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News of the Law Firm


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Koutsouris Named One of New Jersey’s Ten Best DWI Attorneys by American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys.

Firm Partner Christopher K. Koutsouris was recently named one of New Jersey’s Ten Best DUI/DWI attorney’s for exceptional and outstanding client service by the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys.  Mr. Koutsouris is a Certified Municipal Law attorney by the New Jersey Supreme Court.  Mr. Koutsouris serves as municipal prosecutor in numerous municipalities in Mercer County and handles criminal defense matters throughout the state.

Mr. Koutsouris focuses his practice in the areas of criminal and municipal court defense, civil litigation, which includes personal injury, employment law, and Social Security Disability applications & appeals.


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Firm Scores Two Victories in the Third Circuit

The Firm recently secured victories in two companion cases before the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In Smith v. Stafford Township and Guadalupe v. Stafford Township the plaintiffs challenged the promotional exams administered by Stafford Township.  The Firm, representing the township and its police chief, was granted summary judgment before the district court and the plaintiffs appeal.

The Third Circuit consolidated the cases and issued one opinion. The panel found that the plaintiffs’ failed to avail themselves of the procedural remedies available in the exam process and failed to assert a constitutional due process claim.  The Third Circuit affirmed the district courts’ dismissal of the complaints with prejudice.

Firm partner Christopher J. Dasti represented the township and police chief in both matters.

 


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Firm Successful in Defending Land Use Approvals at Trial

The Firm  successfully defended land use board approval of a hotel at trial.  In CT TR Holdings, LLC et als. v. Toms River Twp. Planning Board, et als. the firm successfully defended its client, the Toms River Township Planning Board’s approval of a land use application for site plan and variance approval for a hotel.

The court concluded at trial that the board considered and found substantial credible evidence to support the grant of the variances, that the benefits of the application substantially outweighed the detriments, and that the impact upon the residential neighborhood was insubstantial.  Therefore, the court affirmed the determination of the planning board and dismissed the complaint.

The case was argued by Gregory P. McGuckin and the briefs were prepared by Martin J. Buckley.


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Firm Victorious in Land Use Trial

The Firm recently won a land use challenge in Superior Court.  In Lakewood Realty Associates v. Lakewood Township Planning Board, et al. the Firm successfully defended its client, the Lakewood Township Planning Board’s land use approvals to an applicant for preliminary and final major site plan approvals and bulk variances.

The court found that the planning board properly considered the testimony at the hearing and weighed the positive and negative criteria required for variance approval.  The court also found that the board’s resolution of approval adequately set forth the legal and factual findings of the board in approving the application.  Therefore, the court affirmed the determination of the board and dismissed the complaint with prejudice.

The case was argued by Jerry J. Dasti and the briefs were prepared by Martin J. Buckley.


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NJILGA Authors Article on Dasti’s Stickel Award

The New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys (NJILGA) has published an article on the Firm’s partner Jerry J. Dasti’s receipt of the Fred G. Stickel Award.  The NJILGA awarded the Stickel Award to Dasti at the NJILGA’s annual conference in Atlantic City on November 18, 2016.

The award is named in honor of Fred G. Stickel, III, who practiced municipal law for over fifty years and was counsel to the New Jersey State League of Municipalities for many years. As a prominent member of the public sector bar, Fred Stickel donated countless hours to advance the orderly operation of local governments in New Jersey.

The annual award is given by the NJILGA to a member of the New Jersey bar who has demonstrated excellence in the field of public sector law and has contributed time and effort to advance the interests of municipal law.

The NJILGA’s article can be viewed at: http://www.njilga.org/stickel-award.html.


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Dasti Receives Award From Institute of Local Government Attorneys

On November 17, 2016 Managing Partner Jerry J. Dasti received the Fred G. Stickel Memorial Award from the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys (NJILGA).  The award was presented at the annual meeting of the NJILGA at the New Jersey League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City.

The Fred G. Stickel Memorial Award  is an annual award that has been created by the NJILGA to honor a member of the New Jersey bar who has demonstrated excellence in the field of public sector law and has contributed time and effort to advance the interests of municipal law.  The award is named in honor of Fred G. Stickel, III who practiced municipal law for over 50 years and was counsel to the New Jersey State League of Municipalities for many years.

Dasti has represented local governing bodies, planning and zoning boards, and utility authorities throughout the state for nearly 40 years.  His experience includes fourteen reported decisions dealing with local government law, including three New Jersey Supreme Court cases.


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Firm Scores Dismissal of Negligence Case

The Firm recently achieved dismissal of a negligence case in Superior Court.  In Henderson v. Barnegat Township, the plaintiff alleged negligence on the part of Barnegat Township and its police officers as a result of injuries he sustained from a motor vehicle accident in another town, Jackson Township.  The plaintiff admitted to driving while under the influence of heroine and alleged Barnegat Township police officer’s allowed him to drive from his residence while under the influence.  The Firm, representing Barnegat Township, filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that there was no evidence in the record that plaintiff was under the influence at the time township police officers made contact with him at his parents’ home.  The court agreed finding that the record in the case was clear that the witnesses at the scene, which included the plaintiff’s family, had no evidence he was under the influence at the time the police officers investigated the matter.  There was no casual link to the actions of the police officers and plaintiff’s subsequent motor vehicle accident hours later in Jackson Township.  The court granted summary judgment and dismissed the case.

After the court granted the motion for summary judgment, the plaintiff filed a motion to vacate the judgment alleging that his newly produced expert report was “newly discovered evidence” that warranted re-opening the case.  The Firm vigorously opposed the motion arguing that the expert report was not newly discovered evidence warranting vacating the court’s previous dismissal of the case.  Rather, the expert report was expert opinion evidence and did nothing to change the court’s early determination in dismissing the case because there was no evidence that the plaintiff was under the influence of heroine when the police officers investigated the matter.  The court once again agreed and denied plaintiff’s motion to re-open the case.

The Township was represented on the matter by Partner Christopher J. Dasti.  Mr. Dasti prepared the briefs and argued the motions.