Best's Insurance Professionals and Claims Resource

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Best's Recommended Insurance Attorneys
General Defense
325 Columbia Turnpike
Florham Park, New Jersey 07932Locate in Google Maps
Telephone: 973-514-1200
Fax: 973-514-1660
E-Mail: szekian@bressler.com
www.bressler.com
Practice Areas
About Us
Additional Locations
Client Information
Personnel
Additional Links
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Practice Areas
  • Bankruptcy
  • Business Law
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Creditors' Rights
  • E-Discovery
  • Employee Benefits
  • Environmental Law
  • Errors and Omissions
  • Family Law
  • Health
  • Managed Care Liability
  • Insurance Agents
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Insurance Law
  • Insurance Litigation
  • Labor and Employment
  • Land Use
  • Legal Malpractice
  • Life Insurance
  • Personal Injury
  • Professional Liability
  • Real Estate
  • Regulatory and Compliance
  • Reinsurance
  • Securities
  • Toxic Torts
  • Trusts
  • Workers' Compensation
  • Franchise Law
  • Taxation
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About Us
Bressler, Amery & Ross maintains a nationally recognized insurance law practice that has extensive experience in representing insurance carriers, reinsurers, HMOs and other managed care organizations, third-party administrators, state insurance guaranty funds, agents, brokers and registered representatives/financial advisers and insureds in a variety of matters. The scope of representation provided by Bressler's insurance law practice is comprehensive, covering a broad range of property-casualty, annuity, life, health and disability insurance issues as well as managed care law and reinsurance issues. Representation includes matters before trial courts (both state and federal practice), administrative courts, appellate courts and arbitral tribunals, including insurance premium litigation, defense of personal injury, wrongful death and civil rights actions, insurance coverage, re-insurance bad faith actions, directors and officer's liability and coverage disputes, professional negligence litigation and a broad spectrum of regulatory and enforcement issues. As a regular part of their practice, our attorneys provide opinions on coverage issues and regularly represent insurers in the defense and prosecution of declaratory judgment and contract actions involving premiums, coverage, and related issues.

Bressler's insurance law practice is also increasingly involved in nontraditional insurance issues emerging from the broad platform of financial service providers the firm represents. These providers work closely with attorneys in the firm's litigation, taxation, employment, securities and workers' compensation practice groups on a myriad of issues, including questions concerning employee benefits and executive compensation, registered representatives/financial advisers, registered products and ERISA welfare benefit plans (including insurance funding mechanisms for health and pension plans and plan designs), agent disputes and workers' compensation benefits and related issues, enabling the firm to offer a broad scope of legal services to the insurance industry. We advise clients on a variety of corporate, marketing, product development, and regulatory compliance matters and provide representation in regulatory enforcement, litigation, arbitration, and appraisal proceedings.
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Additional Locations
New York, New York
17 State Street
New York, New York 10004
Telephone: 212-425-9300
Fax: 212-425-9337
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
200 East Las Olas Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
Telephone: 954-499-7979
Fax: 954-499-7969
Birmingham, Alabama
2001 Park Place North
Birmingham, Alabama 35203
Telephone: 205-719-0400
Miami, Florida
200 South Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 2401
Miami, Florida 33131
Telephone: 305-501-5480
Fax: 305-501-5499
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Client Information
Representative Insurance Clients
AIGCNA Insurance Companies
Florida Peninsula Insurance CompanyHorizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
New Jersey Life and Health Insurance Guaranty AssociationPrudential Insurance Company of America
Underwriters at Lloyd's, LondonZurich North America
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Personnel Information
Firm Members
Cynthia J. Borrelli
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:cborrelli@bressler.com
Years of Experience:32
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1985
  • Pennsylvania, 1985
  • District of Columbia, 1994
  • New York, 1998
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
Member Cynthia Borrelli directs the firm’s Insurance Law practice group. Her practice also includes participation in the firm’s Labor and Employment practice group. Her insurance practice is dedicated primarily to matters affecting corporate regulatory and enforcement aspects of insurance law. The scope of her practice comprises a broad range of client engagements relating to property-casualty and life, annuity and health, managed care, disability insurance and reinsurance matters. She works closely with attorneys in the firm’s Taxation, Employment Law and Benefits, and Workers’ Compensation practice groups on issues relating to employee benefits and executive compensation, ERISA welfare benefit plans (including insurance funding mechanisms for health and pension plans and plan design), agent disputes, workers’ compensation benefits, and related issues. She also chairs the firm's Diversity Committee.

Ms. Borrelli has published and lectured on insurance-related topics frequently before national organizations. She is an active participant in National Association of Insurance Commissioners matters. She has served as Chair of the Public Regulation of Insurance Law Committee of the Tort and Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, and as a Vice-Chair of the Life Insurance Law Committee. Ms. Borrelli remains active in both Committees.

Ms. Borrelli has been recognized by New Jersey Monthly magazine, New Jersey Super Lawyers 2015 magazine and on SuperLawyers.com as one of New Jersey Super Lawyers 2015 for her work in insurance coverage.

Memberships:
  • American, New Jersey State and Pennsylvania Bar Associations
  • National Conference of Guaranty Funds
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel
  • Federation of Regulatory Counsel
Publications:
  • "What The Demise of Insurance Co-Ops Says About The ACA," Law360, New York, Jan. 22, 2016
  • "Affordable Care Act Compliance from the Employer's Perspective," New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, Apr. 15, 2016
  • "Variable Annuities and Variable Life Insurance Regulations," Chapter 8A- State Contract Issues, Practising Law Institute, Corporate and Securities Law Library, April 23, 2015
Education:
  • Lehigh University, B.A., 1982
  • Seton Hall University, J.D., 1985
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MaryJane Dobbs
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:mjdobbs@bressler.com
Years of Experience:28
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1989
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
MaryJane Dobbs received her JD from Rutgers School of Law-Newark in 1989. Ms. Dobbs is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Dayton, Ohio (1986). Ms. Dobbs has substantial experience in the family law field with a focus on custody and parenting time. She also devotes considerable time to counseling companies and privately owned businesses on a variety of employment related concerns including workplace policies and procedures and compliance. She handles all areas of complex commercial litigation in State and Federal Court including contract disputes, employment discrimination and wrongful termination matters. Ms. Dobbs has considerable expertise in representing transportation carriers in their personal injury cases, employment disputes and criminal actions.

Ms. Dobbs is an active member of the Defense Research Institute and serves as the Vice Chair of the Trucking Committee.
Memberships:
  • Defense Research Institute
Education:
  • University of Dayton, B.A. (magna cum laude), 1986
  • Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, J.D., 1989
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Diana C. Manning
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:dmanning@bressler.com
Years of Experience:24
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1993
  • New York, 1994
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second and Third Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Ms. Manning’s practice focuses on litigation and appellate advocacy. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney, she has experience with complex matters, including the defense of professionals against claims of negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. She appears in both state and federal courts¸ and regularly argues in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.

Ms. Manning writes and speaks on issues of current importance. She is a member of the New Jersey Law Journal's Smart Litigator editorial board. She is author of chapters for LexisNexis Practice Guides on Commercial and Personal Injury Litigation, and has also provided expert commentary for LexisNexis on civil procedure and insurance issues. New Jersey’s Institute of Continuing Legal Education and the New Jersey State Bar Association have asked her to present at recent seminars.

The New Jersey Supreme Court has appointed Ms. Manning to the District XA Ethics Committee. She is a past President of the Morris County Bar Association and Trial Attorneys of New Jersey.
Memberships:
  • American, New Jersey State and Morris County Bar Associations
  • Claims and Litigation Management Alliance
  • Trial Attorneys of New Jersey
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • Defense Research Institute
Education:
  • Rutgers College, B.A., 1990
  • Rutgers University School of Law, J.D., 1993
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Robert Novack
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:rnovack@bressler.com
Years of Experience:39
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1978
  • New York, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second and Third Circuits
Mr. Novack has over 30 years of complex litigation experience. He has tried cases before juries and judges in state and federal courts and arbitration tribunals, and has argued before the U.S. Courts of Appeals, the New Jersey Supreme Court, and the Appellate Courts of various states. He regularly represents insurers in complex coverage disputes and litigation. He also specializes in securities class action and derivative litigations, corporate governance disputes, complex business disputes, including director & officer liability, professional negligence litigation, probate litigation, shareholder and partnership disputes, intellectual property, and employment litigation.
Memberships:
  • Federal and New Jersey State Bar Associations
Certifications:
  • Certified Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey
Education:
  • Rutgers University, B.A., 1975
  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D. (cum laude), 1978
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Alex J. Sabo
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:asabo@bressler.com
Years of Experience:39
Admitted
  • Florida, 1978
  • U.S. District Court, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Mr. Sabo’s litigation practice includes the representation of financial services firms and insurers. He has substantial courtroom experience, having tried civil and criminal cases and argued appeals in State and Federal court.

Mr. Sabo’s representation of the financial services industry includes regulatory investigations and enforcement actions arbitrations, and civil litigation, including State and Federal trials and appeals, as well as class actions.

Mr. Sabo’s representation of insurers involves complex and significant issues, including class actions. His cases have included a myriad of issues such as products liability, property damage coverage, regulatory compliance, and sales of unregistered securities.

Alex Sabo has substantial experience handling employment law cases. His experience includes defending national collective actions based on overtime claims, representing clients responding to charges of discrimination filed with the EEOC and in state and federal for alleged gender and discrimination, sexual harassment, age discrimination and retaliation.

He is a former Assistant Public Defender (1979-82); Staff Attorney and Chief, Branch of Investigations and Enforcement, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (1982-84); and Corporate Counsel, Raymond James Financial, Inc. (1984-89).
Memberships:
  • Florida Securities Dealers Association
  • Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association
Education:
  • University of South Florida, B.A., 1975
  • University of Dayton School of Law, J.D. (cum laude), 1978
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Susan Stryker
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:sstryker@bressler.com
Years of Experience:32
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1985
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Ms. Stryker is a Principal in the firm’s Insurance Law and Litigation practice groups. She has advised clients and handled contested issues in insurance-related matters for most of her career, including insurance and reinsurance transactions, mergers, acquisitions and other holding company transactions, contractual disputes, enforcement proceedings, filings, rate hearings, and appeals of administrative actions. Her practice focuses on regulation and compliance for insurers, brokers, and trade associations in the property/casualty and life and health areas. She has appeared in court regularly on behalf of clients in many significant and precedential cases impacting the regulated community.

Ms. Stryker is a member of the Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals and the Federation of Regulatory Counsel and is an active participant in the National Association of Insurance Commissioners activities. She has addressed several conferences on current insurance issues and has published numerous articles on issues impacting the regulated insurance community.
Memberships:
  • American and New Jersey State Bar Associations
  • Association of Insurance Compliance Professionals
  • Federation of Regulatory Counsel
Education:
  • Rutgers College, B.A., 1982
  • Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., 1985
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Mark M. Tallmadge
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:mtallmadge@bressler.com
Years of Experience:35
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1982
  • Illinois
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second and Third Circuits
A member of the firm since 1990, Mr. Tallmadge’s practice is concentrated in trial and appellate litigation involving insurance coverage, professional negligence, and bad faith issues. A noted authority in the area of insurance coverage litigation, Mr. Tallmadge focuses his practice in this area on environmental claims and representation of insurance guaranty associations where insurer insolvency is alleged. His professional negligence litigation practice focuses on the defense of legal malpractice claims. Mr. Tallmadge has been a featured speaker at the National Conference of Insurance Guaranty Funds and at the New Jersey State Bar Association on coverage and insurance solvency issues. He has also spoken before the Professional Liability Underwriting Society on legal malpractice issues.
Memberships:
  • American, New Jersey State and Morris County Bar Associations
  • National Conference of Insurance Guaranty Funds
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society
  • Defense Research Institute
  • New Jersey Defense Association
Education:
  • University of Notre Dame, B.B.A., 1979
  • University of Notre Dame, J.D., 1982
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Samuel J. Thomas
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:sthomas@bressler.com
Years of Experience:25
Admitted
  • Pennsylvania, 1992
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, Northern and Southern Districts of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Michigan
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western Districts of Arkansas
  • U.S. Supreme Court
Mr. Thomas is a principal in the firm’s Commercial Litigation and Insurance Litigation Departments, and a member of its Executive Committee. He chairs the Insurance Premium Collection and Litigation Group, and the Workers’ Compensation Practice Group. With a broad scope of experience representing the insurance and claims industries, Mr. Thomas has expertise in all aspects of commercial insurance products from premiums to claims.

The Insurance Premium Collection and Litigation Group has been representing insurers and claim administrators in collection matters since 1997. The Group handles a wide range of collection and litigation matters involving everything from large loss-sensitive insurance programs with debt ranging from $100,000 to $20M, to guaranteed cost policies with debt between $5,000 to $250,000. Mr. Thomas and his team have extensive experience and expertise with commercial insurance products and recurring issues raised by policyholders. These include virtually every aspect of retrospective premium formulas and calculations, large deductible formulas and calculations, guaranteed cost policies, premium audits, premium credits, dividends, allegations of claims mismanagement, experience modification factors and the impact on such factors from claims mismanagement, premium financing arrangements, broker and agency relationships, and reinsurance. The Group’s ability to handle any variety of insurance litigation is strengthened by the firm’s Insurance Regulatory Practice Group headed by Cynthia Borrelli.

Mr. Thomas has also practiced workers’ compensation law on behalf of employers since 1992. While he has long-standing relationships with workers’ compensation insurance carriers and third party administrators, he focuses his practice on the representation of large self-insured employers and those with substantial risk retention. This allows Mr. Thomas to develop a thorough understanding of his clients’ businesses, personnel and operations – an understanding which we believe to be critical to effective defense work. The expertise from his two decades in the workers’ compensation arena also makes him uniquely qualified to handle insurance matters involving allegations of claims mismanagement.
Memberships:
  • American and New Jersey State Bar Associations
Education:
  • Clark University, B.A., 1989
  • Rutgers University School of Law-Camden, J.D., 1992
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Kenneth J. Cesta
Florham Park, NJ
E-Mail:kcesta@bressler.com
Years of Experience:31
Admitted
  • New Jersey, 1986
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third and Fourth Circuits
Ken Cesta is a Member of the Firm's Commercial Litigation, Insurance Litigation, Labor and Employment Law and Professional Liability practice groups. He is an experienced litigator who has successfully handled a wide-range of matters including employment claims, securities class action defense, business torts, insurance coverage and professional liability. Ken has been awarded an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® - its highest rating.

Ken regularly represents employers and public entities in actions alleging all forms of employment discrimination and retaliation, violations of whistleblower statutes, hostile work environment and wrongful discharge claims, wage and hour law violations, and breach of restrictive covenant/misappropriation of trade secret cases. He has worked as part of a national employment litigation team representing two major financial institutions in defending employment-related claims in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and several other states. Ken also represents clients involved in contract disputes, business torts, and claims under the UCC. He successfully defended a regulatory agency of the U.S. Government in 11 consolidated federal securities fraud class actions arising out of the government takeover of one of the largest publicly traded banks in New Jersey.

In the legal ethics area, Ken has had the honor of being appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey on six separate occasions to serve as a Special Ethics Master in complex disciplinary actions brought by the N.J. Office of Attorney Ethics. He served a four-year term on the District VB Ethics Committee, where he was Vice Chair and Chair of the Committee in his final 2 years of service. Ken has presented seminars on a variety of topics including Managing Electronic Discovery Costs During Litigation; Cloud Computing And The Implications For E-Discovery; The Use of Electronic Evidence at Trial; and Loss Causation and Damages in Securities Fraud Actions. He has extensive experience developing electronic document review protocols and document preservation programs for his clients, and has served on Electronic Discovery Committees at his prior and current firms.

Prior to joining Bressler, Ken was a Partner with Hoagland Longo, Chair of the Commercial Litigation Department. Previously, he was a litigation partner in the New Jersey office of an Am-Law 100 law firm, where he served on the firm’s national Professional Responsibility Committee. From 2004 to 2012, he served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Oratory Prep School, a private high school in Summit, NJ, where he also served on the Board’s Executive Committee and as Chair of the Legal Committee.
Memberships:
  • Federal and New Jersey State Bar Associations
Education:
  • Muhlenberg College, A.B., 1983
  • Quinnipiac University School of Law, J.D., 1986
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