Our attorneys have experience with the full range of legal concerns faced by municipalities, from defending claims to establishing city-owned public entities. Our municipal clients retain us either as their city attorneys or for effective legal counsel in as great variety of matters. We have substantial experience representing both state and local government clients, and in dealing with municipal, county, and other governmental-related issues. We serve as counsel to the governing bodies and/or select agencies and boards of many municipal entities throughout Northern New Jersey. Our attorneys represent public sector entities in litigation involving personal injury claims, automobile liability claims, and other liability claims. The firm offers a full range of services to municipalities, including:
- Litigation support in the enforcement of local zoning and planning ordinances
- Consultation with all municipal departments regarding compliance matters, including zoning enforcement officers, building inspectors, planning boards and conservation commissions
- Conflict of interest opinions
- All aspects of employment of public employees
- Public construction and related contracts
While school districts deliver the gift of education to our children, that mission requires a variety of legal and business considerations. Winne Banta supports schools to allow them to provide the best education to their students. Our lawyers have worked for more than 25 years to satisfy the many diverse requirements of running an effective school — including those involving contractual, transactional, regulatory, labor, taxation, real estate and litigation issues. Several of our attorneys serve on school and municipal boards and donate their time, knowledge and resources to educational and children’s nonprofit organizations.
Through our multi-practice approach, our education lawyers develop comprehensive solutions to the unique issues that affect schools, including:
- Special education and bilingual education requirements — Our attorneys help school districts meet the state and federal requirements for providing students with disabilities access to free, appropriate education under the standards of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). In addition, we handle issues involving the schools’ legal accommodations of students with limited English proficiency (LEP).
- Student discipline — Our education lawyers help schools implement legal guidelines for disciplining disruptive students. We review zero tolerance policies to ensure adherence to legal standards regarding drug, alcohol and weapons laws, and we advise the school district when individual incidents arise.
- Lawsuits by parents and students— In partnership with our experienced litigation team, we defend school districts sued by parents and students and advise on individual cases that raise civil rights and constitutional concerns. We also provide meaningful risk management solutions to avoid disputes.
- Taxation questions — Our education attorneys confer with our taxation team to answer questions about the tax codes that apply to schools. We counsel schools on obtaining the greatest advantage through tax exemptions and deductions.
- Contract negotiations and transactions — Working with our real estate attorneys, we oversee contracts and transactions involving building acquisition, construction and maintenance. We have considerable experience with labor negotiations between teachers and schools.
- Teacher misconduct — The safety and well-being of students is of paramount concern to schools. This primary obligation must be balanced with teachers’ rights under employment and labor laws. We counsel on developing teachers’ conduct policies and employment handbooks. When a school suspects a teacher of misconduct, we make sure that everybody’s rights are protected.
Our public finance attorneys assist governmental entities throughout New Jersey (“Local Units”) primarily as bond counsel in the financing of capital improvements (including roads, bridges, schools, low-cost housing and wastewater systems) and noncapital purposes (including working capital and the payments of amounts owing to others for taxes levied) through the issuance of their bonds, notes or other obligations on a tax exempt or taxable basis (“Municipal Securities”). Additionally, we regularly serve as guarantor’s counsel, borrower’s counsel, underwriter’s counsel and trustee’s counsel in public finance transactions involving Local Units.
Our public finance attorneys also assist hospitals and businesses throughout New Jersey as borrower’s counsel in loan financings involving the New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority and the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.
Our public finance attorneys provide advice to Local Units on legal questions arising from the structure, security, tax, disclosure and regulatory compliance matters, as well as the effect of proposed legislation, relating to Municipal Securities. The firm has a contractual relationship with Perry E. Israel, Esq. (see, www.103law.com) to provide Special Tax Counsel services as needed.
Our public finance attorneys regularly appear before and represent Local Units in matters involving the Local Finance Board; the Division of Local Government Services in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs; and the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank. Additionally, we have represented Local Units and private clients in select matters involving the United States Internal Revenue Service, and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.