Nine from Starr Gern Recognized as Top Lawyers by Peers

April 2010

Starr, Gern, Davison & Rubin, P.C., congratulates seven of its partners for selection as 2010 Super Lawyers and salutes one of the firm’s associates for selection as a Rising Star. Ira M. StarrAmos Gern, Ronald L. DavisonJonathan J. LernerNicholas StevensJeffrey A. Rizika and John J. Ratkowitz were among fewer than 5% of New Jersey attorneys honored this year as Super Lawyers. Associate James A. Meszaros is among fewer than 3 percent of NJ attorneys named as Rising Stars, a distinction for lawyers either age 40 or younger or practicing less than 10 years. In addition, Mr. Starr and partner Edwin S. Rubin were also honored as AV-Preeminent by Lexis Martindale Hubbell .

Mr. Starr serves as special counsel to numerous banks and financial institutions involved in complex mortgage financing, industrial development, bonds, and asset-based lending, and as general counsel to various business and industrial corporations, both large and small. His early career began as an attorney in the IRS, and later, in the SEC. Since entering private practice over 40 years ago, he has been lead counsel for numerous corporate mergers, acquisitions, dispositions, and venture-capital transactions, as well as for varied complex developmental real-estate projects, ranging from office buildings and shopping centers to residential condos and low-to-moderate-income housing projects.

Mr. Gern is the leader of the firm’s six-member Complex Torts Department. He is designated by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney and by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Advocate. His specialties within the personal-injury field include medical malpractice, products liability, and construction and industrial accidents. Recognized by his peers as one of the state’s pre-eminent members of the trial attorneys’ bar, he is the Immediate Past President of the New Jersey Association for Justice (formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America – New Jersey.) Among his career highlights was a $17 million verdict he won several years ago for a malpractice victim, with an additional $3.5 million verdict for the victim’s wife. The verdict was then the largest ever won in the state in the field of malpractice. Beyond the numerous seven-figure verdicts and settlements he has achieved for his clients, Mr. Gern’s accomplishments also include significant contributions to the advancement of trial advocacy and the legal rights of accident victims and their families. Mr. Gern presently serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Civil Practice Committee and the Special Committee on Electronic Filing.

Mr. Davison has enjoyed a long and accomplished career in complex and commercial litigation, including intellectual property and estate litigation. He has successfully both prosecuted and defended a number of large cases –involving protracted litigation and trial–on behalf of corporate entities and individuals in such areas as major-contract breaches, trade-secret violations, wrongful terminations, and will contests. One of his career highlights was the successful defense of a major telecommunications provider against a large-scale claim of an allegedly breached stock-sale agreement.

Mr. Rubin practices in the areas of real estate, corporate law, estate administration and litigation, civil litigation and family law. He represents major corporate entities in all phases of corporate existence, including formation, asset based financing, industrial bond financing, public offerings, private placements/development and general business counseling. He serves as general and lead counsel to various banking institutions, preparing and guiding their loan transactions through completion. Mr. Rubin also represents major commercial land and property investors in all aspects and acquisition and financing of projects.

Mr. Lerner is a commercial litigator and mediator with substantial experience in corporate, employment and construction matters. He also serves as outside general counsel to various businesses, including a national environmental remediation and consulting firm, New Jersey’s leading provider of home remodeling products, and industrial trade magazines. He has mediated over 100 civil cases under court appointments and private retentions, including in the areas of shareholder disputes, legal malpractice, employment, real estate, franchises, sales commissions, medical billing, condominium and homeowner association disputes, property damage, construction, service contracts, fraud and consumer fraud, zoning, insurance coverage, equipment leases, sureties and products liability. He serves as a mediator mentor and lectures on advanced mediation topics.

Mr. Stevens practices in the firm’s Commercial Litigation Department. His specialities include employment law, internet law, and alternative dispute resolution. He is designated by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Qualified Mediator. Among his career highlights was the successful representation of a large bio-pharmaceutical company in an internet-law matter resulting in an appellate decision that was the first of its kind in the nation. Mr. Stevens is currently the President and Chair of the Board of the New Jersey Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

Mr. Rizika practices in the firm’s Complex Torts Department. He has utilized his knowledge and experience in the fields of automobile negligence and No Fault law to assist numerous victims recover their losses, as well as to advise various medical providers on insurance regulations and protocols. His contributions to the field have included involvement in various amicus briefs to the state’s Appellate Division and Supreme Court, educational lectures, and civil arbitrations for the Superior Court of New Jersey. Mr. Rizika is currently a member of the New Jersey Association for Justice’s Board of Governors and co-chairman of the association’s Automobile Reparations Committee.

Mr. Ratkowitz is the firm’s newest partner and is a trial lawyer specializing in complex litigation, with an emphasis on medical malpractice. He has lectured and published extensively in both of these areas. John is on the Board of Editors of Medical Malpractice Law and Strategy and the Medical Malpractice subcommittee of the New Jersey Bar Association. John has extensive trial experience and has obtained multiple multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that have received press coverage in local and national legal periodicals.

Mr. Meszaros is a member of the firm’s Complex Torts Department. His recent work for seriously injured victims in automobile and premises-liability cases mark him as an up-and-coming member of the trial bar. Four times he has had a successful jury verdict or settlement for an injured client selected for publication in the New Jersey Law Journal, New Jersey Lawyer or New Jersey Jury Verdict Review & Analysis. Before joining Starr, Gern, he defended an oil-and-energy company and three national department stores in numerous negligence matters.

This is the fifth consecutive year that Starr, Gern attorneys have been recognized as Super Lawyers. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers in New Jersey who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The distinction is awarded only after an independent, detailed statewide survey of lawyers, background evaluation of candidates, and peer evaluation. The polling, research, and selection are performed by Law & Politics, a publication of Key Professional Media, Inc. Starr, Gern’ Super Lawyers have been cited in the April 2010 edition of New Jersey Monthly and in New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine.

Mr. Starr has also been recognized by Best Lawyers, a prestigious, longstanding peer-review publication in the legal profession. The publication’ aim, for a quarter century, has been to help lawyers and clients find legal counsel in unfamiliar jurisdictions or unfamiliar specialties.

Best Lawyers compiles lists of outstanding attorneys by conducting peer-review surveys in which thousands of leading lawyers confidentially evaluate their professional peers. In the US, Best Lawyers publishes an annual referral guide, The Best Lawyers in America, which includes 36,126 attorneys in 78 specialties, covering all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The current, 16th edition of The Best Lawyers in America (2010), is based on more than 2.5 million detailed evaluations of lawyers their peers.

Please visit our Awards and Honors Methodology page for a description of the standard or methodology on which these accolades are based. Attorney Advertising: No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.