Seth J. Lapidow
Seth Lapidow is a commercial litigator who represents both public companies and private organizations. He handles cases involving contract disputes, antitrust claims, securities fraud, partnership disputes, mergers and acquisitions, First Amendment and the media, advertising claims, and donor intent.
Areas of Focus
Having practiced as both in-house and outside counsel, Seth brings a unique perspective to his clients. As a former in-house litigator, he understands the difficulties of managing costs while making sure that the best outcome is achieved in the shortest period of time. Seth prides himself on finding the most efficient and expeditious way to achieve the best result. Nobody enjoys litigation, especially busy business people, and he and his team are dedicated to minimizing the impact of litigation on management’s time and attention while maximizing the result. When they are on the plaintiff’s side, that means getting the company the most money he can in the shortest time. When defending, our goal is to narrow the issues to the point where the battle is fought on the most advantageous ground possible—before trial. In short, our goal is to make sure that the client gets the best litigation outcome with the least distraction. Unlike most ‘big firm’ lawyers, he is as comfortable vindicating a client’s rights as a plaintiff as defending them when sued.
Over the past 25 years, Seth has worked extensively with entertainment and media companies making sure that litigation does not disrupt their ability to put content on the air. On the donor intent side, he has worked to ensure that large institutions do not forget to honor the promises made to donors and make them pay when they do.
With respect to Heartland Payment Systems, for which we are regular litigation counsel, Seth prosecuted a novel antitrust claim that insured payment processors access to the most popular POS systems in the restaurant industry, which substantially broadened HPS’ access to a critical market.
One of Seth’s notable cases—the landmark Robertson v. Princeton—is the subject of the book Abusing Donor Intent: The Robertson Family’s Epic Lawsuit Against Princeton University (Paragon House, 2014) authored by Doug White. “Robertson v. Princeton may be the most important case higher education has faced over the question of honoring the wishes of the donor.”—Wall Street Journal (book review)
- Defeated action by home owner alleging that the developer should have informed her that one of her neighbors was “volatile” and preserved the trial court dismissal at the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
- Secured enforcement of a Hong Kong order of child support in New York in a hotly contested domestic relations dispute and recovered counsel fee and prevailed on appeal to the Appellate Division, First Department and New York Court of Appeals.
- Obtained injunction for leading MMA promoter preventing start fighter, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, from defecting to and fighting for its largest competitor and prevailed on a subsequent motion to vacate the Chancery Court decision.
- Obtained injunction for Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. enforcing contractual restrictions preventing former sales person from soliciting HPS’ customers for a period of 60 months following a full evidentiary hearing in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
- Defeated injunctions attempting to stop the distribution of the MTV program, The Jersey Shore, and successfully defended Viacom against claims under NJ RICO and misappropriation of likeness related to that show.
- Obtained a $90 million settlement for the Robertson Family in its action against Princeton University over the use of the $900 million Robertson Foundation endowment.
- Recovered multi-million dollar damages and counsel fees from a televangelist for a national media placement firm.
- Prosecuted a Heartland Payments antitrust claim against the leading manufacturer of restaurant POS systems, obtained dismissal of numerous securities fraud actions, vindicated Heartland’s rights to Internet gateway software and litigated Lanham Act claims.
- Obtained dismissal of putative class actions brought against Heartland Payment Systems arising from the discontinuation of certain American Express Card processing programs.
- Tried a New Jersey whistleblower case to verdict, obtaining dismissal of all claims after six weeks of trial.
- Obtained dismissal of claims of defamation and interference with contractual relations brought against a prominent New York-based investment bank.
- Recovered the substantial deposit kept by a landowner and numerous other complex matters for a publically held, national home builder.