In The News – DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP http://decotiislaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=39&format=xml&directive=0&stylesheet=rss&records=10 Intellectual Property Law Firm en-us 28 Jun 2022 00:00:00 -0800 firmwise http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Borough of Bound Brook Reaches Agreement With New Jersey American Water For Sewer System Acquisition, Positively Impacting Nearly 3,000 Customers https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121896&anc=3199&format=xml <p><em>Agreement Facilitated by DeCotiis Law Includes an $11 Million Investment for Improvements</em></p> <p><strong>PARAMUS &ndash; February 24, 2022 &ndash;&nbsp;</strong>DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, was instrumental in securing an agreement for the sale of the Borough of Bound Brook&rsquo;s wastewater collection system to New Jersey American Water. Equity Partner Ryan J. Scerbo, on behalf of the firm, provided counsel to Bound Brook on the sale of the wastewater collection system. The agreement will enable the municipality to significantly reduce their debt and potentially reduce taxes.</p> <p>&ldquo;It was imperative for us to bring on a firm that is among one of New Jersey&rsquo;s most respected and knowledgeable in the areas of public procurement and municipal utilities law,&rdquo; shared Mayor Robert Fazen. &ldquo;During this process, DeCotiis assisted in every step of the procurement, public referendum, and contracting processes and those efforts, along with efforts of municipal representatives, have resulted in budgetary savings not only for the municipality but most importantly for our residents.&rdquo; In the Borough of Bound Brook, the mayor&rsquo;s sentiments were not alone. Borough Council President Jake Hardin also celebrated the outcome, &ldquo;Beginning in early 2020 the governing body of the Borough committed to understanding the drivers of sewer costs and finding suitable alternatives to reduce this burden for our residents. Ryan&rsquo;s expertise informed the working committee on best practices used across the state and helped navigate NJ State utility laws. We look forward to the final element of this effort closing this summer, providing relief for the hardworking people of Bound Brook. Without Ryan, we never would have achieved this impact for our residents.&rdquo;</p> <p>A voter referendum this past fall approved the contract to sell the Bound Brook system, which includes a commitment by American Water to invest over $11 million in critical sewer system improvements over a ten-year period. The acquisition agreement will also freeze current sewer rates for residents for two years and will not increase rates by more than three percent annually for the proceeding three years.</p> <p>In a prepared statement released by New Jersey American Water, President Mark McDonough said, &ldquo;I want to thank the elected officials and residents of Bound Brook for entrusting us to manage and improve their sewer utility and protect the environment from the many risks associated with running a sewer collection system. Providing water and wastewater service is all we do, and as Bound Brook&rsquo;s water company for over a hundred years, we are deeply committed to making the needed improvements to provide the community with sewer service that is as safe, reliable and affordable as the water service we provide.&rdquo;</p> <p>DeCotiis&rsquo; Equity Partner Ryan Scerbo has represented, and continues to represent, numerous municipal and regional sewer and water utilities and authorities across New Jersey. Mr. Scerbo is also experienced in representing municipally owned utilities and utility authorities in the procurement of proposals from private water/wastewater service providers and has assisted clients with the negotiation of long-term operator contracts and obtaining necessary approvals for such contracts from the Department of Community Affairs, the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.</p> <p>Mr. Scerbo remarked on the significance of the acquisition, &ldquo;This process has relieved Bound Brook and its residents from the ever-increasing financial burden its wastewater system was becoming. I commend the Mayor and Council for thoughtfully considering all available options over many months before selecting the referendum sale process.&rdquo; He continued, &ldquo;While it may not be opportune for every municipality or county to consider the sale of a public utility, in this instance Bound Brook was able to carefully study all of their options and reach a conclusion that was in the best interest of their residents.&rdquo;</p> <p>The environmental law practice at DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, is designed specifically to help clients address legal, regulatory, and business challenges. The firm&rsquo;s lawyers have the breadth and depth of experience to ensure that its clients not only meet these challenges but also benefit from them. Their attorneys counsel clients in areas such as:</p> <ul> <li>Water and Wastewater &ndash; Permitting, compliance, finance and operational issues</li> <li>Renewable energy &ndash; Siting, tax credits, project finance, bonds, mergers and acquisitions, regulation, and pilot agreements</li> <li>Sustainable development &ndash; Public finance, tax incentives, project acquisition, development and finance, and affordable housing</li> <li>Environmental and land use &ndash; Permitting, transactional due diligence, brownfields, environmental impact reviews, and code compliance</li> <li>Development of climate change policies and practices</li> <li>Green investing &ndash; Fund structuring, formation, and implementation</li> <li>Clean technology &ndash; Intellectual property, trade secrets, contracts, and transactions</li> </ul> <p>To contact Equity Partner Ryan J. Scerbo for environmental and green-focused counsel, call 201-907-5264 or email <a href="mailto:rscerbo@decotiislaw.com" role="link">rscerbo@decotiislaw.com</a>. For more information about DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, and the firm&rsquo;s Environmental Law practice visit <a href="/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">www.decotiislaw.com</a> or call 201-928-1100.</p> <p><strong><u>About DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP </u></strong></p> <p>As a law firm that boasts more than 100 attorneys and staff, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, has a deep well of knowledge from which to draw. The firm&rsquo;s legal teams work across disciplines to achieve the best results possible in both public and private sectors. DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP&rsquo;s deep connections to the highest levels of state and local government allow their attorneys to efficiently resolve issues for a broad range of organizations. These existing relationships with government and regulatory agencies inform everything the firm does. A partial list of its practice areas includes real estate, labor law, public procurement, litigation, cannabis, environmental law, public finance, tax, municipal law, government and regulatory affairs, healthcare law, corporate law, banking and bankruptcy. For more information, visit&nbsp; <a href="/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">www.decotiislaw.com</a>.</p> Firm News 24 Feb 2022 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121896&anc=3199&format=xml DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, Welcomes the Honorable Walter F. Skrod (Ret.) Expanding Purview to New Practice Area: Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice Group https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121725&anc=3199&format=xml <p><strong>PARAMUS &ndash; February 1, 2022 &ndash;&nbsp;</strong>DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, is pleased to announce the addition of the Honorable Walter F. Skrod (Ret.) as &ldquo;of counsel&rdquo; to the firm. Judge Skrod joined the firm Monday, January 31 after serving nearly seven years as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge in Bergen County. He brings extensive experience to DeCotiis, offering his expertise in the areas of alternative dispute resolution, mediation, and arbitration, as well as consultation with public and private sector clients. Judge Skrod also consults on trial presentations, and is available to manage litigation as a special master and offer guidance to the firm regarding complex matters.</p> <p>&ldquo;Having served in various roles in my legal career, I am looking forward to the unique opportunity I will have to provide counsel to clients here at DeCotiis,&rdquo; Judge Skrod said. &ldquo;My wealth of experience settling cases as a judge and knowledge of Alternative Dispute Resolution will assist in setting the firm apart.&rdquo;</p> <p>Judge Skrod&rsquo;s addition to the firm will extend DeCotiis&rsquo; purview to a new practice area, Alternative Dispute Resolution (&ldquo;ADR&rdquo;). With costs of litigation and overburdening court systems, the ADR Practice Group will allow parties to work toward a voluntary and consensual agreement.</p> <p>DeCotiis Co-Managing Partners Joseph M. DeCotiis and Michael R. DeCotiis welcomed Judge Skrod, &ldquo;With over 45 years of practicing law, we are very pleased to have Judge Skrod become part of the DeCotiis firm. Not only is he the first former judge to join our ranks, but he will provide invaluable expertise in the area of Alternative Dispute Resolution for our clients.&rdquo;</p> <p>The firm&rsquo;s ADR Practice Group is comprised of a diverse group of attorneys who focus their practices in various areas of litigation, as well as corporate, labor and employment, real estate, construction, environmental and healthcare law. They include trial and transactional lawyers, a former judge, court-appointed mediator and arbitrator.</p> <p>The ADR practice area encompasses mediation, arbitration and other creative alternatives to formal legal proceedings. The attorneys in the ADR Practice Group develop sophisticated strategies for conflict management and resolution by placing an early and comprehensive focus on the business and personal relationships, transaction details, and other relevant factors that have contributed to a dispute. An effective resolution through ADR should uphold the rights of all parties, meet their objectives, preserve relationships, and avoid the time and expense associated with traditional litigation.</p> <p>The goal of ADR is to allow parties to work toward a voluntary, consensual agreement, avoiding the litigation and trial process. ADR also allows for a forum for creative solutions that best fit the needs of both parties. For more information about the firm&rsquo;s Alternative Dispute Resolution practice area, visit&nbsp; <a href="/?t=5&amp;LPA=11025&amp;format=xml" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">www.decotiislaw.com/litigation/alternative-dispute-resolution/</a>.</p> <p>To contact Judge Skrod for Alternative Dispute Resolution counsel, call 201-347-2154 or email <a href="mailto:wskrod@decotiislaw.com" role="link">wskrod@decotiislaw.com</a>. For more information about Judge Skrod&rsquo;s accomplishments, visit <a href="/?t=3&amp;A=25030&amp;format=xml" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">www.decotiislaw.com/attorney/skrod-walter-f/.</a></p> <p>For more information about DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, visit <a href="/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">www.decotiislaw.com</a> or call 201-928-1100.</p> <p><strong><u>About DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP </u></strong></p> <p>As a law firm that boasts more than 100 attorneys and staff, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, has a deep well of knowledge from which to draw. The firm&rsquo;s legal teams work across disciplines to achieve the best results possible in both public and private sectors. DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP&rsquo;s deep connections to the highest levels of state and local government allow their attorneys to efficiently resolve issues for a broad range of organizations. These existing relationships with government and regulatory agencies inform everything the firm does. A partial list of its practice areas include real estate, labor law, public procurement, litigation, cannabis, environmental law, public finance, tax, municipal law, government and regulatory affairs, healthcare law, corporate law, banking and bankruptcy. For more information, visit&nbsp; <a href="/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">www.decotiislaw.com</a>.</p> Firm News 02 Feb 2022 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121725&anc=3199&format=xml DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP, Bolsters Its Ranks by Adding New Attorneys, Gaining Depth to Practice Areas and Expanding Purview Into New Industry https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121724&anc=3199&format=xml <p><strong>PARAMUS </strong><strong>&ndash; December 2, 2021 &ndash;&nbsp;</strong>DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, is pleased to announce it has bolstered its law practice with the addition of thirteen new legal professionals, effective on December 1, 2021. This expansion provides the firm with additional expertise in existing practice areas such as complex litigation, labor and employment, land use, real estate, and banking as well as extends the firm&rsquo;s purview to a new practice area, namely, personal injury law. With more than 100 attorneys and staff, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, will continue to exponentially grow its footprint across New Jersey, with offices in Paramus and Parsippany.</p> <p>Co-Managing Partner Michael R. DeCotiis remarked on the milestone, &ldquo;This expansion combines a wide variety of skills and expertise across multiple practice groups that enables DeCotiis to continue to provide sophisticated and comprehensive solutions to our clients in both the public and private sectors. I am incredibly proud to uphold the legacy and continued growth of the firm.&rdquo;</p> <p>DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP&rsquo;s, current expansion involves the addition of nearly all of the preexisting attorneys from Kaufman, Semeraro &amp; Leibman, LLP, including two of the principals, Paul C. Kaufman, Esq. and Mark J. Semeraro, Esq. &ldquo;As attorneys practicing in New Jersey for over 70 combined years, we are eager to join DeCotiis to expand the resources available to our clients. Our experience with that of DeCotiis means the continued growth of our practice areas and depth of expertise,&rdquo; Kaufman and Semeraro shared.</p> <p>Named Equity Partner Vincent Giblin acknowledged, &ldquo;The addition of Paul and Mark along with the seven attorneys joining the firm will contribute to DeCotiis&rsquo; long list of accomplished attorneys barred across the United States, fortifying our national presence and delivering more than exceptional solutions to complex legal problems for our clients.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;I am honored to be a third-generation DeCotiis at DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP,&rdquo; stated Joseph M. DeCotiis III. &ldquo;The legacy of our firm is that of excellence and commitment to high-quality representation. I look forward to learning from and working alongside this new group of legal professionals.&rdquo;</p> <p>In addition to Mark J. Semeraro and Paul Kaufman, the seven other new attorneys joining DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, are Deena B. Rosendahl, Justin D. Santagata, Scott Fahrney, Jaime R. Placek, Gregory K. Asadurian, Danielle M. Federico, and Avi Meger.</p> <p>Founded in 1986, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP,&nbsp; has become a leader in New Jersey government, legal and business communities. As demonstrated with this expansion, the firm has continued its growth, expanding its scope of work and bringing on top legal talent. Continuing with the firm&rsquo;s tradition of upholding professional identity and excellence, the incoming attorneys will join a large group of attorneys within the firm who have earned Martindale-Hubbell&reg; Peer Review Ratings&trade; and who have earned AV Preeminent&reg; Ratings, the highest peer rating standard.</p> <p>DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, will add a second location at 90 East Halsey Road, Suite 385, Parsippany, NJ, 07054 in Morris County. For more information about DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, visit&nbsp; <a href="/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">www.decotiislaw.com</a> or call 201-928-1100.</p> <h2><strong>About DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP </strong></h2> <p>As a law firm that boasts more than 100 attorneys and staff, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP, has a deep well of knowledge from which to draw. The firm&rsquo;s legal teams work across disciplines to achieve the best results possible in both public and private sectors. DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP&rsquo;s deep connections to the highest levels of state and local government allow their attorneys to efficiently resolve issues for a broad range of organizations. These existing relationships with government and regulatory agencies inform everything the firm does. A partial list of its practice areas include real estate, labor law, public procurement, litigation, cannabis, environmental law, public finance, tax, municipal law, government and regulatory affairs, healthcare law, corporate law, banking and bankruptcy. For more information, visit&nbsp; <a href="/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">www.decotiislaw.com</a>.</p> Firm News 02 Dec 2021 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121724&anc=3199&format=xml Business owner concerns regarding toxic tort litigation https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121723&anc=3201&format=xml <p>Business enterprises of every type and dimension in New Jersey and national routinely face risks that threaten their bottom line. A common challenge for many of them &ndash; whether they are a private or public entity engaged in a lending, development, realty-linked or other transaction &ndash; links directly to environmental concerns.</p> <p>Indeed, environmental issues often loom large across the commercial landscape, especially involving significant projects featuring complex regulatory controls and an interplay among federal, state and local laws. One <a href="/?t=5&amp;LPA=10015&amp;format=xml" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">online overview of the business-environmental sphere</a> notes that relevant rules &ldquo;are not only exhaustive, but present a moving target.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>Environmental lawsuits: a core concern for many businesses</strong></p> <p>Disputes grounded in environmental claims are diverse and can involve broad-based claimants and allegations of legal culpability spanning broad terrain. The focus below is on the potential for a business to be sued for its claimed involvement promoting dangers linked with so-called &ldquo;toxic torts&rdquo; and resulting injuries.</p> <p><strong>What is a toxic tort, and how can a claim challenge a business?</strong></p> <p>Toxic tort claims allege injury caused by harmful exposure to some dangerous chemical or other substance. Litigation can center on consumer drugs claimed to be dangerous, pesticides, manufacturing compounds, mercury, asbestos and more. Moreover, a lawsuit might allege widespread damaging effects from accidental leaks into air and groundwater.</p> <p>Businesses can be immediately and severely threatened by toxic tort claims. That can be especially true when large numbers of individuals collectively band together as claimants in class-action lawsuits. Such litigation can prove detrimental for a company&rsquo;s image, divert precious time and resources otherwise devoted to business operations, and potentially yield stark monetary and other sanctions.</p> <p><strong>Defending against a toxic tort claim in state or federal court</strong></p> <p><a href="https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/toxic-torts-overview-32204.html#:~:text=In%20a%20toxic%20tort%20claim,called%20a%20class%20action%20lawsuit." data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">Mounting a defense against a toxic tort lawsuit</a> can unsurprisingly be a challenging endeavor. A proven pro-business environmental law legal team can often secure optimal results, though. Case outcomes often hinge on factors like these:</p> <ul> <li>Causation</li> <li>Weight and relevance of offered evidence</li> <li>Applicable time dimension</li> <li>Other contributing elements</li> </ul> <p>Causation is often key. Can injury claims reasonably be traced back to one alleged substance? Should other intervening variables also be considered, especially regarding claims from many years ago? Is submitted evidence flatly stale, easily rebutted or even nonexistent? Can a defense team marshal a team of experts to weigh in authoritatively on claims? Has the legal window for even filing a lawsuit closed?</p> <p>The bottom line in a toxic torts case often stresses the need for a defendant to timely secure experienced and aggressive legal counsel. Claimants&rsquo; resolve in moving forward is often crystal clear. As a definitive article on toxic torts notes, &ldquo;plaintiffs usually sue anyone and everyone that could possibly have any possible link to a dangerous substance.&rdquo;</p> Environmental Law 16 Sep 2021 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121723&anc=3201&format=xml Employee Spotlight – Amy E. Shotmeyer a Guest Panelist at Seton Hall Law's "Art of Networking" Event https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121722&anc=3199&format=xml <p>This past Wednesday, DeCotiis Law Partner <strong>Amy E. Shotmeyer</strong> was a guest panelist on<strong> Seton Hall Law&rsquo;s</strong> &ldquo;Art of Networking&rdquo; event, hosted by SHL&rsquo;s Career Services Department and moderated by Dean Kathleen Boozang. The annual networking event is designed to introduce first-year law students to the nuances of effectively networking.</p> <p>Amy E. Shotmeyer is a partner at <strong>DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin, LLP</strong>. She is a member of the Litigation, Insurance Defense, Environmental Law and Green Practice Groups. Ms. Shotmeyer&rsquo;s practice crosses several disciplines and includes work in the areas of complex civil litigation, insurance defense, environmental law and affordable housing. Ms. Shotmeyer currently serves as the Secretary to the Foundation Board of Trustees of the <strong>Christian Health Care Center</strong> (&ldquo;CHCC&rdquo;), one of the State&rsquo;s premiere non-profit healthcare facilities. She is also a member of the Seton Hall Law Alumni Council. Ms. Shotmeyer has consistently been recognized by her peers as one of <strong>Bergen County&rsquo;s</strong> and <strong>(201) Magazine</strong>&rsquo;s &ldquo;Top Lawyers&rdquo; on an annual basis.</p> <div class="et_social_inline et_social_mobile_on et_social_inline_bottom">&nbsp;</div> Firm News 12 Feb 2021 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121722&anc=3199&format=xml Linked like never before: environmental factors and business development https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121721&anc=3201&format=xml <p>Remember the days when nightly new shows recurrently featured tales of companies across the country contaminating waterways with chemicals and polluting the air with smoke-filled discharges?</p> <p>Such degrading environmental outcomes haven&rsquo;t totally disappeared, of course. But hearing about such a thing these days strikes legions of people as more of an oddity than a common occurrence.</p> <p>Here is why: Companies are quite literally cleaning up their act. It is true that select bad-faith actors might need a bit of cajoling to do so via fines and other sanctions. Reputable businesses that have always sought to conduct their operations within legal bounds have also upped their game, though, and voluntarily so.</p> <p>That is for a very simple reason. Factoring in the environment when working on a proposed or ongoing commercial project is simply good business.</p> <p>Moreover, it is highly endorsed across society and legally mandated by myriad local, state and federal regulations.</p> <p>The truth is that the general public is attuned to environmental concerns as never before. So too are agencies and other bodies tasked with compliance and wielding punitive powers to punish transgressors.</p> <p>The bottom line is that &ldquo;green&rdquo; is now the operative word in business development. Industry participants are focused as never before on balancing <a href="/?t=5&amp;LPA=10016&amp;format=xml" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">the dual goal of profitability and environment stewardship</a>.</p> <p><strong>What actors are paying close attention to a green strategy?</strong></p> <p>The answer to the above-posed headline query can be quickly noted. Virtually every individual and entity remotely involved with business now pays close attention to how a company conducts itself from an environmental perspective. That includes these observers:</p> <ul> <li>Consumers, who increasingly limit their involvement with companies to entities that act environmentally responsible</li> <li>Real estate developers, who must design projects in accordance with new norms and expectations</li> <li>Investors and entrepreneurs, who can no longer afford to align themselves with outdated and discredited development strategies</li> <li>Governing bodies, which wield an arsenal of enforcement tools</li> </ul> <p><strong>Green project focus and linked considerations</strong></p> <p>Business development tied to environmental concerns has a decidedly modern and forward-looking feel. An increasing focus these days centers on matters like the following:</p> <ul> <li>Renewable energy (e.g., solar, wind and biofuels)</li> <li>Urban commercial projects with a natural look and feel</li> <li>Residential projects designed to have a minimal environment impact</li> <li>Recycling plants</li> <li>Gardening, landscape and organic food enterprises</li> </ul> <p>Regulatory authorities encourage such projects, often offering tax rebates and other incentives tied to their development.</p> <p>Notably too, though, virtually every business endeavor that proceeds with environment concerns faces a plethora of rules and legal issues relevant to siting, financing, permitting, contracting, code compliance and additional matters.</p> <p>The green revolution brings exciting prospects for business principals. At the same time, though, it spins a complex web of regulatory exactions that must be identified and precisely complied with.</p> Environmental Law 17 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121721&anc=3201&format=xml What exactly is an unfair labor practice that violates employment law? https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121720&anc=3202&format=xml <p>New Jersey business owners and key company decisions makers routinely face a host of diverse concerns, regardless of the industry in which they operate.</p> <p>The list of hot-button focal points is myriad and lengthy. It routinely spans matters ranging from entity choice, real estate concerns, financing and regulatory compliance to product/service selection and price, environmental issues, contract details, risk avoidance/litigation and more.</p> <p>That &ldquo;and more&rdquo; reference might reasonably be spotlighted in uppercase, with special emphasis being placed on ongoing employer-worker interactions.</p> <p>That centrally denotes labor law, a broad legal sphere that is virtually unparalleled for its nuances and complexity. Company principals must routinely consider and employ sound employment law strategies that both inform policy going forward and serve to identify and dampen potential downsides across a vast universe of emergent possibilities.</p> <p>Seasoned and pro-employer New Jersey attorneys work closely with valued and diverse business clients across the full spectrum of employment law matters.</p> <p>Their input ranges from the proactive drafting of key policy manuals and handbooks to the employment of risk-mitigation strategies relevant to multiple matters. Those include alleged workplace discrimination, wage/hour violations, safety concerns, benefit entitlements, wrongful termination, whistleblower developments and additional concerns.</p> <p><strong>What elevates an unfair labor practice to unlawful conduct?</strong></p> <p>Alleged company behavior can become unlawful and legally actionable when it is deemed taboo under the federal National Labor Relations Act or other federal and state employment laws. The list of qualifying <a href="https://www.justia.com/employment/unions/unfair-labor-practices/#:~:text=An%20employer%20commits%20an%20unfair,concerted%20activities%20with%20other%20employees." data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">conduct that qualifies as an unfair labor practice</a> is long and varied, and centrally includes prohibited actions such as these:</p> <ul> <li>Interfering with workers seeking to create, assist or join a union</li> <li>Threatening or interfering with lawfully protected employee activities</li> <li>Creating a sham/bogus union to influence or disrupt the activities of a legitimate entity</li> <li>Discriminating against workers to prevent their participation in a union</li> <li>Exercising bad faith in collective bargaining</li> </ul> <p><strong>&nbsp;Avoiding unfair labor practice allegations</strong></p> <p>An employer&rsquo;s proactivity in legal matters &ndash; or lack thereof &ndash; often spells the bottom line concerning whether a potentially troublesome issue assumes real magnitude or can be handled without material downsides.</p> <p>And there is often much that a focused and forward-thinking New Jersey employer can do to identify and minimize the repercussions linked with an unfair labor practices charge or other workplace matter.</p> <p>Often, the first step toward curbing conflict and deflecting future challenges is the simple act of timely conferring with a proven team of pro-employer business law attorneys.</p> Labor Law 16 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121720&anc=3202&format=xml New Jersey environmental law poised for major changes https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121717&anc=3201&format=xml <p>New Jersey&rsquo;s regulatory regime in the environmental sphere is both complex and exacting. We prominently note on our website at the established law firm of Decotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin that the state&rsquo;s environmental laws &ldquo;are <a href="/?t=5&amp;LPA=10015&amp;format=xml" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">some of the most aggressive and labyrinthine in the nation</a>.&rdquo;</p> <p>Notably, they just grew even more stringent and detailed.</p> <p>A new reality in the environmental realm was ushered in during the final week of August following passage of what one New Jersey publication calls &ldquo;a landmark environmental justice bill.&rdquo; That legislation &ndash; expected to be signed soon by Gov. Phil Murphy &ndash; recently gained solid traction and mass endorsement, with its momentum materially influenced by recent social unrest and widespread reform demands.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s the prospective law&rsquo;s bottom line: Any company in the state seeking to engage in activities tied to significant pollution within an &ldquo;overburdened&rdquo; community <a href="https://www.northjersey.com/story/news/environment/2020/08/27/nj-legislature-passes-landmark-environmental-justice-bill/5648065002/" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">must now undergo a heightened review process</a>.</p> <p>&ldquo;Overburdened&rdquo; communities are evaluated through reference to factors such as minority identification and the number of existing households with low income. Project review will be conducted by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and pertain to entities/projects like the following:</p> <ul> <li>Major sewage treatment plants</li> <li>Solid waste transfer centers</li> <li>Landfill sites and large recycling outlets</li> <li>Incinerators of various types</li> </ul> <p>In tandem with that review is the duty imposed on a project applicant to submit an impact statement and to also convene a public hearing in the community where it intends to operate.</p> <p>The passed bill is not without critics, especially voices lamenting its potentially adverse effects on an already struggling economy trying to work its way through currently difficult times.</p> <p>&ldquo;The state cannot afford to hamper development with onerous and unattainable regulations,&rdquo; says one legislator who opposed the legislation.</p> <p>We will be sure to keep readers duly updated on any material developments that arise concerning the bill.</p> Environmental Law 03 Sep 2020 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121717&anc=3201&format=xml Employment discrimination claims a constant employer concern https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121718&anc=3199&format=xml <p>Employment discrimination is a matter that principals and managers at every level in American companies must pay utmost &ndash; and constant &ndash; attention to. It is a topic of top-tier concern that employers must elevate to the height of importance. Failure to so do can spawn penalties of real magnitude and also materially harm a company&rsquo;s reputation and management-worker relations.</p> <p>American workers have fought hard for on-the-job protections for decades, receiving a seismic boost from the enactment of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of that legislation enumerated a number of &ldquo;protected&rdquo; workplace classifications against which an employer&rsquo;s discriminatory conduct is flatly taboo.</p> <p>Those categorizations have been expanded in subsequent years. They now centrally encompass matters ranging from age, race, religion and gender to national origin, sexual identity, age and pregnancy.</p> <p>Moreover, there is this: As noted in an <a href="https://employment.findlaw.com/employment-discrimination/employment-discrimination-overview.html" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">in-depth online overview of employment discrimination</a>, federal protections have been augmented over the years by additional safeguards authored at state and municipal levels.</p> <p>The bottom line for employers of every stripe is this: There is no allowance whatsoever for workplace behaviors that discriminate against any individual or select group of employees.</p> <p>Company decision-makers understandably have questions or concerns occasionally regarding what comprises unlawful behavior or what types of programs/initiatives can be proactively pursued to foster an inclusive and legal workplace environment.</p> <p>They can turn to a <a href="/?t=5&amp;LPA=11017&amp;format=xml" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">proven team of employment law attorneys</a> for help on such matters.</p> Firm News 28 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121718&anc=3199&format=xml Spotlighting New Jersey's Local Redevelopment and Housing Law https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121715&anc=3203&format=xml <p>To say that redevelopment-focused projects are a big deal in New Jersey without materially underscoring their importance is sheer understatement.</p> <p>To put it this way: Although redevelopment efforts in some states might not feature much in the way of regulatory exactions, Garden State redevelopment initiatives confront a veritable host of challenges.</p> <p>Indeed, a given redevelopment can easily be tasked to deal with matters ranging from A-Z (e.g., amending a municipal master plan and conforming to zoning requirements).</p> <p>Project participants seeking new and desired use in commercial, residential, industrial and other facilities range broadly from cities, counties and housing groups to local government bodies and stage agencies. Regardless of the role they play, those entities routinely turn to <a href="/?t=5&amp;LPA=11012&amp;format=xml" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">a proven redevelopment legal team</a> to deal with complex matters and promote positive outcomes.</p> <p>We duly stress on our website at the established New Jersey business law firm of DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole &amp; Giblin that &ldquo;redevelopment law is one of the cornerstones of our firm.&rdquo; Our deep group of practiced attorneys helps valued clients at every government level, as well as private commercial entities.</p> <p>In doing so, we are centrally guided by the state&rsquo;s <a href="https://evogov.s3.amazonaws.com/media/33/media/82188.pdf" data-wpel-link="external" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" role="link">Local Redevelopment and Housing Law</a>, which spells topical legislation as detailed and complex as any elsewhere in the country. That statutory enactment stresses these key aims:</p> <ul> <li>Halting and thereafter improving deteriorated facilities</li> <li>Broadly promoting the public interest through redevelopment</li> <li>Advancing the economy through reclamation efforts</li> <li>Providing a single conduit/process to be routinely followed in redevelopment projects</li> </ul> <p>Successful participation in a redevelopment project unquestionably mandates a strong team effort comprising professionals in various fields. A proven law firm specializing in the field can help ensure the optimal advancement of a client&rsquo;s interests.</p> Redevelopment Law 24 Jul 2020 00:00:00 -0800 https://www.decotiislaw.com/?t=40&an=121715&anc=3203&format=xml