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Kevin J. Duffy

Parsippany, NJ

Taking Ownership

Day Pitney partner Kevin J. Duffy was the editor of his high school newspaper and initially planned to pursue a career in journalism. That changed while he was an undergraduate print journalism major at Emerson College. Kevin took a required course taught by a Boston media attorney that covered trial advocacy and realized he had an interest in using the law to help people.

As a member of Day Pitney's complex commercial litigation practice group, Kevin protects clients' rights through representation of businesses and individuals in disputes affecting their personal and financial interests. He handles a broad array of commercial litigation matters, including contracts, restrictive covenants, negligence, and consumer protection claims.

Although his interest in the First Amendment and media law drove Kevin's decision to attend law school, exposure to other areas of the law quickly expanded the scope of his interests. Through experiences that allowed him to see litigators in action, he was drawn to the excitement and directness of litigation, and commercial cases in particular.

Two clerkships following his graduation from Rutgers Law School taught Kevin the importance of digging into the intricate details of every case. Working for the Honorable Maurice J. Gallipoli, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey in the Hudson Vicinage (ret.), and for the Honorable Jane Grall, Judge of the Appellate Division (ret.), further instilled in him a respect and reverence for the legal process. "Judge Gallipoli and Judge Grall both had an extraordinary respect for the law and a commitment to rolling up their sleeves and finding the right result," Kevin said. Kevin's first job as a lawyer was with a commercial litigation firm in New Jersey, where he participated in his first jury trial. "The experience taught me that even though the practice of law and litigation can be exhausting, it can also be energizing and exhilarating. It's right where I want to be."

Kevin joined Day Pitney in 2016, where he has had the opportunity to work with clients in a broader range of commercial matters. His prior experiences set the groundwork for the development of his practice today, which relies on collaboration with clients and colleagues, organization, and attention to detail.

During his first year at Day Pitney, Kevin argued before the Supreme Court of New Jersey on behalf of a pro bono client in a matter that began in Small Claims Court and resulted in years of appellate proceedings. Following his appointment as pro bono counsel to handle the second, unsuccessful appeal to the Appellate Division, Kevin succeeded in securing a unanimous decision from New Jersey's highest court, which held that trial courts may not deprive civil litigants of their right to a jury trial as a sanction for failure to comply with procedural requirements. "The case highlighted for me the importance of persistence, and that given time, the legal process will generally reach a fair and just result," Kevin said.

Clients appreciate that Kevin takes ownership of their matters, and they're impressed with his reliability and responsiveness. "Kevin cares about the client's needs as if they were his own," says client Mitchel S. Kay, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of The Stro Companies.

When Mitchel recently needed assistance in the preparation of certain complex corporate documents, Kevin ensured that the project was handled immediately and that Kay was satisfied with the outcome. "Ultimately, Kevin was able to deliver excellent, cost-effective services, while enabling me to stay within budget," added Mitchel.

When Kevin is not working on client matters, he enjoys long-distance running. He also serves as a Trustee of the West Orange Scholarship Fund, which provides financial assistance to graduates of his high school for first-year college expenses, and as a member of the New Jersey LGBT Chamber, which is dedicated to strengthening LGBT businesses in New Jersey and surrounding areas.