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Michael Gluck, receives new appointment

Governor Chris Christie recently appointed Michael Gluck to serve upon the Executive Committee of the Meadowlands Regional Commission, the newly formed commission consolidating the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and the New Jersey Hackensack Meadowlands Agency. After the Meadowlands Agency Consolidation Act was signed into law back in December, both of these agencies were to be consolidated in order to create efficiencies and reduce bureaucracy. There are several vital components necessary for the continuation and expansion of the comprehensive plan for the economic development growth of the Hackensack Meadowlands District, which will be served by consolidation of these entities.

His appointment to the Executive Committee has Mr. Gluck overseeing and implimenting policy on a variety of matters relating to the Meadowlands region, including environmental, tourism, gaming, development, and zoning. He serves as one of eleven members.

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Partners successfully defend case against Monmouth County and Correctional Officers

GluckWalrath LLP is pleased to announce that Senior Litigation Counsel and Special Monmouth County Counsel, Partner, Andrew Bayer, with the assistance of Partner, David A. Clark, successfully defended the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and eleven individual correctional officers before a 10 member jury in the United States District Court, District of New Jersey in a lawsuit alleging Section 1983 civil rights violations brought by the family of a 22 year old inmate who died following a use of force incident at the Monmouth County Correctional Facility. The Hon. Anne E. Thompson, U.S.D.J. presided over the trial which lasted over two weeks.

The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court of New Jersey – Trenton Vicinage, centered upon whether the Monmouth County Defendants violated Amit Bornstein’s constitutional right to be free from excessive force as guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constituion. Specifically, Mr. Bornstein’s estate alleged that the correctional officers committed excessive force and that the Sheriff’s Office adopted policies or failed to adopt policies which deprived Mr. Bornstein of his constitutional rights. The Bornstein Estate further alleged that the Sheriff’s Office was deliberately indifferent to Mr.. Bornstein’s constitutional rights in failing to adequately train its correctional officers in the appropriate use of force policies.

On March 6, 2015, the jury returned a verdict of no-cause of action on all counts deciding that our Monmouth County clients did not deprive Amit Bornstein of his constitutional right to be free from excessive force. This matter was brought by the Estate of Amit Bornstein, an individual who after being brought to the Monmouth County Correctional Institution on July 29, 2010 died later that evening. Mr. Bayer convinced the jury that the correctional officers did not utilize excessive force nor did they cause Mr. Bornstein ‘s unfortunate death. Instead, they concluded that his death was caused by a preexisting cardiac disease superceding any other possible cause. He further convinced the jury that there were no policies in effect or a failure to train officers which deprived Mr. Bornstein of his constitutional rights.

Mr. Bayer commented on the outcome, “Mr. Bornstein’s passing is sad. It is unfortunate. No one from Monmouth County Correctional Institution is happy that one of their inmates passed away. But as the jury concluded, Sheriff Shaun Golden’s policies, practices and training along with the actions of our correctional officer clients were vindicated and appropriate in their treatment of Mr. Bornstein.”

Additionally, the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement through its spokesperson, Cynthia Scott. “After reviewing the facts and all the testimony of the case it was clear that the officers involved acted appropriately. While our thoughts remain with the Bornstein family on their loss, Mr. Bornstein’s actions and medical condition are what led to his unfortunate death.”

To read more about the verdict, please visit Asbury Park Press.

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Kendal Jones nominated as “Woman Worthy of Honor: Serving Children in Our Community Award”

It is with great pride that GluckWalrath shares news of Kendal Jones’ nomination from Woman Walking in the Spirit Youth-At-Risk Mentoring Program as a “Woman Worthy of Honor”.

From the organization,

As you consider the nomination for this award, as an advocate of our children we sincerely believe you to be well deserving of this honor, which will be the “Women Walking in the Spirit’s 1st Annual Award Ceremony.” Let me say you have not only impacted the lives of our youth, but fellow educators and community members, as well as your associates. Kendal, your influence will follow those you have touched for a lifetime and the lessons they have learned will help them in countless ways. You are an outstanding representative of the profession. Therefore, with the utmost confidence, belief and trust, I present to you the nomination. We know that you do not work or serve our children for awards or accolades, but simply to inspire and impact all. I believe that you, like many others, have been endowed with a special calling, which allows you to mentor in love. By virtue of this God given ability you have been able to balance as well as maximize your role as sister, mother, friend, and mentor and community leader. Your desire to assist the children to strive for excellence in their personal development has taught them the importance of loving themselves, as well as respect for each other. This has also taught all of us (your peers) to give our best for our youth, to wear a smile, to have faith, and to remember that the storms of life can often produce beautiful rainbows and new growth.

Kendal will be honored at an award dinner on April 15, 2015 to celebrate all that she has given of herself in supporting, caring for, and mentoring at-risk youth in New Jersey.

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A Happy and Prosperous 2015 from everyone at GluckWalrath

If you are reading this, it means that you are a valued part of the GluckWalrath family. Without you, we would not be where we are today assisting those in need, providing professional services throughout the state, and contributing to our communities in meaningful ways.

We thank you for allowing us to be involved in legal and governmental affairs for over ten years and look forward to many more years ahead with you.

A healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year to you. May 2015 fulfill your spirit.

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GluckWalrath is Successful before the New Jersey Supreme Court

On May 20, 2014, Partner Andrew Bayer and his litigation team received news that following oral argument before the New Jersey Supreme Court on May 7, 2014, the Court issued a decision of first impression in New Jersey. The Supreme Court agreed with our argument that the Bed Rights (including all rights title and interest to apply for a license to operate a nursing home) to a long-term care facility belonged to our client, GRE Jersey City, Inc., the owner of the property where the nursing home was sited in Jersey City. The Supreme Court issued an order declaring it had improvidently granted certification and it dismissed the appeal thereby affirming the decision of the Appellate Division and the Chancery Division in the matter known as Liberty House Nursing Home of Jersey City vs.. GRE Jersey City, Inc.

By way of background, GRE Jersey City, Inc.(“GRE”) developed a nursing home in Jersey City and ultimately leased it to Liberty House Nursing Home of Jersey City, Inc. (“Liberty House”) in 1971. Following the end of the lease term after Liberty House had exercised two renewal options, GRE issued a Notice to Quit. In response to the Notice to Quit, Liberty House contended that a Memorandum of Lease exchanged between the parties a year before the Notice to Quit issued constituted a binding agreement. GRE disagreed. After a 15 day bench trial before the Hon. Thomas P. Olivieri, PJ.Ch. (retired), the Chancery Division ruled in GRE’s favor and determined that GRE validly terminated Liberty House’s tenancy and found that the Memorandum of Lease did not create an enforceable agreement or provide Liberty House an option to renew. The Court further found that GRE was the sole owner of the right to apply for al license (the “Bed Rights”) to operate the 180 bed and that upon the termination of the lease, the right to seek a license to operate the facility reverted to GRE.

On March 25, 2013, the Appellate Division issued a per curium opinion affirming the Chancery Division’s judgment that the Memorandum of Lease did not constitute an agreement and that the Bed Rights indeed reverted back to GRE as that is what the parties intended through the lease agreement.

However, on September 11, 2013, the Supreme Court of New Jersey granted certification to determine two issues in the case: (1) Whether the Bed Rights belongs to the tenant who established and operated the exempted nursing home or, instead, to the landlord of the property on which the nursing home is operated; and (2) if the exemption belongs to the landlord, whether equity requires the landlord to pay the tenant operator for the value of the established business. The Supreme Court answered both questions in GRE’s favor.

This victory for the litigation team puts a close to a matter that was litigated for four years. “We are thrilled our client can take back and operate its nursing home after putting a close to this lengthy chapter,” a delighted Mr. Bayer explained. “Our litigation team has worked long and hard on this matter and I am pleased the Supreme Court and Appellate Division agreed with our legal analysis. While this is a significant victory for our client and our firm, we believe the precedent this case sets will prove critical as the issue of bed rights continues to be an important issue which needs to be addressed between long term care facility owners and long term care facility operators throughout this state.”

A copy of the Appellate ruling can be found here.

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GluckWalrath wins appeal in Rita Gilmartin v. Patrolman Jason Kreig, et al.

On May 7, the Appellate Division affirmed the lower court ruling denying the plaintiff’s motion for leave to file a late notice of tort claim.

David Clark argued the motion, while Brett Halpern prepared the brief. The ruling can be found here.

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GluckWalrath successfully defends New Jersey SOCE law as part of legal team

Our firm is pleased to learn that as part of Garden State Equality’s legal team in King v. Christie, (Civ. Action No. 13-5038, Case 3:13-cv-05038-FLW-LHG), Garden State Equality, as successful interveners in the case, found summary judgment granted in their favor. The ruling dismisses a case challenging a recent bill signed into law by Governor Chris Christie. Assembly Bill A-3371, (Codified at N.J.S.A. 45:1-54, -55), prohibited New Jersey state licensed practitioners, who provide professional counseling services, from treating minors using methods of Sexual Orientation Change Efforts (“SOCE”), more commonly referred to as “gay conversion therapy”.

In the most recent decision by the Honorable Freda L. Wolfson, U.S.D.J., in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Judge Wolfson granted Garden State Equality’s motion to Intervene, denied the Plaintiff’s motion for Summary Judgment, and granted the State’s (which considered Garden State Equality’s support) motion of Summary Judgment, successfully defending the constitutionality of the SOCE law and dismissing the case.

Judge Wolfson concluded that the New Jersey law “restricts neither speech nor religious expression.” She also noted that the therapists’ challenge to the law “runs counter to the longstanding principle that a state generally may enact laws rationally regulating professionals, including those providing medicine and mental health services.”

“The court’s decision today is a huge victory for New Jersey youth. This law will save lives by protecting young people them from these horrible and damaging practices,” said Troy Richardson, Executive Director of Garden State Equality.

NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter, who represents Garden State Equality in the case, added: “This law protects youth from practices that have been rejected by all leading medical and mental health professional organizations. The court issued a clear and thorough decision explaining that state-licensed therapists do not have a constitutional right to engage in discredited practices that do not improve patients’ health and put young people at risk of severe harm, including depression and suicide.”

Andrew Bayer, Chairman of GluckWalrath LLP’s litigation department, stated: “The team at GluckWalrath is honored to have worked on such an important case of national significance which protects the youth of the State of New Jersey.”

Garden State Equality is represented in the case by the National Center for Lesbian Rights and the law firms of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and GluckWalrath LLP.

A copy of the opinion can be found here. The plaintiff has filed an appeal in the matter.

Fall 2013 CapitalNJ Newsletter

Newsletter_FallThe Fall 2013 issue of our firm’s government affairs Newsletter is out.

Inside this issue:

  • A look at the Gubernatorial Race
  • Special Senate Election
  • Unemployment comparison of New Jersey and neighboring states
  • National Organization pushing for Marriage Equality in New Jersey
  • Nursing Home Bill of Rights heads to Governor
  • Open Space vote fails
  • Governor signs Sexual Orientation Conversion Effort ban bill into law
  • Medical Marijuana changes signed into law

You will soon be able to subscribe to an email version of the newsletter. Until then, we welcome you to download a copy of theNewsletter Fall 2013 newsletter.

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GluckWalrath ranks 3rd for Bond Counsel


Announced this Monday, the August 12, 2013 Bond Buyer Magazine issued its semiannual “Midyear Review” for the Northeast. GluckWalrath is proud to announce that on page 21 of the review (PDF), our firm is listed third in New Jersey for Bond Counsel, with $1 billion in volume.

More on the background on this report can be found here:

Northeast Issuance Drops in 2013 First Half.

“We are very pleased to once again be listed in the Top 5 across the entire State [for Bond Counsel] and it is a testament to our firm’s effectiveness and specialized skills. We are proud of what we’ve built here,” declared Chris Walrath, Partner.

“I believe these rankings confirm our dedication to our work, considering we’re listed amongst firms double and triple our size,” added Jim Fearon, Partner. Howard Eichenbaum, Partner, chimed, “for me, these rankings reaffirm my belief that GluckWalrath offers a unique opportunity for potential clients. Our obvious success in the field offers clients hands-on and approachable representation that rival any firm in New Jersey.”