May 30, 2004 – LAWFUEL – Robert Triffin, the most litigious plaintiff in New Jersey history, has been adjudicated a fraud by an Essex County jury through the work of Pitney Hardin LLP partner, Dennis Kearney. Triffin has made a 15 year career of buying bad checks, then suing major New Jersey companies in the Special Civil Part, where it is cheaper to pay Triffin than to fight him. The case has been closely watched by the bench, bar, corporate clients and media, who have witnessed the extraordinary volume of suits Triffin filed since 1997.
It appeared that Triffin’s fraudulent ways might continue until Automatic Data Processing (“ADP”) retained Pitney Hardin’s Kearney to defend a small ($12,000) but important claim by Robert Triffin that ADP was liable under the UCC for counterfeit checks. Kearney states, “As a former prosecutor, I was able to bring two skills to bear on the Triffin matter: first, an understanding of how to investigate fraud; and second, the ability to master and present complex evidence to the jury in an understandable way.” Kearney’s investigation suggested that Triffin had been fraudulently manufacturing assignment agreements, and ADP counterclaimed. Motion practice successfully dismissed all of Triffin’s claims, so that only ADP’s counterclaim went forward. In a two week trial, commencing April 12, the jury returned a verdict of fraud against Triffin, awarding ADP $132,600 in compensatory damages. After a bifurcated hearing on punitive damages, the jury awarded ADP an additional $50,000 in punitive damages.
“Triffin has been a scourge on the judicial system, banks and New Jersey companies for 15 years, filing suit more than 4,000 times since 1997. He has created more than 10,000 false documents in that same time, seeking recovery on those forged records. We are fortunate that ADP recognized this opportunity to protect itself, and the community at large, from further Triffin’s fraud,” explains Kearney.