Attorneys

Benjamin Clarke

Benjamin Clarke

Equity Partner

AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence 2020

Biography

Benjamin Clarke is a partner at DeCotiis. He joined the firm as a partner in 1995 and is Co-Chair of the firm's Litigation Practice Group.

Mr. Clarke's accomplishments in the field of complex civil litigation have earned him widespread recognition, including an AV peer rating in Martindale Hubbell (highest rating), and repeated designation as a New Jersey Super Lawyer. With more than 50 reported decisions to his credit, Mr. Clarke has made a career of handling complex, high-profile matters from trial through final appeal. In the much-publicized estate battle of Perelman v. Cohen, he successfully defended the Hudson News enterprise and its owner against attack by multi-billionaire Ronald O. Perelman, and delivered for his clients the largest frivolous litigation sanction in New Jersey history. Other notable cases Mr. Clarke has handled include defeat of Donald Trump's efforts to block development of Atlantic City's Marina District and construction of the Borgata, representation of the New Jersey State Police in individual and class action suits arising out of the "racial profiling" Turnpike controversy and defense of the Chief Justice of New Jersey against charges of film censorship. Mr. Clarke has a diverse and broad practice of estate, commercial and tort litigation, with areas of concentration in civil rights law, construction law, employment law, estate law, government law, insurance coverage and defense.

Before joining DeCotiis, Mr. Clarke spent twelve years with the New Jersey Attorney General's Office, where, as Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Litigation, he was responsible for all civil litigation involving the State of New Jersey, its agencies and employees, and for supervising the litigation activities of more than 400 attorneys in the Division of Law. In addition to arguing numerous cases before the Supreme Court of New Jersey, such as Abbott v. Burke, and acting as lead trial counsel in many prominent cases in state and federal court, Mr. Clarke also acted as the liaison to UMDNJ's Risk Management Department, in which capacity he oversaw all of that institution's medical malpractice litigation.

Mr. Clarke graduated first in his class at Rutgers College (B.A., English, 1976), and attended Yale Law School (J.D., 1979). He was fortunate to serve as a law clerk to the Hon. Milton Pollack, U.S.D.J., in the Southern District of New York, whose innovations in civil procedure and civil discovery have had a profound and lasting influence on modern federal practice.

Education

  • Yale Law School, New Haven, Connecticut
    • J.D. - 1979
    • Honors: Member of the school's Barrister's Union
  • Rutgers University
    • B.A. - 1976
    • Honors: summa cum laude
    • Honors: Cheitz Award
    • Major: English Literature

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1979
  • New York, 1980

Practice Areas

  • Litigation
  • Construction Law

Past Positions

  • Hon. Milton Pollack of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Pollock, Law Clerk
  • New Jersey Attorney General's Office, Assistant Attorney General in Charge of Litigation

Professional Associations

  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • American Bar Association