“Exceptional Circumstances” lead to Grandparents gaining sole custody of child

Posted on January 11th, 2017

Robert H. Siegel, Esq., recently won a major victory in the Monmouth County Superior Court, Family Division, where the trial court awarded Ansell Grimm & Aaron PC clients – the paternal grandparents of a ten-year-old – sole legal custody of a minor child after a two-day trial that commenced in late August 2016.

The child’s biological mother, residing in New York State, petitioned the court for custody of the child immediately after the child’s biological father transferred custody to the paternal grandparents. The lengthy trial tested the parameters of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s decisions in Watkins v. Nelson, 163 N.J. 235 (2000) and V.C. v. M.J.B., 163 N.J. 200 (2000), as well as the New Jersey Appellate Division’s decision in Zack v. Fiebert, 235 N.J. Super. 424 (App. Div. 1989). The trial court explicitly referenced each of those precedential decisions in its oral ruling, which was placed on the record on January 9, 2017.

The trial court held that the paternal grandparents had met their burden of demonstrating the requisite “exceptional circumstances” to show that they had “stepped into the shoes” of the child’s parents, and were thus “in parity with the natural parent.” Having met each prong of the psychological parent standard, the trial court weighed the best interests of the child, and found that the paternal grandparents should continue to raise the child in New Jersey until she reaches the age of majority.

The ultimate impact of this case may be felt by its potential to encourage more far-reaching requests in grandparent custody cases, as the majority of grandparent-related family court decisions have been restricted to providing grandparents with limited parenting time rather than custody.

For questions concerning family law matters, including custody, support, and enforcement issues, please contact Robert H. Siegel, Esq. by email at rhs@ansellgrimm.com or by phone at (732) 922-1000.


Bauchner representing Morristown businessman in effort to enforce easement

Posted on January 9th, 2017

Ansell Grimm & Aaron partner Joshua S. Bauchner is representing Morristown business owner James Cavanaugh in his dispute with the town’s Parking Authority over the use of an easement behind his South Street buildings.

Cavanaugh is asserting the historic right to continued and appropriate use of the right of way as the means of loading and unloading for businesses on South Street. Thus far, attempts to have the Parking Authority institute proper controls on the use of the right of way by the neighboring residential building have been unsuccessful.

Problems arose when the Parking Authority granted easement rights to new residential and commercial establishments resulting in overburdening which effectively precluded Cavanaugh’s use.  In the face of indifference on the part of the Parking Authority, the entity tasked with ensuring fair and equitable use of the easement, Cavanaugh was left with no choice but to litigate.

The dispute recently was featured in the Morristown Daily Record, available here:


Ansell Grimm & Aaron attorneys regularly represent clients in enforcing their property rights against public and private incursion.   For additional information, please contact Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq. (jb@ansellgrimm.com) or Anthony D’Artiglio, Esq. (ajd@ansellgrimm.com) at (973) 247-9000.

CAI offering cyber security seminars

Posted on January 5th, 2017

Stacey Patterson, Esq. will be speaking on the topic of cyber security and its effects on the management and operation of community associations at Community Associations Institute seminars this month in Newburgh, N.Y. on January 25 and in White Plains, N.Y. on January 26.  Please visit the CAI website  for more details and to find out how you can register to learn more about this important topic.

Inside Edition picks up story on Pacelli’s suit against divorce attorney

Posted on December 5th, 2016

Ansell Grimm & Aaron P.C. partner Josh Bauchner’s clients Atesa and Anthony Pacelli are back in the news, as the story of their lawsuit against Manhattan divorce lawyer Peter Cedeno was recently featured on Inside Edition. The Pacelli’s have filed suit against Cedeno, alleging malpractice and sexual assault because of his conduct when Atesa Pacelli had retained him to represent her when the couple was considering separating.

Jen Krimko named to PolitickerNJ Power List

Posted on November 21st, 2016

AGA partner Jennifer Krimko has been named to the 2016 PolitickerNJ Power List, which is Politicker’s compilation of the top 100 most politically influential people in New Jersey. Ms. Krimko is a founding Director of Building a Better New Jersey Together, Inc. (BBNJT) a not-for-profit organization which seeks to end political divisiveness in Trenton and unite New Jerseyans around shared goals while opening opportunities for state residents to enjoy a more prosperous future. Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno serves as BBNJT’s Honorary Chair. See the full list at: http://observer.com/2016/11/politickernjs-full-2016-power-list/.

Posted in News

AGA’s Jay Feldman to Share Civil Procedure Expertise

Posted on November 9th, 2016

Jay Feldman, an attorney at Ansell Grimm & Aaron P.C., will be a featured speaker at the National Business Institute’s November 17 seminar on Applying the Rules of Civil Procedure in New Jersey at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 160 Frontage Road, Newark, NJ. Mr. Feldman will be speaking on the subjects of “Commencing an Action” and “Using Motions to Enhance Your Case”.

To register for the seminar please visit the NBI website at: Applying the Rules of Civil Procedure in New Jersey. Attendance at the seminar satisfies state-mandated continuing legal education requirements for New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. The seminar runs from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a 1 hour lunch break at 11:45 a.m. A recording of the seminar with a coursebook, or on-demand audio also is available for purchase.

AGA Secures Pre-Discovery Summary Dismissal of Consumer Class Action Litigation

Posted on November 7th, 2016

ANSELL, GRIMM & AARON attorney Anthony J. D’Artiglio, Esq. obtained dismissal of a putative class action upon the Middlesex County Court’s granting of a pre-discovery motion for summary judgment. The case, Walker v. DeFalco Heavy Duty Towing and Recovery, LLC, Docket MID-L-2145-16, concerned claims under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act that our client, DeFalco, charged towing rates higher than permitted by municipal ordinance.

The Court resoundingly rejected plaintiff’s dream of a monetary windfall predicated on significant statutory damages finding that he had no standing to sue in the first instance. Specifically, the Court held that because plaintiff’s insurance company – and not plaintiff – paid the towing charges and received the refund for overpayment plaintiff did not suffer an ascertainable loss which would give him standing to sue under the Consumer Fraud Act, the Predatory Towing Prevention Act incorporated therein, or the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act. By obtaining a pre-discovery dismissal, ANSELL, GRIMM & AARON saved DeFalco’s significant time and expense defending plaintiff’s challenge to his own insurance company’s reasonable and expedient resolution of the matter.

ANSELL, GRIMM & AARON attorneys regularly engage in class action defense arising from frivolous claims and seek to obtain a similarly quick and cost-effective result for our clients. Of course, some matters do have merit, in which case our attorneys work to narrow the claims toward minimizing damages and obtaining a favorable settlement.

For additional information on ANSELL, GRIMM & AARON’s class action defense practice, please contact Joshua S. Bauchner, Esq. (jb@ansellgrimm.com) or Anthony D’Artiglio, Esq. (ajd@ansellgrimm.com) at (973) 247-9000.


Attorney Andrea B. White joins Ansell Grimm & Aaron

Posted on November 3rd, 2016

Andrea WhiteAndrea B. White, Esq., has joined Ansell, Grimm & Aaron, PC’s Matrimonial and Family Law Department as a partner in the firm.

“I’ve known Andrea for more than 20 years and we were very happy when she agreed to join us,” Michael V. Benedetto, managing partner of the firm said. “Her decision to join AGA is exciting on many levels.  Aside from her reputation in the family law field, Andrea was a law clerk at AGA at the start of her legal career.  At that time, Larry Shapiro and I were the other two law clerks.  Larry is now the Co-Chair of our Litigation Department, so this is a bit of a reunion for us, as well as many others that have been at AGA since that time.”

“I was thrilled at the opportunity to join the firm because I think my approach to matrimonial and family law and the philosophy of the firm are a perfect match” Ms. White said. “We have the same commitment to strong advocacy when necessary and amicable settlement when possible.”

Ms. White and the firm’s Matrimonial and Family Law attorneys are prepared to handle your matter through skillful negotiation or mediation, effective drafting of Matrimonial Settlement Agreements, or vigorous pursuit of your interest in a courtroom setting, if an amicable resolution is not possible.

In its more than 85 years AGA, has grown to represent clients throughout the tristate area via offices in Ocean, NJ, Woodland Park, NJ, White Plains, NY, Princeton, NJ and Newtown, Pa. AGA attorneys are dedicated to providing excellent legal representation by providing zealous advocacy and skilled legal advice to our diverse clientele. AGA attorneys all practice with a common philosophy, Commitment to Excellence and Commitment to People.

For more information on AGA’s Matrimonial and Family Law practice, please contact Allison Ansell Ryan, at 732. 643.5217, or via email at aar@ansellgrimm.com, or Ms. White at 732.643.5257, or via email abw@ansellgrimm.com.


AGA representing Reality Star in Defamation Suit

Posted on October 26th, 2016

AGA attorney Joshua S. Bauchner is representing “Real Housewives of New Jersey” stars Jim and Amber Marchese, in a defamation lawsuit against Virgin America Inc. The federal complaint alleges that an airline employee falsely reported to police that Jim Marchese choked and threatened his wife after boarding a flight from Los Angeles to Newark this past spring, according to a story published by Reuters.

Mr. Bauchner told Reuters, “They hope to vindicate their age-old right to be left alone. When a married couple is on a plane returning to see their children, false accusations shouldn’t be levied against them by a flight attendant seeking her 15 minutes of fame.”

Mr. Bauchner is co-chair of the firm’s Litigation Department. He works in the Woodland Park office and may be reached at (973) 247-9000.