Alexander D. Bono is a trial lawyer and advisor. His practice concentrates on financial, banking, real estate, consumer and securities issues, including regulatory investigations and corporate governance. Mr. Bono leverages his more than 30 years' experience to advise and represent financial institutions, real estate developers and entrepreneurs on a host of issues, including the defense of class action suits. He adds unique perspective to his representation of client needs because he served as general counsel at a publicly traded bank. He also has represented executives and corporations in shareholder derivative claims and litigation charging breach of fiduciary duties, mismanagement and fraud.
Mr. Bono handles a wide variety of banking-related matters, including the prosecution and defense of claims involving:
- Lender liability
- Class Actions
- Asset Recovery
- Uniform Commercial Code
- Loan Defaults
- Real Estate/bank branches
Mr. Bono's practice also involves the prosecution and defense of real-estate-related claims, including:
- Acquisitions and Sales
- Brownfield Redevelopment
- Professional Service Providers
- Materials Suppliers
In addition, Mr. Bono defends broker-dealer related disputes, including court and arbitration matters regarding investor claims, and has represented clients such as:
- TD Wealth Management Inc.
- Royal Alliance, including defense of federal Multidistrict Litigation issues arising from an alleged Ponzi scheme.
- Morgan Stanley
- Janney Montgomery Scott
- Dean Witter Reynolds
- Prudential-Bache Securities
- InvestaCorp., Inc.
- Commerce Capital Markets
He also has defended numerous formal and informal investigations by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, including:
- Global Software Company, U.S. subsidiary and employees
- publicly traded bank, broker dealer subsidiary and employees
- publicly traded software gaming developer
- publicly traded computer peripheral company and employees
- publicly traded debt collection company and employees
- International accounting firm and partners
- Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company, board and employees
Mr. Bono is a 1977 graduate of Temple University, Beasley School of Law, where he was research editor for Temple Law Quarterly, and a magna cum laude graduate of La Salle University.
- Represented a trustee of mortgage backed securities in a jury trial on a mortgage loan default claim and defense of a RICO counterclaim, successfully settling case during trial.
- Won federal court jury trial defending Ocwen Loan Servicing and U.S. Bank, as trustee for investors in mortgage-backed securities, against claims of wrongful foreclosure, fraud, conversion and trespass, and seeking an award for emotional distress, and punitive damages. The jury returned a complete defense verdict, finding in favor of our clients on all claims.
Won summary judgment for a major bank in the Superior Court of New Jersey, in an action in which plaintiff alleged multimillion-dollar claims for breach of contract, implied covenant, and promissory estoppel over the bank's termination of a commercial lease, where Court found both factual and legal bases warranted dismissal with prejudice of all claims.
Won summary judgment for a major bank in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in a multimillion dollar account embezzlement action involving allegations of breach of contract, negligence and violations of the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).
Won dismissal for a major bank of federal court claims alleging violations of the Fair Debt Collection Act, promissory estoppel and equitable estoppel.
- Won a motion to dismiss all claims against a bank in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York for failure to state a claim for violations of the common law of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and federal preemption.
- Representing the Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a Pennsylvania based community bank in an internal investigation concerning safety and soundness issues, including internal controls, corporate governance and accounting matters.
Won dismissal, for a major bank, of a commercial lease dispute in Bergen County, New Jersey Court which granted the extraordinary sanction of dismissal because of plaintiff’s discovery violations.
Won motion to dismiss for a major bank in Florida State Court in a dispute brought by investors in a South Florida real estate company alleging violation of Florida's Racketeer Influenced and Corruption Organization Act.
Won motion to dismiss “with prejudice” for a major bank in the Supreme Court of New York in a dispute brought by a California based private equity firm concerning an $87.9 million transaction under a complex Stock Purchase Agreement with an Indemnity Escrow Fund Agreement
Won motion to dismiss "with prejudice" for a major bank in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Morris County, in a dispute brought by a landlord over the bank's termination of a bank branch's lease over environmental issues.
Obtained partial summary judgment for a major bank in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County in an action seeking $10 million in damages against the bank for breach of a deposit agreement resulting in an alleged raid of customer assets by dissident executives.
- Represented a special committee of the board of directors of Saddle River Valley Bank in an internal investigation into its wire transfer business.
Won appeal for a major bank in United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The appeal upheld a prior victory in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland dismissing plaintiffs’ claims for fraud concerning mortgage foreclosure and garnishment against twenty-two financial institutions and executive defendants. The District Court dismissed plaintiffs’ claims in the entirety for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and then denied motions for reconsideration and to reopen.
Won summary judgment in rem for a major bank in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas in contract and foreclosure action for two separately mortgaged properties totaling $1.3 million plus per diem interest.
Won dismissal with prejudice of lender liability claims against a major bank in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, setting important precedent for future lender liability claims in New York.
Won motion to dismiss for a major bank in a lender liability suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Won motion to dismiss for a major bank under the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) repeater rule in a check fraud case where an employee embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Won motion to dismiss for a major bank in NY State Court on lender liability and consumer fraud counterclaims to an SBA loan foreclosure action.
Won dismissal of multimillion dollar lender liability claims, then won summary judgment on borrowers’ contract claims and then won judgment counterclaims in the amount of $2 Million for the bank in federal court in Pennsylvania concerning the financing of a real estate development project.
Won motions striking lender liability defenses with prejudice, ordering entry of defaults against the borrowers / guarantors, and ordering allowances to proceed for a final judgment on a non-contested basis for a major bank in New Jersey State Courts.
- SEC v. Kissinger – won trial defending registered investment advisor (RIA) on fraud claims over disclosure for various classes of mutual funds.
- SEC v. Hoffman – won trial defending a registered representative (RR) on fraud and switching claims over disclosure for mutual funds.
- SEC v. Saltzman – lifted ex parte asset freeze in federal court against hedge fund and registered investment advisor (RIA), vigorously defended and then settled on favorable terms on the eve of trial.
Won dismissal with prejudice of a putative class action, alleging violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act based on efforts to collect a time barred debt, in the New Jersey U.S. District Court on behalf of a bank’s debt collector vendor.
Won dismissal of putative class action for national bank in U.S. District Court for the Southern District charging violations of New York’s Exempt Income Protection Act (EIPA) and New York common law.
Won dismissal of federal court class action alleging that a national bank violated the Electronic Funds Transfer Act in connection with ATM fee charges.
Defended national bank in putative class action in New Jersey federal court alleging violations of the Federal Trade Commission Act and Rules of Practice governing disclosures to franchisees, New York and New Jersey consumer protection laws and New Jersey common law concerning Small Business Association loans.
- Cave v. Saxon Mortgage Servicing and Ocwen Loan Servicing, LLC – defending national mortgage loan servicer in several putative class actions pending in federal courts in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Florida and Texas.
- Midlantic Bank -- won dismissal of state court class action alleging illegal charges of ATM fees.
- In re Commerce Bank Securities Litigation - dismissal of 10b-5 claim against company, directors and executives.
- In re BonTon Securities Litigation - dismissal of 10b-5 and section 11 and 12 claims against investment banks Alex. Brown & Sons and Montgomery Securities over an IPO.
- In re Numerex Securities Litigation- dismissal of 10b-5 claims against company and board over secondary stock offering; settled while appeal was pending.
- In re Chateauguy Corp., LTV Corp.: – dismissal of securities class action claims filed in bankruptcy proceeding.
- In re HomeHealth Corporation - defense of healthcare provider, board and executives regarding disclosure; settled after company filed for reorganization.
- In re Financial News Network, Inc. and Infotechnology, Inc. - defense of several class action, RICO and securities cases regarding financial disclosure; settled.
- Wall to Wall Sound and Video Securities Litigation - court appointed defense liaison counsel in class action IPO securities case; settled.
- Greenfield v. Heublein – represented plaintiffs in securities class action over disclosure of merger with RJ Reynolds (precursor to Basic v. Levinson regarding material omissions).
- Laventhal & Horvath - defense of international accounting firm in several securities class actions; settled.
- Ivan Boesky - defense in class actions involving Drexel Burnham, Michael Milken and others.
Won dismissal for a major bank of putative shareholder derivative claim in Pennsylvania state court.
- Commerce Bank - dismissal of New Jersey state claims against board members and executives regarding fiduciary duties on pay to play issues.
- AEL Industries - dismissal of Pennsylvania state court derivative claim and class action regarding merger and change of control premium to controlling shareholder; with award on statutory bond upheld on appeal.
- LifeMinders Inc. - dismissal of Kansas federal court claims against company, board and executives regarding merger and disclosures.
- Loewen Group - defense of board members of death care company over fiduciary duties in Pennsylvania.
- Midlantic Bank - dismissal of bank in defending consumer class action regarding ATM fees.
- Carolina Acquisition v. Double Billed, HYM Yacht Sales et al. – Won a $2 million jury verdict following a two-week trial for a client that purchased a yacht from a yacht broker in Florida. The jury found for the client on its claim that that defendant negligently misrepresented the condition of the yacht.
- Sivad v. Coastal Charter – represented purchaser of 142-foot yacht in Florida state court, resulting in mediation of settlement.
- Yacht Purchasers – representations of various yacht purchasers in Florida against sellers and others involved in the sales process.
- Oakes, et al., v. OkiData Electric - court appointed, nationwide class counsel for consumers of laser printers; successfully settled civil RICO, warranty, breach of contract and consumer fraud claims.
- Algrant, et al., v. Evergreen Partners - representation of numerous investors in limited partnership, including consumer claims.
- Carey International - defense of international limousine company, its board and officers in RICO class action case over surcharges to consumers.
- Midlantic Bank - dismissal of Pennsylvania state court claims against board of Old York Road Bank regarding merger and disclosure.
- NL Industries v. Sayreville Seaport Associates - defended and settled complex litigation for national land developer through several intricate and interrelated transactions involving a $2 billion redevelopment/brownfields environmental remediation project along the Raritan River in New Jersey.
- Raritan Baykeeper v. O'Neill Properties - won dismissal of federal environmental claims against real estate developer concerning $2 billion Brownfield Redevelopment Project in Northern New Jersey.
- Raritan Baykeeper v. Sayreville Seaport Associates - defending federal environmental claims against remediator / developer concerning $2 billion brownfield redevelopment project; won dismissal of all claims under federal abstention doctrine that was later reversed and remanded by appeals court.
- Lynchburg Steel v. O' Neill Properties Group - successfully defended and resolved federal court claims by service and products supplier as part of a complex, multi-party restructuring of a half-billion-dollar brownfield redevelopment project at a former steel plant.
- RC Fabricators v. O'Neill Properties Group - successfully defended and resolved state court claims by product supplier as part of a complex, multi-party restructuring of a brownfield redevelopment project.
- Brayman Construction v. O' Neill Properties Group - successfully defended and resolved state court claims by service and product supplier as part of a complex, multi-party restructuring of a brownfield redevelopment project.
Securities and Exchange Commission Enforcement Defense
Shareholder Derivative Claims
Real Estate Development Disputes
Areas of Practice
- Financial Services Litigation
- Regulatory and Internal Investigations
- Corporate Governance
- Business Governance Litigation and Shareholder Disputes
- Class Action Litigation
- Litigation Services
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D., 1977
- Research Editor, Temple Law Quarterly
- La Salle University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1974
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2009-present
- Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis LLP
- Partner, 2007-2009
- Commerce Bancorp, Inc.
- General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, 2004-2007
- Blank Rome LLP
- Partner, 1986-2004
- Associate, 1978-1986
- Dennis H. Eisman & Associates, P.C.
- Associate, 1977-1978
- American Bar Association
- Litigation Section
-- Securities Litigation Subcommittee
---Co-Chair, Subcommittee on Accounting Issues, 1994-2001
---Co-Chair, Drafting Committee for Model Jury Instructions for Accounting Issues in Security Cases
- Philadelphia Bar Association
- Judge, Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legal Writing Competition, 2015
- YLS Judicial Merit Selection Committee, 1989
- Associate Editor, Criminal Justice Bulletin, 1976-1977
Honors and Awards
- Part of the Duane Morris team awarded the first TD Bank "U.S. Legal Champion" Award
Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers, 2004 and 2010-2020
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
Civic and Charitable Activities
- Catholic Health Care Services, Archdiocese of Philadelphia
- Board Member, 2008-2013
- Catholic Social Services
- Board Member, 2000-2005
- Keys to Corporate Governance and Updating Policies (Thomson/Aspatore 2008)
- "SEC Enforcement: Investigations, Actions and 2008 Trends," The Legal Intelligencer, April 2008
- New Millennium Class Actions, National Business Institute, 2000
- Editor and Drafting Co-Chair, Model Jury Instructions in Securities Litigation, American Bar Association, 1996
- "The Scope of Tracing to Establish Section 11 Standing," Securities News, American Bar Association, Fall 1996
- Co-author, "Audit Committees," Corporate Practice Series, BNA, 1995
- Civil and Criminal Liability: What the Accountant Needs to Know, Center for Professional Education, Inc., 1993
- Co-author, "Civil RICO in Securities/Banking Cases," Civil RICO Practice: Causes of Action, Wiley Law Pub., 1992
- Co-author, "Consulting Liabilities," Journal of Accountancy, AICPA, November 1992
- "Validity of Class Actions Proofs of Claims in Bankruptcy," Commercial Law Journal, Fall 1991
- "Counsel Fees: Percentage Approach on the Rise," The National Law Journal, September 1990
- "Securities Litigation: Fraud on the Market in the Third Circuit," The Barrister, Spring 1988
Selected Speaking Engagements
Panelist, "Fraud on Your Finance Department – Risks, Rules and Recommendations for Preventing Bank Account Frauds," Association of Corporate Counsel – Greater Philadelphia’s 11th Annual In-House Counsel Conference, Philadelphia, April 24, 2019
- Panelist, "Key Legal Issues CEOs Must Be Aware Of," SmartCEO Magazine Roundtable, April 2016
- Panelist, "Planning the Unplannable: Alternative Fee Arrangements (AFAs)," TD Bank Group's Biannual Lawyers Conference, April 2016
- Panelist, CLE Presentation: "Know Your Customer," March 2016
- Panelist, CLE Presentation: "Managing Bankruptcy Risks in Commercial Real Estate Lending," October 29, 2015
- Panelist, "Commercial Equipment Lease Financing - Risk Factors and Recent Trends," May 2015
- Panelist, CLE Presentation: "Attorney Client Privilege, Work Product Doctrine and Other Privileges for In-House Counsel," April 2015
- "Final Trial Preparation," Temple University School of Law LL.M. Advocacy Program, December 1997
- "Accountant Civil Liability," Center for Professional Education, Inc., June 1994
- "Civil Liability: What the Accountant Needs to Know," Center for Professional Education, Inc., June 1993
- "How to Limit Your Malpractice Exposure as a Financial Advisor," International Association for Financial Planning, February 1992
- "Potential Liability for Consultants," Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants, January 1992