J. Sheldon Cohen

J. Sheldon Cohen (also known as Lee Cohen)  joined DeCotiis in 1987.  As a partner in the firm's Teaneck office, he is a member of the Municipal, Litigation and Labor and Employment Law practice groups.

His areas of practice include eminent domain,  redevelopment, railroad law, government and regulatory affairs, municipal law, trial and appellate litigation, administrative law and labor and employment law.

Representative Cases:

Condemning and litigating the value of the 2153 acres of Sterling Forest located in New Jersey to maintain the Forest as parkland for the County of Passaic, and derivatively, for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The settlement in this case formed the basis for the parkland acquisition of the 18,000-plus acres of Sterling Forest in New York State.

Acquisition of a privately owned electrical distribution system for the City of Vineland. This project involved the acquisition of a portion of an electric substation, thousands of poles, thousands of miles of wire, hundreds of transformers, subsurface easements and thousands of unrecorded easements connecting property owners to the actual electrical poles.

Acting as lead counsel to three railway companies in the acquisition, permitting and construction of several major rail terminal facilities, in the New Jersey Meadowlands, which now act as terminals for international “ship to rail” or “land bridge” operations.

Condemnation of the former Hoehst-Celanese chemical manufacturing facility, a Superfund site, which was acquired as the future site of the Essex County Jail. Aside from the obvious environmental issues, the case was noteworthy because the County intended a change of use from industrial use (8 hours of allowable exposure) to residential use (24-hour exposure) and the indemnification issues thereby generated.

In a case of first impression, successfully defended the validity of an employee discharge pursuant to a “Last Chance” employment agreement in New Jersey public employment.  Watson v. City of East Orange, 175 N.J. 442 (2003)

Successfully defended the right of New Jersey counties to direct the delivery of solid waste to designated transfer stations, against a dormant Commerce Clause claim of the unconstitutionality of such direction orders.  Atlantic Coast Demolition and Recycling Inc. v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders, et al., 48 F. 3d 701 (3rd Cir. 1995) and 112 F. 3d 652 (3rd Cir. 1996)

Mr. Cohen was an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University Graduate Institute of Management and Labor Relations (1976-77 and 1977-78). He has addressed numerous professional organizations on public and private labor and employment law issues and is the author of several articles on the subject, including:

Statutory and Derivative Public Policy Remedies [At-Will Employment], New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, November, 1984

How the Interest Arbitration Law Works and Why the Effects of Caps is Unclear, New York Times, June 3, 1979

Index and Outline of Scope of Negotiations Determinations, Rutgers, The State University, Institute of Management and Labor Relations, 1977

Mr. Cohen received his B.A. from Fordham College at Fordham University in 1971 and his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1975. As a law student, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Senior Achievement Award and the Am-Jur Administrative Law Award.  

Bar Admissions:
New Jersey (1975)
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (1975)
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1978)
United States Supreme Court (1988)

Professional Memberships, Associations and Activities:
Former Councilmember, Fort Lee, New Jersey
Founding and Life Member, Fort Lee Ambulance Corps

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J. Sheldon Cohen
61 South Paramus Road
Suite 250

Paramus, NJ 07652
Tel: (201) 907-5213 direct
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