Anthony J. Sylvester

Anthony Sylvester is a founding partner of Sherman Wells Sylvester & Stamelman LLP. He has practiced law in New Jersey and New York as a commercial litigator for 30 years. Prior to opening the doors at Sherman Wells, Anthony has been a partner and member of the executive committee at Riker Danzig.

Anthony has substantial experience representing financial institutions in complicated, high-stakes litigation. In particular, he has handled numerous loan recovery and workouts and litigated commercial foreclosure proceedings in New Jersey and New York, a number of which concluded with sheriff’s sales. Anthony also has significant experience in defending banks, financial institutions and mortgage servicers against consumer finance based claims brought under Articles 3 and 4 of the Uniform Commercial Code, the Fair Credit Reporting Act, The Truth in Lending Act, RESPA, HOEPA, and state consumer fraud statutes. He has defended consumer finance class actions in both State and Federal Court.

Among Anthony’s financial institutional clients are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, The Provident Bank, New York Community Bank, Sun Bank, Affinity Federal Credit Union, NVE Bank, Investors Bank, TD Bank, HSBC, ConnectOne Bank, Lakeland Bank, Everbank Commercial Finance, Signature Bank, First Bank, Ocean First Bank, Santander, The Lending Club and PHH.

Anthony has been named among the top banking lawyers in New Jersey by Best Lawyers in America®, a peer review of US Lawyers. Best Lawyers® named him the 2014 Banking and Finance Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” for the Newark region in both 2014 and 2015. He has served as the New Jersey Editor of CarLaw (www.carlaw.com) and HouseLaw (www.houselaw.com), monthly reports published by the Consumer Credit Compliance Company. Anthony is also a member of the Conference on Consumer Finance Law.

In addition, Anthony has long maintained a wide-ranging state and federal court commercial litigation practice for clients in many other industries. He regularly appears in courts in various vicinages in New York and New Jersey State and Federal Courts. Anthony has represented clients defending against Directors and Officers claims, closely-held businesses in all aspects of business breakup litigation, and clients in trademark and counterfeit matters, breach of contract disputes and various business tort cases. Anthony also regularly represents professionals against claims of professional malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty. Among the clients he has represented are Hartford Investment Financial Services, FedEx, Victoria’s Secret, Progressive Insurance Company, Gold Medal Bakery, Inc., MERSEN, S.A. and NICE Corporation. Benchmark Litigation named him a “Local Litigation Star” in its Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. Thompson Reuters has included him on New Jersey’s “Super Lawyers” list. Best Lawyers recognized him in the Commercial Litigation Category for 2015.

Anthony’s practice has also included varied aspects of real estate and real property land use issues. This includes Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims and issues involving bank retail branches, quiet title actions and other title disputes, property boundary disputes, purchase and sale agreement litigation and matters involving land use approvals and challenges.

Anthony also has a long-standing practice in entertainment law. For many years, he has represented Gia Prima, the widow of musician and composer Louis Prima. On Mrs. Prima's behalf, Anthony has prosecuted claims for unpaid royalties and control of her late husband's "right of publicity." (See Prima v. Darden Restaurants, cited below). In addition, of particular note, Anthony and Mrs. Prima together established "The ASCAP Foundation Louis Prima Award," presented to a talented vocalist or musician attending the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. He is the Managing Member of the Gia Maione Prima Foundation. (www.giamaioneprimafoundation.com). The Foundation makes donations that support and encourage an appreciation for American jazz, American popular music and jazz performance, as well as the fine arts. The Gia Maione Prima Foundation has partnered with The ASCAP Foundation, Tulane University, The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, Trombone Shorty Foundation, JazzKids Music Education Program in New Orleans, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Ronnie Kole’s annual Jazz on the Bayou celebration, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, Jazz House Kids, St. Vincent Academy and The Count Basie Theatre in New Jersey.

Anthony has represented artists and professional athletes in matters relating to royalties and other claims, including the family of actor Sebastian Cabot; former Olympic boxer Gerald Cooney; former I.B.F. Heavyweight Champion Chris Byrd; Joel Dorn, the late Grammy-winning record producer; Guns n' Roses; and the family of late Hollywood film star Alice Faye and her husband, the entertainer Phil Harris.

Education
New York University School of Law, J.D. (1983)Fordham University, B.A., summa cum laude (1980)
Bar Admissions
New Jersey New York U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey United States Supreme Court
Recognition
Best Lawyers in America®, Banking Top 100 Lawyers in New Jersey, Super Lawyers (2017) New Jersey’s Super Lawyers Benchmark Litigation’s Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, Named “Local Litigation Star” 2014 Banking and Finance Litigation "Lawyer of the Year" for the Newark region Award Methodology
Representative Matters
  • Triffin v. J.P. Morgan Chase, Appellate Division affirmance of a dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds because the underlying transaction had no connection with New Jersey
  • NXIVM Corporation v. The Ross Institute et. al., Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmance of a Federal District Court decision protecting the secondary use of copyrighted materials.
  • Alan R. Kidd v. Trans Union and Collegiate Funding Services Summary judgment dismissing a claim for failure to file within the two-year statute of limitations contained in the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • Prima v. Darden Restaurants, Federal District Court decision recognizing an inheritable right of publicity for the voice of Louis Prima, a famous deceased singer/entertainer.
  • City Check Cashing, Inc. v. Jul-Ame Const., New Jersey Supreme Court decision recognizing limitations on the potential liability of a bank to non-customers for dishonoring checks drawn on the bank.
  • Loatman v. United Jersey Bank, Putative class action involving a challenge by plaintiffs to the bank’s placement of collateral protection insurance.
  • Convergence Group PLC v. Broadview Associates LLC, Dismissal of complaint on the grounds of forum non conveniens on behalf of a British client sued in New Jersey State court.
  • Porky Products, Inc. v Nippon Express U.S.A., Inc., Second Circuit Court of Appeals affirmance of a summary judgment concerning the non-negotiability of bills of lading.
  • FDIC v. Furnace Brook Associates, Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of a dispute over priority of mortgages.
  • Joseph Montoro d/b/a Imagine That v. The Penwell Publishing Company, Dismissal of plaintiff’s complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction under the “effects” test.
  • BP Chemicals Limited v. Eastman Kodak Company, Federal Court transfer of venue for a patent infringement action brought against Eastman Kodak.
  • Carteret v. Shushan et. al. Third Circuit opinions addressing Writ of Mandamus, relating to personal jurisdiction and transfer of venue
  • Teichman v. Teichman, New Jersey Superior Court decision granting summary judgment in favor of bank on an issue of first impression involving New Jersey’s Revised Durable Power of Attorney Act.
  • Momentive v. Carbone Lorraine, Federal District Court dismissal of numerous counts of complaints under statute of limitations grounds
  • Millennium Import, LLC v. Reed Smith LLP, obtained reversal before New York Appellate Division of New York Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss client’s third-party claims for lack of personal jurisdiction
  • Friedfertig Family Partnership v. Loftburg, Federal court dismissal of all claims on motion to dismiss on behalf of former officer of company sued by company shareholders
  • Custom Travel Incentives & Promotions, Inc. v. TD Bank North, New Jersey Superior Court decision, granting bank’s motion for an involuntary dismissal at trial of the plaintiff’s claim of conversion under the Uniform Commercial Code.  
  • The Estate of Francis P. Kennedy v. Stuart A. Rosenblatt, New Jersey Appellate Division decision affirming the Trial Court’s Order dismissing the complaint with prejudice.
Lectures and Speaking Engagements
  • “The Nuts and Bolts of New Jersey Federal Practice.” Morris County Bar Association
  • "The Nuts, Bolts and Potential Pitfalls of the Music Business," presented to the Trombone Shorty Foundation Music Institute in New Orleans
  • "Subpoena Compliance," a CLE Program presented to Banking clients
  • "How to Bill Your Clients and Get Paid," The New Jersey State Bar Association's Solo and Small-Firm Conference
  • “Is The Hourly Fee Dead? The Latest Trends in Law Firm Pricing.” New Jersey State Bar Association
  • "Common Privilege Issues In-House Counsel Encounter in Litigation and Commercial Practices," sponsored by the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association
  • "Critical Legal Issues in Commercial Loan Workouts in the Current Economic Environment," Annual Convention, Compliance/CRA committee meeting of the New Jersey Bankers Association
  • "Federal and State Law Claims against Loan Servicers," The Credit Law Institute's Consumer Debt Collection, Loan Servicing and Bankruptcy Program
  • "Federal and State Law Causes of Action Against Mortgage Loan Servicers," Credit Law Institute's Conference
  • “Loan Documentation/Consideration for Addressing Loan Default,” Seminar for Provident Bank
  • "RESPA and TILA Regulation, Enforcement and Litigation,” The Credit Law Institute's Consumer Credit conference
  • Loan servicing issues at The Credit Law Institute's Consumer Credit Conference
  • Creditor and Collector Compliance Issues and Practices, Including the FDCPA, FCRA, TILA and HOEPA, Conference on Consumer Finance Law Bank Regulatory Issues, presented at the New Jersey Bankers Association Annual Convention
  • Federal Preemption at the Debtor-Creditor Law and Privacy Conference, Conference on Consumer Finance Law
  • On April 27, 2016 - the Gia Maione Prima Foundation presented an annual pledge relating to the Gift Agreement with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival Foundation, to support an education and community center called the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center
  • On April 28, 2016 – the Gia Maione Prima Foundation presented an annual pledge relating to an Agreement whereby Tulane University will maintain and preserve the Archives of Louis Prima
  • On April 29, 2016 – the Gia Maione Prima Foundation committed an annual scholarship/award to a student of the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts
  • On May 19, 2016 – the Gia Maione Prima Foundation announced a Four Year Agreement to support the Count Basie Theatre’s Bus-in program commencing 2016 through 2019
  • “Navigating Conflicts of Interest in Your Practice” Morris County Bar Association Legalpalooza 2017
  • Guest Instructor at Monmouth University on Negotiation
  • Guest Instructor at Monmouth University on a program entitled "Arts, Management and Concert Promotion" addressing music business students about the strategies and ethics of negotiation.