Wolf Block Can't Claim New Jersey Base, Insurer Argues

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"This lawsuit involves matters that arose post-dissolution," Federal Insurance argued, noting the facts that are the basis for the Budin action arose in 2010, after the firm dissolved.

"Because Wolf Block had no partners as of the date Federal filed its notice of removal, Federal respectfully submits that this honorable court should accept Wolf Block's representation in this action that it is a resident of Pennsylvania," Federal Insurance said in its brief.

Federal Insurance noted in its brief that Wolf Block alleged in its complaint that it was a resident of Pennsylvania with a principal place of business at 1650 Arch St. in Philadelphia.

Federal Insurance also attached as an exhibit Wolf Block's last two certificates of annual registration filed with the Pennsylvania Department of State. In each of those, the firm wrote a zero next to the number of general partners that would have to pay the annual $340 registration fee.

"The determination that Wolf Block has no Pennsylvania partners presumably resulted in Wolf Block not paying the annual base fee exceeding $300 per partner per year set forth in the certificates of annual registration," Federal Insurance said. "Despite Wolf Block's assertion in its motion for remand that 'all of its partners on the date it voted to dissolve are still partners for certain purposes,' Wolf Block has obviously taken a contrary position in filing its certificates of annual registration with the commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

As a separate exhibit, Federal Insurance attached a declaration of one of its outside counsel, Stanley J. Lehman of Sherrard, German & Kelly. Lehman said in the declaration that during the course of his representation of Federal Insurance in this case, Wolf Block's general counsel, Susan J. French, specifically represented to Lehman that the firm had no partners. He also noted that French told Lehman that Wolf Block incurred approximately $300,000 in defense costs for the Budin action, according to the declaration.

Wolf Block counsel Jodi Murland declined to comment and Lehman did not return a call seeking comment.

Gina Passarella can be contacted at 215-557-2494 or at gpassarella@alm.com. Follow her on Twitter @GPassarellaTLI.

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