Patrick Collins Argues on Behalf of Noren at New Jersey Supreme Court
Patrick Collins, Of Counsel to Graham Curtin, made his seventh appearance before the New Jersey Supreme Court January 3rd, arguing on behalf of his client, Greg Noren, as Noren v. Heartland reached the state’s highest court.
In June, the NJ Supreme Court agreed to examine whether a state appellate panel mistakenly ordered a reduction in a roughly $2 million attorneys’ fees award for Heartland Payment Systems Inc. when remanding a suit against the business for a jury trial on an ex-employee’s whistleblower claim.
In Noren v. Heartland, Plaintiff Greg Noren brought suit against his former employer, Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. (HPS), alleging breach of contract and a violation of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), N.J.S.A. 34:19-1 to -14.1 Pursuant to a jury-waiver provision in Noren’s employment contract, the trial court denied his demand for a jury. Following a bench trial, the trial court dismissed Noren’s claims and awarded HPS over $2 million in fees and costs.
Collins argued that the fee award in favor of Heartland should be vacated and recast at the trial level in light of the Appellate Division’s reversal of the dismissal of the CEPA case and remand for a jury trial, consistent with the Appellate Division’s ruling. Heartland argues that the previously ordered fee award should stand, notwithstanding the reversal and remand, and that the Appellate Division was wrong to order the fee to be reconsidered.