On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Camden County, Docket No. L-4427-09.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted: December 14, 2011
Before Judges Cuff, Lihotz, and Waugh.
Plaintiff Archer & Greiner, P.C. was awarded attorneys' fees for services it provided to defendants River Nile Invalid Coach, Inc., a/k/a River Nile Invalid Coach and Ambulance (River Nile),*fn1 Azza Care Invalid Coach, Inc.; Peace Invalid Coach, Inc.; Renaissance Invalid Coach, Inc.; Eastern Star Medical Transportation, Inc.; Outreach Medical Services Incorporated; Horizon Link LLC; Aunt Med Invalid Coach, Inc.; AA Veterans, Inc., a/k/a AA Veterans Mobility Assistance Vehicle Services; Addis Invalid Coach, a/k/a Addis Medical Transportation, Inc.; Apollo Medical Transportation, Inc.; Balance Invalid Coach, Inc.; Careway Invalid Coach, Inc.; City Wide, a/k/a City Wide Invalid Coach; Deena Invalid Coach, Inc.; Dawn Invalid Coach, Inc.; Good Care Invalid Coach, Inc.; K&S Invalid Coach, Inc.; Lymari Invalid Coach, Inc.; Miracle Invalid Coach, Inc.; Speedy Mobility Services, Inc.; Super Medical Care Invalid Coach, Inc.; and Triumph Invalid Coach, Inc., in a civil action in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Defendants sought to enjoin implementation of a transportation broker program. Following the conclusion of the federal action in which defendants did not succeed, plaintiff filed a complaint in the Superior Court seeking payment of the fees incurred in the federal litigation. At the close of trial, Judge Meloni granted plaintiff's motion for a directed verdict, Rule 4:40-1, and entered judgment in favor of plaintiff in the amount of $187,855.78, plus costs.
In this appeal, defendants argue that the retainer agreements executed by them did not satisfy the basic elements required to form a firm and valid contract. They also contend that the trial judge erred by failing to address various violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, including RPC 1.4(b) and (c), RPC 7.1(a)(1), RPC 8.4(c), and RPC 5.5(a).*fn2 They claim the trial judge should have declared the retainers unenforceable due to these violations.
We have thoroughly examined the record in light of the arguments submitted by counsel. We are satisfied that Judge Meloni properly granted plaintiff's motion for a directed verdict, that the findings of fact made by him are adequately supported by substantial credible evidence in the record, Rule 2:11-3(e)(1)(A), and the arguments presented by defendants are without sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion, Rule 2:11-3(e)(1)(E).