1995
Defense of Municipalities in Civil Rights Actions, DRI
"The Liability of Trial Counsel for Strategic and Tactical Judgments Made During Trial," New Jersey Law Journal Professional Malpractice Supplement (page 6), January 13, 2020
"How to Avoid Liability For Your Clients' Representations," New Jersey Law Journal, Professional Malpractice Supplement, January 9, 2019
"The Immunity of Attorneys for the Occasional Bad Result," New Jersey Law Journal, Professional Malpractice Supplement, January 15, 2018
"When Attorney Fees Can Be Awarded in Legal Mal Actions Brought by Non-Clients," New Jersey Law Journal, January 24, 2017
"Disgruntled Beneficiaries and Claims Against Estate Planning Attorneys," New Jersey Law Journal, January 18, 2016
“New Jersey's Litigation Privilege Does Not Bar a Claim By a Client for Legal Malpractice Against Defense Attorneys,” Defense Digest, Vol. 19, No. 1, March 2013
“The Litigation Privilege In Claims Against Attorneys,” New Jersey Law Journal, Vol. 203, No. 11, March 14, 2011
"New Jersey Holds Comparative Negligence Defense Unavailable in Broker Malpractice Actions," Defense Digest, Volume 7, No. 6, December, 2001
"Hashing Out the Broker -Dealers Duty of Disclosure," Pennsylvania Law Weekly, September 27, 2001
"Discharge of At-Will Employees in New Jersey," Defense Digest, Volume 7, No. 4, August 2001
"The Architect's Conditional Privilege to Interfere with the Construction Contract of its Principal," Defense Digest, Volume 7, No. 4, August 2001
"New Jersey Appellate Division Concludes that the Manifest Trigger Applies for Only First-Party Property Damage Coverage Involved," Defense Digest, Volume 6, No. 5, October 2000
"New Jersey Limits Accountants Liability in Securities Fraud Actions," Defense Digest, Vol. 6, No. 4, June 2000
"New Jersey Rejects Claims for Bad Faith Settlement of Asbestos-Related Personal Injury Claims," Defense Digest, Vol. 6, No. 4, June 2000
"Federal Court, Under Judicial Estoppel Theory, Rejects Plaintiff's Claims For Disability Under the ADA and NJLAD," Defense Digest, Vol. 6, No. 2, April 2000
"New Jersey Limits Accountant's Liability in Review Engagements," Defense Digest, Volume 6, No. 1, February 2000
"Proving the Empty Chair Defense In New Jersey Product Liability Actions," Defense Digest, Vol. 5, No. 2, 1999
"New Jersey Accounting Malpractice Update," Defense Digest, Vol. 5, No. 3, 1999
"New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Learned Intermediary Doctrine," Defense Digest, Oct. Vol. 5, No. 5, 1999
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