John A. Nocera
JOHN A. NOCERA formed Rosner, Nocera & Ragone, LLP in 1986 following a turn as a partner at Hendler & Murray, P.C. Rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale Hubbell for 18 years, his practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including financial schemes, corporate defalcations, financial institution claims under blanket bonds, and the defense of “bad faith” and high profile insurance coverage litigation. He represents money center banks and other financial institutions in negotiable instrument and general banking litigation and in commercial loan recoveries and restructurings.
Mr. Nocera has argued leading banking law cases before New York’s Court of Appeals which redefined the law in areas involving the banking industry, such as Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America v. Chemical Bank, 94 N.Y.2d 418, 705 N.Y.S.2d 553 (2000), which expanded the banking industry’s protection in a case of first impression applying the UCC’s allocation of fault for a life insurance loan scheme involving fraudulent checks, and Greco v. First Union National Bank, 267 A.D.2d 278, 701 N.Y.S. 2d 278 (2nd Dept. 1999), which distinguished prior unfavorable precedent and set the current New York Appellate Division standard of care for a bank’s safe deposit liability. In State of New York v. Barclay’s Bank, 76 N.Y.2d 533, 561 N.Y.S.2d 697 (1900), the negotiable instrument requirements of delivery and of being a “holder in due course” were successfully litigated to conclusion in New York State’s highest court, involving a fraudulent scheme perpetrated by an upstate accountant, whose remains were never recovered after crashing his private plane at full throttle into the Ashokan Reservoir post-discovery of his fraud. The Barclay’s decision was subsequently codified in Article 3 of the UCC.
In the commercial insurance field, Mr. Nocera successfully argued that Superstorm Sandy business interruption losses from Con Ed’s preemptory power shut down did not satisfy a policy’s “direct physical loss or damage” requirement, establishing a precedent in the developing post-Sandy line of coverage cases [See, In Newman Myers Kreines Gross, P.C. v. Great Northern Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 57338 (S.D.N.Y. 2014)]. He also obtained summary judgment dismissal of an attempt to recover business interruption losses and punitive damages arising from a government mandated garage closure at Manhattan’s storied “Apthorp” luxury building, in which the Second Circuit also clarified the standard for “ensuing losses” under New York law [See, Rapid Park Industries v. Great Northern Insurance Company, 2010 WL 4456856 (S.D.N.Y. 2010) aff’d 502 F. App’x 40 (2d Cir. 2012)]. In Flaum v Great Northern Ins. Co., 28 Misc. 3d 1042 (Westchester Co. Sup. Ct. 2010) he successfully defended a forgery claim against an art insurer arising from The Wildenstein Institute’s refusal to authenticate a painting attributed to Renoir, and in Siegel v. Chubb, 33 A.D.2d 565, 825 N.Y.S.2d 441 (1st Dept. 2006) he defeated claims by residents of a Park Avenue “sick building” seeking recovery under insurance policies.
In the financial crimes area, Mr. Nocera recently counseled a multinational insurer in the investigation and settlement of an eight-figure diesel theft claim involving mining operations in Tanzania. He also investigated a raw materials supply chain scheme stretching from West Africa to the Continental Northwest, involving alleged bribery on three continents and kickbacks secreted in offshore accounts. His claim investigation withstood judicial scrutiny in subsequent employee fidelity bond litigation involving claims of “bad faith” insurance practices, [See, Agrium Inc. v. Chubb Insurance Co. of Canada, 2007 ABQB 140 (Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Feb. 28, 2007), in which the Associate Chief Justice dismissed the bad faith claims and specifically mentioned Mr. Nocera’s conduct in the investigation of the claim as being “the antithesis of bad faith”].
Recognized among the top five-percent in his profession, Mr. Nocera has been selected to the New York-Metro Super Lawyers® list.
Attending law school in the evenings while clerking at White & Case, Mr. Nocera is a Dean’s List graduate of St. John’s University Law School, where he was a St. Thomas More Scholar and a published member of its Law Review. He received his undergraduate degree from Fordham University at Lincoln Center.
Mr. Nocera enjoys the outdoors and is an avid ocean kayaker, placing first in class in the “Blackburn Challenge” 21 mile open water kayak race around Cape Ann, Massachusetts in which he regularly competed. He continues to support the not for profit efforts of New York’s Downtown Boathouse and the Hoboken Cove Community Boathouse, both through noted on water leadership and volunteer efforts and by providing pro bono legal assistance to such public benefit organizations.