Howard graduated from Drew University Cum Laude, with Distinguished Honors in Political Science. At age 20 while in college, he became one of the youngest persons ever to publish a law review article. He went on to the University of Michigan Law School, where he served as a Senior Editor on the Journal of Law Reform.
He first worked at the Wall Street law firm of Haight Gardner Poor & Havens, a premier international law firm. He then went on to Hellring Lindeman Goldstein & Siegel where he worked under the former United States Attorney for New Jersey. Thereafter, he became part of the commercial litigation team at Hannoch Weisman, then the second largest firm in New Jersey. With the opportunity to handle a case featured in national media, he started his own firm and has been a trial attorney for over 20 years.
Background and Experience
Howard A. Gutman has successfully handled over 500 lemon law and automobile breach of warranty cases. Mr. Gutman is the author of a leading article on the lemon law in the New Jersey Law Journal and recently gave a seminar for other attorneys on the lemon law for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education. He also wrote the Year 2000 Legal Handbook, a book dealing with computer warranties, and is considered a leading authority on all types of warranties.
Prior to establishing his practice, Mr. Gutman was employed by one of the leading law firms in New Jersey and a prominent international law firm located in the Wall Street area. He has appeared on Good Day New Jersey been interviewed by NBC Nightly News and Newsday, and his cases have been profiled in the Star Ledger, Bureau of National Affairs Magazine, and New York Times
Published Lemon Law Verdicts and Awards
Black v. Volvo North America Corp. 92 N.J.A.R.2d (1992)
Boyle v. American Isuzu Motors, 95 N.J.A.R.2d 128 (1995).
Gantt v. Volkswagen, 95 N.J.A.R.2d 32 (This case sets down the important principle that the manufacturer is responsible for any items installed. The dealer installed an alarm which Volkswagen said was unauthorized. Accepting our position, the Court said if the vehicle malfunctioned, it would be a lemon.
Giglio v. Daimler Chrysler Motors Co, OAL DKT. NO. CMA9965-02 (Courts have decided water leaks claims in different ways sometimes saying conditions did not constitute a substantial impairment. Here we were able to demonstrate through and expert and the client’s testimony that there was a substantial problem and secured a refund).
Merisier v. C&J Auto, Inc. OAL-DKT NO . CMA-5617-00 (The Division Director on Administrative Appeal, reversed a lower court finding and ordered repurchase)
Taylor v. Volvo OAL DKT. NO: CMA5732-00 (the court ordered a refund based upon a vehicle odor rejecting contentions the condition did not constitute a substantial impairment.)
Umbach v. Volkswagen of American 93 N.J.A.R.2d 11 (1992), (repurchase ordered rejecting contention that uneven shifting at highway speeds was a normal characteristic of the vehicle.
Other Verdicts and Settlements
Negligence Settlement ($500,000) A client came to a large law firm who advised him that he did not have a claim in a matter involving medical negligence. We reexamined the case, identified and error and after filing a claim, secured a ½ million dollar settlement.
Consumer Fraud Award ($121,000) Mr. Gutman secured one of the largest jury verdicts in a consumer fraud action after a seven day trial. The matter was resolved with a confidentiality provision
Consumer Fraud Settlement ($150,000) A tenant was deceived about the projected use of a building. After being billed a five figure amount by his initial counsel, our office agreed to handle the matter on a contingency basis securing a substantial settlement providing an award to the client and coverage of fees for our office and his prior counsel.
Silica Claim (six figure settlement involving multiple defendants) Our office filed one of the first cases involving exposure to silica dust.
Some of our cases have been covered by media outlets including the New York Times, NBC, Star Ledge, Law 360, and the Associated Press.
Jeep Cherokee Litigation (Cal. And NJ) (Our office was lead counsel in a matter covered by Law360
In Re Vioxx Litigation, (D. N.J. 2017) (our office represented a law firm securing a successful resolution of claims).
Lieberman v. USCF, Suit Seeks to Bar U.S. From Chess Olympiad,
New York Times and AP (Sept. 26, 1986)
Pipolo v. Tayburn (filing of one of the first cases alleging repressed memory in case of abuse).
Criminal Defense and RICO
Successful Defense of Attorney Facing Multiple RICO Charges
An attorney was charges with multiple counts of conspiracy to commit fraud and violation of the federal (RICO law in a case covered by the media. His counsel recommended a plea bargain for a 5 year prison term with the judge warning he was subject to a 20 year sentence if found guilty. Entering the case, our office aggressively contested the case and helped negotiate a plea to a single count with no jail sentence.
Six Figure Fraud Settlement
Our office secured a substantial six figure settlement in an internet fraud with defendants including a foreign financial entity. The office handles both civil and criminal matters involving the federal RICO statute and has established a blog, ricolaw.org to cover the evolving law.
New Lemon Law Creates Expansive Remedies,
Winning the Lemon Law Case, Inst. Of Cont Legal Education (Oct. 2016)
Computer Software Warranties and Risks, Presentation to the National Press Club (1998).
Amy Schneider is a graduate of Princeton University who received her M.B.A from MIT Sloan School of Business.