John Reilly is a trial lawyer who has served as lead counsel in federal trial and appellate litigation throughout the US involving antitrust, price-fixing conspiracies, monopoly, commercial and real estate disputes, RICO actions and class actions, as well as arbitrations in both US and global forums. In addition, John has been an arbitrator (including panel chairman) and counsel in numerous arbitrations involving commercial disputes, international disputes, maritime disputes and New York Stock Exchange proceedings relating to securities and other investments. He has also advised and counseled clients regarding joint venture arrangements in several industries, including airline and shipping, and with respect to re-sale price maintenance programs, as well as in grand jury antitrust investigations into the shipping industry. He has served as a monitor in the New York City Integrity Monitoring Program and in the NY/NJ Port Authority Monitoring Program.

John served as a captain in the US Marine Corps from 1967 to 1971, with a tour of duty in the Republic of Vietnam in 1968 and 1969.

He is a co-author of “Liabilities Facing Developers of Wind Farms on the Outer Continental Shelf,” which was selected for inclusion in Energy, Utility, Transportation and Environmental Law for the 21st Century: A Collection, an anthology of articles published by the ABA’s Section of Public Utility, Communication and Transportation (Sept. 2012). He is also the author of “Wind Farms and The Law Of The Sea,” which appeared on Law360 February 15, 2011, which examines the prospects for ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty in light of wind energy project development in the US.

He is a former chair and co-chair of the Maritime Committee of the Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law Section of the American Bar Association and is currently vice president and director of The Ireland-U.S. Council for Commerce & Industry, Inc. John is a member of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation and former chair of the New York County Lawyers’ Association Committee on Admiralty and Maritime Law.

He is a citizen of the US and of Ireland.

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  • Successfully represented defendant and third-party plaintiff contractor in a two-week jury trial in a complex multiparty litigation in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York in August 2017. Claim involved extensive physical damage and potential environmental liability incurred by an automobile rental company at its facilities at JFK Airport when an underground sewer line was ruptured during a construction project to remove and replace several underground gasoline storage tanks.
  • Lead counsel for the principal defendant in the trial of an action in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York involving an issue of maritime jurisdiction, specifically whether freight forward agreements are maritime contracts that support maritime jurisdiction. d’Amico Dry v. Primera Maritime (Hellas) Ltd., et al. 09 CIV 7840 (JGK)(S.D.N.Y 2016). After prevailing at trial represented client on appeal to the US Court of Appeals. 
  • Lead defense counsel for all named defendants in an action in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York brought by a ship owner to recover for alleged damages to vessel arising out of major casualty in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Lead defense counsel for National Investment Company of Libya in suit brought in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to recover claims in excess of US$20 million for alleged breach of numerous terms of a construction contract to build a resort facility near Tripoli.
  • Lead counsel for the time charterer and intervening plaintiff in a consolidated action filed in admiralty in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Norfolk, and successfully represented the client who was time charterer of a vessel that was attached by two separate creditors of an entity that was alleged to be an alter ego of the vessel owner. The vessel owner was alleged to be the perpetrator of a massive global financial fraud and the vessel had been purchased with a part of the proceeds of the fraud. Each of the creditors brought separate actions, which were ultimately consolidated in January 2014. One of the asserted defenses was that there was no maritime jurisdiction. This issue was ultimately decided by the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. At the time of the attachments, the vessel was loaded with a valuable cargo owned by a company that was not a party to either of the litigations. The litigation issues included alter ego, maritime jurisdiction, the existence and enforcement of numerous types of maritime liens and liabilities, maritime foreclosures, vessel acquisition by private sale and judicial decree, Jones Act restrictions on the loading and discharge of cargo by foreign flag vessels, vessel documentation and claims and defenses for alleged breach of carter party and cargo damage. Our client was a successful intervening plaintiff and purchased the vessel at auction in October 2014. Flame S.A. v. Industrial Carriers, Inc. et al, No. 2:2013cv00658 – (E.D. Va. 2014). The Order of Sale was affirmed on appeal to the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  • Represented the principal defendant in litigation dismissed by the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of New York, holding that the plaintiff did not have the approval of the necessary percentage of affected lenders to bring suit against our client. The decision was affirmed by appellate division and a motion for leave to appeal was dismissed by the court of appeals. This case received significant coverage in major publications because of the highly unusual circumstances involving a securitized trust of mortgage loans on a number of office buildings, shopping malls, hotels, resorts and casinos. The issue had not previously been decided by any court. Our client was a junior lender seeking to enforce its right to exercise a purchase option at fair market value on a property subsequent to a default by one of the mortgage debtors. Cedarwoods CRE CDO II, Ltd. v Galante Holdings, Inc., 96 A.D.3d 581; 948 N.Y.S.2d 17; 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4873; 2012 (NY Slip Op 4946, June 19, 2012), leave to appeal dismissed, 2012 N.Y. LEXIS 3569 (N.Y., Dec. 11, 2012).
    Serving as lead defense counsel in a multimillion-dollar suit in which the court held that the statute of limitations was not tolled and the suit on a promissory note was time-barred when the subordination provision established priority between senior and subordinated note-holders but did not restrict the plaintiff note holder’s right to bring suit against the defendant at an earlier date. Appeal to the New York Court of Appeals was denied, and the US Supreme Court denied certiorari.
  • Serving as lead defense counsel in M/V Summer Meadow litigation tried in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and involving claims arising out of a collision between the M/V Summer Meadow and a fishing vessel off the east coast of the US.
  • Serving as lead defense counsel in a two-week trial in the US District Court in the Southern District of New York resulting in a defense verdict on a multimillion-dollar claim for liquidated damages arising out of an alleged breach of a maintenance covenant.
  • Serving as lead defense counsel representing the United Nations in an arbitration resulting in a favorable decision regarding a claim for more than US$25 million under UNCITRAL rules.
  • Serving as lead defense counsel in obtaining dismissal on motion in a US$66 million claim in New York Supreme Court, subsequently offered in the appellate division.
  • Serving as lead counsel in defense of multiple class action suits in federal courts in New Jersey and California alleging environmental damages and business disruption. 
  • Serving as lead defense counsel in the Nautilus litigation tried in the US District Court for the District of New Jersey and involving a massive oil spill resulting from the grounding of the vessel in the Kill van Kull between Staten Island and New Jersey. The trial court's decision, after a seven-week trial, is reported at 900 F.Supp. 697 (D.N.J. 1995), 862 F. Supp. 1251 (D.N.J. 1994), aff'd 95 F.3d 105 (3d Cir. 1996). The maritime limitation proceeding included several class action suits by individuals and business, and claims asserted by the federal government and state and local governments.
  • Serving as lead defense counsel in the American Trader litigation involving both state and federal court actions, including a maritime limitation proceeding in the US District Court for the Central District of California and several class actions, arising out of an oil spill from a vessel attempting to berth at a single point mooring system at Huntington Beach. Environmental claims and certain business disruption claims were tried in state court in California, other environmental claims were asserted by the federal government, businesses and fisherman, and business disruption claims were subject to the maritime limitation proceeding. One aspect of the case is reported at 190 F.R.D. 649 (C.D. CA, 2000).
  • Serving as lead defense counsel in litigation involving allegations of theft of trade secrets and breach of employee covenants not to compete.

Education

  • Fordham University, J.D., 1967
  • Fordham University, B.A., 1964

Admissions

  • New York, 1968

Courts

  • New York State Supreme Court
  • U.S. Ct. of App., District of Columbia Circuit, 1968
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Ninth Circuit, 1975
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Second Circuit, 1971
  • U.S. Ct. of International Trade, 1988
  • U.S. Ct. of App., Third Circuit, 1995
  • U.S. Ct. of International Trade
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., Dist. of Columbia, 1968
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., E. Dist. of New York, 1971
  • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of New York, 1971
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1971
  • New York State Supreme Ct., Second Dept.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Co-chair, Maritime Committee of the Public Utility, Communications and Transportation Law Section of the American Bar Association
  • Vice president and director, The Ireland-U.S. Council for Commerce & Industry, Inc.
  • Member, American Bar Association Section of Litigation
  • Former chair, New York County Lawyers’ Association Committee on Admiralty and Maritime Law
  • Named annually since 2009 as a New York Super Lawyer, a distinction honoring the top 5% of lawyers in New York
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2013

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  • Co-author, "Liabilities Facing Developers of Wind Farms on the Outer Continental Shelf,"Energy, Utility, Transportation and Environmental Law for the 21st Century: A Collection, an anthology of articles published by the ABA's Section of Public Utility, Communication and Transportation, September 2012.
  • Author, "Wind Farms and The Law Of The Sea,"Law360, examinings the prospects for ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty in light of wind energy project development in the US, February 15, 2011.
  • Co-author, "Legal Lessons Learned the Last Time the Suez Canal Closed," February 18, 2011.
  • Co-author, "COGSA Trumps Carmack – Recent Supreme Court Decision Highlights Tension Between the US and Rotterdam Rules," June 28, 2010.
  • Co-author, "US Customs and Border Protection Ruling May Exempt Foreign Offshore Wind Farm Turbine-Installation Vessels from Jones Act Regulation," June 23, 2010.

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