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REAL ESTATE - REAL ESTATE LITIGATION - REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT - ENVIRONMENTAL

April 23, 2007

CELEBRATING EARTH DAY - APRIL 22, 2007

Twenty million Americans celebrated the first Earth Day in 1970. Today, Earth Day is celebrated around the world as a commitment to protect our earth. As we celebrate the 37th anniversary of that first Earth Day, Gibbons congratulates its many clients who are making a difference by working to improve the local, national and global environment.

To find out more on what you and your company can do to help the environment every day, visit the following websites.
http://www.epa.gov/earthday/
http://www.nj.gov/dep/seeds/earthday/things.htm
http://www.nj.gov/dep/seeds/earthday/eday.htm


 

Table of Contents


Gibbons News

High Court Rules EPA has Authority to Regulate CO2 Emissions from Cars

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Potentially Liabile "Volunteers" can Recover CERCLA Cleanup Costs

Lowering the Desity Level - An Analysis of Grubbs v. Slothower

Has Europe's Reach Exceeded Its Grasp?

New Law Requires Notice of Hearing to Adjacent Municipality

New Law Taxes Parking Fees

Avoiding Environmental Consultant Conflicts of Interest

Fast-Tracking Owner Consent to Land use Applications


UPCOMING EVENTS

Douglas Janacek to Speak on Navigating Land Use and Permit Issues

Douglas J. Janacek, a Director in the Real Property & Environmental Department, will speak at the American Conference Institute's 2nd National Forum on navigating land use and permit issues. Mr. Janacek will discuss various topics such as meeting certificate of occupancy requirements, expediting the development process and drafting contractual contingencies, among others.

For more information or to register for the event please call 888-224-2480 or visit AmericanConference.com/restaurant

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GIBBONS NEWS

Real Property and Environmental Attorneys recognized as New Jersey "Super Lawyers"
Russell Bershad, John Klock, Edward McTiernan and Susanne Peticolas were among 37 Gibbons attorneys recently named among New Jersey's "Super Lawyers." Russell Bershad, Chair of the Real Property and Environmental Department, is recognized as a top attorney for Real Estate. John Klock is recognized as a top attorney for Construction/Surety Law while Susanne Peticolas and Edward McTiernan are recognized as top attorneys for Environmental Law. Super Lawyers is a comprehensive and diverse listing of the state's top 5 percent of attorneys, representing a wide range of practice areas, firms and geographic locations. Selected by their peers through the independent research of Law & Politics publishers, Super Lawyers is designed to identify lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement through peer review surveys which are sent to 35,000 active lawyers in the state of New Jersey.


Russell Bershad and Howard Geneslaw Featured in "Meet the Real Estate Lawyers"
Russell B. Bershad, Chair of the Real Property & Environmental Department, and Howard D. Geneslaw, a Director in the Real Property & Environmental Department, were both featured in Real Estate New Jersey's "Meet the Real Estate Lawyers" special section in the April 2007 edition. This section profiles the state's prominent real estate attorneys discussing key issues and trends in the marketplace.


Jason Tuvel Named One of Real Estate New Jersey's Thirty Under Thirty
Gibbons is proud to announce that Jason Tuvel, an Associate in the Real Property & Environmental Department, has been included among Real Estate New Jersey Magazine's "Thirty Under Thirty." This article profiles the next generation of New Jersey's commercial real estate business leaders and features Mr. Tuvel and highlights his accomplishments in the areas of real estate and environmental law.


Group of Reed Smith Intellectual Property Attorneys Joins Gibbons' Philadelphia Office
Gibbons announced the arrival of 5 attorneys from Reed Smith’s Intellectual Property (“IP”) Group, marking yet another chapter in the growth of Gibbons’ nationally recognized IP practice and the firm’s continued focus on providing a full compliment of legal services to the life science, telecommunications, and other technology-based industries. The group of attorneys, led by well known IP practitioner Lou Heidelberger, brings the total number of attorneys in Gibbons’ IP practice to 45, the Philadelphia office to 40, and the overall firm count close to 220.

Lou Heidelberger and Thomas McWilliams have joined Gibbons as Directors, with Heidelberger also acting as the Co-Administrative Director of the Gibbons Philadelphia Office and serving on the firm’s Executive Committee. Justin C. Allen, Edward F. Behm, Jr., and Todd A. Norton have joined Gibbons as Associates.


Gibbons is Name Dropping - Firm Shortens Its Name and Unveils New Logo
Gibbons, Del Deo, Dolan, Griffinger & Vecchione, P.C. officially shortened its name to Gibbons P.C. and launched a new logo and website to coincide with the firm's move to new office space at One Gateway Center in Newark, New Jersey. The new Gibbons logo, which pays tribute to the firm's history and future, will be used on all firm materials, including on a sign that will join the Newark skyline later this month. The firm's name pays tribute to its standard bearer, John J. Gibbons, who returned to the firm in 1990 after serving as the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit. He served on that Court for 20 years, during which time he authored more than 800 published opinions. Check out our new website at www.gibbonslaw.com.


Gibbons Moves to New Headquarters at One Gateway Center
Gibbons is proud to announce the opening of its new headquarters located at One Gateway Center in Newark, New Jersey. With its innovative design and technological advances, the new Gibbons headquarters truly embodies the spirit of a 21st Century law firm. Highlights include the Gibbons Conference Center, featuring stunning views of the City of Newark; a Moot Court Room; Attorney Lounge; sleek, newly designed attorney offices and staff workspaces, technologically advanced communication systems, and innovative audio-visual capabilities throughout the entire office. We hope you take the opportunity to come and visit our new facility and share in this exciting time for the firm. Click here for an inside look at Gibbons.


HIGH COURT RULES THAT EPA HAS AUTHORITY TO REGULATE CO2 EMISSIONS FROM CARS, MUST PROVIDE EXPLANATION FOR DECIDING NOT TO REGULATE

Addressing for the first time the politically charged subject of global climate change, the Supreme Court ruled, on April 2, that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide from new motor vehicles. The Court went on to hold that if EPA chooses not to exercise that authority, it must explain that decision in a way that conforms to the words of the statute. Along the way, the Court significantly liberalized the requirements that States must satisfy to show they have constitutional standing to bring lawsuits challenging federal regulatory action - or inaction. The decision, captioned Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, 549 U.S. --- (2007), is available at http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/06pdf/05-1120.pdf.



WILL THE OTHER SHOE DROP?: SUPREME COURT TO DECIDE WHETHER POTENTIALLY LIABLE "VOLUNTEERS" CAN RECOVER CERCLA CLEANUP COSTS

A little more than two years ago, the United States Supreme Court surprised many observers -- and dismayed more than a few corporate counsel -- when it held, in Cooper Industries, Inc. v. Aviall Services, Inc., 543 U.S. 157 (2004), that a private party that incurs cleanup costs but has not been the subject of an administrative or cost recovery action under section 106 or 107(a) of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Liability, and Compensation Act ("CERCLA"), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9606, 9607(a), cannot obtain contribution from other liable parties under section 113(f)(1), 42 U.S.C. § 9613(f)(1). Relying on the text of section 113(f)(1), which provides that "[a]ny person may seek contribution . . . during or following a civil action during or following a civil action under section 9606 . . . or under section 9607(a)" (emphasis added), the Aviall Court held that section 113(f)(1) simply did not authorize a contribution action in the absence of a civil action against the contribution plaintiff. Click here to view earlier article.


LOWERING THE DENSITY LEVEL - AN ANALYSIS OF GRUBBS V. SLOTHOWER

In January of 2007, the New Jersey Appellate Division in Grubbs v. Slothower, 389 N.J. Super. 377 (App. Div. 2007) decided a case of first impression relating to density variances. Specifically, the Court was presented with the issue of whether "a municipal zoning board of adjustment should apply the same standards of review for density variances, N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d(5), as it does for use variances" under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70d(1) and the seminal case of Medici v. BPR Co., 107 N.J. 1 (1987). The Grubbs holding creates a new standard of review for density variances which is less stringent than the standard of review for use variances.


HAS EUROPE'S REACH EXCEEDED ITS GRASP
(With apologies to Robert Browning)

In an effort to protect health and the environment, the Council of the European Union (hereinafter "EU") adopted on December 18, 2006 a regulation called the "Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals" known by the acronym REACH. Regulation (EC) No. 1907/2006. This regulation is perceived by the Europeans as the most important regulation in the past 20 years.


NEW LAW REQUIRES NOTICE OF HEARING TO ADJACENT MUNICIPALITY

A recent amendment to the General Municipal Law requires notice to adjacent municipalities of certain hearings on applications for development. Although the new law took effect on July 1, 2006, it is not yet widely known and, therefore, the new notice requirements could catch both applicants and municipalities unaware.


NEW LAW TAXES PARKING FEES

The tax law adopted last fall after a battle between the Legislature and Governor Corzine is widely know for increasing the sales tax in New Jersey to 7%, from 6%. But it remains less widely known that the new law also subjected additional goods and services to sales tax, including parking for motor vehicles in certain facilities.


KEEPING THE FACTS (AND ADVICE) STRAIGHT: RECOGNIZING AND PREVENTING CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WHEN YOU HIRE AN ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT

When your company is faced with remediation responsibilities at a contaminated site, you will almost certainly need an environmental consultant. The consultant will be the company's "face" with the agency and at the same time your trusted advisor, orchestrating a sampling strategy, interpreting the data and presenting the results and recommendations in the light most favorable to your company. You may view the government as your only adversary, at least where no lawsuit has been filed, and thus might assume that there is little potential for a conflict issue to crop up with your environmental consultant. You should think again, because such problems can and do arise.


FAST-TRACKING OWNER CONSENT TO LAND USE APPLICATIONS

Whether required by statute or local law or ordinance, an applicant for development approvals to a municipal planning or zoning board must secure the property owner's consent. In situations where the applicant is also the owner of the property, a single signature by the authorized individual of the owner, or in some cases by the owner's attorney, is sufficient to proceed with an application. But where the applicant is a tenant, contract purchaser or contract lessee, securing owner consent can delay the approval process.


For more information contact your Gibbons attorney or a member of the Real Property & Environmental Department.

This communication provides general information and is not intended to provide legal advice. Should you require legal advice, you should seek the assistance of counsel.

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