EDISON, NEW JERSEY TRAUB LIEBERMAN STRAUS & SHREWSBERRY LLP congratulates Aileen F. Droughton and Laura M. Faustino on their recent victory on motion for summary judgment in the civil action captioned Shirley A. Goodheart v. Steven P. Kartzman, Esq., an Attorney at Law of the State of New Jersey; Wacks, Mullen & Kartzman; Glen Savits, Esq., an Attorney at Law of the State of New Jersey; Lucas, Savits & Marose; Green & Savits, LLC; Jane Doe; and John Doe., docket number MRS-L-3637-05.
Plaintiff, Shirley A. Goodheart, filed a professional malpractice action alleging, in pertinent part, that defendants, Glen Savits, Esq. and Lucas, Savits & Marose (collectively, “Savits Defendants”), mishandled her underlying employment discrimination action. Specifically, Plaintiff alleged that the Savits Defendants improperly settled the Employment Action for an insufficient sum, without her consent.
TLSS moved for summary judgment on the grounds that: (1) any ownership interest Plaintiff had in the Employment Action passed to her bankruptcy estate upon the filing of her petition for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy; (2) the Savits Defendants represented The Bankruptcy Trustee in the Employment Action not Plaintiff; and (3) the foregoing issues were res judicata based on numerous decisions and orders entered by both the Bankruptcy and District Courts for the District of New Jersey.
Plaintiff argued that she retained ownership of the underlying Employment Action, despite filing her petition for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, and that the issues in controversy were not res judicata because they were not the exact same issues previously decided by the Bankruptcy and District Courts. Plaintiff also contended that she was represented by the Savits Defendants in the Employment Action, despite the Bankruptcy and District Courts’ holdings to the contrary.
The Honorable Michael Paul Wright, J.S.C., entered an Order granting the Savits Defendants’ motion for Summary Judgment, finding that all the foregoing issues were in fact res judicata, and dismissed Plaintiff’s Complaint with prejudice. Judge Wright found that “Plaintiff’s latest Complaint . . . is Plaintiff’s latest attempt to circumvent the well-reasoned decisions” of the District and Bankruptcy Courts, before concluding that Plaintiff failed to raise any genuine issues of material fact sufficient to survive summary judgment.