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Growing up working in a family-owned commercial marine business helped me develop skills that I call upon every day as a litigator. My background enables me to better understand how a dispute can affect my client’s business or their personal life. The perspective gained from working in a business environment also strengthened my ability to present my client’s position to adversaries and the court in familiar contexts that they can appreciate and understand.

Ms. Kortbawi is an experienced commercial litigator who represents plaintiffs and defendants in all forms of civil litigation at both the state and federal level. Her work encompasses all phases of civil litigation, from pre-suit investigation through discovery, trial, and the appellate process. Ms. Kortbawi frequently handles sensitive, unique, and high-exposure matters, including those related to complex construction disputes, consumer fraud claims, private equity fraud, personal injury actions, and product liability matters. Her clients include individuals, privately held companies, publicly traded corporations, and governmental entities.

Ms. Kortbawi’s experience also encompasses insurance defense matters, including those associated with motor vehicle liability, personal injury cases, professional liability, premises liability, environmental claims and general liability cases. She has extensive experience defending sexual assault claims. She has also obtained favorable settlements for her clients in mediation and arbitration, and has served as local New Jersey counsel in multi-jurisdictional litigation.

In addition, Ms. Kortbawi provides business counseling, risk management and corporate advisory services to clients. Prior to commencing her legal practice, she served as the chief operating officer of a family-owned wholesale marine supply company for over a decade.

Honors & Awards

  • Selected for inclusion by the New Jersey Law Journal on the 2020 list of "New Leaders of the Bar," the publication's annual listing of outstanding attorneys under the age of 40 and practicing in New Jersey
  • Listed in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch (a trademark of Woodward/White, Inc.) in the Commercial Litigation practice area (2021 - present)
  • Listed in Super Lawyers – New Jersey Rising Stars (a Thomson Reuters business) in the General Litigation practice area (2020 - present)

Please visit our Award 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.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully defended a motion to dismiss under the Affidavit of Merit Statute where the challenged claims were derivative third-party claims for contribution and indemnity
  • Obtained dismissal of a negligence claim after demonstrating that the defendant did not owe a duty of care to an injured subcontractor who was hired by the defendant’s general contractor
  • Successfully argued summary judgment motion resulting in the dismissal of all cross-claims for indemnity among settling and non-settling co-defendants in a wrongful death matter
  • Prevailed on an Order to Show Cause demonstrating that a provision of the Accountancy Act of 1997 was ambiguous, such that the client was not obligated to respond to a subpoena and disclose confidential client documents, absent a court order

Uniquely NJ

  • Middlesex County Bar Association Board of Trustees
  • Marine Trades Association of New Jersey, Past President and Former Director 
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More Activities & Experience

  • Ms. Kortbawi co-authored a 2019 amicus brief on behalf of the New Jersey State Bar Association. The brief, in considering whether an arbitration clause in an attorney-client retainer agreement was unenforceable because it violated New Jersey’s Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC), argued that the New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division improperly engaged in rulemaking, thereby usurping the New Jersey Supreme Court 's constitutional authority to regulate attorney conduct and promulgate rules. In December 2020, the Supreme Court clarified the requirements that attorneys must follow in order to include a valid arbitration clause in a retainer agreement, basing its holding on the Model RPC as well as the fiduciary duties that attorneys owe to their clients. 
  • New York State Office of the Attorney General, Antitrust Bureau Legal Intern (2013) 
  • Office of the General Counsel of JFK Health System Law Clerk (2012-2013)
  • Former judicial intern for Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, Supreme Court of New Jersey (2012)
  • While attending law school, Ms. Kortbawi was a member of the Rutgers Moot Court Board and the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

Publications & Alerts

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Departments

Education

Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, J.D. cum laude, 2013

New York University, B.S. cum laude, 2009

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 2013
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 2013
  • New York, 2014

Clerkships

  • Former law clerk to The Honorable Jane B. Cantor (Ret.) and The Honorable Vincent Le Blon, Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, Law Division (2013-2014)

Kersten Kortbawi Recognized by Best Lawyers Ones To Watch

Kersten Kortbawi
Rated by Super Lawyers


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Please visit our Award 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.