LaShawn Oxendine practices predominantly in the area of tax law. She negotiates tax representations, warranties, covenants, and other key tax provisions of various transaction agreements.
Regarding business taxation, LaShawn analyzes tax-optimal entity structures for private equity and investment funds. She also counsels C corporation clients on tax planning opportunities and applicable Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) provisions related to IRC 163(j) business interest expense deduction limitations, use of net operating losses, Subpart F income, and global intangible low-taxed income (GILTI).
Additionally, LaShawn develops tax-favorable transaction structures for domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and internal restructurings. She has designed and effectuated various tax-deferred equity and asset acquisition structures, including F reorganizations and leveraged buyouts. She has also developed and overseen the complex internal restructuring of a multinational transportation company, as well as prepared a step plan and analysis of sales tax and real estate transfer tax consequences following an asset acquisition of railroad properties valued at over $2 billion.
LaShawn drafts tax distribution and allocation provisions of operating agreements for clients structured as pass-through entities; memoranda and opinions for transactions analyzing IRS Treasury Regulation Section 1.1502-6 liabilities, IRC Section 301 distributions, and other transaction tax-related issues.
Brandon J. Lee concentrates his practice on liquor law with a passion for the craft beverage industry.
Brandon supports our extensive Liquor Law, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group. He handles regulatory work with various states’ alcoholic beverage control, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB), and the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB). He assists in the drafting and review of distribution contracts, production contracts, co-packing agreements, sales agreements, articles of incorporation, company by-laws, non-disclosure agreements, and vendor contracts. Brandon also advises manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers on trade practice issues.
Brandon further supports the Liquor Law, Manufacturing, and Distribution Practice Group in preparing for and handling inter-municipal liquor license transfer hearings, citation defenses, and beer rights litigation. He also renders assistance with all aspects of starting a small manufacturing business, including real estate, leasing, and zoning work.
While in law school, Brandon was an active member of the Pitt Law Women’s Association and the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, and volunteered for the New Law Student Orientation. He also spent three years as a dedicated volunteer for Forgotten Harvest, providing families in need with fresh, nutritious, and free food.
Krista Halpin primarily focuses her practice on complex commercial real estate transactions and major projects for private, public, governmental, and high-profile individuals. She handles cooperative (“co-op”) and condominium real estate, finance, and corporate matters, issues, agreements and transactions, contract negotiations, and development.
Additionally, Krista is experienced in general real estate law and finance; commercial transactions; lease and license agreements; corporate law; the formation of corporate entities; governing documents and general agreements; municipal and regulatory matters; project management entitlements, agreements, and easements; tax benefits and conditions; and tax payer agreement plans and negotiations. She manages legal risk and resolves situations with potentially adverse financial repercussions, resulting in favorable outcomes.
David Siegel concentrates his practice on all aspects of intellectual property strategy, maintenance, and enforcement. He represents clients in patent, trademark, and copyright prosecution, transactions, and litigation.
David has significant experience in intellectual property licensing and brand protection. He advises clients on global patent and trademark protection and clearance options and alternatives. David has represented inventors, businesses, and start-ups in patent-related matters such as the drafting, filing, and prosecution of patent applications and non-disclosure and development agreements.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, David was an in-house counsel for a leading multinational costume designer, manufacturer, and distributor, managing licensing, clearance, and brand protection for a global intellectual property portfolio.
Laura Miller is a business attorney focusing her practice on administrative and government regulatory law in the public utility, telecommunications, cable television, and communications infrastructure industries.
Laura handles New Jersey Board of Public Utilities regulatory approval and compliance matters, municipal franchise renewals, public right-of-way access negotiations and agreements, compliance investigations, enforcement actions, and administrative law proceedings. She represents clients in commenting on agency rulemaking and understands and keeps apprised of regulatory and political changes that affect client business operations and initiatives.
In the course of her representation of public entities, Laura has drafted numerous resolutions and ordinances and provided counsel in regard to municipal management including public bidding and procurement and compliance with the Open Public Records Act.
Additionally, Laura has over a decade of experience in complex civil litigation, having represented both private and public clients in state and federal courts in cases involving commercial and corporate disputes and the defense of labor and employment claims.
Prior to her career in the law, Laura was active in political fundraising and campaign management in the state of Arizona, serving as the Field Director for a statewide political campaign and later as the Director of Public Policy in the Arizona Attorney General’s office.
Jim Mazewski concentrates his practice in the area of civil litigation at the trial and appellate levels. He focuses primarily on the representation of corporations, public entities, and insurance companies in complex commercial disputes and employment, construction, and general liability matters.
Jim has significant appellate expertise, having managed numerous appeals of varying levels of complexity, ranging from petitions for new trials to the setting aside of jury verdicts to the reinstatement of voided contracts. He has represented international shipping companies and out-of-state commercial entities in federal actions, and various public entities in jurisdictional and contractual disputes before the New Jersey District Court.
Additionally, Jim has prepared various certification petitions and amicus curiae briefs with the New Jersey Supreme Court on a diverse spectrum of topics and authored numerous successful summary judgment motions.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Jim completed a clerkship with Judge Amy O’Connor of the New Jersey Appellate Division. While in law school, he interned with Justice Anne M. Patterson of the New Jersey Supreme Court and served as Symposium Editor of the Rutgers Law Review.
With over 20 years of experience, Jodi has been involved in all aspects of commercial real estate finance, acquisition, and sale transactions; with significant experience drafting and negotiating loan documents for single and multiple lender transactions; purchase and sale agreements; and conducting due diligence including analysis of title commitments and surveys; zoning reports, opinion letters; and borrower organizational documents. She focuses primarily on the structuring, negotiating, and closing of financial transactions, such as mortgage loans, secured and unsecured lines of credit, construction loans, and retail and commercial leasing.
Jodi represents institutional, non-institutional, and private equity lenders to provide permanent and construction financing, leasing, acquisition, and sale of multi-family residential, commercial, hospitality, retail, and mixed-use properties. She represents buyers and sellers of commercial properties in transactional matters, including acquisitions, dispositions, and the refinance of assets, as well as transactions involving I.R.C. Section 1031 Exchanges. Jodi has been involved in substantial transactions, including representing the lead lender and agent in the financing and syndication of a $141 million acquisition and construction financing project in Orange County, New York, and representing the purchaser/borrower in the acquisition and financing of a multi-family portfolio in Jackson, Mississippi.
Jodi also represents landlords and tenants in commercial and retail lease negotiations, lease assignments, sublease agreements, modifications and extensions, and termination agreements for retail spaces and office buildings.
Additionally, Jodi consults clients with various business transactions, including the organization of entities; drafting stockholder, partnership, and operating agreements; and employment contracts.
Hugh Finnegan focuses his practice on commercial real estate financings and construction matters.
For over 35 years, Hugh has built a special expertise in commercial real estate acquisitions, bridge, construction, project, and mezzanine matters. He represents both local and international landlords and tenants in leasing transactions for offices, warehouses, shopping centers, restaurants, and other retail uses throughout the United States. Hugh also handles sales and acquisitions of undeveloped and developed properties, including “Green” developments.
In addition, Hugh represents lenders and borrowers on loan restructurings and workouts, and has represented several commercial banks in the sale of distressed loans.
Hugh was named in “2018 Ones to Watch” by the New York Real Estate Journal. He has been selected for inclusion on the list of New York Metro Super Lawyers from 2009-2020. Only five percent of New York attorneys are given this honor. Additionally, Hugh is included in the Real Estate Law section of the current edition of Best Lawyers®.
Jillian Levitt focuses her practice on litigation, transactional, and regulatory matters in the real estate industry.
Jillian advises property owners on various types of real estate matters. She handles negotiations and buyouts of residential and commercial buildings. Jillian also litigates commercial and residential matters in New York Supreme and Civil Courts, and matters before the New York State Court of Appeals and the First, Second, and Fourth Appellate Divisions.
In addition to her real estate litigation practice, Jillian drafts lease agreements for residential, commercial, and mixed-use developments. She prepares applications for developers to obtain various economic incentives.
Additionally, Jillian conducts due diligence for purchases of large residential and commercial buildings for compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. She also advises clients on federal, state, and city affordable housing rules and regulations, including the Mitchell-Lama program, section eight vouchers, SCRIE, rent control, and rent stabilization.
While in law school, Jillian was the Managing Editor of Articles for the Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal.
Anthony D’Elia focuses his practice on various litigation matters, including commercial litigation, corporate and business disputes, intellectual property disputes, bankruptcy and creditors’ rights, construction, and professional liability. Anthony also has a general litigation practice.
Through his litigation practice, Anthony represents creditors and other interested parties in bankruptcy cases and adversary proceedings, as well as lenders and other creditors in litigation over unpaid loans. He handles the appointment of rent receivers, collection of debts, and enforcement of settlement agreements. Anthony’s intellectual property practice includes copyright and trademark litigation. He also handles disputes over defective construction and claims for delays, damages, and back charges. Anthony’s work in the area of professional liability has involved matters relating to engineering and accounting liability.
Anthony’s pro bono work has involved assisting incarcerated individuals in litigation over claims of assault, seeking unpaid judgments in bankruptcy court through the filing of proofs of claim and adversary complaints, and negotiating plea bargains in family court.
Following law school, Anthony served as law clerk to the Honorable Garry J. Furnari, J.S.C., who, in addition to his civil docket, managed the environmental docket of the Essex County Superior Court. Anthony assisted Judge Furnari in matters involving tort, contract, property, insurance, and environmental law. During his clerkship, he also mediated both small claims and Law Division matters. Anthony also drafted opinions, summaries, and recommendations regarding motion practice; interacted with attorneys and pro se parties regularly; and observed oral arguments, trials, motion hearings, and case management conferences.
In law school, Anthony was a member of Seton Hall University School of Law’s nationally-ranked Interscholastic Moot Court Board, the Courtroom Advocates Project, and the Immigrants’ Rights/International Human Rights Clinic.
Alan Tenenbaum concentrates his practice on commercial and intellectual property litigation and counseling. He represents corporate clients throughout the United States and before the International Trade Commission in litigation involving patent, trademark, unfair competition, right of publicity, and commercial claims. His litigation and trial work includes matters involving electronic hardware, software, consumer products, medical devices, chemicals, and both branded and generic pharmaceuticals.
Alan is a trusted general counsel to a variety of companies. Applying business solutions from a legal perspective, he works with clients to identify, acquire, protect, manage, and monetize products, technology, and intellectual property rights.
Alan counsels clients who seek to resolve and avoid commercial and intellectual property disputes, with and without recourse to litigation and has litigated and resolved a variety of disputes involving nuisance patents and patent assertion entities. He also negotiates IP and IT agreements and other complex agreements involving technology. Alan has a successful track record in the prosecution of patent applications involving software-implemented applications.
Alan frequently speaks and writes on the topic of patent litigation, software patents, and intellectual property involving emerging technology. He has been named in New YorkSuper Lawyers® for several years, most recently in 2021. He is also rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell.
Jeffrey K. Cassin is a business attorney, concentrating his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), investment transactions, corporate law, and business contracts.
Jeff represents middle-market, mid-size businesses, funds, start-ups, media and technology companies, and individual investors, among others. He counsels clients concerning complex middle-market M&A transactions, deal negotiations, and management decisions, and has served as the primary attorney on dozens of sell-side and buy-side transactions, across industries.
Jeff also has extensive transactional experience in negotiating and preparing financing, LLC operating, shareholder, joint venture, and partnership agreements and other corporate formation and organization documents; securities offering memoranda and subscription agreements; employment, consulting, service, and independent contractor agreements; vendor and supply agreements; debt and convertible equity instruments; distribution and marketing agreements; consents and waivers; restrictive covenant agreements; software licenses, SAAS agreements, and assignments; website T&Cs, privacy policies; brand and trademark licensing agreements; HIPAA agreements; corporate governance documents; and various other contracts.
Jeff represents many start-up companies and founders in initial formation, early operational matters, and friends-and-family, seed, and venture capital rounds of investment. He handles matters ranging from financing rounds, both equity and debt, to negotiating agreements among business owners, investors, executives, and employees. His representation of start-ups, particularly technology companies, has included taking companies from their early stages through sale.
Jeff also represents non-profit organizations in day-to-day business transactional matters and non-profit governance, including drafting by-laws and articles of organization, attending board meetings, and reviewing conflicts-of-interest issues.
Ross focuses his practice on bankruptcy, debtor/creditor rights, corporate restructuring, and commercial litigation. He has significant experience appearing in federal and state courts on behalf of a variety of clients, including, Chapter 7, 11, and 12 trustees, debtors, secured and unsecured creditors, committees, purchasers of assets and stalking horse bidders, officers and directors, non-debtor spouses, landlords, defendants in avoidance actions, insurance companies, distressed companies, and municipalities.
Ross is active in the legal community, having held multiple leadership roles in local bar associations and industry groups both currently and over the past decade. Among other leadership positions, he currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Lawyers Advisory Committee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, District of New Jersey, a committee that has served as a two-way conduit between the bankruptcy bar and the Board of Bankruptcy Judges for approximately 25 years. Ross also is a Trustee of the Mercer County Bar Association and Co-Chair of its Bankruptcy, Budget, and Golf Committees.
Ross frequently writes and speaks on a variety of bankruptcy topics and addresses how bankruptcy proceedings can impact a variety of constituents, including businesses and individuals. He has written articles that appeared in the American Bankruptcy Institute Journal and American Bankruptcy Trustee Journal, among others. Ross has served as a speaker on educational panels conducted by the International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation, International Council of Shopping Centers, Mercer County Bar Association, and Essex County Bar Association.
In 2018, Ross was named in the New Jersey Law Journal Professional Excellence Awards as a “New Leader of the Bar” and was also recognized by the Mercer County Bar Association as “Young Lawyer of the Year.” He has been recognized by New Jersey Super Lawyers® as a “Rising Star” in the area of Bankruptcy: Business every year since 2017.
Akshar Patel concentrates his practice in the area of commercial litigation disputes.
Akshar handles leasing and commercial litigation, focusing on commercial landlord disputes and secured transactions before state and federal courts. He frequently engages in motion practice and argues summary judgment and discovery motions before the New Jersey Superior Court.
Akshar manages all aspects of discovery, including drafting requests and responses, performing document review, conducting depositions, and preparing witnesses for depositions. He is experienced in conducting client intakes, drafting correspondence to clients and opposing counsel, and drafting and filing complaints and answers.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Akshar was an intern at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey where he drafted trial motions, performed legal research, and contributed to trial preparation. He also interned in the Office of Public Engagement at the White House where he assisted in drafting and preparing research and public policy memorandums.
During law school, Akshar was a member of the Seton Hall Law Mock Trial Board and the Seton Hall Center for Social Justice’s Equal Justice Clinic. He was also Executive Editor of the Seton Hall Legislative Journal.
Rebecca Warren devotes her practice to labor and employment, cybersecurity, business and corporate matters, and litigation.
As a former in-house corporate attorney, and having counseled businesses for over 25 years, Rebecca is keenly aware of the unique and varied legal needs of business clients, especially in today’s climate. Rebecca is well-versed in providing legal strategy and guidance regarding daily business issues, as well as for challenges ranging from employment matters to third party disputes to pandemic-related impacts.
As a former elected official and prosecutor, Rebecca is well-positioned to sagely counsel clients in crisis management, internal and governmental investigations, charges and indictments, and regulatory and business compliance.
Rebecca has pursued certification in cybersecurity to more astutely advise businesses in: creating a culture of cyber awareness and data protection; assisting clients in the midst of a cyberattack; determining breach notifications required by law; and, guiding recovery post-attack.
Rebecca also handles all aspects of litigation for her clients, having appeared in court for over 30 years for hearings, non-jury trials, jury trials, mediations, arbitrations, appeals, and other legal proceedings. She was formerly solicitor for various non-profit organizations and government agencies, and had regularly served as a county arbitration panel member and arbitration chairperson. She has represented prominent clients in high-stakes and multi-million-dollar cases at the county, state, and federal levels.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Rebecca had founded a multi-county law firm and real estate closing company, and was a partner in a Philadelphia firm.
Christopher R. Gray focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, and income tax planning.
In addition, Christopher is experienced in corporate matters, business transactions, non–profit issues, health care governance, elder law, and general litigation. He represents high net-worth clients and their businesses in developing estate, gift, income tax, and succession planning strategies.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Christopher worked with a financial strategies company advising affluent private clients on business investments, multigenerational estate preservation, and wealth planning.
Christopher is a past officer of the Lehigh Valley Estate Planning Council, and currently serves on the Northampton Community College Foundation Board of Directors, where he is also Chair of its Planned Giving Committee.
With 25 years of experience, Christopher frequently presents on tax law and initiatives, estate planning tools and techniques, and asset protection.
Sarah M. Bouskila focuses her practice in real estate and complex commercial litigation. Her experience includes representation of individuals and corporate clients in a variety of practice areas, such as breach of contract, business torts, fraud, bankruptcy, employment and restrictive covenant disputes, foreclosure litigation, and an array of real estate-related litigation.
Prior to entering private practice, Sarah served as a law clerk for the Honorable Jessica R. Mayer in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey.
While in law school, Sarah was a Dean’s Merit Scholar and served as an Articles Editor for the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal.
John D. Stanley had a long and distinguished career with Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. At the time of his retirement from Air Products, John was the Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Chief Administrative Officer. In that role, he was responsible for the company’s law group, corporate secretary’s office, government and community relations (including philanthropy) group, and global trade compliance function and oversaw, at various times, the human resources, communications, information technology, business shared services, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate risk and security functions.
Throughout his career, John gained a wide-range of experience, providing legal counsel and support to business managers and executives on a wide range of corporate and commercial law matters, including commercial transactions, contracts, financings, joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures, general securities, internal investigations and other regulatory and employment law matters. His primary practice areas over the years include corporate, with emphasis on mergers and acquisition, joint ventures and other large global transactional work, both public and private; global antitrust and compliance; general commercial and employment law, including benefits and compensation issues and general employment litigation.
Over the years, John has been very involved in the community. He currently chairs the Air Products Foundation Board of Trustees, is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Lehigh Valley Health Network, and is on the boards of the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority, the Lehigh Valley Industrial Park and DeSales University. John also serves on the Executive Committee for the Downtown Allentown Community Development Initiative and chairs the Advisory Council for the Building 21 of the Allentown School District. He previously served at various times on the boards of the United Way of the Lehigh Valley, ArtsQuest, Easter Seals Eastern Pennsylvania and Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley.
Joseph A. Farco focuses his practice on intellectual property matters including litigation, patent, and trade secret transactions.
As a trial patent lawyer, Joe represents patent owners, including inventors, and foreign and domestic companies in district court and the International Trade Commission. He drafts complaints, answers, 12(b) motions, discovery, and discovery motions, as well as takes and defends fact, expert, and 30(b)(6) depositions. Joe handles pre-filing due diligence for patent owners on how to best assert their patents; cease-and-desist correspondence to avoid litigation; and all aspects, including oral arguments, of Markman proceedings, summary judgement briefs, pre- and post-trial memoranda, technical and damages expert preparation and discovery, accounting and costs motions, appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and petitions for certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States. He also spearheads electronic discovery and strategies for electronically searchable information (ESI).
Joe makes advance preparation and efficient strategy development his priorities, especially for witnesses who are not native English-speakers and where numerous experts are involved. He has prepared foreign and domestic witnesses and experts for trial.
As a registered patent attorney, Joe practices before the United States Patent and Trademark Office where he counsels clients from all over the world under America Invents Act (AIA) and pre-AIA rules to obtain patent protection in the form of utility and design patents. He has argued for his clients to obtain patents on their inventions through appeals to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board. He also has been involved in challenges to patent rights under ex parte reexaminations and inter partes review proceedings.
Joe uses his litigation and prosecution experience to provide opinions concerning patentability, non-infringement, and invalidity, to assist clients in making well-informed intellectual property decisions for their business or for helping avoid allegations of induced infringement and/or willful infringement of patents.
Prior to his legal career, Joe was a project engineer for Hamilton Sundstrand Space Systems, where he led a team of engineers to develop mechanical, electrical, and materials test analyses for the life-critical Extravehicular Mobility Unit worn by astronauts on space missions to and from the International Space Station.
Ameena Ibrahim focuses her practice on immigration law.
Ameena actively assists individuals and corporate clients in all facets of immigration law including, employee immigrant visas, employee non-immigrant visas, I-9 compliance matters, import/export matters, family immigration, deportation defense, criminal investigation, administrative agency immigration appeals, and federal immigration appeals.
Prior to joining the firm, Ameena was a Public Service Fellow with the Health Initiatives department of Community Society Services New York, where she was a primary case handler, managing a large volume of cases in Health Law.
While at Tamil Nadu Dr. Ambedkar Law University, Ameena participated in several prestigious National Moot Court Competitions. She won the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees National Moot Court and the Best Written Argument Award. Ameena is admitted to practice law in India, where she has represented clients in consumer courts and in the High Court on civil litigation matters.
Hari Nathan Kalyan has extensive experience in hospitality and liquor law, licensing, manufacturing, and distribution. His clients include restaurants, bars, and alcohol manufacturers, as well as service providers to those industry members.
Hari handles all types of license-related matters, including license issuance and renewal, defense of citations, acquisitions and transfers of licenses, and regulatory compliance. He also assists clients in business planning and structuring, transactional counseling, and litigation.
Hari serves as General Counsel for Bluestone Lane, playing an active role in their rapid development in locations nationwide. Hari is also a seasoned hospitality operator and a recognized leader in the NYC hospitality industry as co-founder of Randolph Beer brewpubs and as a partner in a number of other hospitality establishments.
Prior to entering private practice, Hari clerked for the Honorable Nelson S. Roman, who currently sits in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Hari commits his time as a volunteer attorney with Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas and the NYC Housing Court, among other pro bono and charitable activities.
Shauna M. Deans focuses her practice on estate planning and administration, including inheritance and gift taxation.
Shauna is experienced in preparing estate and inheritance tax returns, and responding to and resolving audits of the returns. She counsels beneficiaries and fiduciaries of estates and trusts on marshalling assets, issues regarding basis, and maximizing of tax savings.
Shauna assists in coordinating, preparing, and reviewing asset valuations, as well as drafting Orders to Show Cause, severance and merger agreements, Refunding Bonds and Releases, trustee appointments, renunciations, and resignations to further the administration of estates. She also prepares and files New York and New Jersey probate petitions and Federal Gift Tax Returns, Form 709.
Shauna is also certified by the State of New Jersey as a civil mediator, and has assisted parties in the settlement of special civil, small claims, and landlord/tenant matters on behalf of the Court.
While attending law school, Shauna served as a Senior Articles Editor for the Howard Law Journal, where her article entitled “The Forgotten Side of the Battlefield in America’s War on Infidelity: A Call for the Revamping, Reviving, and Reworking of Criminal Conversation and Alienation of Affections,” was published. During and after law school, she clerked for the Honorable Frederick J. Schuck, Superior Court of New Jersey, Camden County, Law Division.
The Honorable Emil Giordano (Ret.), Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, focuses his practice on estate and commercial litigation, and mediation and arbitration.
Judge Giordano served as a presiding judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County, Third Judicial District, from 2004 through 2018. He was Northampton County’s first administrative Judge of the Orphans’ County Division, overseeing estates and trusts of the county, and was named to the Statewide Orphans’ Court Task Force, an organization charged with implementing changes to Orphans’ Court. He was also the first Judge in Pennsylvania to institute guardianship certification requirements for the protection of senior citizens.
For fifteen years, Judge Giordano served as judge for many jury trials and non-jury trials, hearings and motions, and a wide range of disputes under Pennsylvania and Federal Law, including construction, commercial litigation, professional malpractice, CERCLA, Civil Rights, condemnations, labor and land use appeals, criminal, and domestic relations.
As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Giordano is certified through Harvard Law School Negotiation Institute in Advanced Mediation, is a fellow of the American College of Civil Trial Mediators, and is affiliated with the American Arbitration Association (AAA) Mediation. He serves as an arbitrator and mediator to the Judicial Roster, Real Estate, and Pennsylvania at Large ADR Panels of Distinguished Neutrals for the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution.
Judge Giordano is Vice-Chair of the Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. He is a Diplomate Member for mediation for the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals. Judge Giordano serves on the Board of Trustees of the Center for Guardianship Certification. He is also a member of the Board of Governors for Saint Thomas More Society and the Northampton County Bar Association Wills and Trusts Committee Lecturer. In 2005, Judge Giordano was the first judicial recipient to receive the Lehigh Valley Crime Victims Council Award for Outstanding Commitment to Victim’s Rights. He was also a recipient of the Bethlehem Catholic High School Distinguished Graduate Award. Judge Giordano received the Title IX Hearing Chairs Certification and Title IX Hearing Officer & Decision-Maker Certification from the Association of Title IX Administrators.
Born in Brooklyn to Italian immigrant parents, Judge Giordano was the first to attend high school and is a graduate of Bethlehem Catholic High School. A proud Moravian College alumnus, he currently serves as an Adjunct Professor for Undergraduate classes.
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David Berger concentrates his practice on business, real estate, and liquor law.
David actively counsels clients on general business topics including organization and formation, corporate governance, lease negotiations, restructurings, and finance.
A licensed title agent, David works closely with lenders, real estate developers, and homebuilding companies. He handles both residential and commercial real estate development including acquisitions, land use and zoning matters, title review, and other due diligence requirements.
In his liquor law practice, David handles sale and purchase of liquor licenses and provides transactional counseling, including defending licenses who have received citations from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement.
Prior to joining the firm, David was a senior associate at Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Cappelli LLC, specializing in liquor law, real estate development, and commercial transactions.
Arnold L. Bartfeld primarily focuses his practice in the area of real estate and finance. He represents institutional lenders and developers in real estate financings, as well as in commercial banking transactions.
Arnold has experience representing clients in real estate joint ventures in connection with financing and refinancing; developers in acquisitions and the privatization of public housing projects; and banks with construction loans. In addition, he has experience assisting commercial and residential condo developers in acquisitions and loans.
Arnold is also experienced in complex and multi bank restructurings and workouts of real estate and commercial credit transactions.
Prior to joining the firm, Arnold was a partner at Reed Smith and Anderson Kill & Olick, P.C. He also served as General Counsel for European American Bank and Fidelity Bank, N.A.
Chris Kwelty focuses his practice on complex securities matters.
Chris has experience in class action litigation filed under federal securities laws, including the Investment Company Act of 1940, and was recently involved with the trials and appeals for several of those matters. Chris also has experience with ERISA excessive fee and prohibited transaction litigation. He represents clients in regulatory and enforcement proceedings before regulators, including FINRA.
Chris has represented clients in state court and federal courts, as well as arbitrations. In addition to complex securities matters, Chris also regularly represents clients in complex construction litigation matters. Chris also has experience defending class action lawsuits, including derailing a multimillion-dollar class action filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. He regularly handles litigation involving employment, breach of contract, fraud and shareholder disputes in closely held companies.
Prior to joining the firm, Chris was an associate at Szaferman Lakind Blumstein & Blader, PC. He also served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Stephen Taylor, J.S.C., of the Essex County Superior Court.
Shana Siegel concentrates her practice in the area of elder law, focusing on representing seniors, individuals with special needs, and their families in connection with life care planning, public benefits, trust and estate planning, and long-term care advocacy.
As one of the few Certified Elder Law Attorneys (CELA) in northern New Jersey to be certified by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), Shana has extensive experience in probate and estate administration, asset preservation, supplemental and special needs trusts, planning for disability, guardianship and estate litigation, resident rights, health care decision making, Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance appeals.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Shana was with WanderPolo & Siegel for over 10 years, five of which were as principal. She has been involved in health and long-term care issues for over 25 years. She is a past president of the New Jersey Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she regularly met with legislators and government officials on behalf of the elder law bar and their clients. In 2015, Shana was invited to join NAELA’s prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP).
Additionally, Shana is a member of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, the New Jersey State Bar Elder & Disability Law Section, and the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association.
Shana is active with the Long Term Living Association, several local chambers of commerce, and Jewish philanthropies. Shana loves to spend time outdoors hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and golfing.
Kim Weber focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation matters and represents clients in a variety of high-stakes litigation in state and federal courts in New York and New Jersey. Her litigation experience involves pretrial procedure and discovery, electronic discovery, briefing and arguing motions, taking and defending fact witness and corporate representative depositions, appellate practice, and post-judgment discovery and collections. Kim’s representative matters for diverse individual and corporate clients informs her flexible, problem-solving approach to litigation, aimed at maximizing efficiency and positive outcomes for her clients.
Kim is also a member of the firm’s Associates Committee, serving as a liaison between firm Management and her fellow Associates.
Prior to joining the firm, Kim was an Associate at a boutique insurance litigation firm, where she assisted in representation of clients in all stages of litigation, from inception through appeal. She was also a law clerk for the Honorable Susan L. Reisner, P.J.A.D. in New Jersey’s Appellate Division.
During law school, Kim was a member of the Seton Hall Law Review as both an Associate Editor (2013-2014), and the Editorial Board’s Symposium Editor (2014-2015), and her comment was published in the journal’s 45th volume. She was also a student advocate in Seton Hall’s Civil Rights and Constitutional Litigation clinic, and worked as a summer intern for the Honorable Claire C. Cecchi, U.S.D.J.
Doris Cheung concentrates her practice in the area of complex insurance fraud and healthcare litigation with an emphasis on Anti-Kickback Laws, Anti-Money Laundering, and Improper Licensing Regulations.
Doris has extensive experience in drafting pleadings, discovery motions, dispositive motions, and appellate briefs, and conducting depositions of key defendants and fact witnesses. She is adept in effective case management through the use of specialized legal technology.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Doris was a litigation associate for a firm specializing in plaintiffs’ work on behalf of a Fortune 100 insurance company. She was a member of a trial litigation team that recovered $10 million in damages in favor of their client in a bench trial. Doris was instrumental in preventing her adversary from dissipating $3 million in assets during litigation through the pursuit of a Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act claim. Doris has also written summary judgment motions that resulted in a $3 million settlement in favor of her client.
After graduating from law school, Doris clerked for the Honorable Judge Kathryn A. Brock, J.S.C., of the Union County Superior Court in the Family Division. During law school, Doris served as a clinical student in the Child Advocacy Clinic and the Urban Legal Clinic, where she represented, counseled, and provided post-dispositional representation for juvenile clients. She also served as a law clerk at Legal Services of New Jersey, assisting counsel in legal research and community outreach for low-income residents of the state.
William L. Brewer focuses his practice in the areas of commercial real estate financing, leasing, acquisitions and sales, loan restructuring and workouts, loan sales and purchases, and distressed debt transactions.
Bill represents lenders and borrowers in connection with commercial and mezzanine loans secured by real property and other assets, commercial construction financing, and workouts and foreclosures. He also advises lenders on restructuring defaulted loans and negotiating forbearance agreements, deed in lieu agreements, and modifications and amendments to loan documentation. In addition, Bill prepares and negotiates leases on behalf of landlords and tenants of retail, restaurant, industrial and office properties and negotiates and closes sales contracts for sellers and purchasers of real property. He also advises clients on the sale and purchase of distressed assets and lenders in connection with the financing of such transactions.
Bill also has considerable experience representing lenders and borrowers in transactions involving commercial mortgage-backed securities.
Ellen Harris focuses her practice on real estate and construction law matters.
With 12 years of experience as Chief Legal Officer for Newark Housing Authority, Ellen has a strong background in municipal and federal law, negotiation of contracts, arbitration, mediation, transactional real estate, and eminent domain matters. She has handled transactions involving the acquisition of hundreds of properties resulting in the relocation of thousands of residents and businesses within 77 redevelopment areas.
Ellen is experienced in negotiating and creating comprehensive agreements for construction projects, redevelopment agreements with private parties, and lease of facilities projects (government-owned assets). She negotiates binding Letters of Intent and term sheets as the framework for final agreements and coordinates with bond counsel, city, federal, and state agencies, as well as financial consultants to assist in analyzing risks, rewards, and requirements for the agreement under negotiation. Ellen understands best practices and industry standards in public/private partnerships.
Ellen’s experience gives her an understanding of asset management, management and labor relations, bond responsibilities, redevelopment agreements, coordination with a multi-governmental approval process, and reaching agreements with stakeholders holding varying opinions and interests. Further, her role as Chief Legal Officer and Executive Director at Newark Housing Authority has enhanced her ability to strategically negotiate and efficiently guide transactions to minimize risk and complications for her clients.
Ellen has served as lead counsel in various transactions creating approximately 1000 units of affordable housing totaling over $500 million.
Ellen has been recognized for personal and professional achievements throughout her career including the “Woman of Achievement Award” from the Tri-County Scholarship Foundation and the “General Counsel of the Year” from NJBiz.
Mark L. Weyman dedicates his practice to a wide range of corporate and commercial litigation matters. He has extensive experience in trials and arbitrations as well as appellate work.
In the area of antitrust, Mark has been lead counsel for Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us in the defense of class action antitrust claims alleging multiple price fixing conspiracies. He also represented Toys “R” Us in opt out actions against Visa and MasterCard in antitrust litigation relating to debit cards.
Mark has represented Trustees, Liquidators and Bankruptcy Committees to pursue recoveries following fraud and related wrongdoing that left financial and manufacturing companies insolvent. Notably, he represented Globe Manufacturing Company; DVI, Inc.; and High Voltage Engineering Corporation in seeking recoveries against former officers and directors, professionals and other recipients of transfers of funds.
Mark is experienced in both defending and prosecuting class actions. His recent representations include defense of multidistrict FACTA litigation on behalf of Century 21 Department Stores, and consumer class actions on behalf of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Casual Male, Pep Boys, and The Gap.
Mark also represents shareholders and their companies in disputes concerning closely held corporations. He recently prevailed in an arbitration on behalf of a shareholder squeezed out of his company.
Mark has litigated many cases involving contracts, fraud and breach of fiduciary duty claims. He has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, as well as parties in arbitration. Recently, he advised several top international trading and commodity companies concerning contract disputes under New York law. Mark also defended Toys “R” Us in a fraud and contract based litigation. He successfully defeated the fraud-based claim, and the matter was resolved in mediation.
In the area of internal investigations, Mark represented the Board of Directors of Arochem Corporation in an internal investigation of fraud by its former CEO and CFO. He also represented the company in its subsequent bankruptcy. The case involved the first prosecution by the United States Government of a continuing financial crimes enterprise. Mark led the cooperation by the Company with the United States Attorney, culminating in the successful prosecution of the former CEO.
Mark has successfully defended RICO actions. Reported decisions include C.A. Westel de Venezuela v. American Tel. & Tel. Co. (representing AT&T) and Chamarac Properties Inc. v. Pike (representing a law firm).
Mark’s experience also includes both defense and prosecution of securities litigation, including class actions and derivative actions involving shareholder and bondholder claims; representing plaintiffs and defendants in malpractice litigation; and successfully resolving many cases and disputes through mediation and arbitration.
In addition, Mark is experienced in litigation involving solvency and valuation disputes, claims trading, lender liability, trade secrets, health care, environmental issues, product liability, franchise termination, trademark, and employment discrimination.
David N. Vozza devotes his practice to the areas of health care and litigation. David’s practice focuses on defending health care professionals in connection with disciplinary and regulatory actions before federal and state agencies, private and government payor audits, civil and criminal fraud investigations, hospital and privileges disputes, and general health care litigation in both the federal and state courts.
David regularly defends health care professionals before the Office of Professional Medical Conduct and the Office of Professional Discipline.
David also frequently lectures at hospitals throughout New York State regarding medical fraud, regulatory agencies, professional licensure, and medical documentation.
William C. Menard practices exclusively in immigration law and deportation defense.
William has represented both individual and corporate clients in all facets of immigration law. William has appeared on behalf of clients in deportation proceedings before immigration courts throughout the country, including in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. William has represented numerous clients before both the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and Board of Immigration Appeals, and conducted oral arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. William has completed and advised on a host of permanent residence visas, including green cards for family members of United States Citizens (both consular processing applications and adjustments of status within the United States), and EB-1, EB-2, EB-3, and EB-5 visas for business managers, executives, other professionals, and investors (including PERM labor certifications, when needed), as well as a wide range of temporary visas, including B1/B2 visas for visitors and tourists, F visas for international students, K visas for fiancé(e)s of United States Citizens, L visas for both international corporations and their executives and managers, U visas for victims of domestic violence and other serious crimes, TN Visas for professionals from Canada and Mexico, applications for asylum, applications for cancellation of removal from the United States for both permanent and nonpermanent residents, and many more. William represents clients at all stages of proceedings before the immigration court, including obtaining bail for detained individuals and applying for relief from deportation, as well as petitions and applications before the Departments of State and Homeland Security. William has represented clients from six continents spanning the entire globe, including: Mexico, Canada, and El Salvador; Brazil, Colombia, and Argentina; France, Germany, and the United Kingdom; Senegal, Egypt, and Ghana; China, Japan, and the Philippines; and Australia.
William is also active in his community on immigration matters, helping to write a town ordinance protecting immigrants from discrimination. William has also advised education professionals on how to help ensure that immigrant students feel safe in school.
Prior to that, in law school, William was selected to join his school’s prestigious Moot Court Honor Society. As a part of Moot Court, he earned the Joseph T. Tinnelly Best Brief Award for his year, and was twice chosen to argue in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition, the largest and most respected moot court competition in the world. While an undergraduate student, William worked for the Claremont Courier, a Los Angeles-area newspaper, where he covered numerous areas as a journalist, including U.S. Congressional campaigns, immigration in Southern California, healthcare and abortion rights, and more. He also interned for a New York labor and employment law firm and worked as a public relations representative for the Harlem Children’s Society, promoting a New York-based organization that helped bright children from underprivileged backgrounds and communities pursue college degrees and careers in math and science.
Raymond G. Lahoud, Chair of the firm’s Immigration Law Practice Group, focuses exclusively on the area of immigration law and deportation defense for individuals, families, small to large domestic and multinational businesses and corporations, employers, international employees, investors, students, professors, researchers, skilled professionals, athletes, and entertainers, in every type of immigration or deportation defense matter—whether domestic or foreign. While Ray’s immigration practice is global in reach, with service to individuals and organizations across the United States and beyond, he is located primarily at the firm’s three globally-linked offices: New York, New York; Bridgewater, New Jersey; and Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Ray’s immigration practice is broad, ranging from areas of corporate and employment immigration and related compliance to immigration litigation before agencies and courts across the United States, for corporations and individuals alike. His experience includes immigrant and non-immigrant visas, visa overstays, immigrants who entered without inspection or authorization, EB-5 investor visas (serving investors, regional centers, and project developers), citizenship and naturalization claims, deportation and removal litigation at the immigration court and all appellate levels, E Visas, E-3 Visas, H-1B Visas, H-2B Visas, L Visas, O Visas, P Visas, Q Visas, R Visas, TN Visas, Exceptional Ability Immigrant Visas, Extraordinary Ability Immigrant Visas, Physician and Nursing Visas, K-1 Visas, K-3 Visas, Multinational Manager/Executive Immigrant Visas, Outstanding Professor/Researcher Immigrant Visas, PERM Labor Certification, Family Petitions, Adjustment of Status, Marriage Petitions, Asylum, VAWA applications, and Immigration Waivers, such as the Visa Waiver Program, National Interest Waivers, Hardship Waivers, and J Waivers.
Ray’s corporate immigration practice includes representing businesses of all sizes, in all corporate immigration and employer immigration compliance matters. He has served nearly every industry, including healthcare, education (community colleges, colleges, universities, students, professors, and researchers), manufacturing, global and domestic employment/talent recruitment, warehousing and distribution, pharmaceutical, economic development, local, county, and state government agencies, non-profit, religious, real estate development and EB-5 investor financing, information technology, marketing, entertainment, and sports. Ray’s corporate immigration and employer immigration compliance practice includes all non-immigrant and immigrant visas, recruitment of international talent and students, and consular processing, as well as Form I-9 and Department of Labor Wage & Hour Division compliance. Further, he has litigated corporate immigration matters before the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division, the Department of Homeland Security’s investigative bodies and agencies, the State Department, the United States Court of Appeals for International Trade, the Customs & Border Protection review board, and federal appellate courts—seeking review of employer immigration compliance and other immigrant and non-immigrant visa issues.
Ray’s immigration litigation practice includes deportation defense of thousands of individuals, at the Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the Administrative Appeals Office, and federal district and circuit courts. In state and federal trial and appellate courts, he seeks post-conviction relief for the underlying crime that led to the removal proceedings, and serves as immigration counsel to non-citizens accused of removable crimes. Ray’s ability to understand each interaction of criminal law with immigration law has made him a leading expert on issues of “crimigration” before state and federal courts reviewing post-conviction relief claims.
Ray represents multinational corporations on the global migration of their workforce, including immigrant and non-immigrant employment and investor visas. Additionally, he has advised on international M&A transactions and contracts concerning immigration compliance, international recruitment of employees, tax consequences of relocations, and cross-border trade matters, such as customs and tariffs related matters.
As Chair of the Immigration Practice Group, Ray oversees a leading team of immigration attorneys, immigration review compliance experts, employer immigration auditors, and paralegals and legal assistants with extensive and continuing immigration law training and significant practice experience.
Ray has received numerous accolades. He has been awarded the Empire State Pro Bono Counsel Award each year since 2012, has been selected as Lead Counsel, received the Martindale-Hubbell Platinum Client Champion Award, and has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star, ranked as a Top Rated Immigration Attorney in the New York Metro Area. EB5 Investors, the leading online portal, conference series, and magazine for investors, developers, and EB-5 professionals, has named Ray one of the “Top 5 Rising Stars” nationally. He was also named one of the 40 young professionals from the Greater Lehigh Valley as the Lehigh Valley Business 2017 Forty Under 40 for his commitment to business growth, professional excellence, and the community.
In law school, Ray earned Dean’s List, received CALI awards in many courses, and worked on the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. He was actively involved in additional programs and other organizations including the Barristers’ Counsel, ABA Law Student Division, ACLU at GULC, Catholic Student Association, and the Innocence Project, and worked for the Honorable Joanne Seybert, Federal District Court Judge for the Eastern District of New York.
At Lehigh, Ray was Editor of The Lehigh Review, earned Dean’s List, was named a President’s Scholar, was inducted into Phi Beta Delta, and received, among other awards, the Williams Award, Treen Scholarship, and Littner Scholarship.
He served as a United States Congressional Page under then-Congressman Ray LaHood (R-IL), and was a legislative aide to State Senator Lisa Boscola (D-PA).
Eric Alvarez concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation in both state and federal court. He represents businesses of all shapes and sizes—from closely-held partnerships to international corporations—in a wide range of litigation matters, including general commercial litigation, consumer fraud, product liability, and franchise disputes.
Eric understands that every litigation is unique, as are the parties involved in it. He approaches each case focused on achieving the best possible result for his client based on that client’s individual objectives and goals.
As the Chair of Norris McLaughlin’s Cannabis Law Industry Group, Eric advises clients on compliance with state and federal laws and regulations relating to production, research, and testing of cannabis and cannabis-derived products such as cannabidiol (“CBD”). He also represents brand owners and representatives in the food, beverage, and hospitality industry in complex commercial litigation, including manufacturer/distributor disputes, consumer claims defense, and intellectual property/trade secret litigation.
Eric came to Norris McLaughlin to better serve the companies and individuals in his local community. A resident of Somerset County, Eric is active in the local bar association and the Somerset County Business Partnership, where he serves on its Board of Directors. He maximizes his previous “Big Law” experience and better serve his clients’ needs with the firm’s depth and breadth of experience, nimble market position, and focus on assisting businesses and individuals in the local community prosper.
James R. Gregory concentrates his practice in the areas of environmental law, land use, and complex commercial litigation.
Jim has more than 30 years’ experience on issues relating to real property, zoning and environmental statutes, including Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA or Superfund); Federal and New Jersey Safe Drinking Water Acts (SDWA); New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act; New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA) and its predecessor ECRA; and the New Jersey Air Pollution Control Act. He routinely represents both public and private clients in litigation and transactional matters. Additionally, he has handled condemnation matters, on behalf of public bodies, negotiation and litigation of permit violations, administrative consent orders, and penalties and insurance coverage matters.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Jim was a member of Gregory & Reed, P.C., which he co-founded in 1995. He published in the area of industrial pretreatment standards and lender environmental liability. Jim was also appointed to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Task Force on industrial pretreatment of hazardous waste.
Outside of work, Jim enjoys running, golf, organic gardening, and brewing. He was a former member of the Long Valley Recreation Committee and has coached many years in his home town of Long Valley.
Steven J. Reed concentrates his practice in the areas of business transactions, commercial real estate, and commercial litigation.
Steven has a long track record of representing clients in commercial matters in New Jersey and New York. He has counseled businesses through many different stages of development, and drafted documentation for a myriad of business transactions, commercial real estate matters, and financing transactions. Steven has worked extensively with a large corporation developing contract templates used company-wide for all purchases of services and materials. He has also developed several construction contract templates for a large construction firm in New York. Steven has represented parties in the federal courts of New Jersey and New York in separate matters involving futures trading losses, fuel supplies to commercial vessels, and software application development rights.
As an active member of the firm’s Cannabis Law Industry Group, Steven brings his extensive business and real estate experience to provide legal advice in several areas of cannabis law including entrepreneurs preparing for the expected state approval of recreational use of marijuana, investors applying for New Jersey’s Alternative Treatment Centers licenses, and growers, processors, and distributors of cannabis products including hemp.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Steven was a member and co-founder of Gregory and Reed LLC in 1995 focusing on business transactions and commercial litigation. He serves as pro bono counsel representing victims of domestic violence for the Battered Women’s Legal Advocacy Project. He is also a Master in the John C. Liftland American Inn Court and is affiliated with the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey.
Outside of work, Steven enjoys running races and playing tennis and golf, and is a founder and former trustee of the Chatham Athletic Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization. He also is a former adjunct professor at Seton Hall University for Legal Research and Writing. He received the Distinguished Service Award from Chatham Chamber of Commerce in 2011 for service to community.
Christopher A. Erd devotes his practice primarily to land use and zoning, environmental, regulatory permitting, real estate transactions, community associations, leases, landlord/tenant, business counseling, and transactions. He regularly appears before municipal and county land use agencies on various development applications. Chris has been involved in land use approvals, leases, and sales for energy projects, including solar and battery storage.
As part of a real estate or lease transaction, retail liquor license transfers may be necessary. Therefore, Chris handles New Jersey retail liquor license purchases, transfers, and sales transactions. He also handles annual renewals of liquor licenses.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Chris concentrated his practice in environmental, land use and zoning, commercial litigation and appeals, and government contracts; negotiating with regulatory agencies and supervising environmental consultants regarding environmental remediations; and negotiating settlements with insurance carriers for coverage of environmental claims. Chris also litigated matters primarily in New Jersey Superior Court and Municipal Courts.
In November of 2009, Chris was a member of a distinguished panel of speakers discussing land use and zoning issues and procedures in New Jersey at the”2009 Annual Planning Conference” for licensed professional planners, held by the New Jersey Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick.
Chris was appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to the District XI Attorney Fee Arbitration Committee and served as Chairman. He was also Chairman of the Branchburg Township Zoning Board of Adjustment and was formerly a member of the Branchburg Township Environmental Commission, the Branchburg Township Wildlife Management Committee, and the Bedminster Township Environmental Commission. In addition, he has been an officer and general counsel for community associations.
Bruce Hamburg, a registered U.S. patent attorney, handles all aspects of U.S. patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret, unfair competition, and internet law. He has handled the filing and prosecution of thousands of patent and trademark applications.
Bruce counsels clients regarding routine and complex intellectual property matters. He has successfully prosecuted patent applications of major international corporations in a vast variety of technologies, including heavy machinery, biotechnology, polymers, organic and inorganic chemistry, complex mechanical and electromechanical devices and systems, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, metallurgy, materials science, and control devices and systems. He has guided patent, trademark, and copyright litigation and has rendered many formal opinions. He has also negotiated and drafted license agreements.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Bruce was managing and majority partner of the internationally well known IP boutique law firm Jordan and Hamburg, LLP. Before that, he was a patent attorney in the legal department of a Fortune 100 corporation. Bruce began his career as an examiner in the U.S. Patent Office, where he received Superior Performance Awards.
Bruce is the author of a treatise entitled, “Patent Fraud and Inequitable Conduct,” and treatises entitled, “The Doctrine of Equivalents in the U.S.,” one edition of which was published in Japanese and a subsequent edition published in Korean. He is an author or co-author of several annual editions of the Patent Law Handbook and is the U.S. representative for the periodical Patents and Licensing. He has also been a contributing editor to the compendium Patents Throughout the World.
Bruce has often lectured before members of organizations of patent attorneys in Japan and Korea. Since early in his career, he has been a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney. He has also been named in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Law.
Bruce is a member of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering academic honor society, and Omega Chi Epsilon, the chemical engineering academic honor society.
Michael Locke is a member of the Business Law Practice Group. His practice focuses on providing counsel to small businesses in all phases of their corporate existence, from formation through merger and acquisition. Michael also works closely with clients as they grow and expand their businesses, offering advice and legal guidance in connection with customer and supplier agreements, terms and conditions of use (for both physical and digital products), inter-business relationships (including joint ventures), export regulations, securities regulations, litigation support, and more.
Michael is especially focused on working with businesses that seek to bridge the gap between commercial success and environmental or social responsibility. Michael has counseled clients in forming “benefit corporations” (also known as “B-corps”) and drafting corporate governing documents for those seeking to maximize profitability and have a positive effect on their communities while simultaneously minimizing their environmental impacts.
Michael also has experience assisting larger corporations conduct cross-border transactions, including the international purchase and sale of goods as well as the international purchase and sale of assets and equity.
Michael joined the firm after spending three years with the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. As a Deputy Attorney General, Michael led a trial team that handled complex, white-collar criminal and regulatory matters. He investigated and prosecuted cases involving insurance fraud, securities fraud, money laundering, racketeering, and other related financial crimes. As such, Michael has worked closely with many of the country’s largest insurance companies and financial institutions as well as state and federal regulators. Drawing on this diverse experience, Michael offers a unique perspective to clients seeking a broad and creative approach to growing and protecting their businesses.
While in law school, Michael was an executive board member of the Brooklyn Law School Environmental Law Society, and he continues to be involved in environmental awareness, outreach, and action efforts. He also studied abroad in Beijing and interned at the United States Attorneys’ Offices for both the District of New Jersey and the Eastern District of New York.
Milan Slak focuses his practice on business law, estate and succession planning, and all areas of taxation.
A licensed CPA, Milan works to achieve client goals in a tax-efficient manner. He handles corporate, partnership, individual, and international taxation matters, and resolves tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service and state taxing authorities. He assists clients with tax controversies including audits, administrative appeals, refund claims, penalty abatement, offers in compromise, voluntary disclosures, and civil tax litigation. He works closely with clients on tax planning initiatives and transactions involving federal and state tax law; mergers and acquisitions; capital investments; corporate, limited liability company, and partnership structuring; operation, reorganization, and termination; the use and taxation of trusts; and estate and succession planning for owners of closely-held businesses and franchise owners.
Milan assists in the formation and organization of business entities, including S and C corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships, and working with clients to structure the governing documents for these entities. He provides counsel on business transactions including mergers, acquisitions, and entity formation; corporate governance and due diligence matters; tax-exempt and conventional financings; and drafts business planning documents; contracts; and operating and shareholder agreements.
Milan also helps clients to design and implement estate, succession, and gifting plans and strategies. He drafts wills, lifetime and testamentary trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care. He handles all aspects of estate administration including probate, preparation of fiduciary income tax returns, estate tax returns, and inheritance tax returns.
He helps clients take maximum advantage of available investment tax credits and other tax incentives, especially solar and other renewable energy projects.
Milan also speaks locally on topics including capitalization structure, tax provisions of recent federal tax legislation; the taxation of S corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships; and estate planning. He conducts regular Continuing Professional Education for Certified Public Accountants.
Candice Huber Rienzo has experience in all stages of litigation, handling cases from inception through to trial and appeal. She has represented clients in the state and federal courts of New Jersey in a variety of areas of litigation, including personal injury, general negligence, medical malpractice, professional liability, nursing home malpractice, construction law, and premises liability.
Prior to joining the firm, Candice was an associate at Hardin, Kundla, McKeon & Poletto, P.C. After law school, she served as Judicial Law Clerk to the Hon. Bette E. Uhrmacher and then the Hon. Francis J. Vernoia in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Monmouth County, in the Civil Division and Criminal Division respectively. While attending law school, Candice was a Law Clerk at Gill and Chamas, L.L.C.
Candice was selected for inclusion in New Jersey Super Lawyers as a Rising Star from 2016 to 2018.
Robert Donatelli has over forty years of experience in estate administration, wills and trusts, and real estate law.
Bob helps clients with all aspects of estate planning and administration, from estate planning—will preparation, tax issues, guardianships, powers of attorney, living wills, living trusts, and special needs trusts—to estate administration, the process of probate, valuing, and managing the estate, executing decisions on guardianship and conservatorship.
In the area of real estate law, Bob advises clients on matters of residential and commercial sales transactions, real estate contracts, mortgages, re-finances, foreclosures, eminent domain, title insurance, and title disputes. Bob handles land use, zoning, and permit matters.
Bob is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®. He is a member of the Ethics Board of the City of Allentown and a former solicitor of the Register of Wills of Lehigh County. He is active in the Bar Association of Lehigh County, where he served as President in 1985, and is a member of the Barristers Inn of Court, where he also served as President.
Sharyn A. Tritto specializes in all aspects of real estate litigation, particularly landlord and tenant law. As a real estate attorney, she also handles leasing and transactional matters.
Sharyn has practiced in all courts at both the trial and the appellate levels. In addition, she handles matters before various administrative agencies, including but not limited to the Environmental Control Board and the Division of Homes and Community Renewal.
Before joining Norris McLaughlin, Sharyn was an associate attorney at Penn, Proefriedt, Schwarzfeld, & Schwartz since 2001. Prior to that, she was the in-house counsel at Sol Goldman Investments, where she handled everything from nonpayment proceedings to complex real estate litigation matters in the Supreme Court. Sharyn also worked as an associate attorney at Carb, Luria, Glassner, Cook, & Kufeld, LLP, and as a foreign associate at Murayama & Associates in Tokyo. Her career began at Borah, Schwartz, Altschuler, Goldestein, & Nahins, P.C., as a trial attorney specializing in real estate litigation.
Gerard Proefriedt devotes his practice to real estate law and commercial litigation.
Gerry holds specific expertise in Loft Law. The objective of the Loft Law is to bring buildings illegally converted to residential use into compliance with state and city housing laws relating to health, safety, and fire protection. The requirements of these laws are met when the owner performs construction work to bring its building up to the city’s residential code and obtains a revised certificate of occupancy that allows residential use of the building.
Gerry is also experienced in landlord and tenant law, real estate leasing, air rights transfers, cooperative and condominium conversions, commercial litigation, real estate transfers, and refinancing.
Before working at Norris McLaughlin, Gerry was a partner at Penn, Proefriedt, Schwarzfeld & Schwartz since graduation from law school. He is a former owner’s representative on the New York City Loft Board.
James J. Costello, Jr., Co-Chair of the firm’s Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group, focuses his practice on estate planning and administration, litigation and disputes among beneficiaries, general federal and state tax law and controversies, and the formation, dissolution, purchase, sale, and mergers of all types of closely-held business entities.
Jim represents individuals in all aspects of general and sophisticated estate planning, including drafting wills, lifetime and testamentary trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, prenuptial and cohabitation agreements, employing sophisticated strategies when warranted matters including family limited liability companies (“LLCs”), sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts (“SLATS”), dynasty trusts, and charitable trusts.
His representation of fiduciaries includes all aspects of estate and trust administration, including preparation and filing of federal and state estate and income tax returns, representation in IRS and New Jersey Division of Taxation audits, litigation and disputes among beneficiaries, preparation and filing of federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns, and defending those returns on audit.
Jim handles federal and state tax disputes, including collection matters, appeals, and representation in U.S. and New Jersey Tax Courts.
Small business owners look to Jim for assistance not only with respect to the formation, dissolution, purchase, and sale of closely-held businesses but also as a discussion partner with respect to the strategy in connection with the transition of ownership to younger generations. He also represents individuals and entities in residential and commercial real estate transactions.
Elderly and incapacitated individuals and their families engage Jim for counsel regarding guardianships, asset protection planning, including irrevocable grantor trusts and Medicaid spend-downs, as well as preparing and filing Medicaid applications.
Jim has published articles and lectured extensively to civic and professional groups about a variety of estate planning and tax law topics. He is a former Trustee and current Advisory Board Council member of the Greater New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, now known as Alzheimer’s New Jersey, is a former officer of the Bernardsville Library Foundation, Inc., and has been elected to the Vestry of the Church of St. John on the Mountain in Bernardsville.
Brian C. Anscomb focuses his practice on intellectual property matters, with a particular emphasis on patent law.
Brian is experienced in the preparation and prosecution of U.S. non-provisional, continuation-in-part, continuation, divisional reissue, and divisional patent applications in the chemical, mechanical, electrical and electronic arts. He is knowledgeable in the preparation and filing of IDSs, RCEs, Requests for Reconsideration, Amendments, 131 and 132 Declarations, Notice of Appeals, Pre-Appeal Brief Requests for Review and Appeal Briefs. He conducts telephonic and personal interviews with the United States patent examiners on behalf of his clients. Brian has done extensive work in the management of foreign patent applications extending from the nationalization of international patent applications under the provisions of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). He also renders non-infringement opinions, patentability opinions, and freedom-to-operate opinions.
Brian has also conducted trademark searches, rendered trademark opinions and filed trademark applications in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He has prepared and reviewed licensing and purchasing agreements for patents and trademarks.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Brian practiced patent law at Oliff & Berridge in St. Louis, Missouri.
Kurt G. Briscoe devotes his practice to patent, trademark, and other intellectual property matters.
Kurt has over 25 years of experience in intellectual property law, including five years, from 1983 to 1988, as an examiner in the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Most of Kurt’s practice, including his experience as a patent examiner, has been in the field of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology.
Kurt regularly represents domestic and international companies in connection with the preparation and prosecution of patent and trademark applications. In addition, he regularly negotiates licensing and nondisclosure agreements for these clients. Kurt provides experienced worldwide IP portfolio management, including strategic, freedom-to-operate, invalidity, and infringement opinions. Kurt also performs due diligence for clients prior to their acquisition of patents and trademarks to reveal any patent validity or enforceability problems, or patent prosecution events that impact patent claim scope.
Kurt is also experienced in trade secret law. He assists clients in drafting and reviewing legal agreements related to unpatented products, inventions, processes, and other forms of proprietary information.
In addition to the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology industries, Kurt has extensive experience in the chemical, medical and dental device, and adhesive technology industries.
Rebecca J. Price is a Member of the firm in its Litigation and Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Groups since she joined Norris McLaughlin in 2007.
As a litigator, Rebecca has experience in every facet and level of civil court proceedings. She has participated in numerous jury and bench trials in Pennsylvania’s state courts, as well as in the United States District and Bankruptcy Courts for the Eastern and Middle District Courts of Pennsylvania and the District of New Jersey. Rebecca has also been appointed as Solicitor of the Lehigh County Board of Tax Assessment Appeals.
Rebecca has also represented a diverse and sophisticated set of clients in these multiple jurisdictions, ranging from international corporations in complex commercial litigation to young newlyweds in residential construction disputes, as well as a myriad of different business and consumer clients in between. Her extensive experience includes representing clients in complex business litigation, contract disputes, landlord/tenant matters, construction litigation, and personal injury matters.
As a result of the size and nature of the firm and its clientele, Rebecca’s experience in these matters is not limited to one side of a dispute. For instance, she has represented both plaintiffs and insurance companies in personal injury matters. Rebecca has represented both consumers and contractors in consumer protection claims. She has represented both landlords and tenants, banks and borrowers, companies, and individuals. The breadth of Rebecca’s experience enables her to examine issues absent the lens of a predisposed bias, thus allowing her to more fully appreciate the issues presented, from all perspectives.
With respect to her bankruptcy and creditors’ rights practice, Rebecca represents local and out-of-state banks in bankruptcy, complex foreclosures, receiverships, and asset recovery matters, including negotiating deed in lieu transfers and confession of judgment proceedings. She is trained to perform work for Fannie Mae. Rebecca has also defended clients in actions to open or strike judgments entered by confession and she has also defended claims arising out of state and federal fair debt collection laws in both the state and federal courts.
Rebecca is proficient in handling multifaceted commercial collection matters on behalf of local and out-of-state businesses. She has also well versed in the duties arising under the federal and state Fair Debt Collection Practices Acts. Rebecca has given seminars to teach businesses the legal requisites, consumer rights, and best practices for the collection of outstanding accounts receivable. She is experienced in litigating collection matters and executing upon judgments obtained on behalf of her clients.
Beyond her practice, Rebecca is devoted to issues affecting underprivileged youth in Lehigh County. She initially volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, where she advocated for children in foster care. Rebecca also serves as Conflict Counsel for Lehigh County’s Juvenile Dependency Court. In that role, she regularly represents the interests of underprivileged children. In addition to other non-profits, Rebecca also ardently supports two organizations devoted to assisting Lehigh County children, the Kindness Project and Parkland C.A.R.E.S. Food Pantry.
Previously, Rebecca spent two years on the Board for Lehigh Valley Active Life, an organization that promotes social and physical activity for the County’s older population.
In an effort to promote her lifetime passion for the arts, Rebecca currently serves on the Civic Theatre Board of Directors, where she is Co-Chair of the Kapital for Kids Campaign, which seeks to raise funds to renovate the space dedicated to children’s programming inside the historic 17th Street Theatre. She was also elected the Secretary of the Board in September 2020 and plans to continue in that role through 2021.
When Rebecca is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband, JP, and their three children, Jack, Evelyn, and Price. They especially enjoy time together spent outdoors – hiking the Trexler Game Preserve, skiing at Bear Creek, and boating on Lake Erie in the summer. She is also an avid reader, baker, euchre player, and college football watcher.
Abbey M. Horwitz practices exclusively in the area of estate planning and administration.
Abbey assists individuals and families with estate and tax planning in both New Jersey and New York, preparing both simple and complex estate plans for her clients as appropriate to ensure their assets are distributed consistent with their wishes. She is experienced in preparing wills, insurance trusts, revocable trusts, qualified domestic trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, charitable trusts, supplemental benefits trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.
As a parent of a child with special needs, Abbey is also uniquely qualified to relate to and advise clients with planning for their special needs child. She prepares special needs trusts and other estate planning documents that are available to clients in planning for their children’s futures.
Abbey also handles all aspects of trust and estate administration in New Jersey and New York. Her estate administration practice includes preparing estate, trust, and guardianship pleadings, estate and trust accountings, estate and inheritance tax returns, and preparing releases and waivers for distributions from estates and trusts; and handling estate and inheritance tax audits,
In addition, Abbey prepares corporate and LLC filings for clients to ensure that their family businesses are distributed in accordance with their wishes. This includes the preparation of certificates of incorporation, articles of organization, bylaws, operating agreements, and federal applications for tax-exempt status. Abbey also prepares shareholder agreements and corporate transfer documents such as membership purchase agreements and stock redemption agreements.
Abbey is an active volunteer with P.G. Chambers School in Cedar Knolls, New Jersey. The school, which serves 10 counties in northern New Jersey, helps children with disabilities lead full, productive lives; develop confidence in their own unique abilities; and engage in the community through education and therapy. Abbey is a member of the P.G. Chambers Board of Trustees and serves on the Development Committee.
Nicholas J. Dimakos focuses on trust and estate litigation, representing both beneficiaries and fiduciaries in contested matters. His practice encompasses a broad range of disputes, including will contests and challenges to account beneficiary designations; accounting actions involving estates, trusts, and powers of attorney; contested administrations involving challenges to and the defense of the actions of executors and trustees; trust terminations and modifications; and guardianship actions.
Nick regularly appears before probate courts throughout northern and central New Jersey, including Bergen, Essex, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Union, and Warren Counties. He is also frequently appointed to serve as counsel to alleged incapacitated individuals, and he volunteers as a mediator for the Probate Early Settlement Programs in Somerset and Middlesex Counties. Nick’s experience helps him to advise clients in formulating a strategy tailored to their case and to maintain a comprehensive and even-keeled perspective when guiding clients through the emotionally fraught issues that often arise when the opposing parties are members of the same family.
Nicholas A. Duston focuses on complex commercial litigation in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York, as well as arbitrations with the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and other arbitration organizations. His practice is primarily focused on disputes involving business owners, their managers, and their employees. This includes shareholders, members, partners, officers, managers, employees and other agents of corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and other types of business entities. Nick has extensive experience litigating fraud and breaches of fiduciary duty and regularly handles cases with related issues such as employee theft of trade secrets, diversion of corporate opportunities, or breaches of restrictive covenants or non-compete obligations. He is adept at unwinding complex fact patterns such as those arising from complicated financial instruments, complex multi-entity business structures, or large amounts of electronically stored information (ESI).
In representing companies, company owners, and officers/managers, Nick’s practice also includes white-collar criminal matters, such as conducting internal investigations or defending companies and individuals during internal or government investigations into alleged securities fraud, money laundering, and other financial crimes. He has also handled many matters at the intersection of white-collar and civil litigation. For example, Nick has successfully litigated Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (“RICO”) Act claims as both defense counsel and plaintiff’s counsel. He also regularly handles issues relating to government seizure of property, particularly on behalf of secured lenders, including defense against civil and criminal asset forfeiture, as well as civil rights litigation under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 when the government seizes property without due process or in violation of other constitutionally-protected rights. He is adept at preserving lienholders’ rights and securing possession of collateral in a variety of civil contexts
Nick recognizes above all that the reason clients need him to handle this type of matter is that something has gone wrong, often in a complicated and completely unforeseen way. A client dealing with such an issue needs not only an experienced litigator who can “win,” but also an attorney who understands their goals and can expertly guide them through each of their options from start to finish. Every dispute has a spectrum of solutions, from an efficient and pragmatic deal to an all-out, knock-down fight through trial and beyond, and everything in between. Some clients focus exclusively on monetary cost and gain, while others seek to avoid repeat litigation, want to make an impact on the law, or have reputational or other broad, non-monetary agendas. Nick can handle each dispute as the situation warrants, but more importantly, he remains laser-focused on his client’s goals (which are almost always more nuanced than “win” or “settle”) to help the client make informed decisions about each possible path to resolution.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Nick was a commercial litigation associate in the white-collar investigation and litigation practice group of Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP, in New York City. At Columbia University School of Law, he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, a member of the Columbia Journal of European Law, and in the Non-Profit Organizations/ Small Business Clinic.
Based in the Bridgewater office, Jessica is a litigator and advisor with more than ten years of experience assisting clients with complex commercial and environmental matters.
As a litigator, Jessica is known for her thoughtful and diligent representation of clients in state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (“NJDEP”) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). She has extensive experience with both federal and state environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (“CERCLA”), the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”), the New Jersey Site Remediation Reform Act (“SRRA”), the Industrial Site Recovery Act (“ISRA”), the Major Hazardous Waste Facility Siting Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).
Jessica also devotes a significant portion of her practice to representing clients in regulatory compliance, permitting, and remediation efforts. She frequently advises clients on issues related to environmental insurance coverage and other cost recovery options. Finally, she has extensive knowledge of the regulations governing licensed site remediation professionals (“LSRPs”).
Jessica serves as Board Secretary for the Hunterdon County YMCA Board of Trustees. Licensed in New Jersey and New York, she was selected for inclusion in the General Litigation section of New Jersey Rising Stars from 2014 to 2018. Palmer is also a Barrister with the Justice Stewart G. Pollack Environmental Inn of Court and was awarded the Don Monroe Casto Constitutional Law Award.
Jessica joined Norris McLaughlin in 2013. She served as law clerk to the Hon. Robert P. Contillo, P.J.Ch., Chancery Division, Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County, during the 2009-2010 term.
Nichole Cipriani devotes her practice to estate and tax planning and estate administration.
Nichole assists individuals and families with a broad range of estate and tax planning, including business succession planning, special needs and disability planning, and international estate planning. To that end, she is experienced in preparing wills, insurance trusts, revocable trusts, qualified domestic trusts, grantor-retained annuity trusts, charitable trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, special needs trusts, supplemental benefits trusts, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care. Nichole’s planning practice also encompasses asset planning involving family limited partnerships and tax-exempt organizations, such as family foundations.
In addition, Nichole counsels executors and trustees in administering decedents’ estates and trusts. Her estate administration practice includes probate proceedings, preparing estate and inheritance tax returns, handling estate and inheritance tax audits, and preparing documents necessary to effect interim and final distributions from an estate or trust.
Nichole has extensive experience representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service, preparing filings for individuals and legal entities, including Forms 706, 709, 990, and 1041, drafting and filing Tax Court petitions and Private Letter Ruling requests, and negotiating Innocent Spouse relief.
From 2013 to 2018, Nichole has been recognized as a Rising Star in New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine. She is a board member of the Gift of Adoption, Metro New York Chapter.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Nichole spent four years as a Tax, Trusts & Estates associate with a Morristown, New Jersey firm. After law school, Nichole served as a law clerk to the Honorable Donald G. Collester, Jr., Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division. While attending law school, she worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ International Tax Group and was a summer associate at a health law boutique firm. She also interned at the Internal Revenue Service and the New York Stock Exchange. Prior to law school, she was an assistant editor and writer for Parenting magazine in New York City.
Danielle M. DeFilippis, Co-Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Law Practice Group, focuses her practice on intellectual property matters and litigation. She appears on behalf of individual and corporate clients in all phases of litigation from commencement through trial. Danielle regularly serves as lead counsel in cases before federal and state courts, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and alternative resolution forums.
Danielle has represented clients in a variety of industries, most notably, food and beverage, liquor, jewelry, cosmetics, sports, and entertainment. Her focus is on trademark prosecution and litigation. Danielle has represented clients in cases involving trademark and copyright infringement, false advertising, commercial disparagement, business torts, deceptive trade practices, Lanham Act claims, state and federal unfair competition laws, and other business disputes.
Danielle is involved in several organizations including the IP Section of the New York State Bar Association and the International Trademark Association (INTA), serving on the Trademark Offices Practice Committee. She is also a regular contributor to Norris McLaughlin’s trademark, copyright, and unfair competition law blog, More Than Your Mark.
While in law school, Danielle was Editor and Director of Staffing & Symposia for the Legislative Journal. She also completed a judicial internship with the Honorable Ronald J. Hedges, District Court of New Jersey. After law school, Danielle served as a judicial clerk with the Honorable Stephen J. Bernstein, Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County.
Danielle has been recognized by NJBIZ in its “Manufacturing Power 50” list and named to New Jersey Law Journal’s 2019 list of “New Jersey Trailblazers” for her efforts in the food and beverage industry in New Jersey and for expanding those efforts on a global scale. She was also listed in the 2014 editions of New York Metro and New Jersey Rising Stars. No more than 2.5 percent of lawyers in each state are named to the Rising Stars list.
Richard Brent Somach focuses his practice on real estate, commercial law, and creditors’ remedies, representing real estate development companies, shopping centers, and local banks.
In the banking area, Rich assists clients with their transactional, litigation, and operational needs, and handles collections, foreclosures, and complex commercial workouts.
Rich has represented real estate owners, developers, and investors in a broad range of real estate transactions, including zoning matters, subdivisions, and shopping center development.
As a licensed title insurance agent, Rich is founder of the title insurance and settlement company ABE Settlement Services, creatively serving client needs. He currently serves as legal counsel to the Greater Lehigh Valley REALTORS®, a trade association that represents nearly 3,000 real estate professionals.
As a former Assistant Lehigh County Solicitor, Rich advised the Sheriff’s Office, the Tax Assessment Office, and the Tax Claim Bureau, and frequently writes and lectures on real estate matters, including sheriff’s sales, real estate tax sales, and lien priority issues for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. He has also presented numerous lectures at the annual Real Estate Institute program.
Active in many community organizations, Rich is a past president of the Salisbury Township School Board. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and the Lehigh County Bar Association, where he served as President in 1992.
Rich collects antique automobiles and has represented several valuable collections, as well as many local automobile and motorcycle dealerships.
Graham Simmons, the firm’s Pennsylvania Administrative Partner and Co-Chair of the Business Law Group, is a business and real estate lawyer. In his practice, Graham has served both public and private sector clients on all types of M&A transactions, commercial and syndicated credit facilities, economic development projects, real estate transactions, leases, and land use and zoning matters. Graham has represented clients across a diverse spectrum of industries, and is deeply experienced in the banking and financial services, health care, real estate development, economic development, and automobile dealership industries. Graham has been proud to represent the Lehigh Valley’s area loan organizations in numerous economic development loans funded by the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority and Small Business First Fund. He also serves as Solicitor to the City of Easton Parking Authority and the Northampton County Gaming Revenue and Economic Redevelopment Authority.
Graham has been recognized in Philadelphia Magazine as a Rising Star, a distinction for lawyers age 40 and under or who have been practicing for less than 10 years, and reserved for no more than 2.5% of all attorneys in Pennsylvania. He has been honored by Lehigh Valley Business as one of their annual Forty Under 40, which recognizes young professionals who exhibit talent and promise and have a well-documented track record of achievements in business. Graham is an active member of College Hill Presbyterian Church, and is a member of the Board of the Greater Valley YMCA, and of the Greater Easton Development Partnership, where he currently serves as Chairman.
Peter Lehr focuses his practice on health care transactional and regulatory matters, real estate, and land use law, including zoning and subdivision applications and commercial lending.
Peter has represented and counseled a variety of health care providers, including hospitals, long term care and nursing facilities, home health agencies, assisted living facilities, and more. He has assisted clients in numerous transactions and regulatory issues involving such mandates as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”), the Stark law and accompanying Phase I-III regulations, the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and attendant safe harbors, and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Act of Labor Act (“EMTALA”). He has experience in leading operational assessments of health care providers and drafting corporate compliance programs. He has counseled clients on fraud and abuse avoidance and represented them in third party payer reimbursement cases.
Peter has obtained favorable decisions for clients in numerous land use and zoning cases. He has served as counsel of record in municipal hearings, trial court cases, and appellate level proceedings. Peter has assisted municipal code enforcement officers in compliance proceedings and has drafted, interpreted, and implemented ordinances and resolutions, regulating matters from permit issuances to zoning classifications. As part of his practice, Peter also regularly performs contract and real estate document reviews, including commercial leases.
Peter prepares and reviews loan documents for financial institutions in connection with various forms of commercial credit facilities. Such experience includes negotiations with borrowers’ counsel over loan and reimbursement agreement provisions, as well as the terms and conditions contained in security, collateral pledge, and suretyship documents.
As an active member of the community, Peter serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including LifePath, Inc., the Weller Health Education Center and the Forum for Ethics in the Workplace. He is a member of the Leonard Pool Society of Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network.
Kelly Smith Watkins concentrates her practice on complex litigation matters and workers’ compensation defense.
Kelly’s civil litigation and appellate experience includes handling matters involving commercial disputes, ERISA, and other insurance coverage issues. Her experience also includes employment cases, non-compete disputes, jurisdictional issues, business tort claims, and class action defense. She also handles collection matters for health care providers, including matters where there are insurance disputes and/ or multiple sources of payment involved.
In addition, Kelly has extensive experience in workers’ compensation defense matters.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors at Touchstone Theater in Bethlehem Pennsylvania and is on the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.
Theodore J. Zeller III has extensive experience in liquor law, regulatory licensing, commercial transactions, real estate transactions, and litigation.
Chair of the firm’s Liquor Law Practice Group, Ted was lead counsel in a beer rights case brought against the world’s largest brewers and is now General Counsel to D.G. Yuengling & Son, Inc.
Ted’s lobbying efforts helped change various laws under the Pennsylvania Liquor Code. In 2010, Ted testified before the Senate Law and Justice Committee on behalf of Yuengling Brewery concerning House Bill 291, which addresses the distribution of brewed beverages in Pennsylvania.
In 2011, Ted authored portions of two different bills that were enacted into law. The bills helped small brewers by allowing more efficient and cost effective brand registration, as well as altered the package laws for brewery licenses. He also appeared before the House Liquor Committee with the Brewers of Pennsylvania in the Privatization Hearings. Most recently, his efforts helped change brewery regulations to allow for taprooms and he authored the Malt Beverage Tax Excise Credit legislation. Further, he has written extensively about Acts 39 and 166.
Ted counsels clients on the acquisition of liquor licenses and coordinates liquor license transactions with other practice areas, such as real estate, business law, financing, tax law, intellectual property, and litigation. Known throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, he also represents beer interests on a national level and advises breweries and wholesalers on state regulatory matters involving beer distribution and franchise laws. He regularly prepares distribution agreements for his clients and coordinates state and federal licensing for manufacturing and national distribution.
Ted has tried multiple cases in county and federal court, including jury trials, and hundreds of cases before arbitration panels, district justices, and administrative law judges. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Cider Guild and is General Counsel to the Brewers of Pennsylvania and represents alcohol interests in every category. Ted has helped numerous start-up breweries, wineries, distilleries, and retailers.
Ted was named a 2019 Pennsylvania Trailblazer by The Legal Intelligencer and made a cameo appearance in “Undercover Billionaire,” Episode 1 -2, as himself giving advice on how to build a brewery.
Scott R. Lipson is the Chair of the Pennsylvania office’s Real Estate & Land Use Group. He focuses his practice on civil matters of all kinds, with an emphasis on real estate, business and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, collections and commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, zoning, municipal, health care, employment, and personal injury.
Scott served as judicial clerk to the Honorable Donald E. Wieand of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania before beginning the private practice of law with the firm in 1993. Scott has spoken to a number of local educational and professional organizations on a wide variety of legal topics and is a former chairman of the Upper Macungie Zoning Hearing Board. He has served on the board of directors for the March of Dimes and led the Explorers’ Post through the Lehigh County Bar Association. He is a past editor for the Lehigh Law Journal and has served as local editor to the Pennsylvania District & County Reporter for the past decade.
Judith A. Harris, Co-Chair of the Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group, has over 30 years of experience in the areas of taxation, wills and trusts, estate administration, business matters, and tax-exempt entities.
In addition to creating estate plans for clients from the most sophisticated to the most basic of wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills, Judith’s specialties include business matters involving corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Her practice also includes the creation and representation of charitable trusts and foundations, as well as representation of estates, trusts, and beneficiaries in disputes before the Orphans’ Court. She handles the resolution of tax controversies for business and individual taxpayers before all divisions of the Internal Revenue Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. These cases often involve estate, business, and individual audits, or the resolution of collection efforts such as liens, levies, and garnishments by the IRS and state taxing authorities.
As an estate planning and tax attorney, Judith frequently works with clients to structure the optimal transfer of a client’s wealth and business interests to younger generations with minimal tax consequences.
Judith is President of the Board of Trustees for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, a board member since 1993 and former officer of the Allentown Symphony Association, and a board member of the Lehigh County Agricultural Society. She is a board member and past President of the Fund to Benefit Children & Youth, Inc., and a former board member and Executive Committee member of the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Judith is past President of the Estate Planning Council of the Lehigh Valley, and served for 10 years on the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority board of governors. From 1993 to 2000, she was an adjunct instructor of “Wills, Trusts, and Estates” at Penn State University’s Lehigh Valley Campus.
Sandra Jarva Weiss, Chair of the Norris McLaughlin Health Care & Life Sciences Law Practice Group, has been practicing health care law for over 30 years and has extensive experience in all areas of health care regulation. She has designed numerous compliance programs and counsels clients on compliance with the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Statute. Sandra has counseled clients on federal and state patient privacy laws, as well as Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement requirements. She has extensive practical experience from having served as in-house counsel for a large teaching hospital system.
Sandra’s experience includes regulatory compliance, mergers, acquisitions, strategic affiliations of health and health-related businesses, and developing corporate compliance plans for health care entities. She has experience with structuring the development of entities, such as imaging centers and ambulatory surgical centers. Sandra has handled physician contracts, employment agreements, medical staff grievance proceedings, disciplinary proceedings, and termination proceedings. She is well-versed in HIPAA privacy compliance, compliance with Joint Commission standards, managed care contracting for hospitals and medical providers, physician-hospital organization contracts, clinical trial agreements, and corporate work for health care institutions, such as lease and supply agreements.
Sandra’s clients include hospitals, physician groups, health care providers, medical device and equipment companies, PHOs, management service organizations, foundations, rehabilitation centers, and pharmaceutical companies. She also assists clients in the ongoing education and training of their employees in compliance with applicable health care regulations.
Frederick J. Stellato is a trial attorney who has handled many types of civil and commercial litigation matters. Fred has tried approximately 80 cases to verdict, both jury and non-jury, in the areas of products liability, general liability, and professional liability, as well as commercial disputes. Fred practiced in Philadelphia for 19 years before returning home to the Lehigh Valley, where he was born and raised, in order to join the firm.
Fred has made presentations on trial-related topics to numerous institutions, including Temple University Law School, Temple University Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital, Roxborough Hospital School of Nursing, and CIGNA Property and Casualty Company. He has also done programs for the judges of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas, the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Association, and the Philadelphia Association of Defense Counsel.
Fred founded the F.C. Sonic Lehigh Valley, a minor league soccer team in the National Premier Soccer League, and served as its President and CEO from 2007 to 2011. He has worked for many years with ArtsQuest, Inc. of Bethlehem, currently serving as Secretary of its Board of Trustees, Chairman of its Governance Committee, and Member of its Strategic Planning Committee. Fred has served on boards or committees for several other non-profit organizations, including Pediatric Cancer Foundation of Lehigh Valley, Civic Theatre, Habitat for Humanity of Lehigh Valley, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Lehigh Valley, and Bethlehem Soccer Club.
John F. Lushis Jr., a Member of the firm and Co-Chair of the Economic Development Law Practice, focuses his practice on real estate, commercial transaction law, and environmental law.
John provides counsel on an extensive diversity of transactions including leases, acquisitions and divestitures, tax-exempt and conventional financings, brownfields redevelopment, and an array of commercial agreements. He has worked on multi-million-dollar loans and major tax-exempt financings for businesses and non-profits including Cetronia Ambulance Corps, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Moravian College, and St. Luke’s Hospital. John has also been involved in tax increment financing projects including Hamilton Crossings Retail Complex and West Hills Business Center. He serves as solicitor for Lehigh County Industrial Development Authority, and previously served as solicitor to Northampton County New Jobs Corp, Northampton County General Purpose Authority, and Lehigh Valley Economic Investment Corp.
With the growth of green energy projects in the United States, John has become involved in solar leases. One aspect of this involvement is John’s representation of property owners interested in leasing their property to entities that desire to construct solar panel facilities or “solar panel farms” on the property.
In late 2015, John became involved in “P3” projects (public-private partnerships), and is a lead architect of a first-of-its-kind P3 project in Pennsylvania. This project, which includes a novel financing structure, will allow Northampton County to replace or rehabilitate numerous bridges at substantial cost and time savings compared to traditional methods. The project has become a model for other P3 projects and has received statewide and national attention. As an outgrowth of the project, John assisted in drafting legislation signed by Governor Wolf in October 2017 to allow counties having a certain population, such as Northampton County, to construct a new jail using a P3 transaction structure.
As one of the firm’s corporate environmental counsel, John focuses on soil and groundwater issues and other environmental issues for various businesses.
John is also registered to practice in the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and his knowledge of intellectual property is a valuable resource for clients who have projects and transactions in this area.
John has represented prominent entities including Always Bagels, BB&T, Health Network Labs, Lehigh University, LifePath, Melting Pot Restaurants, and Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem.
For over 22 years, John was in-house counsel for Bethlehem Steel where he was co-lead counsel on the sale of assets to the International Steel Group for $1.5 billion to companies owned by Wilbur Ross, the United States Secretary of Commerce. While at Bethlehem Steel, John was heavily involved with brownfield re-development of the corporation’s Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, property, and directed the development and implementation of strategies to manage substantial assets and liabilities associated with more than 75 of Bethlehem Steel’s facilities and properties in Pennsylvania, across the U.S., and internationally. During his career, he has been involved in transactions and financings totaling billions of dollars.
Dolores A. Laputka, a member of the firm’s Management Committee and former Co-Chair of the Business Law Group, focuses her practice primarily on tax-related matters, whether connected to a family’s closely-held business or to estate planning for one of the principals. In a former life, Dolores was a Certified Public Accountant, which enables her to handle complex business and tax-related matters for corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships, as well as succession planning and financial and estate planning for families and executives at all levels. She also devotes a significant portion of her practice to tax issues for not-for-profit organizations, including charitable giving techniques maximizing the income and death tax benefits.
She has handled multi-dimensional transactions, applying tax-efficient methodology to the buying and selling of family businesses, inter-relation of succession planning, and estate planning for closely-held businesses, corporate restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, real estate transactions, management of privacy issues surrounding significant lottery winnings, and more.
Dolores especially enjoys management and consulting with the nonpublic business owner in all aspects of the legal and business environment “from cradle to grave.”
Since moving to the Lehigh Valley in 1990, Dolores has been involved in many community organizations in positions such as general counsel and past chair of the Board of Directors of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley; member of the Board of Directors, secretary, and chairman of the Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley; past president of the Allentown Rotary Club; and past board member of the Lehigh County Community College Foundation. In 2019, she was recognized as a Greater Lehigh Valley business leader receiving a Lehigh Valley Business Icon Honors. When not working, she enjoys sailing on the Chesapeake or “playing at” golf.
Barbara L. Hollenbach focuses her practice on workers’ compensation, professional liability, products liability, and general litigation.
Her civil litigation experience includes representing manufacturers of motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, and other products. She also represents a variety of professionals, including psychiatrists and veterinarians, as well as clients in will contest actions, including allegations of undue influence and lack of mental capacity.
Barbara was the first woman elected president of the Northampton County Bar Association. A past chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Workers’ Compensation Law Section, she has been certified as a specialist in the practice of workers’ compensation law by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Section on Workers’ Compensation Law, as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In 2013, Barbara was inducted as a Fellow of The College of Workers’ Compensation Lawyers. She has been named one of Pennsylvania’s Best Lawyers and Super Lawyers for several years, most recently in 2020. Barbara has co-authored and co-presented the Pennsylvania Bar Institute Workers’ Compensation Practice & Procedures manual and course since 2000.
Barbara is an active community volunteer. She is Chair of the Historic Bethlehem Museums & Sites Board of Trustees. She has also served on the boards and has been president of numerous charitable organizations, including Quota International of Bethlehem and the YWCA of Bethlehem.
Oldrich Foucek III is a founding partner of the Pennsylvania office and serves on the firm’s compensation committee. During his career, Ollie (pronounced O-Lee) has offered advice, litigated and favorably resolved disputes for business clients with regard to a wide range of substantive issues, including:
Employee restrictive covenants
Student and physician discipline
Real estate tax exemptions
In addition, Ollie has appeared, and successfully argued appeals, before the Pennsylvania Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts, as well as The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Ollie also assists entrepreneurs, including those with emerging technologies, in the formation of business entities and advises them throughout the process of growing their businesses.
Over the years, Ollie has been very involved in the community. Currently, he chairs the Allentown City Planning Commission and the Friends of Zoellner Arts Center, and he is a previous member of the Board of Directors of The Allentown Art Museum and the board of the Allentown Neighborhood Improvement Zone Development Authority (ANIZDA). He is general counsel for The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and secretary of Saucon Valley Country Club. He has been active as a volunteer at Lehigh University, serving his alma mater in a number of capacities, including nine years as a trustee and a term as president of the Alumni Association. Previously, Ollie also served on the Board of the Pennsylvania Stage Company (including a term as president) and Touchstone Theatre.
Jill Lebowitz, Co-Chair of the Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group, devotes her practice to estate planning, trust and estate administration, fiduciary litigation, and counseling tax-exempt organizations.
Jill is experienced in drafting sophisticated estate planning instruments and counseling individuals and families regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues. She advises clients on the development of both simple and complex estate plans, philanthropic planning, and business succession issues. Jill is experienced in drafting estate planning instruments, including wills, revocable living trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, shareholders agreements, limited liability company operating agreements, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.
Additionally, Jill handles all aspects of trust and estate administration, as well as fiduciary litigation. She prepares federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns and federal gift tax returns. Jill is knowledgeable in drafting disclaimers and agreements regarding post-mortem planning, informal distribution agreements, judicial fiduciary accountings, and handling court proceedings to effect final distribution of estates and trusts. She also counsels individuals and financial institutions regarding their fiduciary duties as personal representatives and trustees, including advising on legal and tax issues, as well as issues in connection with administering trusts. Jill also assists individuals, families, and fiduciaries with all aspects of fiduciary litigation.
Jill regularly advises tax-exempt organizations regarding federal tax exemption issues, state charitable registration filings, and governance issues. On behalf of tax-exempt organizations, she drafts nonprofit corporation documents and prepares federal applications for tax-exempt status, state charitable registration filings, and state property tax and sales tax exemption applications. Jill has extensive experience advising individuals, family and corporate foundations, and tax-exempt organizations on nonprofit corporate governance, private foundation excise taxes, domestic and international grant-making, executive compensation, excess benefit rules and intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, scholarship programs, and fundraising issues
Jill is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national organization of approximately 2,500 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. She has also been selected for inclusion on the current list of New Jersey Super Lawyersin the Estate & Probate section.
Bruce J. Wisotsky has represented debtors, creditors’ committees, equity committees, trustees, landlords, and other individual creditors in Chapter 11 and 7 bankruptcy proceedings in New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Florida, and other jurisdictions. He has also represented assignees for the benefit of creditors in state court insolvency proceedings. A significant portion of Bruce’s practice has involved out-of-court restructurings, either as counsel to companies and individuals experiencing financial difficulties or their creditors.
Bruce lectures on various bankruptcy issues before the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the Turnaround Management Association, and the Essex County Bar Association. He has addressed topics including prosecution and defense of preference actions, treatment of tax claims in bankruptcy proceedings, executory contract issues, and retention bonus issues. Bruce is a member of the New Jersey Regional Advisory Board of the Anti-Defamation League. He also served as an officer and counsel to Help Darfur Now, a non-profit corporation which raises funds to purchase food and medicine for refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan.
Bruce is included in The Best Lawyers In America in the Bankruptcy Litigation and Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law sections and New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Bankruptcy & Creditor/ Debtor Rights section. He was also named the Best Lawyers Bankruptcy Litigation “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area in 2020, 2018 and 2016.
John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm, concentrates his practice on business law, mergers & acquisitions, and international law. Since 1987, John has devoted his practice to helping companies, both large and small, with their business legal needs.
As a business lawyer, John regularly represents and counsels the firm’s business clients in a wide range of commercial transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, corporate partnerships, and other strategic alliances.
John’s mergers and acquisitions experience includes a significant number of transactions representing both buyers and sellers of flavor and fragrance companies. He also has a substantial amount of experience handling deals in the pharmaceutical, medical device manufacturing, chemical, and health care industries, among others.
He advises a number of high-tech companies in the areas of technology licensing, information management, and product development.
John serves as counsel for the United States operations of a number of foreign-based corporations, where he is responsible for all legal issues in the U.S., including general business advice, contract and tax matters, litigation management, and employee relations.
Over the years, John has represented a number of individual entrepreneurs and startup companies. He has strategically guided them from idea conception to exit strategy, solving their legal problems along the way.
John is a frequent speaker and author on a wide range of business law topics, which are relevant to the firm’s clients.
Melissa A. Peña, a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Chair of the Bankruptcy and Creditors’ Rights Group, concentrates her practice on commercial litigation and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Her clients include financial institutions, private lenders, creditors, and accounting firms. Melissa has successfully represented secured creditors and unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and state court insolvency proceedings. She frequently handles commercial foreclosure actions, actions to enforce promissory notes and guarantees, lien priority disputes, fraudulent conveyance actions, and creditor enforcement matters.
Melissa has also defended accounting firms in disputes regarding alleged failure to detect criminal and fraudulent activity in the state and federal courts of New Jersey and New York.
Outside the court room, Melissa handles commercial workouts, negotiating forbearance agreements on behalf of lenders and troubled cross-border transactions. She frequently represents investors seeking to acquire defaulted loans from the due diligence stage to closing on the sale. Melissa also helps lenders to liquidate their collateral through UCC sales, including sales of co-ops. In connection with her participation in the firm’s cross-border practice, she represents clients concerning inbound and outbound transactions that require working with government agencies such as the U.S. Office of Foreign Asset Control and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Whether she is inside or outside the courtroom, Melissa’s goal is to find a practical business solution for her clients. She utilizes litigation as a tool to further her client’s business objectives in a cost-effective manner.
Melissa is Co-Chair of the Meritas Financial Services section.
Nicholas F. Pellitta, a Member of the firm, has substantial experience in a variety of legal areas in both federal and state courts. It is his goal to maximize efficiency for his clients by promptly analyzing their objectives, identifying necessary strategies, and implementing an appropriate course of action.
Nick provides a wide variety of litigation strategies and assistance for business clients in commercial matters, including contract review, insurance-related issues, and real property tax appeals.
In the area of higher education, Nick has represented colleges and universities for more than 25 years in areas such as tort claim defense, campus security, alcohol policies, police litigation, civil rights, and student discipline. Representative clients include Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, and Seton Hall University. Nick has represented the Rutgers Police Department and has provided in-house training and advice on police-related matters.
On the individual level, Nick assists clients in matters involving personal injury, criminal charges, juvenile delinquency, and other similar offenses, both in municipal and superior courts.
Nick has served as Second Vice President in the C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court, an organization designed for the continuing education of newly-admitted attorneys. He has also lectured at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and on behalf of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office in the area of trial practice.
Nick has served as Chairman of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and is currently Legal Counsel to the Chamber, aiding in contract review, lease and vendor agreements, and general legal advice. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees and a Past President for Prevention Resources, an organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness and preventing substance abuse and violence in the community, and as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Raritan Valley Community College Foundation.
Andrew N. Parfomak focuses his practice on intellectual property matters, including planning, procuring, and protecting strategic intellectual property assets–patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets for both domestic and international clients.
Andrew’s prosecution experience includes managing all aspects of patent procurement for clients, from inventor interviewing, patent drafting and prosecution, to product clearances and patentability opinions, as well as providing “turnkey” services for clients and protection of designs. His trademark experience includes trademark applications and prosecution and his litigation experience includes representation of patentees in infringement actions in the specialty chemicals area. Due to a broad range of experience, both in-house and in private practice, he has extensive experience in counseling and providing global strategic intellectual property planning and protection for a range of clients.
Andrew has technical expertise in the chemical arts, as well as in mechanical and computer-controlled processes, such as business method patents. His chemical experience is in the area of specialty chemicals, including dyestuffs, fire retardants, polymer additive compositions, as well as engineered materials, including polymers, polymer films, metallurgical compositions and methods for production, and articles produced therefrom, particularly amorphous metal alloys. He is also experienced in compositions and formulations of consumer products, especially cleaning, disinfectant, and pharmaceutical compositions, their manufacture, and administration. His experience in mechanical arts includes manufacturing methods for a wide range of articles. His knowledge of computer-controlled processes includes advanced adaptive survey techniques and systems for data collection and administration, methods for improved data input and output in data storage networks, improved anti-pilferage security systems, and processes for improved resource sharing and handling.
Andrew works out of the firm’s New York City office.
Stephen M. Offen concentrates his practice on business law, real estate, and commercial litigation.
In the area of business law, Steve offers day-to-day counseling on a wide range of legal issues, including employment matters, corporate governance, contractual obligations and negotiations, and general business advice. He has represented both buyers and sellers in large, complex corporate transactions.
Steve has particular expertise with regard to real estate issues relating to the telecommunications industry, as well as a general real estate practice, including the buying and selling of commercial real estate, leasing matters, land development, and zoning approvals.
Steve also has a diverse litigation practice, including cases involving employment, insurance coverage, environmental, products liability, and commercial disputes. He is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney. Since 1976, he has been a Borough attorney for the Borough of Millstone in Somerset County.
As an active member of the community, Steve is a member of the Board of Trustees and past President of both the Jewish Federation of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties and the Jewish Family Service, counsel to the Wellness Community of Central New Jersey, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center in Bridgewater, and a member of the ACLU Free Legal Clinic.
Edward G. Sponzilli, a Member of the firm, is a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Civil Trial Attorney with 44 years experience in complex corporate and commercial litigation, employment and education matters.
He has litigated cases in many different jurisdictions, including Florida, Delaware, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, in addition to the states where he is admitted. He primarily handles complex corporate and commercial matters, as well as employment litigation relating to restrictive covenant, wrongful termination, CEPA, employment discrimination, and sexual harassment. He has defended public entities, primarily educational institutions, and has represented parties in products liability, toxic tort, and professional malpractice claims. Additionally, Ed has handled matters involving franchise practices, intellectual property, health care, estate, real estate, construction, antitrust, commodities, civil RICO, defamation, Fair Credit Reporting Act, consumer fraud, shareholder disputes, civil rights, constitutional law, sports law, personal injury, insurance and reinsurance coverage matters, dram shop, alcohol, defamation, business tort, criminal, and education law matters.
In higher education, Ed has not only litigated matters for colleges and universities but has been consulted for advice on numerous issues and he has authored opinion letters on a variety of topics. He was part of the legal team which handled the largest merger of higher educational institutions in U.S. history.
Ed is a 2008 recipient of the Professionalism Award. In 1999 he was awarded the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Fund for Client Protection’s “Client Protection” Award for his outstanding service on behalf of the public and the Bar of New Jersey in his role as Chancery Court-appointed Receiver in the case of Montano v. Cohen & Cohen.
Ed is a past president of the C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court and the Rutgers—Newark Law School Alumni Association. He has been a Trustee of the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey for over 30 years. He has been on the faculty of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy for over 25 years and for the past twenty years has been one of only two non-government faculty members in the New Jersey Attorney General’s Trial Advocacy Institute. Ed is currently a master of the New York City American Inn of Court and the Lifland (federal practice) American Inn of Court. He has served as a federal arbitrator and state court certified mediator.
Ed was a Judicial Law Clerk for The Honorable James A. Coolahan, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey (D.N.J.) from 1975-77. During the two-year clerkship, Judge Coolahan held a temporary assignment to the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Ed has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers In America and New Jersey Super Lawyers, as well as Marquis’ Who’s Who In American Law and Who’s Who in America. He was a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee, Bench, Bar, and Media. He has also recently been re-appointed as Chair of New Jersey State Bar Association’s Higher Education Committee.
Burt Allen Solomon practices cooperative, condominium, real estate, non-profit, trusts and estates, banking, and corporate law at the firm’s New York City office.
Currently, his practice focuses on affordable and cooperative housing. Burt has been involved extensively in secured and unsecured financing transactions for housing developments from both, a lender’s and a borrower’s perspective, involving both regulated and unregulated housing. In addition, his extensive experience includes dealing with city, state, and federal housing agencies on behalf of regulated housing developments.
Burt has represented and advised housing developments on widely diverse activities, including financing; requests for financing proposals; corporate and regulatory aspects of low income housing tax credit financing, privatization of government regulated cooperatives, apartment purchase procedures, applications, interview procedures, and legal compliance, including anti-discrimination laws. He also handles specialized real estate transactions, including sales to New York City for perpetual parkland use, sales of commercial condominium units, not-for-profit corporation transactions, easements and licenses of real property, and sales to foreign governments of real property.
Burt is also experienced in advising housing developments concerning specialized issues, such as electricity submetering, governmental investigations, regulatory compliance, placements of apartments into trusts, sales of apartments for commercial uses, advising on cooperative corporate governance, including disputed elections, directors’ responsibilities and other maintenance and operation issues, and drafting governing documents (certificates of incorporation, by-laws, proprietary leases, occupancy agreements and house rules). He also advises cooperatives about estate and trust matters affecting them.
Burt returned to private practice in 1990, after 12 years with Bank Hapoalim B.M., much of that as head of its U.S. Legal Department, where he gained expertise in areas as diverse as domestic and international commercial lending, federal and state bank regulatory compliance, interstate and international transactions, and bank operations and management. His banking practice has included areas such as commercial lending, wire transfers, funds transfer systems, federal and state banking and consumer regulations compliance, fidelity bond claims, money laundering and fraud issues, and bank secrecy and commercial aspects of bankruptcy matters.
After law school, Burt clerked for two federal judges in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Kenneth D. Meskin has more than forty years of experience in sophisticated trust and estate planning, the administration of trusts and estates, probate litigation, and closely-held business planning.
Ken is extremely adept at using sophisticated and creative tax and estate planning techniques to ensure that assets pass to the intended beneficiaries at as little cost as possible to the client. In order to minimize state and federal tax burdens and transfer wealth, Ken has structured gift-giving programs, insurance planning, established charitable trusts and foundations, devised installment sale transactions, grantor trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, zeroed-out GRATs, and private annuity transactions, planned for the succession of family businesses to younger generations, and has drafted wills, revocable and irrevocable trust agreements, powers of attorney, and living wills.
In the area of estate and trust administration, Ken has worked on a wide variety of matters, including estate and trust litigation, post-mortem tax planning, the preparation of estate, gift, generation skipping, income and inheritance tax returns, federal estate tax audits, state inheritance proceedings, the representation of clients before the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Tax Court, and guardianship issues and proceedings.
Ken regularly counsels closely-held corporations and other companies in a variety of issues, including tax strategies, tax disputes, mergers and acquisitions, structuring of joint ventures, partnerships and limited liability companies, and succession planning.
He is a frequent lecturer on tax and estate planning topics to accountants, financial planners, insurance professionals, and other attorneys, and has authored numerous articles on a variety of related topics.
Ken is listed in the current issue of The Best Lawyers In America in the Trusts and Estates Law section and was named the Best Lawyers Trusts and Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area for 2019. He has also been selected for inclusion for New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Estate Planning & Probate section.
Timothy P. McKeown concentrates his practice on a variety of civil and commercial litigation with an emphasis on commercial real estate related matters, centered on real estate contract disputes, contractor disputes, construction lien and title issues, partition actions, and access issues under New Jersey environmental statutes. Tim has extensive experience handling commercial lease negotiations and related disputes and has tried scores of bench trials, as well as jury trials, throughout his career on behalf of commercial landlords, tenants, and others.
In addition to his litigation practice, Tim has extensive experience drafting commercial leases and contracts of sale, as well as representing sellers and purchasers in commercial real estate transactions.
Tim maintains New Jersey Commercial Real Estate Disputes, a blog on the firm’s website that provides businesses and individuals with timely information about the law as it pertains to the commercial real estate industry.
One of Tim’s favorite quotes is: “Service to others is the rent we pay for our time here on earth.” To that end, Tim currently serves as the Immediate Past President of the ARC of Somerset County, an organization that serves individuals with developmental disabilities and their families from birth through the senior years of life through its many programs and services in Somerset County.
Tim also serves on the Board of Trustees for Habitat for Humanity of Raritan Valley. Habitat for Humanity partners with low income people in the community to help them build or improve a place they can call home.
Annmarie Simeone concentrates her practice on labor and employment counseling and litigation.
Annmarie has a wide range of experience in state and federal courts, as well as in alternative dispute resolution venues, primarily defending management in claims made by employees under state and federal employment laws, including whistleblower claims, as well as claims alleging harassment and discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, and disability.
Her work includes the defense of corporate defendants, as well as individual officers, directors, and employees, addressing issues unique to small businesses, as well as challenges faced by larger companies.
In addition, Annmarie provides advice and counseling to human resource professionals and in-house counsel with respect to a wide range of employment issues, including employee leaves of absence, employee discipline, and layoff and termination issues, including the negotiation and design of severance agreements. She also drafts employee manuals and employment-related policies and procedures.
Annmarie has significant experience protecting businesses from liability by conducting training for supervisors and employees. She has presented programs on handling workplace investigations; on acceptable workplace behavior which includes issues of harassment, bullying, and other workplace conduct rules; and on how to properly craft and implement employee handbooks. Annmarie also has significant experience in complex commercial litigation, focusing on business disputes such as shareholder actions, commission disputes, and breach of contract matters.
In addition, Annmarie practices in the area of higher education. This portion of her practice primarily relates to the defense of employment-related claims, and also extends to litigating cases in federal and state courts defending allegations of civil rights and constitutional violations.
In connection with all areas of her practice, Annmarie is responsible for supervision and handling of pretrial proceedings, including discovery and motion practice, as well as settlement negotiations, dispositive motions, arbitrations, and mediations, counseling clients through all phases of litigation in both federal and state courts.
Annmarie recently received the Presidential Leadership Award from the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, and in 2016, she received the Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law on behalf of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association. In 2013, she was named the Outstanding Woman in Somerset County in the area of Law by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women. Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Annmarie served as Law Clerk for the Honorable Robert P. Figarotta, P.J.S.C., (ret.) Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County.
Bob Mahoney is a member of the firm’s management committee, and serves as General Counsel to the firm.
Bob is a trial attorney who has tried many cases in the state and federal courts over the last 25 years. He has been lead counsel in numerous matters in the federal and state courts of New Jersey, as well as federal courts in New York, Delaware, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. He has also arbitrated many significant matters in several forums when the parties have elected to pursue arbitration rather than trial. In addition to his trial experience, Bob has argued cases before the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court, the Supreme Court of New Jersey, and the United States Court of Appeals for both the Second and Third Circuits.
Over the course of his career, Bob’s cases have involved a wide variety of commercial cases, including intellectual property, patents, trademarks, environmental cost recovery and insurance coverage, e-commerce and information technology, trusts and estates, dissolutions of closely-held businesses, real estate and condemnation, professional negligence, and a whole range of other typical business disputes.
Utilizing his litigation experience, Bob often counsels the firm’s clients in various business transactions in order to eliminate or reduce the risk of litigation.
Bruce S. Londa, Co-Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Law Practice Group, devotes his practice to intellectual property law matters. He concentrates on both domestic and foreign patent and trademark prosecution, as well as technology licensing and transfer, and counseling and opinion work.
On the patent side, Bruce assists domestic clients in clearing and protecting their inventions and helps clients abroad to perfect their patents in the United States. His areas of technical expertise include the chemical, metallurgical, mechanical, computer software, medical, and biological arts.
For trademarks, Bruce represents a wide variety of domestic and foreign clients, often acting in the role of outside trademark counsel for well-known global brands. In addition to clearing and registering trademarks around the world, he enjoys counseling clients in order to maximize their brand protection using multiple protection strategies and cost-effective filing programs. While Bruce is involved in enforcing valuable trademark rights, he gains the most satisfaction from seeking and negotiating the amicable resolution of disputes.
Bruce serves clients in a variety of manufacturing, marketing, and service industries, including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, electronics, telecommunications, consumer foods, computer hardware and software, internet, medical devices, health care, and banking. Before joining Norris McLaughlin, Bruce was managing partner for Londa & Gluck LLP of New York, New York.
Richard J. Schachter focuses his practice on civil and commercial litigation.
Dick is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney. In 1997, he was honored with the Professional Lawyer of the Year Award by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism, Dick has also been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the Commercial Litigation section and New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Business Litigation section.
David T. Harmon focuses his practice on the areas of executive compensation, employment, and business law.
As Co-Chair of the firm’s Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Group, David represents senior-level employees of both public and private companies in the negotiation of their employment packages and all associated agreements, whether at the commencement of the employment relationship through offer letters and employment agreements or at termination through severance agreements. His successful negotiation of employment and severance packages for clients includes employment and post-employment compensation, confidentiality, non-compete, non-solicitation, non-poach, and garden leave covenants, the Protocol for Broker Recruiting, change of control provisions, and benefits and protections within the structures and strategies for those packages.
His representation also includes providing advice and counsel to employers in the preparation and negotiation of employment and severance packages with their employees, the design of human resources compliance programs, including employee policy manuals, and counseling and training concerning the implementation of those policies. David also provides neutral investigative services in employment matters.
David provides comprehensive employment evaluations, strategic solutions, and coaching within a variety of industries, including financial services, marketing, advertising, health care, design, branding, publishing, fashion, engineering, real estate, and pharmaceutical, among others.
David’s practice includes representation in FINRA, AAA, and JAMS arbitrations and mediations involving employment and customer disputes, FINRA and other regulatory investigations, disciplinary matters, as well as Forms U4 and U5 expungement and related employment matters.
David also serves as outside general counsel and strategist for small and medium-sized companies in their general business, employment, and transactional matters.
David is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Wall Street Technology Association. He is a member of the Business Law and Labor & Employment Sections of the New York State and American Bar Associations.
David has published many articles and frequently speaks on various legal topics. David is also frequently quoted, most recently in Advisor Hub, Ladders, FundFire, and The Wall Street Journal. He has also been quoted in Broker’s World, a Dow Jones Newswire Publication, the Hedge Fund Law Report, the definitive source of actionable intelligence on hedge funds, and in the annual advisor compensation report in Registered Rep., the financial professionals’ source for breaking news, advice, and what is happening in the industry. He also co-authored a chapter entitled, “Perspectives for Management and Executives on Structuring and Negotiating the Package: It’s not Just About the Dollars,” for a book entitled, Inside the Minds: Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Plans, for Aspatore Books, a Thomson Business Publisher. David maintains a blog, Transitions in Employment, which focuses on developments in employment agreements, offer letters, severance packages, garden leaves, and non-compete and non-solicitation restrictions, confidentiality agreements, changes in control, deferred compensation, stock options, bonuses, commissions, equity, benefits, and other employment and business developments.
Following a clerkship in the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, David began his career at the Wall Street law firm of Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon.
Dean M. Roberts, Chair of the firm’s New York Real Estate & Finance Law Practice Group, oversees and coordinates a diverse group of real estate attorneys and support professionals at Norris McLaughlin who handle all matters relating to real estate in the state of New York. Prior to joining the firm by way of a merger in 2006, he was the managing partner of Szold & Brandwen, a law firm founded in 1924 that had been involved in the development of cooperatives (co-ops) for over 80 years.
Dean has represented real estate entities for more than 30 years in all facets of legal issues affecting individuals and legal entities that own, develop, or manage real estate assets. His practice is a highbred of corporate, litigation, and transactional services on behalf of his clients. Dean is well established as one of the elite condominium and co-op attorneys in New York, including being one of the foremost Mitchell Lama and regulated co-op attorneys in New York City.
Outside of the firm, Dean supports diverse and moderate-income housing developments as the pro bono general counsel to the Coordinating Council of Cooperatives and as a director of the Cooperative Development Fund Board of Advisors as well as other housing programs.
David C. Roberts, Co-Chair of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, devotes his practice to handling complex commercial litigation matters, such as fraud, fraudulent transfers, trade secret, restrictive covenant litigation, employment litigation, environmental matters, and insurance coverage litigation.
His practice has a particular emphasis on partnership and shareholder disputes, including oppression and dissenter’s rights cases, with a focus on attempting to resolve matters through mediation, if such an approach fits within client’s goals and objectives. In 2007, Dave launched the Shareholder Dispute NJ blog, which addresses minority shareholder disputes in New Jersey. In addition, he writes and lectures extensively on this topic.
Dave has tried several cases involving these and other issues. He also has extensive appellate experience. In the area of employment litigation, Dave has handled cases on discrimination and sexual harassment, including multiple cases involving same-sex sexual harassment, as well as wage and hour claims.
Dave has represented a number of notable clients in a variety of industries, including ICAP Financial Services. He also serves as outside general counsel to TIFA International (aquaculture industry) and Old Bridge Chemicals and Madison Industries (animal feed additive industry).
Additionally, Dave is one of the founders and a former Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the Monmouth Beach Education Foundation and is a current member of the Monmouth Beach Board of Education.
James H. Laskey is past Chair of the firm’s Business Law Group. His business practice is primarily transactional in nature, including mergers, acquisitions, licensing agreements for life science and technology companies, and product supply and distribution arrangements, especially for consumer products and manufacturing companies.
In addition to his business practice, Jim maintains a practice in administrative and government regulatory law, including public utility, telecommunications, energy, and antitrust issues. For more than ten years, he served as counsel to the Independent Energy Producers of New Jersey, a trade association for the power generation industry in New Jersey. Jim is also a registered legislative agent for New Jersey legislative activities.
Jim currently chairs our cross-disciplinary practice group for solar energy. He has gained extensive experience negotiating agreements for solar energy installations, purchase power agreements, and agreements for the creation and sale of Solar Renewable Energy Credits, also known as SRECs.
He was Chair of the Public Utility Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association in 1997 and 1998 and also served as Chairman of the Board for the Somerset County Business Partnership. Jim has been selected for inclusion on the list of The Best Lawyers in America. He was also selected as the Energy Law “Lawyer of the Year” for the Newark, New Jersey region in 2013.
Prior to joining the firm, Jim spent three years working for the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. Before that, he clerked for New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Sidney M. Schreiber.
Jim is married to the Hon. Mary C. Jacobson, the Assignment Judge in Mercer County.
Michael T. Reilly devotes his practice to real estate, construction, finance, landlord tenant litigation and probate matters.
Michael advises cooperative and condominium boards and home owner associations on corporate governance, financing, construction contracts, commercial leases, regulatory compliance, utility procurement, and insurance recovery matters. He also provides general counsel advice to not-for-profit corporations that provide supportive housing and social services to elderly, economically disadvantaged, and developmentally disabled residents.
Michael represents corporate entities, individuals, and trusts in the purchase, sale, and lease of commercial properties, condominium units, cooperative apartments, loft spaces, time-share properties, single and multi-family homes, and undeveloped land. He helps owners obtain acquisition financing and negotiate the refinancing and restructuring of underlying mortgages and lines of credit. He advises real estate investors in Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 like-kind exchanges.
Michael represents “Mitchell-Lama” cooperative corporations regulated by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development and the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal. He negotiates regulatory agreements extending affordability requirements and tax benefits in exchange for subsidized financing and grant funding. He counsels Mitchell-Lama cooperative corporations on conversions under Article XI of the New York Private Finance Housing Law and the New York Business Corporation Law. Additionally, Michael counsels Housing Development Fund Companies and entities supervised by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. He secures grant funding for affordable housing clients through the New York City Council Discretionary Funding Program and the New York State Dormitory Authority.
Michael drafts construction contracts for projects involving façades, balconies, roof replacements, mechanical system upgrades, cogeneration, boiler replacements, gas conversions, solar panel installations, window replacements, lobby and hallway upgrades, hazardous material abatement and removal. Michael negotiates professional services contracts for architects, engineers, owner’s representatives, construction managers, site safety managers, and environmental consultants. Michael represents buildings during the transition of managing agents, security guard companies, laundry providers and building maintenance providers. Michael advises owners in the installation and upgrade of building technology systems.
In addition, Michael litigates commercial and residential landlord tenant cases in New York Civil and Supreme Courts. He has represented condominium boards in common charge collection and unit owner default cases, and successfully negotiated with commercial developers and neighboring buildings to secure license, access and indemnity agreements on behalf of landlords during construction. Michael regularly appears before New York City and State regulatory agencies, including the New York City Environmental Control Board, the New York City Department of Buildings and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, defending landlords and tenants in municipal, construction, environmental, criminal, fire, and building code violations. He has successfully prosecuted non-primary residence proceedings on behalf of regulated housing landlords.
Michael probates wills, administers estates, and represents fiduciaries in litigation before the New York State Surrogate’s Courts, has represented fiduciaries in audits before the New York State Department of Finance and Internal Revenue Service, and is involved in accounting and guardianship proceedings. Michael prepares federal and New York State estate and income tax returns.
At Tulane University School of Law, Michael was a Notes and Comments Editor for the Tulane Maritime Law Journal.
A resident of Manhattan, he is an avid triathlete and outdoorsman.
Margaret Raymond-Flood devotes her practice to general litigation with an emphasis on complex commercial matters. Margaret has appeared in the federal and state courts of New Jersey, as well as the federal courts of other jurisdictions. She has considerable experience in the defense of environmental litigation. Margaret also serves as panel counsel in a variety of professional liability claims, including legal, medical and environmental matters.
Margaret has extensive litigation experience, including pretrial procedure, motion practice, and taking and defending depositions of corporate representatives, employees, and expert witnesses throughout the country. She has tried several complex matters on both the state and federal levels and she has also used state-of-the-art technology as part of her trial preparation and presentation. In addition, she has participated as a speaker in seminars dealing with a variety of insurance-related topics and trial presentation.
Margaret is Chair of the firm’s Response to Electronic Discovery and Information (“REDI”) Group, an interdisciplinary team that helps clients with the identification, preservation, collection, review, and production of massive amounts of electronically stored information required by federal and state court rules. Margaret authors and presents extensively on this topic as well.
Margaret also has unique experience handling cy pres matters, where she asks the Court with help interpreting the terms of a will or gift, when carrying out the terms literally would be impracticable or illegal. At the same time, she works to ensure that the general intent of the donor is observed as closely as possible.
Margaret is a member of the Norris McLaughlin Women’s Forum Steering Committee. Margaret serves on the firm’s Professional Liability Committee and as the Attorney Liaison to the firm’s Practice Support Services Department. She also serves as the Risk Manager for the firm, and handles all of the placement and renewals of the firm’s insurance.
After graduating law school, Margaret served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Neil H. Shuster, Presiding Judge of the Mercer County Civil Division in the Superior Court of New Jersey. She also served as a coach of the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Mock Trial Team for five years.
Steven A. Karg concentrates his practice in commercial litigation with an emphasis on pharmaceutical, products, and consumer liability defense. He has substantial experience defending manufacturers and/or distributors of a wide variety of products, such as pharmaceuticals, tobacco products, heavy industrial equipment, marine engines, chemicals and chemical processing systems, automobile lifts, pumps, tow tractors and trucks, buses, automotive accessories, trailers, forklifts, fasteners, soil remediation, and food preparation equipment. Steve has represented clients at both the trial and appellate level, including in New Jersey’s Multi-County Litigation system. In addition to direct representation of clients, Steve has acted on many occasions as New Jersey counsel with virtual law firms comprised of counsel around the country defending companies in nationwide products, consumer, and class litigations.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Steve was the Manager of Property and Facilities at Purolator Courier Corporation where he managed the company’s many facilities and supervised construction of projects. Prior to that, he was a production supervisor and industrial engineer at the Colgate-Palmolive Company where he oversaw the production of personal care products.
Steve often speaks about products liability and consumer fraud topics to various organizations, such as the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association, New Jersey Defense Association, New Jersey Chapter of Risk and Insurance Management Society, New Jersey Chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society, Northeast Pharmaceutical Attorneys, and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He has been the defense-side co-moderator or speaker for NJICLE’s annual Multi-County Litigation (formerly Mass Tort) seminar for many years and has presented on topics involving class actions and mass torts. He has authored many articles on a number of products liability and consumer fraud topics.
Steve has been selected again for inclusion in the Class Action/Mass Tort section of New Jersey Super Lawyers®, one of 27 Members of the firm selected this year. Only five percent of New Jersey attorneys are given this honor. Steve is also listed in the Product Liability Litigation – Defendants section of the current issue of Best Lawyers. Steve received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent rating, this is the highest lawyer rating which serves as an objective indicator of the lawyer’s high ethical standards, legal knowledge, and analytical capabilities.
John A. Jakub concentrates his practice on environmental compliance, regulation, and litigation.
John represents and counsels a variety of clients, including commercial and residential developers, chemical manufacturers, industrial companies, and commercial business owners, on a myriad of environmental and regulatory issues. He has represented and continues to assist clients in matters involving ISRA compliance, site remediation, due diligence, Brownfields redevelopment, permitting, solid and hazardous waste regulation, air and water pollution control, and cleanup cost recovery. John has substantial experience representing clients in administrative proceedings and working with local, state, and federal agencies to resolve non-litigated compliance matters. He develops integrated strategies for responding to governmental mandates, pursuing cost recovery actions, and facilitating purchase, sale, and redevelopment of contaminated properties. In addition to representing private, commercial, and nonprofit clients, John has also served as a municipal prosecutor for Rutgers University.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, P.A., John was a law clerk for the Honorable Sybil R. Moses, Assignment Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County. Upon graduating from the United States Military Academy West Point, John was commissioned in the Field Artillery in the United States Army. He commanded a Field Artillery Battery during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
Joel N. Jacobson has been with the firm for more than thirty-five years and a member of the firm’s Management Committee since 1987. Joel is currently the chair of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group.
Joel’s practice focuses primarily on real estate and banking matters. His clients include a large number of banks and other financial institutions, a nationwide hotel owner, a fast food franchisee, private real estate investors and developers, court-appointed receivers and many non-real estate businesses with real estate needs. Work experience includes:
Foreclosures, workouts and sales with respect to thousands of loans secured by a wide range of real estate assets, including shopping centers, commercial and residential construction projects, commercial office buildings, industrial buildings, mixed use properties, redevelopment projects, golf courses, tennis facilities, health care facilities, self-storage facilities, restaurants, catering facilities, gas stations and environmentally contaminated properties
Purchase and sales of commercial loan portfolios and individual loans by banks and other financial institutions
Representation of private investors and developers with respect to the acquisition, sale, financing, land use approvals, management and leasing of office and industrial buildings
Representation of businesses in connection with a wide range of commercial real estate matters, including a 585,000 square foot warehouse lease, the lease of an FDA approved laboratory and purchase of the laboratory fixtures and equipment, and the purchase of a 250,000 square foot corporate headquarters
Representation of court-appointed receivers selected by bank clients in connection with the management and disposition of real estate assets, including construction projects and environmentally contaminated properties
In 2011, Joel was named the “Newark Area Banking Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession. He was the only banking law attorney accorded this honor in the State of New Jersey. Joel is also listed in the Banking Law section of the current issue of The Best Lawyers In America. He was also named by Real Estate New Jersey magazine as one of the state’s top real estate attorneys. Joel has received Martindale-Hubbell’s AV Preeminent rating, its highest lawyer rating, which serves as an objective indicator of a lawyer’s high ethical standards and legal knowledge. Joel has been the primary contact for Meritas, a worldwide affiliation of more than 170 law firms, since the firm became a member in 1991.
Peter D. Hutcheon practices primarily in the areas of business governance, commercial transactions, securities, banking, and finance.
Peter counsels management of public and private companies and banking institutions on governance matters. He also has particular expertise with respect to indemnification and insurance issues affecting directors and officers. Peter has represented parties in major public-private partnership financings. He also represents clients seeking investment capital from private placements, venture capital, and private equity deals, as well as firm commitment underwritten offerings of securities. Peter is experienced with securities matters ranging from stock options to dividend reinvestment plans. He possesses extensive familiarity with bank regulatory matters and has worked on mergers and acquisitions in the banking industry. Peter has considerable experience in corporate and financing transactions and has represented both buyers and sellers in public and private corporate acquisition transactions in deals involving over $2 billion.
Peter is a long-time member of the American Bar Association’s Section on Business Law, Partnerships and Unincorporated Business Organizations Committee, and for 16 years was the editor of its newsletter, the PUBOGRAM. He has been named a Founding Fellow of the American College of LLC and Partnership Attorneys. Peter is the 2005 recipient of the Martin I. Lubaroff Award for his lifelong service to this Committee. He was a director for 22 years, including two years as chair, of the New Jersey State Bar, Corporate & Business Law Section. Peter also chaired the State Bar’s Banking Law Section. He was chairman of the New Jersey Corporate & Business Law Study Commission from its inception in 1989 to 2002, where he provided reports and suggestions on business law developments to the New Jersey Legislature and the Governor. Peter chaired the New Jersey Securities Advisory Committee appointed by the Attorney General from 1995 to 2001 and served as the American Bar Association’s Liaison to the New Jersey Bureau of Securities for over 32 years. He also served as chair of the ABA’s Section of Science and Technology and on the Editorial Board of their quarterly journal, Jurimetrics. Peter previously served as Associate Editor and Editor-in-Chief of Jurimetrics.
Peter is AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® and is listed in the Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Securities Law, and Securities Regulation sections of the current edition of The Best Lawyers In America. He also has been selected for inclusion on the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Business/Corporate section every year since its inception in 2005 to 2020. Additionally, Peter has authored numerous articles on various business-related law topics, including limited liability companies, securities, and directors and officers liability.
Edward A. Hogan represents and counsels developers, redevelopers, manufacturers, commercial entities, and highly-regulated service businesses in all aspects of environmental law and litigation.
For over 25 years, Edd has been at the forefront of site remediation issues in New Jersey. He has partnered with clients and served as a trusted advisor, delivering integrated strategies for responding to governmental mandates, pursuing cost recovery actions, and facilitating purchase, sale, and redevelopment of contaminated properties. Edd handles all aspects of environmental law and litigation, including air quality and emissions, water quality and quantity management, and land use. He is a national thought leader in environmental law; he has been featured in legal, business, and trade group publications, and teaches continuing professional education programs.
Edd is a Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers and is listed in four categories in the current edition of The Best Lawyers in America: Environmental Law, Energy Law, Litigation–Environmental, and Natural Resources Law. He has been included in the Environmental Law section since 1993. Edd has also been selected for inclusion again in the “International Who’s Who of Environment Lawyers 2018” by Who’s Who Legal. He was ranked “Band 1,” the highest ranking an attorney can receive, in the Environment section by Chambers USA, one of the oldest and most prestigious legal listings in the world.
Jeanne Hamburg concentrates her practice in all aspects of copyright and trademark law, both in litigation and in the transactional area. Resident in the New York City office, she assists clients in a broad range of industries with their IP needs. In each year since 2009, Jeanne has been recognized in New York Super Lawyers® for Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Litigation. Only five percent of New York attorneys are given this honor. Additionally, Jeanne is ranked in the 2019 World Trademark Review 1000 – The World’s Leading Trademark Professionals, which lists the top 1,000 trademark attorneys in 70 jurisdictions globally.
Jeanne litigates copyright, trademark, and cybersquatting cases through trial and if necessary, appeal. To this end, she has acted as national counsel in federal courts across the country to bring and defend infringement claims for clients, both foreign and domestic. Additionally, she has recovered domain names for clients in many Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Proceedings and prosecuted and defended numerous opposition and cancellation proceedings and ex parte appeals in the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
In the transactional area, Jeanne is experienced in trademark and copyright licensing, traditional print, and online publishing, software development, website development, content licenses, and electronic subscriptions. She counsels clients on intellectual property aspects of mergers and acquisitions. She is experienced in copyright and trademark clearance, prosecution, and enforcement, and has particular expertise with contentious and transactional issues arising from the Internet. She is Chair of the firm’s Internet Law Group.
Jeanne manages global portfolios, working with international clients to secure and enforce U.S. trademarks and copyrights and working with domestic clients to protect and enforce their marks and copyrights abroad. She handles both domestic and foreign trademark disputes, for the latter working with a network of trusted law firms around the world to protect clients’ intellectual property abroad. Additionally, Jeanne is skilled in negotiating and drafting global copyright licenses (including publishing agreements) as well as trademark licenses for both domestic and foreign clients.
Jeanne is a co-author of the firm’s trademark, copyright, and unfair competition law blog, More Than Your Mark.
Jeanne is a frequent speaker and writer on intellectual property topics and is active in many trade groups in industries whose clients she serves. Additionally, she is a member of the International Trademark Association (INTA), currently serving on the Leadership Development Committee, and a member of the Copyright Society of the USA (CSUSA). She formerly served on the Government Officials Training Committee, was nominated and served as Chair of INTA’s Law Firm Committee, and was selected as a speaker for INTA’s Trademark Basics “Maintaining the Perfect Partnership” seminar held in New York for inside and outside counsel.
Ezra N. Goodman devotes his practice to cooperative and condominium law, real estate, and land use matters, in addition to construction law. He works out of the firm’s New York City office.
Ezra’s practice includes the representation of numerous cooperative, condominium and rental housing developments.
Ezra’s rich and varied experience in these fields spans more than 40 years. It encompasses the sale and purchase of commercial, as well as residential properties; industrial, commercial, and retail leasing; construction contracts of all scopes and types; major service contracts; and counseling the boards of directors, managers, and owners of the housing developments regarding governance and all facets of their operations. In the course of his practice, Ezra has developed many forms and procedures for dealing with the problems faced by his clients in a manner which is efficient and cost effective, yet customized to each client’s needs.
Ezra strongly believes that effective legal representation, especially in the housing field, requires him to be proactive rather than reflexive. “I enjoy being an advocate for the good of my clients and not just a mechanic. We helped create the very concept of cooperative housing in New York City and we are dedicated to promoting and strengthening it in whatever way possible.”
Ezra has lectured on cooperative housing law at many forums, including the Coordinating Council of Cooperatives.
Jerome Gallagher engages in civil trial and appellate practice with a concentration in commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, construction, contract litigation, and commercial accounts receivable matters. Jerry also provides legal services related to contract drafting and negotiations.
Jerry serves as New Jersey counsel to several national companies, including Intercos Europe, SpA, JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., K. Hovnanian Companies, IPFS Corporation, and Valley National Bank, N.A. Jerry also represents private businesses in several industries, including cosmetics, retail packaging, computer support and specialty concrete products.
Jerry’s more significant results for clients include: an appellate affirmance of a trial court’s dismissal of “spoliation of evidence” claims against a national financing company; a jury verdict dismissing claims against a national real estate developer for alleged violations of New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act; prosecuting fraud claims against an insurance broker on behalf of a premium finance company, resulting in a seven-figure money judgment; a jury verdict in favor of a commercial equipment leasing company including dismissal of “lender liability” counterclaims; dismissal of Consumer Fraud Act and punitive damages claims brought against a privately owned electronic parts testing company; domesticating foreign judgments; recovering payments on surety bonds posted to stay post-judgment collection proceedings pending appeal; obtaining numerous monetary judgments in favor of financial institutions and businesses on commercial loan and accounts receivable claims; and regularly represents contractors in residential and commercial construction disputes, lien claims and commercial collection actions.
Jerry is also a leader in civic and community service organizations. He has been appointed to the NCE Board of Visitors at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and previously served as Chair of the Institute’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Industrial Advisory Board, of which he has been a member since 1999. For the past ten years, he has also served as a Trustee of the Passaic Optimist Foundation and chairs its annual fundraiser golf outing.
Robert C. Gabrielski, Chair of the firm’s International Business and Tax Planning Group, devotes his practice to business and international transactions, e-commerce, and taxation.
Bob has over 30 years of experience in advising both corporate and entrepreneurial businesses on such matters as business and tax planning, business acquisitions, divestitures, and reorganizations, both domestically and internationally. His experience is also instrumental from the inception of an idea to the exit strategy for entrepreneurs and closely-held businesses, particularly in the technology and health care fields.
Bob also counsels clients and acts as a discussion partner with business owners and executives with respect to e-commerce, technology development, health care, and commercialization of intellectual property. He regularly structures and negotiates technology licensing and development agreements, as well as business partnering agreements.
In 2010, Bob launched a blog entitled, “Business Without Borders: An International Business Blog,” a collaborative effort of the attorneys in the firm’s International Business and Tax Planning Group. The Group is composed of experienced and skilled attorneys offering a full range of legal services to its foreign and domestic clients who are engaged in international commerce. Likewise, the blog addresses current issues, changes in the law, and other topics from a variety of legal disciplines, including, but not limited to, business, mergers and acquisitions, taxation, labor and employment, immigration, and intellectual property.
Stuart J. Freedman has substantial experience in both private practice and as in-house counsel. Stuart practices in a variety of areas within the firm, including trade regulation, franchise law, advertising, professional liability, insurance, Internet law, distribution, publishing, and litigation management.
With more than 22 years’ experience in the corporate world as in-house counsel, he is well-versed in recognizing the needs and concerns of businesses, especially those involved in the production, distribution, and/ or sale of consumer goods and services.
Stuart has served as chief legal officer of three major U.S. corporations involved in consumer goods, insurance, and distribution. He served as general counsel to Sedgwick, Inc., the nation’s third largest insurance broker, for five years. In addition, he has written and lectured extensively on trade regulation and the management of a corporation’s legal affairs and its internal law department, and has assisted in the start-up and management of a number of in-house legal departments.
In the area of business law, Stuart has conducted shareholder meetings and has reviewed press releases, earning reports, and other disclosure requirements of companies belonging to the New York Stock Exchange, American Stock Exchange, and NASDAQ. In addition, he has served as President of the American Society of Corporate Secretaries (New York Region) and the New Jersey Corporate Association, and as Chairman of the New Jersey General Counsel.
In the area of franchise law, Stuart counsels clients who are franchisees or prospective franchisees in evaluating franchise offerings and agreements and assists them with ongoing issues, such as problems with their existing franchisors. In addition, Stuart represents both the buyers and sellers of existing franchises in their purchase and sale negotiations. He has also written and lectured extensively on distribution and franchise law issues.
Stuart is included in the current edition of Marquis’ Who’s Who in American Law. He was first selected for inclusion in the publication’s first edition in 1980.
Rikki focuses her practice on representing financial institutions and other clients in their commercial real estate; commercial and community development-related lending activities, including acquisition and construction lending; secured commercial lending; interest rate swaps; and other hedging transactions.
In addition, Rikki has represented financial institutions and other clients in restructuring and modifying commercial real estate, construction, and other types of commercial loans, and in counseling such clients on their rights and remedies with respect to the work-out of such loans.
Rikki is also experienced in commercial real estate transactional matters, including sales and purchases of industrial parks, apartment buildings, and shopping centers; leases of industrial property and office buildings, including solar power, roof leases, and power purchase agreements; land use and zoning applications, and landlord/ tenant matters.
Victor S. Elgort is Chair of the firm’s Tax Group. He also serves as the Chair of the firm’s E-Commerce & Information Technology Practice Group. His practice concentrates on business law and tax planning, including the structuring of partnerships and joint ventures, tax-saving real estate and business exit strategies, executive compensation, and domestic and international estate planning matters.
Victor organized and created the first limited liability company in New Jersey. He has authored the standard form operating agreements and other documents for limited liability companies published by Julius Blumberg, Inc., including both the forms for use in New Jersey and the generic forms offered nationwide for limited liability companies.
Victor has more than 30 years experience in corporate and transactional matters for various professional practices. This includes advising clients about mergers and acquisitions, various business ventures, and creative business arrangements and alliances.
In addition, he is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Victor is a frequent lecturer at tax planning courses, including continuing education seminars. He has authored extensive material published by the National Business Institute, Lorman Education Services, Professional Education Seminars, and other national seminar companies, including “Partnerships, LLCs and LLPs: Organization and Operation,” “Asset Protection Planning in New Jersey,” “Limited Liability Companies in New Jersey,” “Transferring Business Wealth,” “Administration of the Estate in New Jersey,” “Planning Opportunities with Living Trusts in New Jersey,” “New Jersey Probate: Beyond the Basics,” “A Practical Guide to Estate Administration in New Jersey,” and “Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies in New Jersey.”
In the area of e-commerce & information technology law, Victor (trained as an engineer) advises our business clients, including software, biotech, e-commerce, and other companies with proprietary technology, on transactional matters, joint ventures, and alliances, intellectual property licenses and transactions, software contracting, financing transactions, and asset, stock, and other acquisitions and mergers. Victor regularly works with clients on Internet-related information technology, R&D, product development, collaboration, distribution, manufacturing, employment, consulting, and stockholder and investor arrangements.
Victor is included in the Trusts and Estates section of The Best Lawyers in America and has been named by his peers as a New Jersey Super Lawyer in the Tax section.
Judge William A. Dreier practices in the areas of mediation and arbitration.
In his 25 years in the New Jersey State Judiciary, Judge Dreier was a presiding judge of the Appellate Division from 1994 through 1998. He served in the Appellate Division since 1983 and previously in the Chancery Division and the Law Division of the Superior Court since 1973. He has authored approximately 380 published legal opinions.
Judge Dreier is an authority on commercial litigation and ADR; he authored the state text on arbitration law, New Jersey Arbitration Handbook (2013-2017) published by the New Jersey Law Journal, as well as the nine editions of the state’s principal text on Chancery Practice from 1983 to 2014, and earlier texts on Secured Financing.
Also recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in the area of products liability, Judge Dreier’s book, New Jersey Products Liability and Toxic Tort Law (Gann Law Books), has been published annually since 1995 as a successor to seven editions with supplements published by NJICLE since 1977. Judge Dreier also is the author of several books and over 50 law review and journal articles and has lectured in New Jersey and nationally on products liability, commercial law, and ADR in law school symposia, NJICLE programs, and as the coordinator of and lecturer in several ALI-ABA national products liability programs.
As an arbitrator and mediator, Judge Dreier has been chosen as a fellow of the College of Commercial Arbitrators and is a member of New Jersey Panel of Distinguished Neutrals, International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution (CPR), the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, and the AAA National Panels of Mediators and Commercial, Complex Cases, Class Actions, and Wireless Telecommunications Arbitrators, and as an International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Dispute Resolution® (ICDR) Arbitrator. He is a Certified Mediator for the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, a member of the International Mediation Institute, and accredited CEDR (UK). He has been approved as an arbitrator in several class action arbitrations and numerous other complex national arbitrations.
Judge Dreier has also served as a court-appointed mediator in various complex litigations. He is a member (Emeritus) of the Columbia Law School Board of Visitors, the editorial board of the New Jersey Law Journal, and the American Law Institute, and is a former Chair of the NJICLE Board of Trustees.
Judge Dreier was the recipient of a New Jersey Law Journal 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2008 Medal of Honor, the highest honor awarded to an attorney by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation. He also received the 2010 ADR Practitioner of the Year award by the New Jersey State Bar, the 1983 Alfred C. Clapp NJICLE Award for Excellence in Continuing Legal Education, and was the initial recipient of the William A. Dreier Award for Excellence in Product Liability Law (named for him) by the New Jersey State Bar Association Product Liability Section (2009). He has been regularly included in the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of The Best Lawyers in America and New Jersey Super Lawyers. He was named the Best Lawyers Arbitration “Lawyer of the Year” in in the Woodbridge New Jersey, Metro Area in 2018 and 2016 and is also listed in Who’s Who in America.
Martha N. Donovan is Chair of the Environmental Law Group. She devotes her practice to environmental law and complex litigation with an emphasis on the defense of environmental property damage and toxic tort claims. She also has considerable experience working on related insurance coverage matters.
Martha has represented clients in administrative and judicial proceedings before state and federal courts and agencies, including the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Martha regularly counsels clients on a variety of environmental issues, including ISRA compliance, lender liability, underground storage tank laws, and permits and approvals for hazardous waste storage, transportation, and disposal.
Martha has litigated matters relating to the generation, storage, discharge, or release of hazardous substances, including representation under CERCLA and Superfund, and has defended actions filed by adjoining, predecessor, and successor property owners alleging physical injuries, emotional distress, or lost property values. In addition, she aids in the resolution of matters involving air emissions, wastewater discharges, noise pollution, and responses to spill events.
Martha has authored articles and has made presentations to various trade groups and associations on issues ranging from lender liability under Superfund to the availability of insurance coverage for various aspects of business-related accidents.
Martha has been recognized by Chambers USA in the Environment Section. She has been selected for inclusion on the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Environmental Section and Best Lawyers in the Environmental Law section every year since 2010. Martha was also named the Best LawyersLitigation-Environmental “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge New Jersey, Metro Area for 2021, 2020, 2018, and 2016.
Patrick T. Collins is Chair of the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice Group. He practices labor, employment, and personnel law on behalf of employers and management personnel. He has a wide range of experience in all areas of litigation in both federal and state courts, defending discrimination and sexual harassment claims, wrongful discharge and whistleblower suits, and claims brought under the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the multitude of other civil rights and anti-discrimination laws. In addition, Pat represents parties in breach of contract claims and in actions involving unfair competition, restrictive covenants, and confidentiality agreements.
Pat has appeared before state human rights agencies throughout the country, as well as the EEOC, the National Labor Relations Board, and various wage and hour agencies. He has represented employers in numerous labor grievance/arbitration proceedings and in a variety of other matters relating to the unionization of employees and collective bargaining. He has also worked extensively with employers on public works contracts to ensure compliance with prevailing wage laws.
A great deal of Pat’s practice concentrates on counseling employers in making workplace decisions, which will reduce or avoid entirely the risk of litigation. Pat regularly counsels his clients on matters concerning independent contractors and contingent workers, employment policies, employee discipline and terminations, reductions in workforce, and plant closings. He has conducted sexual harassment investigations and employment law audits, and has drafted numerous employee handbooks and substance abuse and workplace privacy policies. Pat has also conducted management and employee training and legal compliance sessions in a variety of areas, including the performance appraisal process and anti-harassment.
Pat is Chair of the Somerset County Business Partnership Human Resources Roundtable. He is a former member of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, District XIII Ethics Committee, and the Sidney Reitman Employment Law Inn of Court.
Jeffrey M. Casaletto represents and counsels clients in a wide range of industries, including commercial and residential developers, chemical and industrial manufacturers, and commercial business owners. He maintains a results-oriented approach to each environmental issue to achieve the client’s goals and objectives. He assists clients in resolving issues related to site remediation, due diligence, solid and hazardous waste disposal, environmental regulatory compliance and solid waste utility licensing and approvals, permitting, Brownfields redevelopment, and cleanup cost recovery.
The practice of environmental law often involves unique technical issues that require the expertise and advice of technical consultants. Jeff’s environmental engineering background enables him to better communicate and problem solve with environmental consultants and to apply a team approach to all issues, legal and technical. Jeff’s ability to understand the technical aspects of his environmental matters provides clients with an opportunity to efficiently resolve their environmental issues.
Jeff has obtained solid waste approvals for haulers, brokers, and solid waste facilities and recycling facilities for solid waste utilities just starting up or continuing to grow.
Jeff has experience handling matters involving CERCLA, RCRA, EPCRA, and OPA. He has negotiated removal orders, EPCRA/OPA settlements, cost recovery for removal and remedial actions, Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study Settlements, and Remedial Design/Remedial Action Settlements.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Jeff was Assistant Regional Counsel and the 2002 Michael F. Vaccaro Honors Fellowship Attorney at the U.S. EPA Region III, where he focused on Superfund matters. Before that, he was a judiciary law clerk for the Honorable Vincent LeBlon and the Honorable Dennis V. Nieves in Middlesex County, New Jersey. While attending law school, he was a legal intern at the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic and at the Environmental Defense Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Jeff served as an elected councilman for the Borough of Stockton, New Jersey. During his term, he was appointed by Mayor Stephen Giocondo to the Stockton Planning Board as Council Liaison and to several committees for the community of Stockton, including finance, personnel, and water and sewer.
Charles A. Bruder focuses his practice in the areas of ERISA, Executive Compensation, and Taxation. Drawing upon his years of experience in counseling both institutional and individual clients, Charles is Co-Chair of the firm’s Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits Group.
Possessing a wealth of experience in all aspects of employee benefits arrangements, Charles frequently provides counsel to both for-profit and not-for-profit entities regarding numerous employee benefit and retirement benefit arrangements. He is regularly involved with issues involving defined contribution and defined benefit pension plans, Code Section 403(b) plans, multiemployer pension plans, ESOPs, and other equity-based and incentive compensation arrangements.
As many of his clients maintain both tax-qualified and non-qualified arrangements, Charles is often called upon to provide compliance and drafting guidance for deferred compensation arrangements, Code Section 457(b) and 457(f) plans and similar executive compensation vehicles. Recognizing that education is a key to maintaining successful employee benefit plans, Charles regularly advises his clients with respect to their group health insurance arrangements, including the ever-changing aspects of compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. His compliance expertise extends to ERISA fiduciary issues, prohibited transaction and controlled group analyses, and government sponsored correction programs, such as the Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Correction Program (DFVCP), and the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP).
Douglas R. Brown devotes his practice to business finance, mergers and acquisitions, and securities matters.
Doug has substantial experience in representing private equity investors in acquisition and divestiture of businesses and the corporate law, finance, securities, and business problems spawned by those matters. These have involved transactions with European and Asian operations, and the acquisition of troubled companies in bankruptcy and receivership cases. He has also represented community banks in merger transactions and related regulatory matters.
His practice also includes U.S. and State securities law matters, including representing issuers in capital raising through registered public offerings of securities, private placements, and venture financing. He counsels public company clients in securities law compliance, SEC annual, quarterly and current reports, and proxy statements filed in connection with stockholder meetings, securities transfer issues, corporate governance, and stock-based employee compensation plans.
His work for banks regularly includes substantial commercial real estate finance and corporation loan finance. He also represents businesses participating in NJEDA bond financing programs.
Doug’s practice also includes a wide range of commercial supply contracts, executive employment arrangements, partner disputes, and commercial disputes.
David S. Blatteis is a member of the firm’s Management Committee and Co-Chair of its Business Law Group. He concentrates his practice in the areas of business law, pharmaceutical, medical device, and healthcare.
David understands the unique business and complex legal concerns of pharmaceutical companies and service providers in the pharmaceutical industry.
He represents pharmaceutical manufacturers, medical device companies, healthcare service organizations and molecular diagnostic companies in connection with a wide range of commercial transactions including mergers and acquisitions, corporate partnerships, joint ventures and other strategic alliances. His clients manufacture, market, promote, advertise and sell pharmaceutical products as well as provide technology, regulatory and compliance and promotional solutions to the healthcare industry. For these clients, he drafts and negotiates manufacturing, supply and development, license, distribution, co-promote and risk-share agreements, customer and vendor contracts, major outsourced sales team, promotional, media, advertising, technology, and service arrangements.
David’s clients utilize his extensive experience negotiating agreements, his understanding of a complex healthcare compliance and regulatory environment and his years of experience working with in-house counsel to accomplish their goals. By developing a meaningful relationship with his clients and understanding their business environments and needs, David takes pride in helping them accomplish their goals in an efficient and effective manner.
David also serves as general counsel to a market leading orthopedic device company. He also has a wide range of experience providing general business advice, litigation management and employment counseling for his clients by serving them in the capacity as trusted advisor.
William J. Beneduce focuses his practice on all facets of environmental law, including compliance, regulation, transactional, and litigation.
Bill assists clients involved with complex environmental matters in New Jersey, New York, and abroad. He is experienced in counseling his clients through state and federal environmental regulatory schemes, including site remediation laws, urban redevelopment, CERCLA, RCRA, New Jersey’s Spill Act, ISRA, and OSHA, among many others. He also counsels his clients toward achieving their goals during environmental due diligence, Brownfields redevelopment, and cleanup cost recovery.
Bill works with a large segment of the business community, including real estate developers, commercial business owners, shopping mall owners, manufacturers, and industrial companies on a daily basis, advising them on environmental laws that relate to the investigation and remediation of contaminated or potentially contaminated properties, underground storage tanks, hazardous waste and materials, insurance coverage, and permitting. Bill facilitates his clients’ compliance with these complex environmental laws so that they may resolve their land issues and achieve their objectives in a cost efficient manner.
A significant portion of Bill’s practice is dedicated to aiding clients in site remediation so that they are able to complete pending real estate transactions.
Bill also applies his regulatory experience working with complex environmental laws to the Cannabis Law Group. He brings a practical and cost-effective legal compliance approach and he has a thorough knowledge of current and evolving medical, hemp, and recreational adult-use cannabis law in New Jersey and New York.
Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Bill was a legal intern at the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic from 2002 to 2003.
Bill has been selected for inclusion in the Environmental Law section of New Jersey Rising Stars.
Bill is an avid motorcyclist and maintains a healthy lifestyle with his stand-up desk in the office.
Morris S. Bauer has represented debtors, creditor committees, banks and other secured creditors, trade creditors, and landlords in Chapter 11 proceedings, and is a New Jersey bankruptcy mediator.
Businesses represented in Chapter 11 proceedings include a multi-state non-profit behavioral and mental health care facility, a regional supermarket chain, a national distributor of electronics, residential developers and income-producing property owners, construction contractors, and small businesses.
Mo has also been appointed by the Court as a Chapter 11 trustee, a liquidating trustee, an assignee for the benefit of creditors, and a bankruptcy mediator.
In addition to his bankruptcy practice, Mo has represented banks, equipment lessors, and one of the nation’s largest utility providers in commercial foreclosure and commercial collection matters.
Mo has been an instructor for the New Jersey Skills and Methods Course and the New Jersey Bankruptcy Inn of Court, and a panelist for the annual New Jersey Bankruptcy Bench-Bar Conference, the American Bankruptcy Institute, and local bar associations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
He has been involved in civic activities as a corporate advisory board member of Homeless Solutions, Inc.; and a board member of Team for Kids Foundation, Inc., a non-profit that provides funding for children of low-income families to play team sports. He is Vice-Chairman of the Washington Township, Morris County Zoning Board of Adjustment. He served as a member of the Washington Township Economic Development Committee from 1996 to 2003 and was President of the Jewish Center of Northwest Jersey.
Mo is included in the Bankruptcy and Creditor-Debtor Rights Law section of the current edition of The Best Lawyers In America and the Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor Rights section of New Jersey Super Lawyers, including selection to the 2019 New Jersey Super Lawyers Top 100.
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