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  • May 20, 2021Nick Pellitta Speaks to Hoboken Charter School on Social Justice and Hate Crimes in New Jersey

    Nicholas F. Pellitta, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., presented “Social Justice and Hate Crimes in New Jersey” virtually to eleventh and twelfth graders at Hoboken Charter School on May 17.

    “Statistics demonstrate that Bias incidents in New Jersey, including crimes motivated by a victim’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion, increased dramatically in 2020. Unfortunately, many of these incidents took place at schools, including universities and colleges. New Jersey has been proactive in its law enforcement and other efforts to address bias among young people and anti-bias education and training for public educators remains an important part of these efforts” said Pellitta.

    Social Justice and Hate Crimes in New Jersey

    The presentation was a discussion of the law governing bias-related incidents and hate crimes in New Jersey. Pellitta covered what the crimes are and the New Jersey law that governs these crimes. He talked about the increase in bias-related incidents throughout the state and country, including the increased racial divide and stereotypes; how hate crimes are prosecuted, including the proofs required to convict and the rights of victims; as well as the issue of bias-related incidents in schools and student conduct, i.e., bullying and student discipline.

    About Nick Pellitta

    Pellitta 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.

    In the area of higher education, Pellitta has represented colleges and universities for more than 30 years in areas such as tort claims defense, campus security, alcohol policies, police litigation, civil rights, and student discipline. He has represented the Rutgers Police Department and has provided in-house training and advice on police-related matters.  Representative clients include Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Seton Hall University, and Monmouth University.

    On the individual level, Pellitta assists clients in matters involving the defense of criminal charges, juvenile delinquency, and similar offenses, in both municipal and superior courts.

    Pellitta 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 trial practice.

    In addition to his practice, Pellitta has served as Chairperson of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and is currently Legal Counsel to the Chamber. He also served on the Board of Trustees and is a former chairperson for Prevention Resources, an organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness and addressing substance abuse and violence in the community. Pellitta earned his J.D. from New York Law School and his B.A. from Rutgers University.

    Posted in: Higher Education, Litigation, News, Nicholas F. Pellitta | Tags: , ,

  • Apr 30, 2021Norris McLaughlin Assists Summit Drilling to Take on Partners to Support Aggressive Growth

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is proud to announce that its client, Summit Drilling, a leading provider of environmental drilling services, has partnered with a group of strategically aligned investors to recapitalize the business. Jeffrey K. Cassin and Nicholas F. Pellitta, Members of the firm, were the working attorneys and lead counsel on this matter.

    “Working with Summit Drilling for some time now, I have grown to truly appreciate the relationship, and this growth is just another indication of how much work the company has put into its success,” said Pellitta.

    Cassin added, “We’re proud to have had this opportunity and look forward to many more.”

    About Summit Drilling

    Through this transaction, Summit will gain access to the capital and resources required to grow aggressively. The move signals Summit’s confidence that major growth opportunities exist in the environmental drilling sector.

    “This partnership will enable us to accelerate many aspects of our strategic plan,” said Robert Kreilick Jr., President and CEO of Summit Drilling. “I am grateful to Norris Mclaughlin and in particular Nick Pellitta and Jeff Cassin for their work on behalf of Summit during the recapitalization process. Norris Mclaughlin has been counsel to Summit Drilling for more than 20 years and has helped us navigate numerous challenging and diverse issues.”

    Summit Drilling, which has grown steadily since 1986, offers a diverse set of drilling solutions and continually evolves to anticipate and meet the needs of the industry. They are well-regarded by customers for their dedicated health and safety culture and have successfully supported some of the world’s largest environmental engineering firms. For more information on Summit Drilling and its environmental contracting services, call 800-242-6648.

    About Jeff Cassin

    Cassin is a business attorney, concentrating his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, investment transactions, corporate law, and business contracts. He represents middle-market, mid-size businesses, funds, start-ups, media and technology companies, and individual investors, among others. Cassin 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.

    Cassin also has extensive transactional experience. He represents many start-up companies and founders in initial formation, early operational matters, and friends-and-family, seed, and venture capital rounds of investment. Cassin 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. Cassin earned his J.D. in 2005 from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his B.A. in 2002 from The George Washington University: Elliot School of International Affairs.

    About Nick Pellitta

    Pellitta 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. Pellitta 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. He 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. Pellitta 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.

    Pellitta 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. Pellitta earned his J.D. from New York Law School and his B.A. from Rutgers University.

    Posted in: Business Law, Jeffrey K. Cassin, News, Nicholas F. Pellitta | Tags: , ,

  • Apr 05, 2021Recreational Cannabis Is Legal in New Jersey: What Employers Need to Know

    Nicholas F. Pellitta, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will moderate the free webinar, “Recreational Cannabis Is Legal in New Jersey: What Employers Need to Know,” hosted by the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce.

    Recreational Cannabis in New Jersey

    This one-hour webinar will offer in-depth conclusions regarding recreation cannabis legislation concerning employers and labor laws. Discussion topics will include:

    • Three key provisions of the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Enforcement Assistance, and Marketplace Modernization Act (CREAMMA) that impact the workplace
    • New rules for drug testing and the interplay with the Jake Honig Medical Cannabis Industry
    • What employers should be doing now
    • What is left unanswered by CREAMMA

    When: Tuesday, April 13, 2021

    8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

    Register for Norris McLaughlin, Attorneys at Law, Legal Events in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania

    About Nicholas Pellitta

    Nick 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.

    Posted in: Cannabis Law, Events, Labor & Employment, Nicholas F. Pellitta | Tags: , ,

  • Mar 08, 2021Property Tax Appeals Can Save You Money in 2021

    One obvious reason for filing real estate property tax appeals is to obtain a lower assessment on your real property and thereby save significant tax dollars. Another important reason to lower your assessment and taxes is to help maintain the value of the property by making it more marketable to potential buyers. COVID-19 has been particularly impactful on commercial property values, whose assessments were set prior to COVID.

    Property Tax Appeals

    Property owners often believe that their property is worth an amount equal to the assessment on the property. This misconception leads owners to overlook the different ratios of assessed value to true value applicable in each of the assessing districts of New Jersey and the fact that these ratios generally decline each year. For example, if a property worth one million dollars this year is located in a municipality with a 60% ratio, it should be assessed at $600,000 this year. If that ratio drops to 54% next year, its assessment should be $540,000. If the ratio drops, but the assessment remains high, it may be time for an appeal. The revaluation of all property within a municipality may increase the possibility of over-assessment on larger commercial and industrial parcels.

    If the taxpayer prevails in securing a tax appeal judgment reducing its assessment, the “Freeze Act” binds the municipality for the years covered by the tax appeal plus two additional years, subject to two exceptions. The first is a complete revaluation of all real property in the municipality, and the second is proof by the municipality of a substantial increase in the property’s value. These exceptions aside, the assessment is frozen at the reduced level, at the taxpayer’s sole option. Thus, if a taxpayer wishes to appeal for a further reduction during the freeze period, he or she is free to do so.

    Save Money in 2021

    These points are intended to merely scratch the surface of this area of the law. This should also help to explain why property owners should have their tax assessments reviewed by legal counsel each year to determine whether a tax appeal is warranted. The experienced attorneys at Norris McLaughlin can help you review and analyze your real property valuations to determine if an appeal makes sense.

    For all counties, other than Monmouth, Gloucester, and Burlington, the deadline to file a tax appeal in 2021 is April 1st. For all towns subject to a revaluation or reassessment (other than those towns in Monmouth County), the deadline is extended to May 1, 2021.

    For additional information, contact one of our tax appeal attorneys, Nicholas F. Pellitta or Timothy P. McKeown.

    This Real Property Tax Appeals Alert provides information to our clients and friends about current legal developments of general interest in the area of real property tax appeals law. The information contained in this Alert should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon such without professional counsel. Copyright © 2021 Norris McLaughlin, P.A.

    Posted in: Nicholas F. Pellitta, Real Estate & Finance, Taxation, Timothy P. McKeown |

  • Feb 19, 2020Property Tax Appeals Can Save You Money in 2020

    One obvious reason for filing real estate property tax appeals is to obtain a lower assessment on your real property and thereby save significant tax dollars. Another important reason to lower your assessment and taxes is to help maintain the value of the property by making it more marketable to potential buyers.

    Property owners often believe that their property is worth an amount equal to the assessment on the property. This misconception leads owners to overlook the different ratios of assessed value to true value applicable in each of the assessing districts of New Jersey and the fact that these ratios generally decline each year. For example, if a property worth one million dollars this year is located in a municipality with a 60% ratio, it should be assessed at $600,000 this year. If that ratio drops to 54% next year, its assessment should be $540,000. If the ratio drops, but the assessment remains high, it may be time for an appeal. The revaluation of all property within a municipality may increase the possibility of over-assessment on larger commercial and industrial parcels.

    Taxpayers with assessments in excess of $1,000,000 can file an appeal for direct review of their property’s assessed valuation by the Tax Court of New Jersey, without first filing an appeal with the local county tax board. Tax appeals on assessments of less than $1,000,000 must first be filed with the county tax board.

    If the taxpayer prevails in securing a tax appeal judgment reducing its assessment, the “Freeze Act” binds the municipality for the years covered by the tax appeal plus two additional years, subject to two exceptions. The first exception is a complete revaluation of all real property in the municipality. The second exception is proof by the municipality of a substantial increase in the property’s value. These exceptions aside, the assessment is frozen at the reduced level, at the taxpayer’s sole option. Thus, if a taxpayer wishes to appeal for a further reduction during the freeze period, he or she is free to do so.

    These points are merely intended to scratch the surface of this area of the law. This should also help to explain why property owners should have their tax assessments reviewed by legal counsel each year to determine whether a tax appeal is warranted. The experienced attorneys at Norris McLaughlin can help you review and analyze your real property valuations to determine if an appeal makes sense.

    For all counties, other than Monmouth and Gloucester, the deadline to file a tax appeal in 2020 is April 1st. For all towns subject to a revaluation or reassessment (other than those towns in Monmouth and Gloucester Counties), the deadline is extended to May 1, 2020.

    For additional information, contact one of our tax appeal attorneys, Nicholas F. Pellitta or Timothy P. McKeown.

    This Real Property Tax Appeals Alert provides information to our clients and friends about current legal developments of general interest in the area of real property tax appeals law. The information contained in this Alert should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon such without professional counsel. Copyright © 2020 Norris McLaughlin, P.A.

    Posted in: Nicholas F. Pellitta, Real Estate & Finance, Taxation, Timothy P. McKeown |

  • Nov 08, 2019Nick Pellitta to Speak on College Sexual Harassment and Assault Cases

    Nicholas F. Pellitta, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will join a panel of attorneys discussing “College Disciplinary Hearings Involving Sexual Harassment and Assault – What Is the Latest?” on Wednesday, November 13, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. The program is being presented in cooperation with the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Individual Rights Section and the NJSBA Higher Education Special Committee.

    About the Presentation

    “Colleges and universities are committed to protecting their campus communities from sexual violence. Recently proposed rules governing how campuses deal with sexual misconduct allegations may impact the way schools respond to these allegations,” said Pellitta. He will speak on what campus disciplinary proceedings look like and the variations at different schools; the Title IX statute, Department of Education guidance, and proposed federal regulations; and considerations when representing a higher education institution. Discussions will also include due process considerations and related issues.

    The program is approved for 3 NJ CLE credits and 3 NY CLE professional practice credits with 2.5 PA CLE substantive credits pending. For more information and to register, visit the NJSBA website.

    About Nick Pellitta

    A resident of Flemington, Pellitta has substantial experience in a variety of legal areas in both federal and state courts. He has represented colleges and universities for more than 30 years in areas such as tort claim defense, campus security, alcohol policies, police litigation, civil rights, and student discipline.

    Pellitta is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA). He is a current board member and former chair of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and former chair of the Raritan Valley Community College Foundation Board.

    Pellitta earned his J.D. from New York Law School and his B.A. from Rutgers University.

    About Norris McLaughlin

    With a total of more than 40 years of experience, the Norris McLaughlin higher education attorneys have represented colleges and universities in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania with a broad range of legal needs. Services offered include advice and counsel/transactional, bankruptcy, cannabis, construction, criminal, environmental, health care, immigration, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, real estate and land use, student discipline, and taxation.

    Norris McLaughlin is a full-service, mid-sized regional law firm of 130+ attorneys with offices located in Bridgewater and Montclair, NJ; New York, NY; and Allentown and Easton, PA. For more information, including a full practice area listing and attorney biographies, please visit www.norrismclaughlin.com.

    Posted in: Higher Education, News, Nicholas F. Pellitta | Tags: ,

  • Dec 11, 2017Nicholas Pellitta Honored by Boy Scouts of America

    Nicholas F. Pellitta, a Member of the Bridgewater-based law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., received The Boy Scouts of America Toast to Scouting Award at the Patriots’ Path Council of the Boy Scouts of America’s 2017 Toast to Scouting Awards Dinner at the Raritan Valley Country Club in Bridgewater on November 30.

    Recipients of the award are chosen for their outstanding community service as evidenced by the interest and leadership they have given to many worthwhile organizations, as well as the respect and esteem in which they are held by their colleagues.

    According to their website, the Patriots’ Path Council, Boy Scouts of America (Council #358) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preparing young people to make ethical choices over their lifetime by instilling in them the values of good character, citizenship and personal fitness. They serve more than 19,000 youth members and 6,000 leaders each year in the counties of Morris, Somerset, Sussex, Union and parts of Middlesex. The Council’s core objective is to build strong personal values, family values and character in young people by providing program activities that teach, support and encourage such values.

    A resident of Flemington, Pellitta has substantial experience in a variety of legal areas in both federal and state courts, and provides a wide variety of litigation strategy and assistance for business clients in commercial matters, including contract review, insurance-related issues, and real property tax appeals. He represents 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.  Pellitta also assists clients in matters involving personal injury, criminal charges, juvenile delinquency, and other similar offenses, both in municipal and superior courts.

    Pellitta is a current board member and former Chair of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and former Chair of the Raritan Valley Community College Foundation Board. He earned his J.D. from New York Law School and his B.A. from Rutgers College.

    Pictured from left to right: Event Co-Chair, Lesley Gabel; Award Recipient, Nicholas Pellitta; President & CEO of Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce, Chris Phelan; and Event Co-Chair, Donna Simon

    Posted in: News, Nicholas F. Pellitta |

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