Citing declining business, a law firm founded in 1933 that employs 55 people in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware is dissolving, a spokesman said yesterday.
Tomar, O’Brien, Kaplan, Jacoby & Graziano P.C. is folding because it is not earning enough to make payments related to a recent restructuring in which 12 partners left the firm, said Mel Bergstein, a lawyer representing the firm.
“The debt burden of paying shareholders who withdrew two years ago became too overwhelming,” Bergstein said. “The value was posited on an anticipation of future revenues. Things didn’t work out.”
Bergstein said he did not know precisely what was owed, but described it as “a lot of money.”
Firm employees, including about 25 lawyers, were notified Monday of the pending dissolution, Bergstein said. He said he did not know when it would be completed. None of the employees was available for comment yesterday, Bergstein said.
The firm was known for its class-action litigation, Bergstein said. In 1987, it represented six DuPont Co. workers who won a lawsuit against the company, alleging a deliberate corporate strategy harmful to the workers’ health. The workers at DuPont’s Chambers Works in Deepwater, Salem County, and the Repauno Works in Gibbstown claimed that the company concealed that the workers were suffering from asbestos exposure.