A federal judge in Newark, N.J., vacated a $4.6 million judgment against a shipping company, finding it was caused by the misrepresentations of an associate at a venerable litigation firm.

U.S. District Judge Jose Linares, invoking a rule that protects clients from their lawyers’ failings, said in an opinion on Friday that Superior Warehousing Inc. of Edison should not be responsible for missteps by Anthony Sica of Lum, Danzis, Drasco & Positan in Roseland, N.J.