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An excellent litigator, thorough tactician, and a master of detail. Clients note that he is a standout leader and a man of high professional standards, integrity, caring, and compassion.

John H. Newcomer, Jr.



John Newcomer practices in the areas of real estate and commercial litigation. His experience in these dual fields provides his clients with a rare perspective in dealing with complex real estate and business matters. Understanding the dynamics of litigation, and how it impacts his clients’ business strategies, gives John the ability to draft transactional documents with an eye towards avoiding problems before they arise.

John chairs Morris James' Real Estate Group. In his real estate practice, he represents landowners and developers in the acquisition, improvement and financing of properties in Delaware, including hotels, medical and assisted living facilities, apartments, shopping centers and malls, restaurants, residential developments, schools, condominiums, warehouses and other industrial sites. He also assists clients with the review and negotiation of leases. He recently served as the liquidating trustee of a Delaware limited liability company with properties in Colorado and North Carolina worth more than $80M.

John’s litigation practice involves a wide range of business, contract, and real property disputes. His experience includes cases dealing with land purchase and sale agreements, construction defects and disputes, leases, adverse possession of real property, zoning and deed restrictions, breach of fiduciary duties, non-compete agreements, contract and commercial disputes, and estate litigation. He is frequently called upon to assist clients of other members in the firm when they become involved in complex disputes involving their real estate or other commercial transactions. John also handles mechanic's lien actions. His experience as a certified mediator of the Delaware Superior Court gives John the additional insight to resolve his clients’ disputes before they turn into costly litigation.

John also chairs the Business Litigation Practice Group of ALFA International, the premier global network of independent law firms. Founded in 1980, ALFA International is comprised of accomplished trial and business counsel who deliver effective legal solutions to their clients worldwide.


  • Acquisition, financing and development of apartments, assisted living facilities, medical complexes, condominiums, hotels, residential developments, restaurants, industrial warehouses and storage, schools, mixed use developments and shopping centers
  • Commercial real estate leasing
  • Purchase and sale of small to medium sized businesses
  • Litigation involving breach of contract and commercial disputes
  • Litigation involving the sale and valuation of businesses
  • Mechanics' Liens

Professional Affiliations

Delaware Superior Court, Certified Mediator
Delaware State Bar Association, Real Estate Section
Delaware State Bar Association, Ethics Committee, Past Member
Richard S. Rodney Inn of Court, Past Master of the Bench
American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
Delaware Board of Bar Examiners, Past Associate Member

Recent Matters

Recent Transactional Experience

Sale of nursing home properties valued in excess of $90M
Refinance of commercial properties with loan in excess of $100M
Financing of residential construction projects
Refinance of apartment complex loan through Freddie Mac
Refinance of nursing home through HUD 
Acquisition, financing and development of retail center projects
Acquisition, financing and development of hotels
Acquisition and development of land for new schools
Redevelopment of commercial projects through use of condominium regime
Sale of business worth $40M

Representative Litigation Matters

Carlson Investment Group LLC v. Preferred Communication Systems, Inc.  
Represented the directors of Preferred Communication Systems, Inc. in defense of a derivative action filed by a stockholder and former director of the company. Motion to dismiss granted on the basis of Court of Chancery Rule 23.1 and Rule 12(b)(6).

HighTower Holding, LLC v. Gibson
Represented former employee of HighTower Holding in non-compete case. After expedited proceedings, the plaintiff’s motion for a preliminary injunction to enjoin employee from operating a competing business was denied. The Court concluded that HighTower could not carry its burden of demonstrating that it was likely to succeed on its claims that the employee breached the non-compete provisions. Despite the parties’ choice of Delaware law to govern their contracts, Alabama law - which had a substantially stronger relationship to the matter than Delaware – governed the dispute.

Pratapagiri v. Pearce
Represented majority owner of commercial real estate project in dispute with minority owner. Minority owner agreed to sell his interest in the venture, then tried to back out of the agreement. Litigation was commenced to specifically enforce the sale agreement and to recover damages. Ultimately, the defendant conceded the validity of the underlying agreement and transferred his interest in the project as agreed.

Reybold Venture Group XI-A, LLC v. Atlantic Meridian Crossing, LLC
Represented landowner in breach of contract action involving the sale of land and payment of development expenses in connection with a large subdivision in New Castle County. Several of the defendants entered into a settlement agreement relating to the release of lots, and a judgment was entered against other parties arising from their failure to pay their required share of the build-out of the common areas of the project.

Davidson v. Deery
Represented 50% owner of two apartment complexes in dispute with the other owner, who controlled the management of the two properties. Settlement agreement reached whereby properties were marketed and then sold, with proceeds of sale equitably distributed among owners.

Tumulty v. Schreppler
Successfully established at trial claims to lands adversely possessed for more than 20 years against action brought by alleged prior record owner, who failed to establish any acts over the property that would undermine the claimed adverse possession for the required statutory period.

Daisy Construction Company v. American Structures, Inc.
Represented one of the largest manufacturers of bolted, stainless steel tanks in the country in connection with a dispute over the design specifications for a 2.7 million gallon water tank.  Resolved through settlement on the eve of trial.

Gray’s Landing Development, LLC v. Blackston Cove Development, LLC
Represented landowner in defense of mechanic’s lien action filed against landowner’s residential development. The Court granted the landowner’s motion to dismiss the mechanic’s lien, finding the contractor had failed to meet the requirements of the mechanic’s lien statute. 

Hudson v. Wesley College
Represented college in an action brought by a professor who was denied tenure. Following trial and post-trial briefing, the court ruled in favor of the college, finding that the plaintiff failed to document either material misrepresentations or material omissions by the college president to the Board of Trustees, that the preponderance of the evidence demonstrated that the Trustees based their vote on reasonably accurate information, and that the Trustees did not premise their vote to deny plaintiff tenure on misleading information presented as a result of bad faith or an intent to act unfairly.

Santora, Starr and Baffone, P.A. v. Lewis
Represented accounting firm in action against former employee who failed to pay certain damages to employer upon leaving the firm and taking clients with him. Court ruled in favor of accounting firm, finding that employee could not claim credits for payments made by another person against liabilities owed to accounting firm.

In re: Goldstein Estate Litigation
Represented administrator of estate in complex dispute among family members arising from extensive land holdings of decedents. Protracted litigation was settled on the eve of trial, with the family members conceding to most of the administrator’s claims that properties in dispute were assets of the estate. Following settlement, assisted the administrator with the sale and disposition of numerous properties.

Reybold Venture Group IX, LLC v. Summit Plaza LLC
Represented landowner in dispute with adjoining property owner over use of cross access easement needed for full turning access to major roadway abutting the two properties, without which the property’s value would be negatively impacted.

St. Mary’s Coptic Church v. Daystar Sills
Represented church in dispute with contractor over methods of construction and delays in completing the project. Contractor refused to obtain the necessary certificate of occupancy to allow the church to occupy its new building. A settlement was negotiated pursuant to which the contractor completed the work, the certificate of occupancy was obtained, and the parties submitted their remaining disputes to binding arbitration under the terms of the construction contract. The remaining claims were settled after two days of arbitration.

Danforth v. Acorn Structures, Inc.
Represented property owner in dispute over construction defects. The Delaware Supreme Court ruled that the damages claimed by the property owner were barred by the economic loss doctrine. Dissatisfied with that result, John introduced legislation in the Delaware General Assembly, that was ultimately signed into law, which had the effect of “overruling” the Delaware Supreme Court’s decision.


Articles & Publications

News & Events

News & Events



Commercial - Industrial Realty Council of New Castle County
Committee of 100
Downtown Newark Partnership, Executive Board, Past Member
Downtown Newark Partnership, Parking Committee, Past Chairman
St. Philip's Lutheran Church, Board Member and Past Chairman



Best Lawyers, 2019 - Present

Chambers USA, 2019 - Present

Delaware Today Top Lawyers, Real Estate, 2017 - Present

Downtown Newark Partnership, Volunteer of the Year Award

T 302.888.6975
F 302.571.1750


Delaware, 1984
U.S. District Court, District of Delaware
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit


Wake Forest University School of Law, JD, 1984

Dickinson College, BA, cum laude, 1981

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