Goldfarb v. Solimine

Plaintiff Goldfarb claimed that Defendant Solimine reneged on a promise of employment after Plaintiff quit his job to accept a promised position managing the Defendant’s family’s sizeable investment portfolio. After Goldfarb sued, the trial court submitted the case to the jury on a theory of promissory estoppel. But the court limited Plaintiff’s potential damages. The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff, and Defendant appealed. The Appellate Division affirmed the verdict as to liability, but it concluded that Plaintiff was entitled to present evidence of his reliance damages and remanded for a new trial limited to those damages. In Goldfarb v. Solimine, the key issue for the NJ Supreme Court was whether Plaintiff may bring a promissory estoppel claim because he relied on Defendant’s promise in quitting his prior employment even though, under New Jersey’s Uniform Securities Law of 1997, he may not bring a suit on the employment agreement itself. The Court affirmed the Appellate Division, holding that the Securities Law did not bar Plaintiff’s promissory estoppel claim for reliance damages. To the extent that the Appellate Division relied on an alternative basis for its liability holding –that a later-adopted federal law “family office” exception has been incorporated into the NJ Securities Law –the Supreme Court rejected that reasoning and voided that portion of the Appellate Division’s analysis.

David-Solimine