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Charles W. Stotter

Charles W. Stotter

Of Counsel

Overview

Charles Stotter is a commercial litigator whose practice focuses on defending clients in matters involving insurance coverage, securities, and professional liability in federal and state courts and in enforcement proceedings before regulatory agencies.

Charles represents insurance carriers in coverage and bad faith actions and insured directors and officers in breach of fiduciary duty actions. He has also represented public companies and their directors and officers in securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation, often involving reporting, disclosure, and insider trading issues. He has litigated employment and breach of contract disputes, and prosecuted and defended trademark litigation matters. He has counseled clients in disputes over closely held corporations and business contracts, and advised clients on risk management and liability issues. In litigation, enforcement, and related proceedings, he has represented accountants and accounting firms, and defended attorneys against malpractice claims.

In complex insurance coverage actions, Charles has obtained favorable resolutions with his focused litigation and motion practice that exposed the opposing parties' weaknesses and sustained his clients' positions, including in defending a claim seeking fidelity insurance coverage arising out of the Bernard Madoff scheme and in defending claims seeking professional liability coverage for nationwide lawsuits by mortgage borrowers arising out of allegedly improper lender-placed insurance. He also obtained dismissal of claims seeking coverage under a general liability policy because the insured could not establish its claims were covered. In shareholder class actions, Charles obtained dismissal of federal securities fraud claims brought against a public company and its directors and officers. He secured dismissal of state law fiduciary duty claims brought against directors of a public company in shareholder derivative actions. Charles also obtained recovery for a putative minority shareholder in a closely held corporation.

As local counsel and co-counsel, Charles coordinated and conducted litigation in a $14 billion multidistrict securities fraud and accountant liability case. Through a defense verdict at trial and upholding that verdict on a subsequent appeal, Charles co-chaired the successful defense of a $7 million securities fraud and accountant liability claim. Without personal liability to his accounting firm clients, he defended and favorably settled a $40 million professional negligence claim arising from the failure of a securities broker-dealer.

As prior in-house counsel for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Charles managed and directed more than 40 investigations and the resulting litigation of claims against professionals affiliated with 20 failed banks. Notably, he achieved a 29 percent reduction in litigation costs through the use of in-house professionals.

He has often addressed industry groups on insurance coverage, securities, and professional liability matters. One of Charles' published works was cited by the New Jersey Supreme Court as an authority in an important opinion on attorney malpractice issues.

Charles also is involved in his community, serving for many years as an officer and on the board of a local community organization. He is active in bar association activities and currently serves as a vice-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Commercial and Business Litigation Committee and editor in chief of its website content.

Experience

  • Obtained partial summary judgment on key issues in the defense of an insurance coverage action in the New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division, arising out of underlying nationwide claims involving lender-placed insurance.
  • Defended on motions and appeal an international insurer in a fidelity bond coverage action in New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division, arising out of the insureds’ investment of funds with Bernard L. Madoff. Jacobson Family Invs., Inc. v. Nat'l Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh.
  • Defended and favorably settled executive liability insurance coverage actions in New Jersey state court.
  • Defended and favorably settled a kidnap and ransom insurance coverage action in the Southern District of New York.
  • Defended a public company and its executive officers in securities fraud class actions in the Eastern District of New York, and successfully defended the public company’s directors and officers in shareholder derivative actions in the Eastern District of New York and in the Delaware Court of Chancery. In re NBTY, Inc. Sec. Litig.

Recognition

  • Recognized in Super Lawyers (2005-2006)

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association
    • Section of Litigation
      • Vice-Chair and Website Editor in Chief, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee (2016-present)
        • Awarded Best Committee Website (2017-2018)
      • Editorial Board, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee Newsletter (2011-2016)
      • Editor and Editor in Chief, Commercial and Business Litigation Committee's Practice Points (formerly Case Commentaries) Subcommittee
      • Co-Chair, Accountant Liability Subcommittee, Professional Liability Litigation Committee (1997-2003)
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society

Speaking Engagements

  • ABA Section of Litigation's Fall Leadership Meeting (September 18, 2014).
  • "Bridge the Gap: Ethics, Skills & More," New York City Bar Association (December 11, 2011).

Credentials

Education
  • University at Buffalo School of Law (J.D., 1977)
  • State University of New York at Binghamton (B.A., with honors, 1974)
Bar Admissions
  • New York
  • New Jersey
Court Admissions
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
Clerkships
  • Hon. George C. Pratt, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York

Background

  • Principal, Bressler, Amery & Ross, P.C., Florham Park, NJ (2011-2018)
  • Partner, Edwards Wildman (2000-2011)

Disclaimer

The information on this website is presented as a service for our clients and Internet users and is not intended to be legal advice, nor should you consider it as such. Although we welcome your inquiries, please keep in mind that merely contacting us will not establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consequently, you should not convey any confidential information to us until a formal attorney-client relationship has been established. Please remember that electronic correspondence on the internet is not secure and that you should not include sensitive or confidential information in messages. With that in mind, we look forward to hearing from you.