September 22, 2022

Hyland Levin Shapiro Partner Stacy L. Asbell appointed Board President of Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Southern New Jersey

Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP partner, Stacy Asbell has been appointed Board President of the Samost Jewish Family & Children’s Service of Southern New Jersey (“JFCS”).

JFCS helps Jewish families and the community at large to successfully meet the challenges of daily life by providing quality, affordable, and accessible social services.  JFCS is guided by their values of caring for individuals with dignity and respect and helping people to help themselves.

Stacy has served on the JFCS Board since 2012 and served as a Vice President prior to being appointed President.  Stacy has specialized in representing real estate clients in purchase, sale, financing and leasing transactions for the past 25 years.


Stacy can be reached at asbell@hylandlevin.com or
(856) 355-2914.

September 6, 2022

The NJDEP to Adopt Portions of the Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT) Rules via its Emergency Rulemaking Powers

For many in the field of real estate development, including developers, builders, engineers, planners and land use attorneys, on May 25th, a bell was tolled.

The New Jersey Administrative Procedures Act (N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq.) permits an agency such as the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (the “NJDEP”) to make emergency amendments to the New Jersey administrative code upon a finding of imminent peril to public health, safety, and welfare. N.J.S.A. 52:14B-4(c).  On May 25th, the NJDEP announced that it would be adopting portions of the Protecting Against Climate Threats (PACT) Rules pursuant to these emergency rulemaking powers, meaning that these emergency PACT rules would take effect the day they are filed with the Office of Administrative Law and would be valid for sixty (60) days from that date.  In addition, the NJDEP has announced its intention to file not only the emergency PACT rules, but also a concurrent proposal which would enable the rules to remain in effect for a period longer than 60 days.  Once the emergency rules (along with the concurrent proposal) are published in the New Jersey Register, a thirty (30)-day comment period will begin, to run concurrently with the 60-day validity period.

Why is this important?  In the simplest terms, the emergency PACT rules will have a significant and sustained impact on development in New Jersey, as the emergency PACT rules to be adopted include, among other things, changes to the Fluvial Flood Hazard Area (FHA) rules and the Stormwater Rules.  The term “fluvial” generally means “of or relating to a river or stream”, and as such, the changes to the Fluvial FHA rules will be limited to projects located in fluvial areas.  In other words, they will not be applicable to tidal areas.

Under the current Fluvial FHA rules, the Design Flood Elevation (the “DFE”) is the higher of: (1) Flood elevation mapped by the NJDEP (where applicable); or (2) the FEMA 100-year flood elevation, plus one foot.  However, under the proposed emergency Fluvial FHA Rules, the fluvial DFE will be raised by two feet.  As such, applicants utilizing their own flood projections will be required to use rainfall data for the year 2100 in order to calculate an alternative DFE.  If an applicant’s project is not currently located in a floodplain, it must determine whether its application for development will be impacted, and to what degree, by the additional two feet of flood elevation.

As another example, and with respect to stormwater, the emergency rules will require that stormwater designs manage runoff for both today’s storms and future storms, again utilizing county-based rainfall projections for the year 2100, which projections are up to 50% higher than current totals.  The emergency rules will also remove the use of Rational and Modified Rational methods for stormwater calculations.  Furthermore, municipalities will have only one year to update their municipal stormwater ordinances to account for the new rules.

Thankfully, there are certain exceptions to the applicability of the emergency rules.  With respect to the Fluvial FHA rules, applicants will not have to comply with the new standard if:

  1. The regulated activity is part of a project that already has a valid FHA permit. See J.A.C. 7:13-2.1(c)1; or
  2. The regulated activity is part of a project that requires an FHA permit and a complete application for the project was submitted to NJDEP prior to the emergency rulemaking; or
  3. The regulated activity is part of a project that does not require an FHA permit prior to the emergency rulemaking, and:
    • The project has received all necessary Federal, State and local approvals prior to emergency rulemaking; and
    • Construction has commenced, also prior to the emergency rulemaking. See J.A.C. 7:13-2.1(c)4.

Note, however, that obtaining a flood hazard area verification or applicability determination, as opposed to a permit, prior to the emergency rulemaking does not automatically exempt a new project from the new standards.

Regarding stormwater, developers will not have to comply with the emergency rules if:

  1. The project needs FHA, Coastal Zone Management, Freshwater Wetlands, or Highlands approval and a complete application for such was submitted to NJDEP prior to the emergency rulemaking. See J.A.C. 7:8-1.6(b)2; or
  2. The project does not require any NJDEP approval and has already received certain local approvals pursuant to the Municipal Land Use Law (“MLUL”) (J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.) prior to the emergency rulemaking. See N.J.A.C. 7:8- 1.6(b)1.

As mentioned, municipalities will only have one year to amend their stormwater ordinances to account for the new rules.  However, the emergency stormwater rules will be effective immediately under the Residential Site Improvement Standards (“RSIS”), unless covered by N.J.A.C. 7:8-1.6(b)1, which supersede any municipal ordinance to the contrary and apply strictly to residential development (as opposed to non-residential development).

The NJDEP has already delayed filing the emergency portion of the PACT rules with the Office of Administrative Law at least once, and it is rumored it might happen again due to public outcry from entities such as the New Jersey Builders Association.  Others hear that the emergency rules will be filed sometime after Labor Day of this year.  In any event, those in the business of developing real property, including developers, builders, engineers, planners, and land use attorneys, must be aware of these emergency rules in order to anticipate how they will affect development projects moving forward and be able to swiftly adapt to avoid project delays.


The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and none of these materials are offered, nor should they be construed, as legal advice or a legal opinion based on any specific facts or circumstances.

June 27, 2022

William H. Dungey III, Esquire Joins Hyland Levin Shapiro

William H. Dungey III, Esquire has joined Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP as an associate and will continue his concentration in the areas of succession planning, trusts and estates litigation and real property taxation.

Prior to joining Hyland Levin Shapiro, William practiced at another South Jersey law firm. After law school, Will served as a Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Mark Cimino, J.T.C. Judge, New Jersey Tax Court and Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Probate Part.

“Will is a welcome addition to our firm’s robust succession planning, trusts and estates department,” said partner Steven Fabietti. “Our ability to assist clients in these critical practice areas is enhanced by the experience that Will brings to the firm.”

William is a graduate of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (J.D. 2019), and West Virginia University (B.A. 2015). In law school, he was an associate editor of the Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution and was Vice President and Treasurer of the Labor and Employment Law Society. He was a member of the Black Law Students Association and served as a student advocate for the Bet Tzedek Civil Litigation Clinic. He is admitted to practice in New Jersey.

Will is a member of the NJSBA Young Lawyers Division and the Camden County Bar Association.

He resides in Oaklyn, New Jersey. In his free time, Will enjoys cooking and distance running. He is a proud self-taught guitarist.

Will may be reached at dungey@hylandlevin.com or 856.355.2927.

May 12, 2022

Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP Attorney, Opeyemi (Yemi) Akinde Appointed New Lawyer Trustee for the Gloucester County Bar Association

Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP attorney, Opeyemi (Yemi) Akinde has been appointed a New Lawyer Trustee for the Gloucester County Bar Association and will serve on its Board for the 2022-2023 term.

For over 100 years, the Gloucester County Bar Association has served the community at large by improving access to the legal system, facilitating professionalism in the legal community, and promoting justice for everyone. Yemi has been a member of the Gloucester County Bar Association for the two years, since the start of her clerkship with Gloucester County Assignment Judge Benjamin C. Telsey.  She is also a member of the New Jersey Bar Association and the Burlington County Bar Association.

Yemi is an associate in the Litigation and Employment Practice Groups at Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP, and devotes her practice to assisting businesses navigate – or avoid – the many stages of commercial litigation. Yemi is a graduate of Rutgers Law School (J.D., 2020), receiving the Myron Harkavy Graduation Prize for Most Promise as a Trial Lawyer. While in law school, Yemi served as President of the Labor & Employment Law Society, Secretary of the Moot Court Board, and successfully competed on the Rutgers National Trial Team, winning awards from the American Bar Association and other renowned legal organizations.

Yemi can be reached at akinde@hylandlevin.com or (856) 355-2999.

May 9, 2022

Attorney, Natalia Teekah’s Article on Environmental Due Diligence in New Jersey published by WCRE InfoFriday

The article titled “Environmental Due Diligence in New Jersey” was published in the WCRE’s InfoFriday|May 6, 2022 newsletter.  Natalia focuses her practice on environmental and land use matters.  She has experience in handling a wide range of environmental issues.

Please contact Natalia directly at 856.355.2935 or by email at teekah@hylandlevin.com if you have any questions.

 

April 29, 2022

Partner Megan Knowlton Balne Receives The Katherine D. Hartman Outstanding Woman in the Profession Award

pic_megan_balne_newHyland Levin Shapiro LLP is pleased to announce that partner, Megan Knowlton Balne, received the Katherine D. Hartman Outstanding Woman in the Profession Award.  The Katherine D. Hartman Outstanding Woman in the Profession Award was created in 2015 by the Burlington County Bar Association’s Women in the Profession Committee.  The award honors a woman in the legal profession who demonstrates outstanding leadership, dedication, mentorship and service to the Burlington County Bar Association and the surrounding community.

“I am very humbled to be chosen as this year’s Woman in the Profession by the Burlington County Bar Association and it is an honor to be listed alongside the prior award recipients,” Balne states.  Balne received the award at a reception on April 27, 2022 attended by members of the bench and bar of Burlington County.  In her remarks accepting the award, Balne emphasized the importance of mentorship in her career and how she strives to be an example to others in the profession.

Megan leads the Employment Law Group at Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP, and devotes her practice to helping businesses stay compliant and grow sustainably.  Megan is a graduate of Rutgers University School of Law-Camden (J.D., magna cum laude, 2010) and Ramapo College (B.A. summa cum laude, 2007).  In 2016, Megan was recognized as New Leader of the Bar by the New Jersey Law Journal.  In 2019, Megan received the New Jersey State Bar Association Professional Achievement Award, and in 2020, Megan was recognized as a 40 Under 40 Award Recipient by NJ Biz.  Megan is the Chair of the Legal/Legislative Committee of the Human Resources Association of Southern New Jersey and will be installed as the Vice President of the Burlington County Bar Association in June.

Megan can be reached at balne@hylandlevin.com or (856) 355-2936.

April 4, 2022

Beau C. Wilson, Esquire Joins Hyland Levin Shapiro

Beau C. Wilson, Esquire has joined Hyland Levin Shapiro LLP as an associate and will continue his concentration in commercial litigation.

Prior to joining Hyland Levin Shapiro, Beau served as Deputy Attorney General at the Office of the Attorney General in Trenton, New Jersey where he represented state agencies in the Office of Administrative Law, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, the New Jersey Supreme Court, the New Jersey District Court, and the United States Supreme Court.  He also counseled the Department of Community Affairs and its various subdivisions and the Department of State regarding the enforcement or defense of their statutes and regulations.

“We are delighted to have Beau join our active and growing commercial litigation department. He brings a wealth of experience from his work with the State, and we look forward to his contributions to our clients’ successes”, said Managing Partner, Benjamin Levin.

Beau is a graduate of Temple University Beasley School of Law (J.D. 2017), and Messiah College (B.A. 2011).  At Temple, he was the recipient of the Harriet Robinson Gillock Memorial Award and was a Rubin Public Interest Law Honor Society Fellow and member of the Moot Court Honor Society.  After law school, Beau clerked for Superior Court Judge Jean B. McMaster, J.S.C., Civil Division and later interned at the Face to Face Legal Center of Philadelphia as well as the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.  He is admitted to practice in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

He resides in Haddon Township with his wife and son.  In his free time, Beau enjoys playing tennis, going on hikes, and attempting to convince his family that his dad jokes are, in fact, funny.

Beau may be reached at wilson@hylandlevin.com or 856.355.2931.

January 13, 2022

SUPREME COURT ISSUES OPINIONS REGARDING COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATES

What Happened?

The Supreme Court issued two opinions today in the highly-watched cases regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates.  Addressing the nation-wide vaccine mandates issued by OSHA covering employers with 100 or more employees, the Court found that the mandate exceeded OSHA’s statutory authority.  Specifically, the Court held that requiring vaccinations for all employees went far beyond addressing occupational hazards and regulating the health and safety of employees.

Why It Matters?

With the stay of the OSHA vaccine mandate upheld, covered employers are no longer under any compliance obligations previously imposed by the mandate.  Employers should, however, be prepared for new potential obligations as it is presumed that the Biden Administration could pursue executive action to implement its vaccination goals. Similarly, states and local governments will likely continue to issue their own vaccine mandates targeting specific industries or locations such as food establishments.

What Should you Do?

In a second opinion, the Court denied the stay targeting the CMS vaccine mandate applicable to healthcare facilities that receive federal funding.  The Court held that the unique and specific nature of healthcare facilities permitted this type of mandate and was within the applicable statutory authority of CMS.  As a result of this decision, covered health care employers will need to abide by the CMS vaccine mandate and do so by the first compliance date of January 27, 2022.  By that date covered employers are required to have developed and implemented policies and procedures addressing vaccinations and that all staff either: (a) have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine; (b) have a pending request for a qualifying exemption; (c) have been granted a request for a qualifying-exemption; or (d) Have identified as meriting a temporary delay as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Additional compliance deadlines will then follow.


HLS employment practice routinely assists employers in staying up to date and compliant with all COVID-related regulations and guidance.

Please feel free to contact Megan Knowlton Balne of Hyland Levin Shapiro’s employment practice group to answer any questions you may have.

December 21, 2021

OSHA Resumes Implementation and Enforcement of Vaccine Mandate

On Friday, December 17, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals dissolved the Fifth Circuit’s stay of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), and reinstated the ETS’ “vaccine or test” requirements for private employers with 100 or more employees.  Just hours after that decision, the first of several emergency appeal applications to the United States Supreme Court were filed.

Despite those legal challenges and impending Supreme Court action, OSHA announced that it would resume implementation and enforcement of the ETS.  OSHA has granted employers a limited grace period to achieve compliance with the ETS’ requirements and set new compliance dates.  The ETS’ original compliance dates, as discussed in greater in our prior alert, were December 6, 2021 and January 4, 2022.  Those dates have been extended, and the new compliance dates are January 10, 2022 and February 9, 2022.  Granted, however, that the extension to February 9, 2022, for the enforcement of the ETS’ testing requirement is only applicable to employers who are actively working towards compliance with the ETS.

Covered employers must implement the required policies, identify and record the vaccination status of all employees, and be prepared to comply with information requests from employees and OSHA by January 10.  Employees must have received their primary vaccination series (i.e. a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines) by February 9, 2022.  Any employee who has not completed their primary vaccination series by February 9, 2022, will be required to undergo weekly testing in accordance with the ETS.  An employer who is not working towards compliance, will be subject to citation for violation of the ETS’ testing requirements prior to the extended deadline of February 9, 2022.

Although the legal battle will continue and the ultimate fate of the ETS is unknown, it is clear that OSHA will enforce the ETS as soon as possible.  Employers should respond accordingly and either resume or restart their compliance efforts to ensure they meet the ETS’ new deadlines.

For more information on compliance with the ETS, see our prior E-Alert, HLS Employment Law Update – OSHA ETS.

November 24, 2021

Partner, David R. Dahan Appointed President Elect for Keystone Chapter of CAI

pic_david_dahan_newWe are pleased to share some very exciting news about our partner, David R. Dahan.  David has been a Member of the Board of Directors for the Keystone Chapter of the Community Associations Institute (“CAI”) for about 5 years.  CAI is an international trade organization for community associations.  CAI promotes certain legislation which favors associations, opposes legislation which is contrary to the interests of associations and provides various education and networking events for the industry.  David was recently notified that he has been appointed as President Elect for 2022 and will serve as President of the Chapter for 2023.  This is in addition to his continued role as a Member of the Chapter’s Finance Committee and Executive Committee.  David will also serve as a Member of the Board Development Committee and the 2022 liaison for the Member Engagement and Golf committees.