Justin T. Kelton
Justin T. Kelton is a Partner at Abrams Fensterman, LLP, where he serves as Co-Chair of the Litigation Department. Justin is a trial lawyer who represents clients in a wide range of high-stakes business disputes, investigations, and governmental enforcement actions before federal and state courts and administrative bodies.
Justin is often retained to handle high-profile matters that garner substantial media coverage and involve significant public policy issues. The Washington Post described one of his recent victories as “nearly unheard of in our court system,” The New York Daily News called the win “extraordinary,” and The New York Sun praised his team’s legal strategy as creating “a win-win situation” for his client. After Justin’s client defeated a motion to dismiss in a widely watched defamation case, The Columbia Journalism Review noted that Justin’s team “scored an important win.” KABC Radio recently reported that his team achieved a “scorching” victory over a defendant, and The Gateway Pundit characterized the same win as “devastating” to the defense. Justin’s work has been widely profiled in national and international media, including Forbes, The Associated Press, Vanity Fair, Reuters, The Washington Post, NBC News, ABC News, The Times of Israel, RealClearPolitics, and The Daily Beast, among many others. In addition, Justin’s scholarly writing has been published by the New York Law Journal, Harvard Law School, the Delaware Business Court Insider, and Practical Law.
Justin’s practice spans a wide range of substantive areas, including business and partnership disputes, employment disputes, contract disputes, fraud, unfair competition, trade secret misappropriation, breaches of fiduciary duty, class actions, shareholder derivative litigation, real estate, civil rights, and copyright and trademark matters. Justin also regularly represents media organizations, journalists, authors, and public figures in First Amendment matters, and he has substantial experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in defamation and libel lawsuits.
Justin received a B.S. in Computer Science from Muhlenberg College, and a J.D. from Albany Law School. While in law school, Mr. Kelton was a research assistant to Prof. Annette Kahler, Director of the Science and Technology Law Center.
- New York
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- Albany Law School, J.D.
- Muhlenberg College, B.S., Computer Science
- Recovered more than $19 million as lead counsel in a bet-the-business lawsuit against former business partner arising out of disputes over corporate management and contested business valuation.
- Won $7.5 million verdict after federal trial in breach of contract action.
- As lead defense counsel, not only secured complete dismissal of a plaintiff’s claims in a contract dispute, but also won more than $300,000 from the plaintiff based on counterclaims.
- As lead counsel for a software development company, obtained a rare worldwide injunction enforcing a non-compete agreement against a former employee, barring the former employee from competing anywhere in the world.
- Trial counsel in complex trial spanning more than five months representing healthcare business in responding to governmental enforcement action seeking to revoke license.
- Trial counsel for technology startup in dispute with former owner over valuation of ownership interest and multimillion-dollar earn out provision of partnership agreement.
- Lead counsel for advertising company in high-stakes litigation against competitor involving allegations of trade secret misappropriation and unfair competition.
- Won a series of take-nothing dismissals for New York City-based hospital system in lawsuits by former employees who alleged whistleblowing and employment-related claims.
- Won a series of take-nothing dismissals for Long Island-based hospital system in employment lawsuits.
- Represented employers in confidential internal investigations and in responding to governmental investigations.
Understanding The Nuances of Tax Estoppel: Issuance of A K-1 Alone Is Not Determinative of Partnership, Author, New York Law Journal (April 14, 2022)
- Exploring New York’s Oral Partnership Doctrine, Author, New York Law Journal (November 8, 2021)
- SDNY Clarifies the Scope of ‘Misappropriation’ Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, Author, New York Law Journal (June 9, 2021)
- NYC’s ‘Hollowed Out’ Enforcement Units Struggle to Keep Pace on Housing Discrimination Cases, Quoted, CityLimits (June 1, 2021)
- Criminal Charges and Employment Decisions, Author, Practical Law (April 29, 2021)
- Project Veritas Founder Sues Twitter For Defamation After Ban, Quoted, Law360 (April 19, 2021)
- Orthodox Jewish couple accuses NYC of religious discrimination, Quoted, The Jerusalem Post (jpost.com) (April 8, 2021)
- New York Court of Appeals Hands Decisive Win To Business Owners, Holding That They Are Exempt From Vicarious Liability Under the NYC Human Rights Law, Author, New York Law Journal (April 2, 2021)
- How to Prepare for a Paycheck Protection Program Audit, Quoted, Workest (March 3, 2021)
- You Can Have Your Cake And Eat It Too: Second Circuit Says Parties Can Appeal Portions Of A Judgment After Accepting Remittitur, Author, New York Law Journal ( December 7, 2020)
- Expert Q&A on Criminal Charges and Employment Decisions, Interviewed, Practical Law (August 18, 2020)
- Is Your Website ADA Compliant?, Quoted, Advisor Perspectives (June 30, 2020)
- As Coronavirus-Related Job Losses Surge, Employers Should Brace For An Influx Of Disability Discrimination Lawsuits, Author, New York Law Journal (May 22, 2020)
- Analyzing Force Majeure Clauses In Light Of The Coronavirus Outbreak, Author, New York Law Journal (March 19, 2020)
- Use of Illegal Gambling Proceeds to Fund Loan Does Not Void Agreement, Author, New York Law Journal (February 10, 2020)
- Confidentiality and Inspections of Corporate Books and Records, Author, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (September 1, 2019)
- Defamatory Reviews: How To Protect Your Reputation, Author, Medical Economics (July 10, 2019)
- Q&A: The Application of Delaware Law in New York Courts, Author, Delaware Business Court Insider (June 12, 2019)
- How to Protect Your Reputation and Medical Practice Against Defamatory Online Reviews, Author, Physicians Practice (April 4, 2019)
- Taylor Swift Defeats Broker’s ‘Wildest Dreams’ in $1 Million Commission Dispute, Author, New York Law Journal (February 22, 2019)
- Equitable Defenses Fall Within Narrow Scope of Section 225 Actions and Must Be Considered, Author, Delaware Business Court Insider (January 30, 2019)
- 4 Tips for Starting a Business with Partners, Quoted on BestCompany.com (November 20, 2018)
- Supreme Court Nominee and the Derivative Suit, Author, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (August 30, 2018)
- How to Win in Court Without Overpaying, Quoted in Elliot.org blog (April 9, 2018)
- Defending Against Bogus Online Reviews: A Guide For Bars and Restaurants, Author, ModernRestaurantManagement.com (February 27, 2018)
- Plaintiff Who Obtains a Corporate Benefit May Not Target a Stockholder to Pay a Fee Award, Author, Delaware Business Court Insider (January 31, 2018)
- When Leaving A Bad Review Gets You Sued, Quoted in URBO.com article (January 26, 2018)
- Apple faces over a dozen lawsuits. Here's why it might win them all, Quoted in Mashable.com article (December 30, 2017)
- Delaware Courts and the Law of Demand Excusal, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation (November 13, 2015)
- Expert Q&A: Filing Documents under Seal in New York, Practical Law (September 1, 2015)
- Arbitrator, New York State Unified Court System
- Member, New York County Democratic Committee