CSG Lands Significant Presence in Inaugural NJBIZ Leaders in Law Program

Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC (“CSG”) is pleased to share that Peter E. Nussbaum, Co-Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group; Michelle A. Schaap, founder and leader of its Privacy & Data Security Group; and Dennis M. Toft, Chair of the Environmental Group, have been recognized as part of NJBIZ’s 2021 Leaders in Law program, which honors legal professionals in various sectors and disciplines who bring an outstanding dedication to their occupation and to their communities.

“Peter, Michelle and Dennis are not only extraordinary attorneys and business leaders but they also bring a remarkable passion and commitment to service within the communities in which we live and work – a unique balancing act in our profession that we at CSG wholeheartedly support and admire,” noted Daniel A. Schwartz, CSG’s Managing Member. “We congratulate our esteemed colleagues on this richly deserved recognition and thank each of them for all that they do – both within the firm and externally.”

“The range of these recognitions reflects the breadth of excellence across our firm,” added Francis J. Giantomasi, Executive Committee Member and a Member with the Real Estate, Development & Land Use Group. “Peter, Michelle and Dennis are each visionaries in their own right – and we couldn’t be more proud to have them as part of, and leaders within, the CSG family.”

Peter E. Nussbaum

Over the course of his career, Peter – who was recognized in the “Retail/Wholesale” category – has helped bring to market and vigorously protected the brands of countless food and beverage companies in his capacity as intellectual property counsel. His clients further include entertainment companies, musical artists, clothing and footwear companies, publishing and educational companies, hospitality companies, non-profit organizations and others across a wide array of industries. He is involved in all aspects of trademark, copyright, domain name, Internet and technology law – including general counseling, clearance, registration, licensing, enforcement and litigation. Seasoned in both the M&A setting and dispute proceedings, he oversees the IP-related aspects of corporate transactions and regularly litigates in courts throughout the United States and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

Notably, Peter is the co-founder of Tamerlaine Sanctuary & Preserve in Montague, NJ, which has developed into a paradise for nearly 250 previously neglected and abused farm animals. In March 2021, Tamerlaine became the first animal sanctuary in New Jersey to receive The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries accreditation.

Michelle A. Schaap

Named in the “Privacy” category, Michelle founded CSG’s Privacy & Data Security practice in 2015, positioning the firm as a pioneer in this emerging area of law. Because of her stellar, long-standing reputation, Michelle is often the first call clients make when faced with a cybersecurity incident – serving as a “quarterback” to the response team and working closely with executives, forensics professionals, law enforcement and other critical stakeholders to help her clients respond and recover.

Michelle serves as Vice-Chair of CSG’s Women’s Initiative and has also served the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association in a variety of capacities since 2013, including as its President in the 2018-2019 term. Outside of the legal community, she has always immersed herself in noble causes. Most notable has been her ongoing commitment to the Adaptive Sports Foundation, where she has volunteered her time as a snowboard instructor and helped enrich the lives of students with physical and cognitive disabilities since 2012. She has also served as a mentor and friend to underserved high school students through her longstanding involvement with NJ LEEP.

Dennis M. Toft

An honoree in the “Real Estate/Environmental” category, Dennis has developed a robust practice covering all aspects of environmental law to the great benefit of his clients and policymakers alike. He brings a unique perspective to his interactions with regulators and assists clients in securing permits and approvals others would consider nearly impossible to obtain. He is a go-to resource to the State’s legislative community when seeking input on legislation with implications for business and real estate stakeholders, such as those relating to site remediation, brownfields redevelopment and natural resource damages enforcement.

In further service to the State’s business community, he is a member of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s Executive Committee and provides its leadership with insight into the environmental concerns affecting New Jersey-based companies. Additionally, as a former NAIOP-NJ board member, his advocacy on behalf of the real estate development community earned Dennis the organization’s Industry Service Award and a spot in its Hall of Fame. Within the broader community, he serves on the boards of NJIT and the Nature Conservancy’s New Jersey Chapter, as well as a Trustee of the Boy Scouts’ Patriots Path Council. He also currently serves as Pro Bono Counsel to the Friends of the NJ School of Conservation. Dennis is a former Scout leader and youth soccer coach.

To read the full list of NJBIZ’s 2021 Leaders in Law honorees, please click here.

Visit csglaw.com/award-methodology for additional details on the selection process for the above-mentioned recognitions.