CSG RSS Feedhttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=39&format=xml&stylesheet=rss2&directive=0&records=20en-us28 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800firmwisehttp://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rssReal Estate Market Forecast: Opportunity Knocks, Newark Answershttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104428&format=xml&p=7016<p><a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18976&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Lisa John-Basta </a>will be speaking at an upcoming Real Estate Market Forecast hosted by the Newark Regional Business Partnership on March 5. This program will discuss the transformations that have positively impacted the city of Newark along with its residents.</p> <p>For more information, please visit the <a href="https://web.newarkrbp.org/events/Real-Estate-Market-Forecast-Opportunity-Knocks-Newark-Answers-603/details">NRBP's website</a>.</p>Event05 Mar 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104428&format=xmlULI NNJ: Development 360http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104482&format=xml&p=7016<p><a href="http://csglawnew.wiseadmin.biz/biographies/thomas-trautner">Thomas Trautner</a> will be moderating the Urban Land Institute Northern New Jersey&rsquo;s Development 360 program on February 27. Joining him in a discussion around the disposition aspect of the real estate development process will be Cushman and Wakefield&rsquo;s Andrew Merin and PGIM Real Estate&rsquo;s Lynn deCastro.</p> <p>To register for this event, please visit <a href="https://nnj.uli.org/events/detail/1E859791-5208-44F8-9F70-3FD24F8C9164/">ULI Northern New Jersey's website</a>.</p>Event27 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104482&format=xmlCommercial Property Appeals in 2020http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104455&format=xml&p=7016<p>New Jersey continues to place the country&rsquo;s heaviest real property tax burden on commercial and industrial property owners. While any substantial property may be a candidate for a successful appeal, real property tax appeals generally present most significant financial benefits to owners or managers of industrial, commercial or multi-family residential rental properties. A careful analysis of the tax assessments of those properties is warranted to determine whether they are being appropriately assessed and not being charged more than their fair share of taxes. Even as general market conditions continue to be strong for some property classes, the question of whether a particular property is properly assessed remains an essential exercise of due diligence for any stakeholder of real estate in New Jersey. There may be unique factors impacting a property&rsquo;s value which are immune from general market conditions such as the existence of environmental contamination or other unique features of a property.</p> <p><strong>On or before February 1, 2020</strong>, the tax assessor for each taxing district issues a postcard &quot;Notice of Assessment&quot; which lists, among other information, the property assessment for 2020. It is important to understand that, unless there has been a district-wide revaluation, &quot;assessed&quot; value is not necessarily the &quot;market value&quot; claimed by the municipality through the assessment. Rather, the municipality must defend the &quot;imputed&quot; or &quot;equalized&quot; value of the property, which takes into account the average assessment in the district as a percentage of the average usable sale in the district. This &ldquo;equalized&rdquo; value is often higher than the assessment and is the actual value to be analyzed in determining whether the property is fairly assessed.</p> <p>An appeal of a 2020 assessment must be filed on or before <strong>April 1, 2020</strong>. All appeals may be made initially to the County Board of Taxation, but if the assessment (not the equalized value) exceeds $1,000,000, then the appeal may be made directly to the New Jersey Tax Court. Direct appeals to the Tax Court must also be made by April 1, 2020. The only exception to the April deadline is if the municipality has performed a district-wide revaluation or reassessment in which case the deadline is <strong>May 1, 2020</strong>.</p> <p>CSG&rsquo;s Property Tax Group has successfully handled appeals involving regional shopping malls, hotels, casinos, corporate headquarters, office buildings, multi-family apartment buildings and complexes, industrial properties from warehouses to special purpose properties such as chemical plants, power generation plants, oil refineries, breweries, regional reservoirs, and recreational properties such as golf courses and amusement parks. We welcome the opportunity to evaluate properties for appeal potential at no charge. Tax appeals generally are handled by the firm on a contingency fee arrangement, although other fee arrangements, including application of standard hourly rates, can be utilized.</p> <p>Finally, property owners should also be aware of a recent development in the tax appeal arena. As a result of an exceedingly strong market in some asset classes, especially industrial/distribution facilities and multi-unit residential properties, some municipalities have actually begun filing what have come to be known as &ldquo;Reverse Tax Appeals.&rdquo; In these actions the municipality is the &ldquo;plaintiff&rdquo; in an appeal which seeks to <u>increase</u> a property owner's tax assessment. CSG&rsquo;s Property Tax Group has handled many of these cases and is uniquely qualified to represent you should your property be subjected to such an action.</p>Client Alert25 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104455&format=xmlDavid J. Mairo Appointed to the Meadowlands Chamber's Board of Advisorshttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104457&format=xml&p=7016<p>Chiesa Shahinian &amp; Giantomasi PC (&ldquo;CSG&rdquo;) is pleased to announce that <a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18983&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">David J. Mairo</a> has been named to the Board of Advisors of the Meadowlands Chamber, a business service organization dedicated to advocating for a positive economic atmosphere that improves the quality of life in New Jersey&rsquo;s Meadowlands region.</p> <p>Since its inception in 1974, the Meadowlands Chamber has grown to a respected and effective business organization known for its success working with business groups and local officials on behalf of its membership.</p> <p>In his new role, Mairo will lend his perspective on environmental law, Brownfields redevelopment, site remediation and regulatory compliance to contribute to the Chamber, and help promote and execute the organization&rsquo;s mission.</p> <p>Mairo, an attorney with CSG&rsquo;s Environmental Group, brings more than 20 years of legal experience and business acumen &ndash; devoting a substantial portion of his practice to counseling clients on environmental concerns. He has also litigated a wide variety of environmental matters involving numerous state laws such as the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act, Water Pollution Control Act, Environmental Rights Act, Solid Waste Management Act, Underground Storage Tank Act and Hazardous Discharge Site Remediation Act.</p> <p>For more information on the Meadowlands Chamber, please <a href="https://meadowlands.org/">click here</a>.</p>News25 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104457&format=xmlNew York's Appellate Division Reverses Award of Attorneys' Fees Against a Surety Under New York's Little Miller Act Where the Surety Defeated a Portion of the Claimhttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104377&format=xml&p=7016<p>Last week, in an appeal in which CSG filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Surety &amp; Fidelity Association of America (&ldquo;SFAA&rdquo;), New York&rsquo;s Appellate Division, First Department, reversed a trial court&rsquo;s award of attorneys&rsquo; fees to a payment bond claimant pursuant to New York&rsquo;s &ldquo;Little Miller Act&rdquo;, State Finance Law &sect; 137.</p> <p>In <em>Franco Belli Plumbing &amp; Heating &amp; Sons, Inc. v. Citnalta Construction Corp.</em>, the plaintiff, Franco Belli, entered into a subcontract with Citnalta Construction Corp. for the performance of certain plumbing work in connection with a public improvement. Franco Belli sought, among other things, to recover over $615,000 under a payment bond executed by Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America (&ldquo;Travelers&rdquo;) on behalf of Citnalta pursuant to State Finance Law &sect; 137 (which requires that payment bonds be executed in connection with public improvement contracts exceeding $100,000.00).</p> <p>By the time of trial, Franco Belli had reduced its claim significantly. Following a four-day bench trial, the trial court issued a 50-page opinion in which it rejected roughly half of Franco Belli&rsquo;s remaining claims. Nevertheless, the trial court awarded Franco Belli attorneys&rsquo; fees on its payment bond claim against Travelers, pursuant to State Finance Law &sect; 137(4)(c), which authorizes a court to award &ldquo;reasonable attorneys&rsquo; fee[s]&rdquo; to either the claimant or payment bond surety, but only &ldquo;when, upon reviewing the entire record, it appears that either the original claim or the defense interposed to such claim is without substantial basis in fact or law.&rdquo;</p> <p>As the basis for awarding attorneys&rsquo; fees, the trial court focused upon two defenses that neither Citnalta nor Travelers ultimately advanced at trial, rather than the defenses that Citnalta and Travelers actually litigated (and which were largely successful). The trial court also accused Citnalta and Travelers of having &ldquo;made factually baseless defenses and misrepresentations throughout this litigation&rdquo;, without further elaboration.</p> <p>On appeal, Citnalta and Travelers argued that, in awarding Franco Belli its attorneys&rsquo; fees, the trial court improvidently failed to consider the &ldquo;entire record&rdquo;, as required by &sect; 137(4)(c). SFAA&rsquo;s amicus brief discussed the contradiction between the trial court&rsquo;s decision and the legislative intent and policy underlying &sect; 137(4)(c), which was intended to dissuade both sureties and claimants from asserting frivolous claims and defenses. SFAA&rsquo;s brief also discussed how affirming the trial court&rsquo;s award of attorneys&rsquo; fees to Franco Belli would effectively treat &sect; 137(4)(c) as a fee-shifting statute that unfairly penalizes sureties for merely asserting defenses in good faith. Exposing sureties to fee awards for merely defending a claim in good faith would increase the cost of public improvement bonding in New York, to the detriment of contractors, their subcontractors and material suppliers, municipal owners, and the public at large.</p> <p>In its Decision and Order, the Appellate Division reversed the attorneys&rsquo; fee award, holding that &ldquo;the [trial] court improvidently exercised its discretion in awarding plaintiff attorneys&rsquo; fees pursuant to State Finance Law &sect; 137(4)(c).&rdquo; After &ldquo;reviewing the entire record&rdquo;, as required by &sect; 137(4)(c), the appellate court concluded that &ldquo;it does not appear that the defense [asserted by Travelers] was &lsquo;without substantial basis in fact or law&rsquo;.&rdquo;</p> <p>The First Department&rsquo;s decision is both noteworthy and welcome, given the proclivity of many claimants to seek (or threaten to seek) attorneys&rsquo; fee awards pursuant to &sect; 137(4)(c) simply because a claim has not been paid. Such claims often are asserted inappropriately, in reaction to the surety&rsquo;s exercise of its rights to defend the claim, hold the claimant to its burden of proof, and litigate defenses in good faith. The <em>Franco Belli </em>decision confirms that an award of attorneys&rsquo; fees as against a surety pursuant to &sect; 137(4)(c) must be premised upon the &ldquo;entire record&rdquo;, and that &sect; 137(4)(c) is not intended to punish a surety merely for asserting defenses in good faith, even if these defense ultimately are unsuccessful (particularly where, as in Franco Belli, the surety&rsquo;s defense of the claim as a whole was mostly successful, and did not lack a substantial basis in fact or law).</p> <p>Armen Shahinian, Adam P. Friedman, and Scott W. Lichtenstein prepared the amicus curiae brief on behalf of SFAA.</p> <p><span style="font-size: smaller;"><sup>1</sup> Franco Belli Plumbing &amp; Heating &amp; Sons, Inc. v. Citnalta Constr. Corp., __ N.Y.S.3d __, 2020 WL 716715 (App. Div. 1st Dep&rsquo;t Feb. 13, 2020). The factual discussion is taken from the trial court record.</span></p>Client Alert21 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104377&format=xmlThe Grief Coach Podcast: Talking About Wills Won't Kill Youhttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104358&format=xml&p=7016<p><a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18895&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Roxanna E. Hammett</a> was featured on <em>The Grief Coach Podcast</em> discussing end-of-life paperwork for millenials. Over the course of the 38-minute interview, she and podcast host Brooke James cover what millennials need to know about wills; why wills are important to have, even without assets; how millenials can convince their parents to make a will; and what happens when a parent dies without a will in place.&nbsp;</p> <p>To listen to the podcast, please visit <a href="https://www.thegriefcoach.co/podcast"><em>The Grief Coach Podcast's</em> website</a>.</p>Publication19 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104358&format=xmlDaniel A. Schwartz and Francis J. Giantomasi Named Among NJBIZ Power 100http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104339&format=xml&p=7016<p>Chiesa Shahinian &amp; Giantomasi PC (&ldquo;CSG&rdquo;) is proud to announce that <a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18952&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Daniel A. Schwartz</a>&nbsp;and <a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18886&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Francis J. Giantomasi</a> have been named to the 2020 <em>NJBIZ</em> Power 100 &ndash; a recognition of New Jersey&rsquo;s most influential people in business. This marks the third year in which Giantomasi and Schwartz have been recognized in this annual publication.</p> <p>According to the publication, Frank is &ldquo;a mainstay on <em>NJBIZ </em>power lists and a power player in Newark&rsquo;s real estate market. &lsquo;What&rsquo;s that word for something that is what it sounds like&mdash;onomatopoeia? That&rsquo;s what Frank is. He&rsquo;s a giant guy, he&rsquo;s a giant as a lawyer, and he&rsquo;s got a giant personality,&rsquo; said one insider. There&rsquo;s likely not a significant real estate deal in Newark that he&rsquo;s not involved in one way or another, this person said. In June, he was elected chairperson of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children&rsquo;s Hospital&rsquo;s board of trustees.&rdquo;</p> <p>Of Schwartz, they said, &ldquo;It was a record-breaking year for CSG. Attorney headcount surpassed the 160 mark and firmwide revenues checked in above $70 million for the first time in firm history&hellip; He spearheaded efforts toward expanding the firm&rsquo;s geographic footprint and formalized CSG&rsquo;s diversity and inclusion committee. The firm added a family law group in 2019, and Schwartz is the one leading the charge in adding powerhouse attorneys to an already powerful roster: a former chief of asset recovery and anti-money laundering for the U.S. Attorney&rsquo;s Office for the District of New Jersey; a regionally renowned trusts and estates attorney; former general counsel to a national real estate management and development company; and a former <em>Fortune</em> 10 compliance officer were among the nearly three dozen attorneys who chose CSG as their platform for growth.&rdquo;</p> <p>To learn more about the 2020 Power 100, please visit <a href="https://njbiz.com/2020-njbiz-power-100/"><em>NJBIZ's </em>website</a>.</p>News18 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104339&format=xmlUSCIS Announces Electronic H-1B Registration Process and Dates for FY 2021http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104345&format=xml&p=7016<p>U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (&ldquo;USCIS&rdquo;) has conducted multiple webinars for an overview of the H-1B Electronic Registration Process for registrants and attorneys. The system requires employers to submit online registration to be selected for the H-1B lottery FY 2021. Following is the new timeline:</p> <ul> <li>If an attorney or legal representative is submitting registrations on behalf of a company, both the attorney and the company will need to create myUSCIS accounts.</li> <li>Companies may create myUSCIS &ldquo;H-1B registrant&rdquo; accounts beginning February 24, 10 am EST.</li> <li>USCIS has announced that they will open their initial registration time period for H-1B cap-subject petitioners for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 2021) from Sunday, March 1, noon EST to Friday, March 20, noon EST. Cases will be included in the registration lottery regardless of when in that timeframe they are registered. Registration requires the employer&rsquo;s name, mailing address and tax identification number, information about the authorized company signatory and authorized attorney, and the H-1B applicant&rsquo;s name, date of birth, country of citizenship, gender, passport number and education level, including whether they have attained a master&rsquo;s degree or higher from a U.S. university. Employers must pay a $10 fee for each registration.</li> <li>USCIS will select H-1B registrations between March 20 and March 31. Selection notices will be sent by the method selected when the account was created (email or text message). Additionally, a &ldquo;selected&rdquo; designation will appear next to selected registrants in myUSCIS accounts.</li> <li>The filing period for petitioners to file full H-1B petitions on behalf of selected registrants is expected to begin April 1 and run for 90 days. The agency has not yet announced whether premium processing will be available.</li> </ul> <p><strong>Setting Up a Registration Account on Behalf of the Employer/Registrant</strong></p> <p>Employers should prepare to have their authorized signatory create an account on <a href="http://my.USCIS.gov">my.USCIS.gov</a> beginning February 24. CSG&rsquo;s Immigration Group will be available to assist with the process.</p> <p>Employer accounts can be created at my.USCIS.gov beginning on February 24, 10am EST, and until the H-1B cap registration period closes March 20, noon EST.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">Below, you will find directions to navigate to the website and a step-by-step demonstration of how to create an online account.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://www.csglaw.com/RA534S261/assets/images/Step-by-Step walkthrough of the myUSCIS account creation process_s1.JPG" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="694" height="392" /><br /> <br /> <img src="https://www.csglaw.com/RA534S261/assets/images/Step-by-Step walkthrough of the myUSCIS account creation process_s2.JPG" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="694" height="392" /><br /> <br /> <img src="https://www.csglaw.com/RA534S261/assets/images/Step-by-Step walkthrough of the myUSCIS account creation process_s3.JPG" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="694" height="392" />&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <img src="https://www.csglaw.com/RA534S261/assets/images/Step-by-Step walkthrough of the myUSCIS account creation process_s4.JPG" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="694" height="392" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">The system will then take you to the Two-Step Verification Method page.</p> <p style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;<img src="https://www.csglaw.com/RA534S261/assets/images/Step-by-Step walkthrough of the myUSCIS account creation process_s6.JPG" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="694" height="392" /></p> <p style="text-align: left;">Each organization will need to create a cap registration account for each Employer Identification Number (EIN) entity that will sponsor beneficiaries for the FY 2021 cap season.</p> <p style="text-align: left;">The next page will direct you to the &quot;Account Type&quot; page, where you will select &quot;I am an H-1B registrant&quot;, and this will create your account.</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="https://www.csglaw.com/RA534S261/assets/images/Slide 9.JPG" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="694" height="392" /></p> <p>During the registration period, CSG&rsquo;s Immigration attorneys will draft H-1B registrations in their my.USCIS.gov account as well as Form G-28, which authorizes the attorney to represent the company. The attorney will receive a passcode and provide it to the company&rsquo;s authorized signatory. The signatory will then log onto the company&rsquo;s my.USCIS.gov account and enter the passcode in order to review and accept the G-28 and the registrations. A G-28 must be submitted for each registration session. Each session may include up to 250 H-1B beneficiaries, but there is no limit on the total number of registrations a company may file.</p> <p>The employer is required to review the registration application, electronically attest that the registration information is true and certify that they intend to file an H-1B petition on behalf of the proposed H-1B Worker if that registration is selected in the lottery. The attorney can then move to the next step and pay the registration fee and submit the registration on behalf of the company through the attorney&rsquo;s account.</p> <p>Once the registration period closes, both employer and attorney will be able to view the current status of the registration by logging into their respective my.USCIS.gov accounts. If a registration is selected, the status will change to &ldquo;Selected&rdquo; and a notification will be sent by the method selected when the account was created (email or text message).</p> <p>USCIS has stated that it will provide additional videos and guidance on the new process. CSG&rsquo;s Immigration Group is available round the clock to assist you and provide the most updated information about the new process.</p> <p><strong>For more information, please contact your CSG attorney or the authors listed below.&nbsp;</strong></p>Client Alert18 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104345&format=xmlReal Estate Attorney (5-7 Years of Experience)http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104304&format=xml&p=7016Chiesa Shahinian &amp; Giantomasi PC (&quot;CSG&quot;) is seeking a mid-level real estate attorney to join our West Orange, NJ office. The ideal candidate to join our growing, congenial, regional law firm is a self-starter with at least 5-7 solid years of broad real estate transaction experience, including lead roles in acquisitions, sales, financing and leasing matters. <br /> <br /> The firm&rsquo;s Real Estate Group takes pride in seeking talented and motivated attorneys to join its leading team of real estate practitioners. With over 30 legal professionals in our Real Estate Group, a growing list of active clients, and a variety of transactions in our pipeline, we afford our team members the opportunity to work on complex and challenging assignments alongside leaders in the field.<br /> <br /> Qualified candidates must have superior written and verbal skills, excellent academic credentials and the ability to handle multiple assignments contemporaneously. New Jersey and New York bar are required.<br /> <br /> Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply by email to <a href="mailto:recruitment@csglaw.com">recruitment@csglaw.com</a>.<br /> <br /> <em>At CSG we are committed to the recruitment, development, and retention of diverse attorneys and staff. The firm&rsquo;s two programs &ndash; the Diversity &amp; Inclusion and Women&rsquo;s Initiatives &ndash; provide opportunities for attorneys and employees to enhance their legal careers through career development, mentoring and networking opportunities both within the firm and throughout the business and legal communities as a whole. CSG is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. Women, Minorities &amp; Veterans are encouraged to apply.<br /> </em><br />Available Position - Attorneys14 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104304&format=xmlCorporate & Securities Paralegalhttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104301&format=xml&p=7016<p>Chiesa Shahinian &amp; Giantomasi PC (&quot;CSG&quot;) is seeking an experienced Corporate &amp; Securities Paralegal to join our growing Corporate &amp; Securities practice. Additionally, candidates must be able to work independently, be highly organized, detail-oriented and maintain a strong work ethic.</p> <br /> Minimum Requirements: <ul> <li>Bachelor's degree and/or paralegal certificate</li> <li>8 years' experience as a Corporate paralegal</li> <li>Possess excellent verbal, written, organizational, interpersonal and technical skills</li> <li>Blue Sky research skills</li> <li>Ability to multi-task in a fast paced environment, while maintaining efficiency and good attention to detail</li> <li>Strong understanding of Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel and Outlook)</li> <li>Ability and experience with conducting fact gathering and analyzing information</li> <li>Possess advanced knowledge of corporate rules and procedures</li> <li>Ability to identify interrelationships among cases, statutes, regulations and other legal authorities</li> <li>Understanding of relevant sections of Securities Act of 1933, the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the New Jersey Revised Statutes and the Delaware Corporations Code</li> <li>Experience with entity formation and qualification</li> </ul> <br /> Preferred Requirements: <ul> <li>Large firm experience</li> <li>Private company experience</li> </ul> <br /> A typical day will consist of preparing and filing Articles of Incorporation/Organization, state qualifications, and organizational and related documents. In addition, you will file Amendments, prepare merger documents, UCC searches and filings, and prepare and file annual reports in states where corporations are incorporated and/or qualified to do business. You will also be responsible for blue sky filings for private placements and Regulation A offerings. In addition, you will assist with real estate and financing closings.<br /> <br /> Qualified candidates are encouraged to apply by email to <a href="mailto:recruitment@csglaw.com">recruitment@csglaw.com</a>.<br /> <em><br /> At CSG we are committed to the recruitment, development, and retention of diverse attorneys and staff. The firm&rsquo;s two programs &ndash; the Diversity &amp; Inclusion and Women&rsquo;s Initiatives &ndash; provide opportunities for attorneys and employees to enhance their legal careers through career development, mentoring and networking opportunities both within the firm and throughout the business and legal communities as a whole. CSG is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and an affirmative action employer. Women, Minorities &amp; Veterans are encouraged to apply.</em>Available Position - Staff14 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104301&format=xmlCSG's Corcione Named Among New Jersey's "Best 50 Women in Business" by NJBIZhttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104241&format=xml&p=7016<p><a href="/?t=3&amp;a=19032&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Danielle M. Corcione</a>, Member of the Firm and Practice Group Leader for CSG&rsquo;s Government &amp; Corporate Investigations Group, has been named among New Jersey&rsquo;s &ldquo;Best 50 Women in Business&rdquo; by <em>NJBIZ</em>, a recognition honoring women standing at the forefront of New Jersey&rsquo;s business community as decision-makers, trendsetters and forward thinkers.</p> <p>Joining CSG in 2018, Danielle brought to the firm a dynamic legal background spanning private practice, in-house counsel roles and time as a federal prosecutor. Within a year of her arrival, Danielle was officially named Practice Group Leader for the firm&rsquo;s White Collar Criminal Defense &amp; Government Investigations Group &ndash; a testament to the confidence and respect she has earned internally.</p> <p>A steadfast champion for the advancement of women, Danielle&rsquo;s passion for helping others is best demonstrated through Fearless Beauty, Inc. &ndash; a nonprofit organization she helped found that strives to empower women affected by institutional and social injustice through cosmetology education and mentorship in the beauty industry.</p> <p>Notably, Danielle also founded the New Jersey Chapter of the Women&rsquo;s White Collar Defense Association in July 2018, which has brought together dozens of powerhouse women litigators from across the State.</p> <p>Honorees were selected by a panel of independent judges using a points system evaluating their career accomplishments, leadership, vision, community service and mentoring efforts. Danielle joins a number of CSG attorneys recognized by NJBIZ in previous &ldquo;Best 50 Women in Business&rdquo; classes &ndash; including Susan Reach Winters (2007), Catherine P. Wells (2009), Michelle A. Schaap (2011), Rhonda Carniol (2012), Dorit F. Kressel (2013), Roxanna E. Hammett (2015) and Gemma M. Giantomasi (2019).</p> <p>For the full list of <em>NJBIZ&rsquo;s</em> 2020 &ldquo;Best 50 Women in Business,&rdquo; please visit <a href="https://njbiz.com/introducing-2020-njbiz-best-women-business-awards/">their website</a>.</p>News11 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=104241&format=xmlThe Case for Litigation Funding for Commercial Lawsuitshttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/RA534S261/assets/files/News/The Case for Litigation Funding for Commercial Lawsuits.pdf&format=xml&p=7016<p>As with most large law firms, our transactional attorneys have counseled clients on an endless variety of commercial finance and M&amp;A transactions, touching every point of the capital structure of the companies involved. Most of these transactions would not have been consummated absent the availability of debt and equity financing, the pricing, structure and security for which have been as varied as the transactions themselves. The most financeable deals, typically involving a modest degree of leverage and assets that were relatively liquid or whose value did not fluctuate substantially, were rewarded with non-recourse financing. In those instances, lenders assumed risks characteristically associated with equity ownership and did so without demanding outsize returns, due in large part to the quality of the assets that served as collateral. Perhaps the most common type of asset that garners non-recourse financing is non-industrial, commercial real estate with a rental stream that results in a high debt service coverage ratio.</p> <p>Should a company anticipate non-recourse financing when the asset pledged as collateral is of dubious value, such as the proceeds from a commercial lawsuit? The obvious answer is &ldquo;no&rdquo; and, indeed, the pendency of a lawsuit or the specter of instituting one may deter traditional lenders from extending credit to a company soon to be embroiled in litigation. To induce a traditional lender to provide financing to fund a lawsuit, a borrower will likely have to provide significant collateral in addition to the potential lawsuit proceeds and, perhaps, a personal guaranty of the company&rsquo;s principal. However, a start-up or single purpose entity may not have other, meaningful assets to pledge, and its owner may lack the net worth, liquidity or risk tolerance prerequisite to providing a personal guaranty needed to bridge the gap between a company&rsquo;s anemic balance sheet and the lender&rsquo;s underwriting requirements.<br /> <br /> The market-driven solution to this conundrum is litigation funding sources (LFSs), which are essentially funds that invest in commercial lawsuits. A LFS performs diligence on lawsuits, weights the probability of various outcomes and the range of recoveries associated with each, factors in the delay endemic to litigation and its effect on internal rate of return, estimates the litigation budget required to support the lawsuit through to a successful conclusion, and then determines whether the risk adjusted return warrants making the investment. Fraught with uncertainty, this type of investment will be undertaken only if there is significant upside potential, as a bad bet likely means that the investment will go to zero. Not surprisingly, in our experience LFSs often seek an internal rate of return in excess of thirty percent (30%).</p> <p>The vital role that a LFS may serve is illustrated by the hypothetical case of a start-up company, which cobbles together enough money from friends and family to procure a patent that promises to provide the company with a long-term competitive advantage in a growth industry. As the company negotiates a series seed round of financing with institutional investors, the company learns that its former chief technology officer, who previously defected to a large corporate competitor, has misappropriated the company&rsquo;s intellectual property, which renders the company&rsquo;s patent of questionable value. The start-up&rsquo;s law firm sends a cease and desist letter, which the large corporation ignores, essentially daring the start-up to sue. In the wake of these developments, the institutional investors decline the opportunity to invest, and the company&rsquo;s only options are to fold or obtain funding to wage war against the large corporation that stole the company&rsquo;s intellectual property.<br /> <br /> Litigation funding would be a lifeline to the start-up company in the above illustration. But we must be mindful that theory and reality have converged.<sup>1</sup> As lawsuits become more commonplace to combat unethical corporate behavior, the need to finance them is for some companies a core component of their working capital requirements. Just as companies require financing to purchase equipment and inventory, so companies may also require financing to support the prosecution of lawsuits to protect key assets. Since litigation is prevalent, unpredictable and expensive, it can drain a company&rsquo;s cash flow, unless a company can obtain financing to fund the litigation. LFSs fill this need and, thus, occupy an important niche in the marketplace of commercial finance products.</p> <p>Despite the irrefutable need for litigation funding, most literature about the industry sounds a cautionary tone.<sup>2</sup> Before doing business in a state, LFSs must ensure that common-law prohibitions against champerty and maintenance do not render illegal an investment in a lawsuit by a LFS. Chief among the concerns in the tripartite relationship&mdash;i.e., attorney, client and LFS&mdash;that evolves will be not waiving the attorney-client privilege and whether the common interest doctrine will recognize the alignment of interest between the LFS and client. The attorney representing the client, but being paid from funds advanced by the LFS, must be vigilant to ensure that it pursues a strategy in the best interest of the client, even if the interests of the client and the LFS diverge. These complex legal issues underscore the need for skilled attorneys to provide guidance in structuring and negotiating an arrangement with a LFS and also serve as a bastion against the commoditization of legal services; these issues are not bases to rule out a LFS as a legitimate financing option in the appropriate circumstances.</p> <p>Our firm&rsquo;s approach to transactions involving a LFS has been to utilize both a litigator and a commercial finance attorney in structuring and negotiating the operative agreements. Co-author Marie Mathews is the firm&rsquo;s Deputy General Counsel, whose thorough knowledge of the Rules of Professional Conduct and years of litigation experience supplement the skillset of co-author, Laurence Smith, who has practiced commercial finance throughout his career. We work together to strike the appropriate balance between keeping the LFS informed with periodic reporting without compromising the protections afforded by the attorney-client privilege and the work product doctrine. Our combined strengths help rationalize the budgeting process, impose accountability and efficiency on the law firm representing the plaintiff, and ensure a reasonable allocation of the total investment to each phase of the litigation. We also strive to ensure that the ultimate decision-making authority remains with the client, albeit subject to the LFS&rsquo;s right, in accordance with the definitive agreements, to limit or cease funding. The ultimate goal of the negotiating process is to achieve an equilibrium that protects the interest of all constituents, while educating the client about the obligations associated with the involvement of a new and important party in interest&mdash;the LFS.</p> <p><strong>Conclusion<br /> </strong><br /> For most companies, commercial litigation is not an extraordinary event but rather arises in the ordinary course of business. The ability to institute and prosecute lawsuits that are critical to a company&rsquo;s interests therefore requires financing, which is often not available from traditional lending sources. This void in the market is being filled by LFSs. The availability of litigation funding may be viewed as a deterrent to unethical behavior, which a large corporation could otherwise perpetrate against a smaller entity that lacks the resources to bring suit. The risk inherent in the investment and its non-recourse nature militate in favor of outsize returns for LFSs. Until the market offers a more reasonable alternative, the business model of the LFS will endure and proliferate, along with the growth of commercial litigation.</p> <hr /> <span style="font-size: smaller;"><sup>1</sup> This hypothetical was posed for illustrative purpose; however, the fact pattern occurs in business all too frequently. The January 8, 2020 edition of The Wall Street Journal reported that Sonos instituted suit against Google for allegedly stealing Sonos&rsquo; intellectual property. While Sonos is not a start-up company, it pales in size relative to Google, which can more easily weather the costs of litigation. If Sonos lacks a source of financing, it may at some point in the litigation feel like the start-up that cannot afford to continue the fight.<br /> <br /> <sup>2</sup> Much of the literature demonizes LFSs. Portraying LFSs in this vein conjures in our minds the image of a house engulfed in flames, with a person trapped on a third-story window ledge facing imminent death, and being implored to jump toward an outstretched blanket held by four neighbors on the ground below. Realizing there is no other choice, the clear-thinking person jumps instantly. Under these circumstances, should a counselor&rsquo;s focus be on cautioning the person about the pain of broken ribs or a broken back, trying to discern the wind direction, or the risk that homeowners&rsquo; insurance may not pay for hospital bills? These concerns, like the concerns raised about LFSs, seem secondary to the primary goal of survival.</span><br />Publication10 Feb 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/RA534S261/assets/files/News/The Case for Litigation Funding for Commercial Lawsuits.pdf&format=xmlCSG's Susan Reach Winters Releases Book, That Will Never Happen to Ushttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=103110&format=xml&p=7016<p>Chiesa Shahinian &amp; Giantomasi PC (&ldquo;CSG&rdquo;) is pleased to announce the release of <em>That Will Never Happen to Us</em>, a book by <a href="/?t=3&amp;a=19254&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Susan Reach Winters</a>, Chair of the firm&rsquo;s <a href="/?t=5&amp;lpa=8344&amp;format=xml">Family Law Group</a>.</p> <p>Drawing upon her decades of experience as a matrimonial attorney, Susan delivers practical, preemptive guidance in the book pertaining to the complications that often arise in marriage. It is a must-read for those considering marriage, as well as for parents planning to share their wealth with a child who is getting married &ndash; offering countless tips, strategies and other insights into the gamut of financial, emotional and familial considerations that must go into a successful and lasting relationship.</p> <p>&ldquo;You cannot imagine how many people have showed up for a consultation for a divorce saying they thought that this would never happen to them. The points these clients shared about what they wished they had known has helped me personally and professionally, and I have done my best to pass on this wisdom to others,&rdquo; says Winters in her preface. &ldquo;This book compiles more than three decades of insight on how to get a marriage off to the best possible start, avoid and resolve conflict in healthy and intelligent ways, and protect yourself from the worst-case scenario &ndash; a reality for more than half of American marriages.&rdquo;</p> <p>As a divorce lawyer practicing for more than thirty-five years, Winters has developed an innovative team approach to addressing the legal, financial and emotional ramifications that come with divorce &ndash; combining the expertise of therapists, financial advisors and attorneys to help her clients through their prenup and divorce negotiations and to create fulfilling lives after their marriages end.</p> <p>A thought leader in family law, she is a co-author of Thomson West&rsquo;s <em>New Jersey Family Law and Practice with Forms, Vols. 10-12</em>, a three-volume, comprehensive, yet practical, guide to family law statutes and procedures in New Jersey. Additionally, she co-authored <em>Domestic Relations&mdash;Legal Forms</em>, which deals with the transactional aspects of family law and contains extensive forms and analysis, including tax analysis, marital settlement agreements, child custody and child support, spousal support, and prenuptial agreements.</p> <p>A graduate of Seton Hall Law School and Rutgers University, Winters is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator and is admitted to practice in New Jersey.</p> <p>To schedule a complementary consultation, please contact Susan Reach Winters at <a href="mailto:swinters@csglaw.com">swinters@csglaw.com</a>.</p>News29 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=103110&format=xmlAmerican Bar Association's Fidelity & Surety Law Committee's 2020 Midwinter Conferencehttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=103026&format=xml&p=7016<p>CSG&rsquo;s <a href="/?t=5&amp;lpa=8345&amp;format=xml">Fidelity &amp; Surety Law Group</a> will be well-represented at the American Bar Association&rsquo;s Fidelity &amp; Surety Law Committee's 2020 Midwinter Conference.</p> <p><a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18902&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Brian Kantar</a> is co-chairing the Conference&rsquo;s Surety Program, which will feature <a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18902&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Armen Shahinian</a> on a panel titled, &ldquo;Alternative Medicine Prescribed by the White Knight.&rdquo; <a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18990&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Amanda Miceli</a> will be featured in the Conference&rsquo;s Construction Program on the &ldquo;Assessing Credit, Leverage and Assets&rdquo; panel; while <a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18949&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Michelle A. Schaap</a> and <a href="/?t=3&amp;a=18914&amp;format=xml&amp;p=16431">Scott W. Lichtenstein</a> will discuss cybersecurity threats often faced by fidelity insurers as part of the Conference&rsquo;s Fidelity Program.</p> <p>The Fidelity &amp; Surety Law Committee's 2020 Midwinter Conference will take place at the Grand Hyatt New York in New York, NY from January 29-31, 2020.</p> <p>For more information and event registration, please visit the <a href="https://www.americanbar.org/events-cle/mtg/inperson/384517451/">ABA&rsquo;s website</a>.</p>Event29 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=103026&format=xmlHow Employers Can Prevent Cupid's Arrow From Causing Pain in the Workplacehttp://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=103073&format=xml&p=7016<p>With Valentine&rsquo;s Day around the corner, now is a good time to revisit your office romance policy. Employers often shudder at the thought of workplace romances and the impact they could have on office morale and productivity. In light of the firmly entrenched #MeToo movement, employers remain particularly concerned that, should a workplace romance fizzle, they could also face a potential harassment claim.</p> <p>While it may be tempting to ban office romance altogether, workplace romance is inevitable and forbidding it is simply not realistic. In fact, according to a 2019 omnibus poll released by SHRM, one out of every three American adults currently is or previously has been in a workplace romance. This is consistent with a 2018 CareerBuilder survey, which found that 36% of employees admit to having dated a coworker. So, what <em>can</em> employers do? Fortunately, there are measures employers can take to protect themselves from the potential pitfalls that can arise from their employees falling in &ndash; and out of &ndash; love.</p> <p>To avoid the risk that an employee in a consensual workplace romance will later allege the relationship was involuntary, employers may require employees to disclose any workplace romance and enter into a consensual relationship agreement, also referred to as a love contract. A love contract is essentially a written acknowledgement by two employees confirming the voluntary and mutual nature of the relationship. Love contracts aver that the employees are both free to end the relationship at any time without fear of retaliation. The love contract should also affirm that both employees have received, read, and understand the company&rsquo;s anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policy, that the relationship does not violate the policy, and that entering into the relationship has not been made a condition or term of employment.</p> <p>Employers can also implement personal relationship policies in addition to their sexual harassment policies to help reduce office romance-related issues. These policies vary greatly from employer to employer and can get creative to meet an employer&rsquo;s specific needs and goals. For instance, some companies have implemented policies that allow employees to only ask a colleague out on a date once, but no more than once if rejected the first time, in an effort to avoid harassment allegations. Employers may also require employees to maintain clear boundaries between personal and business interactions. This would include prohibiting employees from engaging in physical contact or other displays of affection on company premises that could make others feel uncomfortable.</p> <p>At a minimum, employers should prohibit employees from dating subordinates, and, any employees who are dating should not be permitted to participate in any company decision-making processes that could affect the other&rsquo;s terms or conditions of employment. Employers may choose to preclude employees in a consensual social relationship from working within the same department and reserve the right to transfer or terminate either employee to avoid any potential conflict of interest or allegations of favoritism because of the relationship.</p> <p>With the New Year, now is a good time for employers to review their employment policies, including their anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, as well as to determine whether they should implement any additional policies or procedures to address workplace romance.<br /> <br /> <strong>For more information, please contact your CSG attorney or the author listed below.</strong></p>Client Alert28 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800http://csglaw.wiseadmin.biz/?t=40&an=103073&format=xml