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About Jacqueline Engelsman

Digital and Content Marketing Specialist t: (908) 252-4172 | e: jengelsman@norris-law.com Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Attorneys at Law | www.norrismclaughlin.com 400 Crossing Boulevard, 8th Floor | P.O. Box 5933 | Bridgewater, NJ 08807 t: (908) 722-0700 | f: (908) 722-0755 | e: info@norris-law.com | @norris_law

  • Jan 08, 2021Before the Deluge: Preparing for the Anticipated Rise in Bankruptcy Filings

    Melissa Anne Peña, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group, along with Jerome F. Gallagher, Jr., and Bruce J. Wisotsky, also Members of the firm, will present the free webinar, “Before the Deluge: Preparing for the Anticipated Rise in Bankruptcy Filings.”

    Preparing for the Anticipated Rise in Bankruptcy Filings

    Even under the best of circumstances, navigating thru a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing can be stressful and fraught with uncertainty for all involved. Add in the disruptive effects of COVID-19, and it’s easy to appreciate the daunting task facing bankruptcy courts, debtors, creditors, and their lawyers. The pandemic has challenged many industries and as the economy has worsened through the pandemic, declaring bankruptcy has become the only lifeline left, and, given the ongoing economic uncertainties, a successful Chapter 11 reorganization has become all the more important.

    This webinar will address steps that can be taken to protect a creditor’s interests before and immediately after a bankruptcy filing by a customer, client, or counterparty to an agreement. The panelists will discuss the recommended actions to be taken:

    • Upon establishment of creditor-debtor relationship
    • When a customer/client appears to be in financial distress
    • Upon notice of bankruptcy filing

    When: Thursday, January 28, 2021

    10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

    Registration: Eventbrite

    Although questions will be taken at the conclusion of the webinar, we strongly encourage you to submit questions in advance to be sure we address your specific needs. Please submit your questions by 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 27, 2021, via email to marketing@norris-law.com with “BANKRUPTCY WEBINAR” in the subject line.

    About Your Attorney Panelists

    Melissa Peña

    Melissa concentrates her practice on commercial litigation and bankruptcy and creditors’ rights. Her clients include financial institutions, private lenders, creditors, and accounting firms. She has successfully represented secured creditors and unsecured creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases and state court insolvency proceedings. Melissa frequently handles commercial foreclosure actions, actions to enforce promissory notes and guarantees, lien priority disputes, fraudulent conveyance actions, and creditor enforcement matters. She 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 courtroom, 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.

    Jerry Gallagher

    Jerry engages in civil trial and appellate practice with a concentration in commercial litigation, creditors’ rights, construction, contract litigation, and commercial accounts receivable matters. He also provides legal services related to contract drafting and negotiations. Jerry serves as New Jersey counsel to several national companies and 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.

    Bruce Wisotsky

    Bruce 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 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.

    Posted in: Bankruptcy & Creditors' Rights, Bruce J. Wisotsky, Events, Jerome F. Gallagher, Jr., Melissa Anne Peña | Tags: , , ,

  • Jan 08, 2021Immigration Virtual Town Hall: COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Updates for Businesses, Health Care Providers, Colleges and Universities, and Individuals

    Raymond G. Lahoud, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Immigration Law Practice Group, and William C. Menard, a Member of the firm, are pleased to present the free webinar, “Immigration Virtual Town Hall: COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Updates for Businesses, Health Care Providers, Colleges and Universities, and Individuals.”

    COVID-19 Travel Restrictions and Updates for Businesses, Health Care Providers, Colleges and Universities, and Individuals

    The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the American immigration system in a wide range of areas. Large corporations are seeking to transfer employees to the United States from foreign affiliates. Small businesses are interested in hiring foreign workers. Employers are trying to continue employing individuals who are authorized to work under Temporary Protected Status. Overwhelmed and understaffed hospitals are looking to hire and/or retain foreign medical professionals. Colleges and universities are supporting a large roster of foreign students and faculty. Individuals are interested in traveling to and from the United States or seeking to retain or hire au pairs through international agencies. Millions of people have been affected.

    This webinar will cover all these issues and provide an update for 2021. Ray and William will discuss:

    • Current COVID-19 Travel Restrictions on Visas and Travel to the United States and How These Have Affected a Broad Range of Employers and Employees
    • Exceptions to the Travel Restrictions from the Schengen Area, United Kingdom, and Ireland
    • Current Restrictions at the U.S. Border With Canada
    • Recent Updates on Extensions of Temporary Protected Status

    When: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

    noon – 1:00 p.m.

    Registration: Eventbrite

    This course has been approved for 1.2 Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits in New Jersey. We have provisional approval for CLE credit in Pennsylvania, however, the number of total credits and final approval are still pending. Attorneys seeking CLE credit in New York may apply for credit by submitting a request for credit using a New Jersey CLE certificate.

    We strongly encourage you to submit questions in advance of the town hall to be sure we address your specific needs. Please submit your questions by 1:00 p.m., Monday, January 25, 2021, via email to marketing@norris-law.com with “TOWN HALL QUESTION” in the subject line.

    About Ray Lahoud

    Ray 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 his 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.

    About William Menard

    William practices exclusively in immigration law and deportation defense. He 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. He 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. He 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. He has also advised education professionals on how to help ensure that immigrant students feel safe in school.

    Posted in: Events, Immigration, Raymond G. Lahoud, William C. Menard | Tags: , ,

  • Jan 06, 2021Norris McLaughlin Hires Two More Attorneys in New Jersey Office Headquarters

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Laura M. Miller and James V. Mazewski to its Bridgewater, New Jersey, office. Miller has joined the firm as Senior Counsel to the Business Law Practice Group, while Mazewski joins the Litigation Practice Group as an Associate.

    “We are excited to add Laura and Jim to our roster of exceptional attorneys. Their individual expertise will allow Norris McLaughlin to bolster two critical practice areas, and Laura, in particular, helps us execute our long-range goal of succession planning,” said David C. Roberts, Recruiting Partner of the firm and Co-Chair of its Litigation Practice Group.

    About Laura Miller

    Miller focuses her practice on administrative and government regulatory law in the public utility, telecommunications, cable television, and communications infrastructure industries. She handles regulatory approval and compliance matters, municipal franchise renewals, public right-of-way access negotiations and agreements, compliance investigations, enforcement actions, and administrative law proceedings.

    Additionally, Miller 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, Miller 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. She earned her J.D. in 2005 from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, where she was a Senior Staff Member of the Conflict Resolution Law Journal, and her B.A., summa cum laude, in 2002 from Arizona State University.

    About Jim Mazewski

    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.

    In addition, Mazewski has managed numerous appeals of varying levels of complexity. 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.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Mazewski completed a clerkship with Judge Amy O’Connor of the New Jersey Appellate Division. He earned his J.D. in 2016 from Rutgers Law School—Newark, where he interned with Justice Anne M. Patterson of the New Jersey Supreme Court and served as Symposium Editor of the Rutgers Law Review.  Mazewski earned his M.S., magna cum laude, in 2012 and his B.S., cum laude, in 2010 from Montclair State University.

    Posted in: Business Law, James V. Mazewski, Laura M. Miller, Litigation, News, Public Utilities, Telecommunications | Tags: , , , , ,

  • Jan 05, 2021Norris McLaughlin Assists Mamoun’s Falafel in Acquisition Deal to Add Three More New Jersey Locations

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to announce that Mamoun’s Falafel, a family-owned and operated restaurant chain, has closed a deal to acquire three new locations in New Jersey from a franchisee.

    “As a long-time client of ours, we were happy to help Mamoun’s successfully acquire these sites to help them grow. We know that the current pandemic has hit a lot of restaurants, so to be able to exceed expectations is both exciting and humbling,” said James H. Laskey, a Member of the firm who was the main working attorney and lead counsel on this deal. Other attorneys involved include John P. Maloney, Counsel to the firm who supported Laskey in corporate matters, and Milan Jakubcak, an Associate of the firm who assisted with tax matters.

    About Mamoun’s New Jersey Restaurant Franchise Acquisition

    Norris McLaughlin represented Mamoun’s Falafel in its acquisition of three locations in East Rutherford, New Brunswick, and Paramus, New Jersey, previously operated by a franchisee. After about two-and-a-half months, the transaction closed on December 16, 2020. The terms are private.

    “My brothers and I are very excited about the purchase of the New Brunswick, East Rutherford, and Paramus Mamoun’s locations. Our commitment to serving quality middle eastern food and excellent guest service has been part of the brand’s DNA since my father started Mamoun’s in 1971. We are thrilled to elevate the experience for guests in all of these restaurants,” said Hussam Chater, CEO of Mamoun’s Falafel.

    Other Mamoun’s corporately-owned locations include Princeton and Hoboken in New Jersey, as well as two in New York City, which includes the original location on MacDougal Street established by Mamoun himself in 1971. They have an affiliate location in Connecticut and franchise locations in Philadelphia and Atlanta. Mamoun’s has served high-quality, authentic Middle Eastern food since 1971, making it the oldest falafel restaurant in New York and one of the first Middle Eastern establishments in the United States.

    About Norris McLaughlin’s Mergers & Acquisitions Practice Group

    The Norris McLaughlin mergers and acquisitions attorneys have structured, negotiated, and closed numerous U.S. and international transactions ranging from small-scale to complex multi-million-dollar deals. The firm’s attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of such corporate transactions, including asset and stock sales, statutory mergers, tax-structured transactions, corporate reorganizations, tender offers, leveraged buyouts, LLC and limited partnership interest exchanges, financing arrangements, due diligence investigation, governmental approvals and clearances, and international transactions.

    Our dedicated business law attorneys can also assist with the analyses of tax, securities, labor, employee benefits, antitrust, real estate, intellectual property, environmental, and other legal issues related to mergers and acquisitions. More than 30 business law attorneys spend all or most of their time in several disciplines within the field of business law. As a result, we have enough diversity of talent and bench strength to form teams of cross-functional attorneys, striving to create the right blend of general competence and expertise that are best situated to address our clients’ needs promptly, efficiently, and creatively.

    As experienced advisors, our attorneys ensure that each client has the proper structure in place to guide them on what they can expect and what investors will expect before a client meeting with any potential investor. We take a unique approach in the early stage of company relationships, in that each client can expect a single partner to be responsible and accountable for that relationship. Recognized by clients as their trusted advisors and virtual business partners, our attorneys deliver efficient and practical legal counsel, supporting each client’s needs with an eye on their bottom line and what’s best for their future.

    Posted in: Business Law, James H. Laskey, John P. Maloney, Mergers & Acquisitions, Milan Jakubcak, News | Tags: , , , ,

  • Jan 01, 2021Norris McLaughlin Promotes Two Associate Attorneys to Members of the Firm

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to announce the promotion of Nicholas J. Dimakos and William C. Menard to Members of the firm effective January 1, 2021.

    “Both Nick and William exemplify what Norris McLaughlin stands for in our mission and values, so we are pleased to present them with this advancement in their legal careers,” said John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm.

    About Nick Dimakos

    On his promotion, Dimakos stated, “I’ve learned so much from my colleagues and mentors here at Norris McLaughlin, and I’m happy to continue my journey with the firm in this new role.”

    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.

    Dimakos is frequently appointed to serve as counsel to alleged incapacitated individuals and volunteers as a mediator for Somerset County’s Probate Early Settlement Program. He writes about probate litigation and guardianships on the firm’s NJ Beneficiary Rights Law Blog, “Guardians of Your Will.”

    Dimakos received his J.D., magna cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he was a member of the Seton Hall Law Review.  After graduation, Dimakos clerked for the Assignment Judge of Bergen County, the Honorable Peter E. Doyne (Ret.). He earned his B.S., magna cum laude, from The College of New Jersey in 2008.

    About William Menard

    “It’s been a pleasure working at Norris McLaughlin and I am thrilled the firm trusts me enough to provide me with this opportunity to take on more responsibilities,” Menard commented.

    Menard is a leading immigration law and deportation defense attorney. He represents both individual and corporate clients in all facets of immigration law and represents clients at trial in deportation proceedings before immigration courts throughout the country. Menard is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and routinely represents clients before the federal courts of appeals, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services. He has completed and advised on permanent residence visas and various temporary visas, representing clients from across the globe.

    Additionally, Menard is active in his community on immigration matters, helping to write a town ordinance protecting immigrants from discrimination and advising education professionals on how to help ensure that immigrant students feel safe in school.

    Menard earned his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 2012 and his B.A. in Government at Claremont McKenna College in 2009. In law school, Menard was selected to join the prestigious Moot Court Honor Society, earning the Joseph T. Tinnelly Best Brief Award for his year and being twice chosen to argue in the Philip C. Jessup International Moot Court Competition, the largest and most respected moot court competition in the world.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Immigration, News, Nicholas J. Dimakos, William C. Menard | Tags: , , ,

  • Dec 28, 2020Norris McLaughlin Brings Holiday Cheer to Local Communities in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to announce that the firm’s three main office locations have each participated in a holiday charity initiative as part of its commitment to the community.

    “It is our pleasure to participate in these programs as well as others throughout the year. It is rewarding to be able to give to others who otherwise might not be able to celebrate with presents, a full table, or a warm home during the holiday season,” said John N. Vanarthos, Chairman of the firm.

    In New Jersey

    This year, the firm’s Bridgewater office made a financial contribution to Fish Inc., which has served the elderly, poor, and homeless in the Dunellen area since 1970. All proceeds were used to purchase food and clothing.

    In New York

    For the last two years, the firm’s New York office has participated in The Santa Letters Project, giving staff a chance to read and select one or two letters written by children from P.S. 131, a Title One school in Brooklyn. Gifts are typically then purchased, wrapped, and delivered to the school. As the circumstances this year prevented the firm from delivering the presents personally, the PTA from P.S. 131 created a GoFundMe page to accept donations and have raised over $20,000.

    The firm’s contribution will treat the children and some of their family to a holiday meal. A local diner that the school has worked with in the past agreed to partner in this project to offer the children and their families a holiday meal. For every $50 raised, the restaurant will feed a family of four any of the entrees off the menu to stay or to take out.

    In Pennsylvania

    The Sixth Street Shelter, located just around the corner from the firm’s Allentown office, is a full-service shelter for full families, women, and children. Each year, the firm adopts a family and buys all their Christmas presents. However, because of the pandemic, this year the shelter has asked for gift card donations. The gift cards contributed by the firm have been handed out to the families who live at the shelter and used to buy food and gifts. This year, the Sixth Street Shelter also adopted a “Greeting Card Program,” where the firm was able to send warm wishes directly to the families.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    Norris McLaughlin has historically been committed to the communities where clients live and do business. The firm prides itself on being a responsible corporate citizen through firm-wide charitable initiatives for worthwhile causes and its attorneys hold prominent leadership positions in various organizations throughout the areas the firm serves, and many of them have been honored for the work they do in the community. Norris McLaughlin has been honored as one of the “Companies that Care” by the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey.

    Posted in: News | Tags: , , ,

  • Dec 21, 2020Ray Lahoud Named National Law Review 2020 “Go-To Thought Leader” in Immigration Law

    Raymond G. Lahoud, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Immigration Law Practice Group, has been named a National Law Review 2020 “Go-To Thought Leader” for his insightful contributions to employment topics related to immigration law developments.

    “I put my blog together and post as often as possible to open the dialogue and talk to people online about the immigration and deportation system as seen from the eyes of a lawyer. Daily, lawyers are dealing with the system, and we must educate anyone who will listen, read, or ask. It has been a privilege and an honor to provide this additional resource for those ready to start the conversation, and I will continue to do so,” said Lahoud.

    About the National Law Review 2020 “Go-To Thought Leadership” Awards

    Each year, the National Law Review recognizes less than 1% of its authors with “Go-To Thought Leadership” awards. In 2020, the National Law Review honored 71 authors or organizations from over 20,000 contributed pieces of thought leadership received. For more information, please click here. To read Lahoud’s blog posts, visit the Norris McLaughlin Immigration Law Blog, “Immigration Matters.”

    A spokesperson for the National Law Review stated, “Mr. Lahoud’s writing harnesses his extensive experience handling client matters before the Department of Labor’s Wage & Hour Division, the Department of Homeland Security, and the State Department and representing various industries covering immigration changes from a variety of perspectives, including writing about ICE updates, litigation surrounding H-1B wage rules, and local initiatives in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

    About Ray Lahoud

    Lahoud 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 his immigration practice is global, serving individuals and organizations across the United States and beyond, he is located primarily at the firm’s three globally-linked offices in Bridgewater, New Jersey; New York, New York; and Allentown, Pennsylvania. As Chair of the firm’s Immigration Law Practice Group, Lahoud oversees a leading team of experienced and highly-trained immigration attorneys, immigration review compliance experts, employer immigration auditors, and paralegals and legal assistants.

    Lahoud’s immigration practice is broad, ranging from corporate and employment immigration and related compliance to immigration litigation before agencies and courts across the United States, for corporations and individuals alike. He represents businesses of all sizes, in all corporate immigration and employer compliance matters, serving nearly every industry. His 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.

    Lahoud’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. Lahoud’s ability to understand each interaction of criminal law with immigration law has made him a leading expert on issues of “crimmigration.”

    Lahoud 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 Lahoud 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. Lahoud received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center in 2009 and his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Lehigh University in 2006.

    Posted in: Immigration, News, Raymond G. Lahoud | Tags: ,

  • Dec 21, 2020Eric Alvarez Appointed to Somerset County Business Partnership Board of Directors

    Eric Alvarez, an Associate of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been appointed to the Board of Directors of the Somerset County Business Partnership (SCBP). Alvarez will be replacing James H. Laskey, a Member of the firm, who served on the Board for over twenty years and as its Chairperson.

    “As I have carried on the tradition of innovative leadership within the Partnership’s Board Members, I am confident that Eric will do the same. In working with him over the past three years, I’ve learned that Eric is fully-equipped with the skillset and ultimate passion for his community needed for his voice to be an effective contribution to this group of outstanding business leaders. It has been my pleasure to serve the Partnership, and I look forward to seeing what the next generation will bring to the table,” said Laskey.

    Alvarez commented, “To follow in Jim’s footsteps is an honor. Being a long-time resident in Somerset County and actively involved in all it has to offer, this opportunity feels like the natural choice for me, and I’m excited to be a part of the bigger picture, here, in its business community.”

    About the SCBP Board of Directors

    The SCBP is the premier business organization in Central New Jersey, linking leaders in business, private sectors, nonprofit entities, educational institutions, and government. A member-driven organization, this enhanced Chamber of Commerce serves as a voice for the many vital interests in Somerset County. Operating on the principles of leadership, opportunity, and results, the SCBP addresses issues involving economic and community development, small business, the workforce, tourism and cultural arts, public affairs, and the networking and educational needs of its members. Its diverse composition of investors and members allows it to integrate the agendas of all organizations working toward similar economic, educational, and quality-of-life goals now and in the future.

    Nominees for the Board of Directors were presented to the Nomination Committee and then to the Executive Board. Once the final nominations were submitted, the SCBP sent an email to all members to approve the new Board Members. Alvarez’s appointment was announced on December 15 at the virtual SCBP Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony.

    About Eric Alvarez

    Alvarez concentrates his practice on high-stakes, complex commercial litigation in both state and federal court. He represents businesses of all shapes and sizes—from closely-held partnerships to international corporations—as well as individuals, in a wide range of litigation matters, including general commercial litigation, consumer fraud, products liability, and mass tort litigation. Alvarez handles and coordinates multi-jurisdictional cases through all stages of litigation, up to and including trial.

    Alvarez is also a member of Norris McLaughlin’s Cannabis Law Group. He advises clients on compliance with state and federal laws and regulations relating to the production, research, and testing of cannabis and cannabis-derived products such as cannabidiol (“CBD”).

    Alvarez understands that every client’s situation 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.

    A resident of Somerset County, Alvarez is also active in the local bar association. Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin to better serve the companies and individuals in his local community, Alvarez worked at an Am Law 100 firm, where he was a team member of the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2015 “Products Liability Litigation Department of the Year.” He maximizes his “Big Law” experience and better serves his client’s needs with Norris McLaughlin’s depth and breadth of experience, nimble market position, and focus on assisting businesses and individuals in the local community prosper.

    Alvarez received his J.D., cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2013 and his B.A., cum laude, from Villanova University in 2009.

    Posted in: Eric Alvarez, News | Tags:

  • Dec 21, 2020Michael Locke Speaks on Business Continuation and Succession for “Business University” Course

    Michael J. Locke, an Associate of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., recently presented two guest lectures for the “Business University” course offered by =Space, an office share space in Newark.

    “More than helping business with legal matters and the company bottom-line, I enjoy having opportunities like this to enhance the skills and talents of entrepreneurs, help startup businesses define and attain their mission and goals, and watch these companies succeed and achieve new heights,” said Locke.

    About the Business University Course

    On December 10, Locke presented “Business Continuation Agreements,” addressing operating agreements, shareholders agreements, and other buy-sell agreements. On December 15, he presented “Business Succession:  Understanding Your Options,” where he covered merger and acquisition transactions and other methods of business owner transitions. Other discussion topics in the course included understanding finances, business basics, valuation, employee agreements, compensation and benefits, retirement options, and estate planning.

    =Space offers resources, programs, and networking opportunities for startup companies. The “Business University” course, hosted by Francis A. Piccirillo II, Financial Adviser at Allied Wealth Partners, was broken up into recorded presentations available to =Space members by purchase.

    About Michael Locke

    Locke focuses on providing counsel to small businesses in all phases of their corporate existence, from formation through merger and acquisition. He 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.

    Locke is especially focused on working with businesses that seek to bridge the gap between commercial success and environmental or social responsibility. He 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.

    Locke 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.

    Locke earned his J.D. in 2013, cum laude, from Brooklyn Law School, and his B.A. in 2010, magna cum laude, from Rutgers University.

    Posted in: Business Law, Michael J. Locke, News | Tags: ,

  • Dec 16, 2020Dean Roberts Presents Estates and Trusts Webinar for Morningside Gardens Co-op Shareholders

    Dean M. Roberts, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its New York Real Estate & Finance Law Practice Group and the firm’s Cooperative (“Co-op”) and Condominium Law Industry Group, presented “Estates and Trusts Presentation for Co-op Shareholders” to the Morningside Heights Housing Corporation for the third year in a row on December 11. Due to the pandemic, however, this year’s presentation was virtual.

    “It is so important, especially for shareholders, to put all your wishes and desires in a trust form to avoid a long-contested probate, so that your appointed trustee can take care of business right away, benefiting everyone involved,” said Roberts, who serves as Counsel to the Morningside Heights Housing Corporation.

    About the Estates and Trusts Presentation for Co-op Shareholders

    In the presentation, Roberts explained how estates are handled in New York State and what shareholders can do to protect their assets and make the process as simple as possible for themselves and their family members. Also discussed were the various forms and uses of trusts that are now available to shareholders at Morningside Gardens. Participants were able to submit questions before, during, and after the presentation, which Roberts would answer to be circulated later through a follow-up document. To view a recording of the virtual presentation, please click here.

    About Dean Roberts

    Roberts focuses on real estate litigation with a sub-specialty in the representation of cooperative housing corporations and condominiums. He has handled all facets of condominium and cooperative ownership, from sponsor/purchase and conversion to representing well-established tenant-shareholder Boards of Directors. Roberts also represents cooperative corporations and moderate-income co-ops in all areas of litigation, including landlord/tenant.

    Through his involvement with the Coordinating Council of Cooperatives, Roberts is active in court reform efforts and the cooperative movement. In his community, he works to promote affordable housing as a director of the Cooperative Development Fund Board of Advisors and other housing programs.

    Roberts earned his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 1987 and his B.A. from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Rutgers College, in 1982.

    Posted in: Cooperative ("Co-op") and Condominium Law, Dean M. Roberts, Estate Planning & Administration, News, Real Estate & Finance | Tags: , , ,

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