DeCotiis News
DeCotiis lawyers are frequently in the press in their areas of expertise as well as being sought-after speakers, panelists and authors.

Over the past few years, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP has experienced tremendous growth. The firm received Martindale-Hubbell®'s highest rating for the ability and ethical standards of its attorneys three years in a row, hired a host of new attorneys and opened new offices throughout New Jersey.

Now, in an increasingly digital age, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP is expanding its online presence by further developing the firm's LinkedIn page and adding a Facebook and Twitter page. The firm cordially invites you to follow each page to get regular updates about the firm, job openings and major developments in… Continue

DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin continues to grow. In 2015, the firm hired six new attorneys from a variety of legal backgrounds.

Daniel Antonelli joined the firm as a Contract Partner in March 2015. He opened his own law practice in 1998 before cofounding Antonelli Minchello P.C. in 2011. Mr. Antonelli joined DeCotiis as the Township Attorney for Union and the City Attorney for Linden. He  serves as Municipal Prosecutor for the Borough of Fanwood and Special Outside Counsel for the City of Elizabeth, the Borough of Roselle, the County of Union, the Clark Board of Education, the Elizabeth Housing… Continue

Arlene Quinones Perez, formerly an attorney with the Carpenters Union, has become a partner with the law firm DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick and Cole, LLC, a move that at the very least has optical political implications.

DF&C, with Partners, J. Sheldon Cohen (Borough Attorney) & Frank Regan as lead attorneys, had the privilege to represent Fort Lee's Mayor, Mark Sokolich and the Borough Council, in the litigation to De-Designate the failed prior Re-Developer and Designate new Re-Developers. These DF&C Partners also represented Fort Lee in drafting the RFPs, selection of the replacement Re-Developers, negotiation of the new  Re-Developers' Agreements , financings and the State/County permit approvals, which led to the construction of the Projects featured in the following article.

First published in New Jersey Municipalities March 2015. Used with permission.

Fifty years in the making, ‘The

Representing Physician Clients before
the State Board of Medical Examiners

by Alex J. Keoskey

Any attorney combing through the state departments and agencies section of the Lawyers Diary will likely take note of the multi-layered bureaucracy within the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety. Tucked deep within the department's Division of Consumer Affairs is the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners. When representing physicians in actions initiated by the board, it is imperative counsel have a working knowledge of some key areas of the law.

Fundamental to the task of defending board matters is a solid background in… Continue

By Nicole Mulvaney, The Trenton Times

PRINCETON - The town is seeing renewed interest in a solar project proposed for the Princeton-owned landfill on River Road that initially stalled about three years ago.

Officials in the former borough and township at the end of 2011 began establishing proposals for a power purchasing agreement that called for the town leasing a portion of the landfill to a solar developer, who would finance, construct, own and operate the solar facility, Princeton Planning Director Lee Solow said.

The original project stalled and was put on hold in 2012 because of solar renewable energy… Continue

In a recent Bankruptcy Court decision, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP, achieved a $26 million settlement to help fund municipal programs in Atlantic City after four of the city's 12 casinos closed in a difficult economic climate. Traditionally, the casino industry accounted for roughly 60% of the city's total property tax revenue, and the recent closures put the  resort city in a difficult financial situation.

The dispute, between the former owners of Revel Casino and Atlantic City, was over a $31 million dollar tax bill owed to Atlantic City. Revel's bankruptcy parent company argued that the $1.15 billion assessed value… Continue

After more than two years of litigation, a United Stated District Court dismissed a lawsuit by a former employee of the Atlantic City Housing Authority, who made accusations of political discrimination and retaliation. The case saved the Housing Authority considerable resources and protected its professional reputation.

Susan Volkert, a Partner and member of the Labor and Employment practice, represented the Housing Authority in the hotly-disputed case, Best v. Atlantic City Housing Authority, that involved thousands of pages of documents, and several depositions. The plaintiff alleged that he was dismissed from his position for supporting a candidate that opposed Atlantic City's… Continue

# 32: Joe DeCotiis/Michael DeCotiis Attorneys

The deep-reach law firm has key contracts around North Jersey and is close to powerful Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop. Political mainstays, the younger generation of the DeCotiis family has moved up into positions of power within the firm.

New Jersey Law Journal
Michael Booth
3 November 2014

A New Jersey appeals court has ruled that a local ordinance that bans digital multi-message billboards but not static ones does not violate the First Amendment.

A three-judge Appellate Division panel Oct. 17 affirmed the decision by Franklin Township, N.J., to prohibit the erection of digital billboards along a stretch of Interstate 287 as a proper exercise of regulatory power since the ordinance was content-neutral and the township was acting to preserve aesthetics and promote traffic safety.

"On its face, the ordinance does not restrict any speech based on its… Continue

By Louis C. Hochman | NJ Advance Media for
on October 20, 2014 at 1:45 PM, updated October 20, 2014 at 2:41 PM

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP - For what may be the first time in the country, an appeals court has ruled a municipality can ban electronic billboards within its borders.

Judges Marianne Espinosa delivered Friday the unanimous decision by the Appellate Division of state superior court, ruling that Franklin Township's ban on electronic or animated billboards did not violate the First Amendment.

"I know that when we looked for reported decisions (upholding such bans), we had not found any," Township… Continue

Bob Makin, @ReporterBMakin6:16 p.m. EDT October 17, 2014

In a published decision that will become precedent, the state appellate court paved the way for Franklin Township and other municipalities to ban billboards, previously deemed a form of free speech.

FRANKLIN (Somerset) - An unprecedented 40-page decision by the Appellate Division of the state's Superior Court has paved the way for not only the township but other municipalities to ban digital billboards from their communities.

Judges Marianne Espinosa delivered the unanimous decision today that she shared with Judges Clarkson Fisher and Ellen Koblitz. The decision will be published and serve as… Continue

Assembly Speaker and 32nd District Democrat Vinnie Prieto held a fundraiser in his hometown of Secaucus and both locals and outsiders - pols, lawyers who double as lobbyists, and characters - filled a catering room in the La Reggia restaurant.

You can throw a proverbial stone from the restaurant entrance and hit Route 3 east. The eatery is attached to the Meadowlands Hotel, which is also across the street from where we should all be, the Retro gym, in my estimation of the soft girth and gray hair (even the shoe-blacked variety) that was present.

It was a short Wednesday… Continue

Anton Lender joined DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP as a member of its Redevelopment, Land Use, Commercial Real Estate and Municipal Law practices.

Lendor brings extensive legal experience concerning the designation of redevelopment areas and plans and has defended various challenges to redevelopment in court. A skilled negotiator, Lendor has taken the lead on several redevelopment and related financial agreements for private and public clients alike. He has also appeared before land-use boards on behalf his clients and serves on the City of Newark's Zoning Board.

With an engineering background, Lendor gives the firm an additional set of eyes… Continue

DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP's Health Care Practice has counseled dozens of physicians and other health care professionals on how to address ethics complaints, medical board inquiries and legal actions to help them protect their reputations and their careers. The firm is pleased to announce that another local physician is able to get back to keeping his patients healthy after a complaint put his medical staff privileges at risk.

Susan Fruchtman, Esq., a distinguished member of our firm's Health Care Practice, defended a physician whose medical staff privileges were challenged by a Hudson County hospital. The physician, an obstetrician… Continue

Media heiress Samantha Perelman loses bid to receive bigger share of grandfather's estate

June 25, 2014, 3:42 PM
Last updated: Wednesday, June 25, 2014, 11:10 PM
The Record

Samantha Perelman and James Cohen in Superior Court during the trial.
A bitter, long-running court case that pitted two powerful and wealthy families against each other over a multimillion-dollar inheritance ended on Wednesday with a judge's ruling that the granddaughter of the late Hudson News patriarch Robert Cohen does not deserve a bigger share of his estate.
In a 119-page opinion, a Superior Court judge in… Continue

By Terrence T. McDonald/The Jersey Journal

Jersey City's top attorney under former Mayor Jerramiah Healy has landed a gig at law firm DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, a big supporter of Healy rival Mayor Steve Fulop.

Bill Matsikoudis, 42, will work for the law firm along with Derek Fanciullo, who left City Hall after Fulop took over last year. The law firm announced the personnel move today.

"The DeCotiis firm is always looking to grow and add the brightest legal minds to our talented team of attorneys," Michael DeCotiis, a managing partner at the firm, said in a press release.… Continue

DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP is pleased to announce the opening of a new Jersey City Office located at 270 Marin Boulevard. The opening of the Jersey City office follows the addition of offices in Princeton and Mount Laurel giving the firm five strategic locations in the Greater New York City region.

Bill Matsikoudis and Derek Fanciullo have also agreed to join the firm in an "Of Counsel" capacity. Matsikoudis and Fanciullo, the founding partners of the Jersey City-based law firm Matsikoudis and Fanciullo, will focus on municipal, redevelopment and corporate law as "Of Counsel" members of DeCotiis.

"The… Continue

Labor leader Richard "Buzzy" Dressel has been fully acquitted of all federal charges brought against him due to the exceptional legal work provided by attorneys at DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP.

Mr. Dressel, a prominent labor leader and active member of many civic organizations, was charged with multiple federal counts related to his decisions as a union official and faced upwards of 35 years of imprisonment. After a nearly two week trial, the DeCotiis' legal team led by Jeffrey Smith, co-chair of firm's litigation department and a former U.S. Assistant Attorney, convinced the jury to acquit Mr. Dressel of six… Continue

DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP published a new white paper to assist limited liability companies (LLC) seeking to navigate New Jersey's Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA or "The Act" herein). These changes are set to take effect March 1, 2014.

The Act touches on a wide-range of activities that govern LLC operation. In fact, The Act will make changes to the ways LLCs operate in respects to distributions; management and member consent; fiduciary duties; minority oppression; resignation or withdrawl; indemnification; operating agreements; and statements of authority.

The Act makes several changes to default rules that will govern… Continue

Are you paying too much in real estate taxes? Why not consider an appeal of your 2014 local property tax assessment?

On or about February 1, 2014, the local tax assessor in every municipality across New Jersey should have notified each taxpayer by mail - usually a white and blue post card - of the 2014 assessment on each parcel of real estate in the municipality. For 2014, local property tax assessments are required to represent the assessor's estimate of the market value of the property (the so-called "true" value) as of October 1, 2013.

However, these assessments are not… Continue

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