Good Legal Strategy or Politics and Billable Hours?

Lawyers run the country


Once again, another New Jersey Police Department is being sued by a former officer.

As per the article: “Twice, juries awarded the officer, MaryAnne Cosimano, damages reaching into the six figures.

Now, the township is asking a federal judge to either throw out the case or grant the municipality what Cosimano’s attorney in court filings has called “a third bite at the proverbial apple.”

Since two juries have already ruled in favor of the former officer, why does the Township of Union insist on spending more legal fees to defend a case which has already been decided by two sperate juries? Is this sound legal advice and strategy or is this all about billable hours for a politically connected law firm?

In the State of New Jersey, it is a common practice that municipalities hire law firms who are politically connected and make large campaign contributions. The firm representing Union Township in this matter is Apruzzese, McDermott, Mastro & Murphy a Liberty Corner Firm whose founder was also a New Jersey State Senator and one-time Senate President.

As per the firm’s web-site:

“Frank X. McDermott, became a powerful political force in the State, serving both in the General Assembly and Senate of the New Jersey State Legislature, ultimately becoming Senate President. Senator McDermott possessed that now rare ability to “reach across the aisle” to make progress through compromise.”


Since the firm has acknowledged that one of the founders was a political force and would later become Senate President did his political power have any influence on recruiting government clients and future clients? A simple search of New Jersey Election records shows that over the last several years the firm has donated $86, 380.00 to various candidates, parties and committees. Do these donations influence elected official’s decisions on which law firms they hire? We will be filing a public request to see just how much the firm has been paid to date by New Jersey Taxpayers.

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