Jason Holt is a seasoned attorney with more than two decades of experience in local government, municipal corporations, turnaround strategy, litigation and fiscal management. He draws upon his background navigating the political and economic challenges that arise throughout the redevelopment process to assist municipalities and developers in drafting and negotiating redevelopment plans and agreements, as well as Payment in Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) agreements, tax appeals and tax exemptions. Further, Jason is a member of the firm's Cannabis Law team.
Jason was previously with Atlantic City’s Department of Administration, where he originally served as City Solicitor charged with overseeing the municipality’s legal affairs. In 2016, he was selected by the DCA as the city’s Business Administrator to assist in the implementation of the Municipal Stabilization & Recovery Act. In this capacity, he managed the city’s more than $240 million budget and directed it on its course toward revitalization through the negotiation of several hundred million dollars of tax appeals and the effective management of casino closures, fiscal volatility, major bankruptcy matters and an unprecedented drop in its tax base.
In addition, Jason previously served as Corporation Counsel to the City of East Orange, where he oversaw the broad spectrum of the city’s legal affairs – including the introduction of major redevelopment projects, litigation of high-profile lawsuits encompassing employment practices, challenges to municipal legislation, in rem foreclosures and bankruptcy matters. Notably, while serving East Orange, he played a pivotal role as advisor to the city’s Police Department and assisted in the enhancement of policing techniques, which reduced the city’s crime rate to State and national record-breaking levels at the time.
He has held additional high-profile roles within Essex County – including Municipal Court Judge for the City of Orange Township, Deputy Freeholder Counsel to the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Director of Affirmative Action for the County of Essex – as well as in Trenton, as Deputy Legislative Counsel to the New Jersey Senate & General Assembly through the Office of Legislative Services.
Jason joined the firm from the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (“DCA"), where he reviewed and investigated potential ethics violations associated with local jurisdictions. He also leveraged this deep understanding as an adjunct professor with Thomas Edison State College’s John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy, administering a graduate-level course entitled, “Law, Ethics and Decision Making in the Public Sector.” Of note, Jason served as the lead attorney in a seminal case – Patterson v. Cooper, 294 N.J. Super (N.J. Super. 1994) – which helped define notice and quorum parameters of the Open Public Meetings Act.
- Rutgers Law School (J.D.)
- Cornell University (B.S.)
- New Jersey
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- New Jersey State Supreme Court
NJ Chamber of Commerce: DEI Professionals Roundtable
- ROI-NJ, Influencers: Diversity & Inclusion List (2022)
- The National Black Lawyers, Top 100 (2021)
- ROI-NJ, Influencers: People of Color List (2020-2021)
- Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, Volunteer of the Month (August 2022)
- Certificate of Special United States Congressional Recognition for Civil Rights
- Essex County Municipal Court Judges Association, Service Award
- Rutgers University, Institute of Continuing Legal Education & New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys, Diplomate in Municipal Law
- CSG Law Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Committee, Co-Chair
- Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, Board of Trustees
- NAACP Oranges and Maplewood Chapter, Chair, Legal Redress Committee
- New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys, Board of Trustees; Chair, Diversity Committee
- New Jersey State League of Municipalities, Associate Legal Counsel
- New Jersey Business & Industry Association, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council, Leadership Team
- Newark YMCA, Diversity & Inclusion Task Force
- Cornell Real Estate Council
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Garden State Bar Association
- National Bar Association