Christie Administration Releases Final Energy Master Plan

Author: Cynthia L. M. Holland, Esq.

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On December 6, 2011, the Christie Administration released its final Energy Master Plan (EMP), which details the Administration’s vision for the use, management, and development of energy in the State. The Administration initially released the EMP in draft form in June. Following the release of the draft EMP, the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) hosted three public hearings that were attended by over 400 individuals who provided verbal and written comments on the draft. The BPU then formed four technical working groups to provide specific recommendations on clean energy funding, alternate fueled vehicles, innovative technologies, and biomass. Many of the public comments and recommendations have been incorporated into the EMP.

Appellate Division Affirms Township’s Decision To Remove Police Officer From Employment

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Genova, Burns & Giantomasi recently secured a favorable decision in the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey for client Woodbridge Township. The case addressed a public employer’s ability to terminate an employee for unbecoming conduct occurring outside of the workplace. The Court ultimately affirmed a decision by the Civil Service Commission, which upheld the Township’s removal of a police officer following his role in a bar fight while off-duty. Genova, Burns & Giantomasi Associates, Nicholas J. Repici and Lawrence Bluestone represented Respondent, Woodbridge Township.

 

Freedom has its Price: Shareholders Seek Disclosure of Corporate Political Spending

Author: Jisha V. Dymond, Esq.

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Pay-to-play is the term used to describe the practice of making political contributions to candidates and elected officials in order to influence the awarding of lucrative government contracts. In the past few years, restrictions on the making of such contributions have flourished, particularly in the context of contracts related to the management of public pension plan assets and similar government investment accounts.

 

 

Social Media Posts Can Constitute Protected Concerted Action Under Section 7 of the NLRA: Implications for Employers

Author: James J. McGovern, III, Esq.

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A National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) administrative law judge (“ALJ”) recently held that employees who posted messages on a co-worker’s Facebook page in response to criticisms from another employee were protected under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) as engaging in concerted activity. Hispanics United of Buffalo Inc., N.L.R.B. ALJ, No. 3-CA-27872, 9/2/11 [released 9/6/11]. Hispanics of Buffalo (“HUB”) discharged five employees after they commented on a message posted on one employee’s Facebook page in defense of criticisms of their work.

 

2011 Year-End Tax Planning

Author: Judson M. Stein, Esq. and Jodi C. Lipka, Esq.

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Year-end tax planning is especially challenging this year because of uncertainty over whether Congress will enact sweeping tax reform that could have a major impact in 2012 and beyond. Even if there is no major tax legislation in the immediate future, next year Congress will still have to grapple with a host of difficult issues, such as whether to once again “patch” the alternative minimum tax (e.g., to avoid a drastic drop in post-2011 exemption amounts), what to do about the post-2012 expiration of the Bush-era income tax cuts (including the current rate schedules and low tax rates for long-term capital gains and qualified dividends), and the expiration of favorable estate and gift rules for estates of decedents dying, gifts made, or generation-skipping transfers made after December 21, 2012.

 

Jodi Lipka Published in New Jersey Law Journal

Author: Jodi C. Lipka, Esq.

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Firm Associate Jodi C. Lipka, Esq. authored an article featured in this week’s New Jersey Law Journal. Ms. Lipka’s article, “Proactive Planning: How to (Maybe) Avoid a Will Contest” was an inclusion in the NJLJ’s Estate Planning and Elder Law Supplement.

 

New Jersey Panel Announces Recommendations on Valuing State Leases

Author: Cynthia L.M. Holland, Esq.

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Concerns following lease negotiations between the State of New Jersey and Tennessee Gas Company in 2010 prompted the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to create an inter-agency panel, comprised of ten separate entities, tasked with evaluating the State’s leasing programs. On August 18, 2011, the panel released its report detailing new policy recommendations for valuing leases of State lands.

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