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Philadelphia Office
1835 Market Street - Suite 1400
Philadelphia
PA 19103
215.569.3006 phone215.568.6603 faxmplatt@klehr.com
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Monica Clarke Platt

Associate | Litigation | Construction

Biography

Monica is an experienced commercial litigator who focuses on complex business disputes, financial-services litigation, class actions, and First Amendment claims. Having litigated matters from inception through trial and appeal, Monica is a strategic thinker who looks for opportunities to leverage her clients’ strongest positions into early settlement where desirable while also developing each case so as to be trial-ready.

Monica has represented businesses of all kinds in litigation, and is equally adept at handling a complex fraud case as she is handling disputes relating to commercial leases and real estate development. As a former editor, Monica has a keen interest in First Amendment claims. She has represented plaintiffs in multiple high-profile freedom of speech cases, and has represented numerous clients in defamation claims.

In addition, Monica frequently represents petitioners seeking conservatorship of abandoned and blighted properties under the Pennsylvania Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act (Act 135). Monica has successfully litigated numerous conservatorship cases, securing conservatorship of abandoned properties throughout Philadelphia. She also has obtained successful settlements resulting in rehabilitation by owners.

Monica is a 2011 graduate, summa cum laude, of Drexel University’s Kline School of Law, where she was editor-in-chief of the Drexel Law Review. While in law school, Monica completed an externship with the Honorable Sue L. Robinson in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware. Monica also interned at a legal services organization that counsels non-profit companies in the areas of affordable-housing development, community revitalization, and non-profit governance. While there, she assisted an award-winning effort to preserve affordable housing in Pittsburgh using HUD Neighborhood Stabilization funds.

Prior to entering the legal profession, Monica worked in development at a local nonprofit that engaged in affordable-housing development and provided supportive services to homeless families. Her non-legal work has given her a unique perspective on the business needs and concerns that clients have, and continues to inform her practice.

Since 2015, Monica has annually been named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyers® Rising Star by a vote of her peers and has on multiple occasions been named to the First Judicial District’s Pro Bono Roll of Honor in recognition to her commitment to pro bono service in Philadelphia.

Credentials

Education

Drexel University School of Law, J.D., summa cum laude (2011)

University of Florida, B.A., English (1999)


Admissions

Pennsylvania

New Jersey

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania


Boards/Memberships

Board Member,  ACHIEVEAbility

Member,  Philadelphia Bar Association

Member,  Drexel University, Kline School of Law Inn of Court

Awards/Honors

Awards and Honors

Recognized as a "Pennsylvania Rising Star" by Super Lawyers (2015, 2018)

The First Judicial District Pro Bono Roll of Honor (2013, 2014, 2015)

Publications

"Alert: Pennsylvania Superior Court Clarifies "Legally Occupied" Under the Abandoned and Blighted Property Conservatorship Act," Litigation Alert, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP, April 18, 2019

"Dismissal of a Complaint Due to an Arbitration Clause Does Not Toll the Statute of Limitations," Litigation Alert, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP, March 28, 2019

Local Exceptions in CAFA for In-State Class Actions, Law360 (Jan. 26, 2014) This article discusses the home state and local controversy exceptions to federal jurisdiction under the Class Action Fairness Act for in-state controversies. https://www.law360.com/articles/501278/local-exceptions-in-cafa-for-in-state-class-actions.

2015 ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business & Corporate Litigation, Criminal & Enforcement Litigation chapter

2014 ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business & Corporate Litigation, Criminal & Enforcement Litigation chapter

2013 ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business & Corporate Litigation, Criminal & Enforcement Litigation chapter

2012 ABA Annual Review of Developments in Business & Corporate Litigation, Criminal & Enforcement Litigation chapter

An Uncertain Regulatory Future for Prepaid Cards, Banking & Financial Services Policy Report, Vol. 31, No. 7 (July 2012). The articles discusses the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s plans to regulate the rapidly expanding prepaid card market.

2011 Sees Focus on Whistleblowing and Dodd-Frank Claims, Business Law Today (Jan 23, 2012).
http://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/blt/content/2012/01/article-4-haaf-platt.shtml

Representative Matters:

  • Represented former CEO and Vice President of online-payments platform at trial in the Delaware Court of Chancery against claims of fraud and breaches of representations and warranties relating to the sale of a company.
  • Represented at trial a national retailer in a dispute alleging breach of a commercial lease.
  • Represented a private mortgage insurer in multiple putative consumer protection class action lawsuits brought under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA), obtaining dismissal in each either at the pleading stage or on motions for summary judgment.
  • Part of a team representing two national railroads against several toxic tort class and individual actions alleging injuries arising from a train chemical car derailment. Multiple claims were dismissed at summary judgment and those that proceeded obtained nominal damages at trial.
  • Represented group of internet-based businesses in a series of class actions alleging violations of New Jersey’s consumer protection laws, all of which were voluntarily dismissed after briefing on motions to dismiss.
  • Obtained dismissal, affirmed by the Pennsylvania Superior Court, of class action against aggregator that acted as intermediary with respect to landowners’ oil and gas leases with energy companies, alleging breach of contract, unauthorized practice of law, violation of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law (UTPCPL), violation of the Pennsylvania Securities Act of 1972, breach of fiduciary duty, and unjust enrichment/disgorgement.
  • Represented national franchisee of fast-food chains in defense of discrimination claims by customers. Obtained dismissal on preliminary objections, which was affirmed by the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

Pro Bono Experience:

  • Part of a team that represented newspapers in a case alleging First Amendment violations in the execution procedures of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC). We obtained an injunction requiring the DOC to make the entirety of lethal injection executions visible and audible to the members of the public and the press selected to witness them. The court found, as a matter of first impression in the Third Circuit, that the public and press have a First Amendment right to witness the entirety of executions.
  • Part of a team that successfully obtained habeas corpus relief for a client that was repeatedly and vindictively denied parole after having been acquitted on murder charges at trial.
  • Served as child advocate in dependency, termination of parental rights, and adoption proceedings.
  • Obtained favorable settlement for inmate alleging excessive use of force in action brought under 28 U.S.C. § 1983.