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February 2020 | CSG Real Estate Property Tax Alert

Commercial Property Appeals in 2020

New Jersey continues to place the country’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’s value which are immune from general market conditions such as the existence of environmental contamination or other unique features of a property.  


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February 2020 | Fidelity & Surety Law Alert

New 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 Claim

Last week, in an appeal in which CSG filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Surety & Fidelity Association of America (“SFAA”), New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, reversed a trial court’s award of attorneys’ fees to a payment bond claimant pursuant to New York’s “Little Miller Act”, State Finance Law § 137.  


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February 2020 | CSG Immigration Law Alert

USCIS Announces Electronic H-1B Registration Process and Dates for FY 2021

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) 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:  


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March 5, 2020

Real Estate Market Forecast: Opportunity Knocks, Newark Answers

Lisa John-Basta 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.  


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02/27/2020

ULI NNJ: Development 360

Thomas Trautner will be moderating the Urban Land Institute Northern New Jersey’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’s Andrew Merin and PGIM Real Estate’s Lynn deCastro.  


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January 29, 2020

American Bar Association's Fidelity & Surety Law Committee's 2020 Midwinter Conference

CSG’s Fidelity & Surety Law Group will be well-represented at the American Bar Association’s Fidelity & Surety Law Committee's 2020 Midwinter Conference.  


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Publications

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February 19, 2020

The Grief Coach Podcast: Talking About Wills Won't Kill You

Roxanna E. Hammett was featured on The Grief Coach Podcast 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.   


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02/10/2020

The Case for Litigation Funding for Commercial Lawsuits

As with most large law firms, our transactional attorneys have counseled clients on an endless variety of commercial finance and M&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.  


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January 23, 2020

Real Estate NJ: 2020 Market Forecast

Francis J. Giantomasi was featured in Real Estate NJ's 2020 Market Forecast sharing his prediction for the State's real estate sector for the year to come.   


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Blog Posts

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February 18, 2020

Significant Increase in OSHA Inspections; Reduction in Electric Reporting Requirements; Two Recent Environmental Exposure Cases with Significant Fines Proposed

In fiscal year 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") conducted 33,401 more inspections than in the previous three years, which includes a notable increase in chemical exposure cases.


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February 18, 2020

If You Are "Drafted" by the Court to Represent an Indigent, Should You be Afforded Tort Claims Act Protection?

The New Jersey Supreme Court will hear a case with interesting implications for lawyers in private firms who are conscripted to represent indigent litigants. The Office of the Public Defender, through the staff attorneys and assigned ("pool") attorneys, provide indigent criminal defendants with representation. Legislation has expanded their arena to include parents who are targets in termination of parental rights cases. A wrongfully convicted defendant is suing his former Public Defender in Case: A-69-18, Antonio Chaparro Nieves v. Office of the Public Defender,


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February 6, 2020

Thinking of opening a satellite law office in another state? Make sure your firm's name is allowed in your new location.

One of the areas I like to address for my fellow New Jersey/New York attorneys is the differences between how things work in each state, including the rules governing the conduct of attorneys. With New York and New Jersey now allowing reciprocity (also known as admission on motion), there are some great opportunities for attorneys who want to expand their physical presence to the other side of the Hudson.


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