David C. Roberts, Chair of the firm, devotes his practice to handling complex commercial litigation matters such as fraud, fraudulent transfers, trade secrets, and restrictive covenant litigation, with particular emphasis on business partnership and shareholder disputes in New Jersey.

Often called business divorce litigation, the types of business owner disputes Dave routinely handles include shareholder and LLC member oppression, business fraud, embezzlement, owner freeze-outs, dissenter’s rights cases, and suits seeking to dissociate or expel an owner from a company. He puts particular focus on attempting to resolve matters through mediation, if that approach fits the client’s goals and objectives, but is an experienced trial attorney who can effectively try your case if it can’t otherwise be resolved. In 2007, Dave launched the firm’s Shareholder Disputes in New Jersey Law Blog, “Business Divorce in NJ,” which addresses minority shareholder disputes in New Jersey. He also writes and lectures extensively on this topic.

Dave often represents a minority shareholder seeking to assert his or her rights to relief, usually seeking a forced buy-out. Just as often, though, he represents majority owners of businesses defending against such claims. This experience gives him insight into how his adversary in a case may be thinking and strategizing. Dave has handled business divorce litigation involving companies in almost every industry, including and especially family-owned businesses. Having represented so many business owners involved in lawsuits with family members, he understands the unique challenges involved in suing, or being sued by, a relative.

Due to his unique ability to help companies navigate complexity and avoid litigation, Dave has also served as outside general counsel to several small-to-midsized companies. He has served in this capacity for almost two decades for Old Bridge Chemicals and Madison Industries, two of the leading companies in the animal feed additive industry. Dave also has handled complex litigation matters for the Diocese of Metuchen.

Additionally, Dave is a founder and a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Monmouth Beach Education Foundation and served on the Monmouth Beach Board of Education for 12 years.

Blog - Shareholder Disputes in New Jersey

My Business Partner May Not Be Stealing, but Are They Breaking the Law?

New Jersey Shareholder Oppression: Mismanagement

Are the Costs and Disruptions of Business Divorce Litigation Worth It?

Business Divorce Litigation Considerations: Strength in Numbers or Should You Go It Alone?

Business Divorce Attorneys Often Must Help Their Clients Navigate the Emotions of Inter-Family Litigation

Is It Realistic to Expect a Legal Fee Award in a Shareholder Oppression Lawsuit?

Get Creative To Win Your Business Divorce Litigation

If Your Partner Won’t Give You (Accurate) Information, Subpoena the Accountant

Pushing for the Documents You Need May Be Costly, but Not Pushing May Cost More

What to Do When Your Business Partner Keeps Freezing You Out of COVID Zoom Meetings

Avoid Business Divorce Litigation by Protecting Yourself up Front

Don’t Let Your Business Partner Use the Pandemic as an Excuse to Keep You in the Dark

Majority Shareholder Threats May Backfire

Don’t Let Your Business Partner Use the COVID-19 Pandemic to Hide Misconduct

While Filing a Shareholder Oppression Claim Might Be the Last Thing on Your Mind Right Now Due to the COVID-19 Virus, Waiting to File Could Potentially Prejudice Your Valuation

In an Oppression Case, Think Strategically and Don’t File Motions You Know You Can’t Win

Hidden Competition: A Common Form of Oppression

Mediation Can Be an Especially Effective Tool in Business Divorce Litigation

As a Minority Shareholder, Can I Quit and Still Sue for a Business Divorce?

Have Your Business Divorce Attorney Retain a Valuation Expert on Your Behalf – Don’t Do It on Your Own

Potential Alternatives to Shareholder Dispute Litigation in Your Business Divorce

Shareholder Dispute Litigation: When You Can Choose to Sell or Buy Your Company Shares in a Business Divorce

Minority Business Owners Are Not Always Bound by an Operating or Shareholder Agreement

Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands to Prepare for Business Divorce Litigation Can Backfire

When To Involve a Customer or Vendor in Business Divorce Litigation (If Ever)

Don’t Let Ego – Yours or Your Attorney’s – Get in The Way of a Settlement

First Amendment Victory in Dispute over Control of Religious Non-Profit Corporation

Bad Faith Is Not Necessary for a Business Divorce

Competing Companies as Oppression

Minority Shareholders Don’t Always Have a Right to Information

Kicking a Member Out of an LLC – Dissociation Under the New Jersey LLC Statute

Why Should the Majority Owners Have More Valuation Documents Than I Do?

New Case Addresses Termination of Employment as Shareholder Oppression

Is Secretly Recording Your Business Partner Ever a Good Idea in New Jersey?

Prosecutors Are Rarely Interested in Business “Theft” Cases

Can Communication Be the Key to Avoiding Business Divorce Litigation?

A Valuation Expert in Business Divorce Litigation Can Help Early On

What Happens When Equal Shares Does Not Mean Equal Power?

Shareholder Pay – Need it Always be Equal When Ownership is Equal?

Misunderstandings Among Owners Can Lead to Business Divorce Litigation

Overcome Your Nagging Doubts About Business Divorce Litigation

How To Prepare For Retaliation From Filing Business Divorce Litigation

It’s Never Too Late to Gain Allies in Business Divorce Litigation

Minority Shareholder Oppression Damages in New Jersey: More Than Just a Buyout?

Trust But Verify Regarding Financial Information

I Was Doing The Same Thing As The Majority Shareholders – Part II

What If I Was Doing The Same Thing I Now Want to Sue Over?

If You Lose A Minority Shareholder Oppression Lawsuit, Things Will Likely Get Worse – So Do It Right

How An Employee/Shareholder Can Protect Oneself Against Oppression

Termination of Employment as Minority Shareholder Oppression

Many Discovery Tools Exist To Find Emails To Prove Shareholder Oppression

Some Pitfalls of Negotiating Your Own Buyout in a Business Divorce

Being Prepared To File Business Divorce Litigation May Yield a Negotiated Agreement

Court-Appointed “Tiebreakers” In a 50/50 Ownership Setting

New Case Addresses LLC Member Expulsion in New Jersey

What To Do If Filing Shareholder Dispute Litigation Might Potentially Harm The Company

Choosing an Accountant? Choose Wisely and You Could Avoid Shareholder Dispute Litigation!

Steps a Company Can Take to Inoculate Itself Against Shareholder Dispute Litigation

Oppressed Minority Shareholder Litigation – Choosing a Lawyer

Perils Of Negotiating Your Own Buyout

Sometimes Shareholder Dispute Litigation Cannot Be Avoided

Epic Battle for Control Ends in Victory

New Jersey Courts Recognize Equitable Ownership In Cases Where Full Ownership May Be Difficult To Prove

Second Generation Owners Don’t Always Get Along

What Really Underlies Related-Party Shareholder Dispute Litigation?

Shareholders Who Quit As Employees Might Not Have to Sell Their Shares if They Don’t Want To

Negotiating Your Own Buyout May Be Shortsighted [and Is Often More Costly than Paying an Attorney]

Protection of the Minority Oppression Statute Is Not Waivable

A Sealed Bid Auction May Be the Best Way To Resolve Disputes Between 50/50 Business Owners

The Hidden Issues Behind Generational Transfer

Shareholder Dispute Litigation and Employee Loyalty

Make Sure You Have An Up-To-Date Shareholder Agreement Before It’s Too Late

Shareholder Oppression May Be Easier to Prove Than You Think – Which Should Worry Majority Shareholders

Will A Court Reinstate A Terminated Shareholder-Employee?

I Gave Away My Right to Co-Sign Checks – Now What?

David C. Roberts To Present “The Good, Bad & Ugly Of A Business Divorce” Seminar On April 16

LLC Members Have Equal Rights as Corporate Shareholders When It Comes To Minority Owner Oppression

Are Dividends A Mask For Financial Fraud?

Can A Shareholder Compete With That Company After Employment Termination?

Shareholder Oppression Remedies Are No Substitute for Control

Creative Ways to Contractually Minimize the Chances of Shareholder Dispute Litigation

We Are Getting a “Business Divorce.” Who Gets “Custody” of the Customers?

Pros & Cons of Alternative Dispute Resolution in Shareholder Dispute Litigation

Unnecessary Capital Call as Means of Dilution Can Be Shareholder Oppression

Get out of That New Jersey LLC before the Law Changes?

The Right to Be Paid Fair Value for Your NJ LLC Interest without Showing Fault Expires Soon

Termination of LLC Member Employee Could Soon Be Considered “Oppression”

New Jersey LLC Minority Members Can Look Forward to More Protection

In Business Divorce Litigation, Who Gets Custody of the Company’s Lawyer?

Discovering Fraud By Your Business Partner: Act Now or Forever Hold Your Peace?

Make Sure Majority Shareholders Never Feel As If They Are Not Being Watched

Ability to Access Financial Info Is Broader in Practice than Law Technically Provides

Court-Appointed “Referee” Could Help a Company Survive Shareholder Dispute Litigation

Your Own Past Bad Acts May Not Necessarily Foreclose Recovery as an Oppressed Minority Shareholder

If You Suspect Your Business Partner is Cheating You, Listen To Your Gut and Seek Legal Advice

How Large Sums of Cash Can Impact Shareholder Dispute Litigation

Should We Create a Corporation or an LLC? From a Majority Owner’s Point of View

Should We Create a Corporation or an LLC? – From a Minority Owner’s Point of View

Listen to the Little Voice Telling You Your Business Partner is Treating You Unfairly and Seek Advice Sooner Rather Than Later

Hiring a Business Valuation Expert in Potential Shareholder Dispute Litigation is Not a Do-It-Yourself Proposition

Things To Consider In Assessing a Pre-Litigation Offer to Buy Your Shares in Shareholder Dispute Litigation

NJ Shareholder Dispute Litigation – Looking Out for Your Own Interests

Injunctions in Shareholder Dispute Litigation

The Discovery Process In Shareholder Dispute Litigation

I Want to Be a Buyer, Not a Seller, Part 2

I Don’t Want To Sell To My Business Partner. I Want To Buy Him Out

The Course of Shareholder Dispute Litigation Can Be Affected By The Way Your Shareholder Agreement is Drafted

New Case Reaffirms the Difference Between Corporations and LLC’s When It Comes to Rights of Minority Owners

Email Today, Evidence Tomorrow

Independent Assessment of the Successor Generation to Avoid Litigation

Avoiding Second Generation Shareholder Litigation

Creating a Succession Plan While Avoiding Litigation with New Business Partners

You Can Pay a Lawyer a Little Now, or a Lot Later

Can Your Business Relationship With Your Partner Be Put Back Together?

An Oppression Case Can Get You More Than Just Monetary Damages

Surviving Shareholder Litigation with Your Business – And Your Sanity – Intact

Business Partner Disputes Leading to One Partner Being Terminated

Put It In Writing

Real Life Series – Pre-Nuptial Symposium: A Business Marriage

Your Shareholder Agreement May Not Say What You Think It Says

Accountant as a Minority Shareholder’s Ally

Shareholder Oppression Resulting From Terminating an Employee/Shareholder

Hidden Dangers of Representing Multi-Owner Businesses: Legal Pitfalls Accountants Must Avoid

Minority Shareholders Frozen-Out

“My Lawyer Made Me Do It,” And Other Lies Told by Unscrupulous Business Partners

Majority Shareholder Abuses Could Harm The Minority Shareholders In More Ways Than One

Memorialize Important Facts Prior to Shareholder Dispute Litigation

May a Shareholder Compete After He is Fired as an Employee?

Suing a Family Member Is Never Easy

Excess Compensation as Oppression

The Special Situation of “Passive” Shareholders

Are Your Majority Shareholders Acting As Greedy as AIG Executives?

Trust Your Instincts – They are Probably Right

How Your Business Partner Can Use a Recession to Hide His Fraud

Employment Termination As Oppression

Corporations Dealing With A Tyrannical Minority Shareholder

Avoiding Intergenerational Fights

Analyze Tax Implications Before Filing Suit

Fifty Percent Shareholders Have Rights Too

The Importance of a Well-Crafted Shareholder Agreement

You May Already Know A Good Mediator

How Are Shares Valued by a Court?

Fraud By The Majority

Minority Shareholder Rights

See More


  • “Anatomy of a Corporate/Business Divorce,” National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) and the Consultants’ Training Institute’s (CTI) 2018 Annual Consultants’ Conference, Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas, NV, June 21, 2018
  • “Business Owner Rights: What Every Shareholder Should Know,” Molly Pitcher Inn, Red Bank, New Jersey, March 29, 2018
  • “Shareholder Oppression: What Every Business Owner Should Know,” Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Bridgewater, New Jersey, November 2, 2017
  • “The Pros and Cons of Arbitration,” Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Bridgewater, New Jersey, November 11, 2015
  • “The Good, Bad & Ugly of a Business Divorce,” Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Bridgewater, New Jersey, April 16, 2015
  • Hidden Danagers of Representing Multi-Owner Businesses: Legal Pitfalls Accountants Must Avoid,” Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Bridgewater, New Jersey, October 27, 2010

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