Michael J. Plata

Michael Jay Plata is a Partner in the Business Litigation Group. His practice is focused on complex business and commercial litigation in federal and state courts, such as breach of contracts, business torts, and shareholder disputes. Mr. Plata has also directed litigation in matters as diverse as environmental law, employment law, Section 1983 litigation, franchise law, licensing disputes, restrictive covenants, and insurance coverage disputes for several public entities and companies of all sizes.

Mr. Plata is a magna cum laude graduate of Florida State University and a graduate of Rutgers School of Law-Newark, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Rutgers Race and the Law Review. After graduating from law school, Mr. Plata served as a law clerk to The Honorable Ariel A. Rodriguez, Judge, Appellate Division, Superior Court of New Jersey, and thereafter, The Honorable John E. Wallace, Jr., Associate Justice, Supreme Court of New Jersey. Mr. Plata’s experience as a clerk in both the New Jersey Appellate Division and Supreme Court allowed him to develop a comprehensive understanding of New Jersey appellate procedure.

Mr. Plata was named a “Rising Star” for the 2010, 2012, 2013, and 2016 editions of New Jersey “Super lawyers” by law and Politics Magazine. He was recently named by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of the “New Leaders of the Bar,” which is a profile of rising stars in the New Jersey legal profession who are under the age of 40. Mr. Plata is currently the Immediate Past President of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey and is also an active member of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Through his participation with the bar associations, he has presented on substantive areas of the law and on the practice of law in general. Mr. Plata is admitted to practice law in the State of New Jersey.

Representative Experience

  • Represented a minority shareholder in a matter against the majority shareholder, a German steel manufacturer, and its corporate officers that involved claims of minority shareholder oppression, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets, and related claims. After six days of trial, the matter was resolved prior to Defendants presenting their case.
  • Represented an advertising company alleging a breach of contract claim that was successfully resolved prior to the filing of a Complaint.
  • Represented a New York transcription company prosecuting a breach of contract claim against a New Jersey vendor, which settled after obtaining an entry of default.
  • Represented the majority shareholders of a boutique travel and touring company in a business divorce that settled after summary judgment was successfully opposed.
  • Represented the U.S. affiliate of a Chinese home appliance manufacturing company in the review and negotiation of an intellectual property licensing agreement.
  • Represented a physician in the review and negotiation of a stock purchase agreement and employment agreement that involved due diligence and business valuation.
  • Developed and presented customized training program for a restaurant to train its senior management on interviewing and hiring practices, managing employees, and workplace harassment issues.

Professional And Community Involvement

  • Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, Immediate Past President, present President – 2014-2015, President-Elect – 2013-2014, Treasurer – 2011-2013, Recording Secretary – 2010-2011, Trustee-at-Large – 2008-2010, Union County Trustee – 2007-2008
  • Hispanic National Bar Association, member, Treasurer – 2016
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, member
  • Bergen County Bar Association, member
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey, Committee on the Rules of Evidence, 2010-2011
  • Supreme Court of New Jersey, Ad Hoc Committee on Attorney Malpractice Insurance, 2015-present
  • Boys to Leaders Foundation, Planning Committee for the 2016 Young Latino Leadership Conference

Awards And Recognition

  • Received a 2016 Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from The New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law (November 2016)
  • Named 2015 “New Leaders of the Bar” by New Jersey Law Journal
  • Received Special Recognition at Rutgers University School of Law-Newark’s 2015 Minority Student Program Annual Banquet
  • Named “Rising Star” for the 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2016 editions of New Jersey “Super Lawyers” by Law and Politics Magazine
  • 2015 Good Scout Leadership Award, Northern New Jersey Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • 2013 Keynote Speaker at Young Latino Leadership Conference
  • ABA TIPS Leadership Academy, 2008-2009


  • Co-authored, “Marketing Diversity as a Competitive Advantage” New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, April 2012
  • NJSBA Solo & Small Firm Conference: Negotiating: How to Seal that Deal – March 5, 2016
  • NJSBA Welcome to the Profession Series: Speed Networking Your Way to Success – November 23, 2015
  • Boys to Leaders Foundation Young Latino Leadership Conference: Guest Speaker- October 24, 2015
  • NJSBA 2015 Young lawyers Symposium: Malpractice Insurance: Why You Need It, What to look For – October 3, 2015
  • NJSBA 2015 Young lawyers Symposium: Hot Tips for Solo/Small Firm Attorneys – October 3, 2015
  • NJSBA Welcome to the Profession Series: The Art of Getting Hired – September 28, 2015
  • HBA-NJ 14th Annual Sun, Surf & Seminars: Do’s and Don’ts of Running a Solo or Small Practice- May 7, 2015
  • HBA-NJ 13th Annual Sun, Surf & Seminars: Are You Protecting Your Practice from a legal Malpractice Claim? – May 2, 2014
  • HBA-NJ 4th Annual Corporate Counsel Roundtable: Do You Know Who Has Your Trade Secrets & Data?: Do’s and Don’ts of Managing an Effective Response Team for Data Breaches – November 6, 2013
  • Boys to Leaders Foundation Young Latino leadership Conference: Keynote Speaker – October 5, 2013


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