Guadalupe is joined by Deanna Koestel, who will co-chair the construction law practice with litigator Keith McDonald, and transactional attorney Oren Chaplin.
“My own strong instincts were that these were people of high character and integrity and exactly the kind of lawyers we were trying to attract,” Pashman Stein co-founder and Managing Partner Michael Stein said of his initial meeting with the incoming attorneys. “I think they were excited by some of our initiatives, and by the depth of our litigation bench, and the work that we were doing through the Stein Center which does a lot of high impact policy litigation, much of it on a pro bono basis. I think they like the sense of social consciousness.”
“Where it all begins and frankly ends, it was a sense of comfort, a sense that this felt like it would be a comfortable fit for them and the same sense on our part,” he said.
Guadalupe represents clients in commercial litigation and outside general counsel assistance with a specialty in construction, manufacturing and distribution, business disputes, medical device companies, professional liability, franchise law, arbitrations and mediations, and international matters. His clients include two major pharmaceutical companies, a national dairy products manufacturer, and a global chocolate products manufacturer; and has been counsel to the Newark Housing Authority, the City of Perth Amboy, and the Perth Amboy Business Improvement District.
Koestel’s practice concentrates on commercial litigation, construction law, shareholder disputes, and general business law matters in New Jersey and New York. Koestel has represented clients in many different industries and has significant expertise representing clients in the construction, food and beverage, and health care industries. She often acts as an outside general counsel to her clients.
Chaplin is a corporate and business law attorney who acts as outside general counsel to businesses and business owners on legal, compliance, and contracting issues in regular operations and special transactions and initiatives. He works with clients in the medical, financial services, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, fashion, photography and the arts, manufacturing, higher education, and professional services sectors.
McDonald’s practice concentrates on commercial litigation, labor and employment law, and higher education law. Recently litigated cases include those related to false advertising, product disparagement, restrictive covenants, and contract-related disputes. McDonald’s labor and employment law practice has him representing employees and management in all aspects of employment law with a focus on litigating discrimination, retaliation, and whistleblower claims.
Pashman Stein already boasted a strong litigation bench and, Stein said, the firm wasn’t necessarily looking to strengthen it further.
“It was more of a situation that sometimes opportunity that you’re not looking for knocks,” he said. “By way of example, we were not necessarily looking to expand geographically into Monmouth County, but years ago I was introduced to Jay Colao and Tracy Julian who head up our Monmouth County office and there was almost an immediate sense of connection. The sense that I had that these were lawyers who we wanted to work with, and it led to more serious conversations and to them joining the firm. It was the same journey we took mutually, the lawyers from Pashman Stein and the lawyers from Norris McLaughlin.”
Pashman Stein has been talking to the four incoming attorneys since late last year because bringing on new people, or moving to a different firm, aren’t decisions to be rushed.
“From our perspective, there’s no decision more significant than bringing on new people. That old adage ‘it just takes one bad apple to upset the apple cart,’ you really want to make sure the people you’re bringing in aren’t just good lawyers but good people,” Stein said. “These lawyers had been at Norris their entire career and knew that firm well and had great friendships and respect for that institution, and this was a very big deal for them. This all takes a long time to really do your due diligence and make sure it’s the right move for everyone.”