Partner, Litigation Department
Member, Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group
Member, Construction Practice Group
Member, Employment Law Practice Group
Member, Health Care Practice Group
Mr. Pralgever concentrates his practice in several areas including corporate, partnership and medical practice dissolutions, and corporate and business disputes. He has handled a wide variety of complex commercial and corporate litigation in state and federal courts, as well as arbitrations. Mr. Pralgever also handles employment discrimination matters, wills and estate litigation (an area in which he has litigated extensively in New Jersey), divorce matters, and real estate and corporate lending disputes. He frequently appears in arbitration matters and in the past was appointed to the panel of arbitrators before the American Arbitration Association for commercial and construction matters. Mr. Pralgever has also long been involved in construction law and related areas, about which he has written and lectured extensively, representing owners, general contractors, and public institutions such as school boards.
Professional Activities / Honors
- Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent.
- Certified Mediator by the State of New Jersey.
- Selected in 2013 for inclusion on the list of New Jersey's Top Rated Lawyers in the areas of Alternative Dispute Resolution, Construction Law and Labor & Employment based upon his AV Preeminent rating in Martindale-Hubbell; published in Inside New Jersey as part of a special advertising supplement and distributed with the Star-Ledger and the New Jersey Law Journal. Also selected for inclusion in New York Area's Top Rated Lawyers, again based upon his AV Preeminent rating, published as part of a special advertising supplement in New York Magazine.
- Member of the Marie Garibaldi Inn of Court for Mediation and Alternate Dispute Resolution.
- Member of the Association for Corporate Growth.
- Past member of the Board of Governors of the American Trial Lawyers Association of America, New Jersey Division.
- Most notable among Mr. Pralgever's published opinions is Balsamides v. Perle, 160 N.J. 352 (1999), a New Jersey Supreme Court case in which Mr. Pralgever won a unanimous decision regarding the use of a "marketability discount" in the forced sale of a close corporation. This is the leading valuation case for partnership or corporate split ups in New Jersey, and it is recognized nationally, as well. Balsamides is also used as a valuation case in divorce proceedings in New Jersey.
- Conchita Smith v. Medpointe Healthcare, Inc., Medpointe Pharmaceuticals, Anthony H. Wyle, President and CEO LEXEE (2007 U.S. District Court 10471) (February 2007): In this federal case, Mr. Pralgever represented Medpointe against Conchita Smith who was terminated for missing eleven (11) months work in an eighteen (18) month period in violation of Medpointe’s Published Attendance Policy that no employee could be out for more than six (6) months in an eighteen (18) month period. Plaintiff alleged discrimination for age, disability, race discrimination, as well as claims under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”), the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (“COBRA”), breach of contract, and defamation. Medpointe won summary judgment at the Federal District Court which determined that Plaintiff failed to show any evidence of “retaliation”, or that the employer’s legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for termination was a “pretext for discrimination.” The case was affirmed by the Third Circuit by Chief Judge John Scirica at 338 Fed. Appx. 230; 2009 affid. LEXIS 15742 (July 2009).
- Palisadium Management Corp. v. Carlyle Towers Condominium, Inc., (Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County) On July 24, 2014, Mr. Pralgever won a major motion for summary judgment on behalf of Carlyle Towers, a large condominium association in Cliffside Park, NJ. The plaintiff claimed that approximately $2.5 million was owed to it pursuant to the terms of a 1989 Additional Recreational Facilities Agreement (ARFA) for fees in connection with the Carlyle Towers’ use of a health club, known as the Palisadium, which was created by the developer when he built Carlyle Towers, but was a separate entity. The developer had Carlyle Towers enter into a 75 year plus contract. On a motion for summary judgment, the Court (Hon. Rachael Harz, JSC) dismissed plaintiff’s claims in their entirety because she determined the 1989 ARFA was “unconscionable and illegal” pursuant to certain sections of the condominium statute, N.J.S.A. 46:8B-32. The Court also found that an illegal agreement is void ab initio regardless of the subsequent conduct of the parties. The Court further determined that “a course of conduct” was established by the parties in accordance with two unsigned ARFA amendments, which despite never being signed by the plaintiff, created a “course of conduct” by which the parties conducted business. As a consequence, the Court found that the plaintiff’s acceptance of certain payments without protest for in excess of 14 years resulted in a waiver and/or estoppel of the plaintiff’s claims premised on the unconscionable 1989 ARFA.
- GF Princeton v. The Herring Land Group. On March 20, 2012 the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey entered a favorable decision in an opinion reported at 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44886 (D.N.J. 2012). The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the favorable District Court decision on February 27, 2013 in an opinion reported at 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 4027 (3rd Cir. 2013). Mr. Pralgever represented GF Princeton and its principals who are real estate investors and owners in a case involving a sixty (60) year Ground Lease. The trial court denied all ground rent due during a five (5) year ground rent determination period from 2006 - 2011 to Herring, the ground lessor, totaling in excess of $1.3 million, in large measure, due to the ground lessor’s failure to abide by the contractual ground rent setting appraisal process. It was a complete victory for our client.
- In the case of Metem Corporation v. Stephen Chen, Mr. Pralgever litigated a three and a half month trial during the winter of 2003, in New Jersey Superior Court, Chancery Division, Morris County, which concerned the client's right to repurchase a 60% interest in a subsidiary/sister corporation. He was successful in winning the right to buy back the company, together with the technology sold by the parent to the subsidiary, despite the fact that the parent corporation's owners only controlled 40% of the subsidiary. He did so by using the New Jersey Oppressed Minority Shareholder Statute to demonstrate the oppression of the minority shareholders.
- Mr. Pralgever has litigated several other matters before the New Jersey Supreme Court, including Barry v. Arrow Pontiac, 193 N.J. Super. 613 (App. Div. 1984), aff'd., 100 N.J. 57 (1985), a consumer fraud case concerning false advertising practices by automobile dealers involving commercial speech; and Friedman v. Friedman, 113 N.J. 356 (1988), concerning conflicts of interest.
- An experienced litigator, Mr. Pralgever has also argued cases in the Third Circuit and United States District Court of New Jersey, including the case of A. Pflugh, Inc. v. Aspar Construction Company, 1988 U.S. Dist. Lexis 3538 (D.N.J. 1988), aff'd., 853 F.2d 918 (3d Cir. 1988), which concerned the necessity to secure a supersedeas bond in a construction litigation matter involving the United States government.
- Mr. Pralgever has also appeared before the Court of Appeals in New York, where he represented Turner Construction Company in a contract dispute over the New York Corporate Headquarters of Goldman Sachs, concerning confirmation of an arbitration award.
Publications / Articles / Presentations
- Speaker, “Construction Contract Workshop,” HalfMoon Education Inc., August 28, 2014.
- Presenter, “Fundamentals of Construction Contracts in New Jersey: Understanding the Issues,” Lorman Education Services, January 30, 2014.
- Presenter, "The Affordable Care Act and Your Company," Academy for Continuing Professional Education, September 17, 2013.
- Presenter, “Health Care Reform and Other Critical Issues That Can Cost You Millions,” Woodbridge Hilton, Iselin, NJ, March 12, 2013.
- Presenter, “Recordkeeping Is an Essential Art to Secure Damages," Fundamentals of Construction Contracts: Understanding the Issues in New Jersey, Lorman Education Services, January 30, 2013.
- Author, "Case Management Is an Overlooked Necessity," New Jersey Law Journal, January 8, 2013.
- Author, "Balsamides' Long Reach in Appraisals Of Close-Corporation Split-ups," New Jersey Law Journal, November 21, 2011.
- Conference Chair, "Zone Program Integrity Contractors: Medicare, Medicaid Fraud and Abuse," conferences for medical practices and hospital management.
- Conference Chair, "Five Mistake that Could Cost You Millions: Formation, Business Divorce and Shareholder Oppression for Business Owners," Wilshire Grand Hotel, West Orange, July 2011.
- Quoted, "Clawbacks eyed in mini-Madoff Philip Barry ponzi scam to recoup $25M from duped investors," New York Daily News, September 24, 2009.
- Quoted, "$40M B'klyn storefront Ponzi scam busted," New York Newsday, September 8, 2009.
- Presenter, "Forming, Maintaining or Breaking Shareholder and Partnership Relationships in a Recession," Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP Webinar, June 23, 2009.
- Author, "Time to Revisit the Saffer v. Willoughby Fee-Shifting Doctrine," New Jersey Law Journal, February 9, 2009.
- Author, "Preventing Trade Secret Exposure by Former Employees," New Jersey Law Journal, July 30, 2007.
- Author, "To Arbitrate or Litigate? One Lawyer's Surprising Answer," Building Profits, May/June 2007.
- Author, "E-Mails Are Not Always Admissible," Complex Litigation & E-Discovery, an annual magazine published by the New Jersey Law Journal, February 19, 2007.
- Co-Author, "Arbitrate? Better Litigate Instead: A Strategic and Economic Decision," In Re:, the magazine from New Jersey Lawyer, October 16, 2006.
- Author, "Choose and Use Experts Wisely," New Jersey Law Journal, July 31, 2006.
- Author, "Valuing Stock in Oppressed Shareholder Actions," New Jersey Law Journal, August 1, 2005.
- New Jersey, 1980
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 1980
- New York, 1986
- United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, 1986
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third and Fourth Circuits, 1986
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2012