Our Areas of Practice
Municipal Courts deal with, among other things, traffic offenses, criminal matters of a non-indictable nature, neighbor-to-neighbor disputes, domestic violence, and Municipal Ordinance violations. One must be represented in Municipal Court by an experienced attorney who understands the nature of the charges, the legal defenses to those charges, and the procedural issues to ensure that one’s constitutional rights are adequately protected and that fairness and justice prevail.
Our firm handles the entire range of Family Court matters, including divorce, custody, adoptions, domestic violence, and post-Judgment applications, as well as matters involving the negotiation, preparation, and enforcement of premarital agreements. We have also advised clients in domestic partnerships and civil unions, where the law constantly evolves.
We provide aggressive representation to our clients, but our reputation for sensitivity and integrity in this highly emotional area is why clients consistently choose and refer others to our firm to resolve their family law matters.
Our firm represents many businesses and individuals in litigation and alternate dispute resolution processes, such as Mediation and/or Arbitration, including actions involving breach of contract, creditor actions (for both Plaintiffs and Defendants), lease agreement disputes, financing agreement disputes, ownership, partnership and shareholder disputes/litigation, real estate disputes, specific performance actions, quiet title actions, commercial contract disputes involving secured transactions, construction and contractor disputes, as well as many other types of commercial litigation.
Our firm represents small, medium-sized, and large businesses in all aspects of business law and transactions. We provide legal services to new businesses and established businesses and family-owned, privately held, and publicly traded companies.
We understand corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other forms of business entities, and can advise our clients on the proper form of business entity to meet their objectives and prepare the necessary documents to form and organize the entity and work with our clients and their accountants, bankers, insurance brokers, and others to get the business started in the right direction.
Creditors' rights are the legal tools and procedures available to protect the ability of creditors (persons and entities who are owed money) to collect the debt they are owed. These may include the ability of a creditor to put a lien on a debtor's property; to effect a repossession or seizure and forced sale of the debtor's property; to effect a garnishment of the debtor's wages, and to have certain purchases or gifts made by the debtor set aside as fraudulent conveyances. A particular creditor's rights usually depend partly on the reason for which the debt is owed and the terms of any writing memorializing the debt.
Our firm is able to manage a large volume of commercial collection work, using our experienced staff to successfully move cases forward and negotiate settlements. We perform thorough pre and post-judgment collection activities, from negotiating settlements, obtaining judgments, and performing wage garnishments, to pursuing fraudulent conveyances and asset seizures.
We offer a range of billing choices, including contingent fees, flat fees, and hourly fee arrangements to help our clients manage their litigation expenses.
Our firm handles all aspects of residential and commercial real estate transactions in New Jersey and New York. We assist clients in purchasing, selling, leasing, and financing residential and commercial real estate, and provide clients with quality, sophisticated and cost-effective legal representation in this area.
We have experience negotiating and preparing purchase and sale agreements for commercial and residential real estate transactions. We also negotiate and prepare commercial and residential leases.
We assist with the contract, leasing, and conveyance laws, environmental laws, land use laws, bankruptcy laws, brokerage laws, mortgage foreclosure laws, and the Uniform Commercial Code. as well as preparation, filing, and processing of documentation for land use and zoning transactions before appropriate Municipal Government agencies, such as the Planning Board and Zoning Board.
Estate planning begins with analyzing one’s assets and liabilities, tax and non-tax concerns, including family considerations, and reviewing the client’s overall objectives. It also includes planning for the management of one’s personal and financial affairs in the event of incapacitation. A client’s estate planning documents should consist of a Will and/or Trust that addresses the tax and non-tax concerns, a General Durable Power of Attorney, and an advance directive or healthcare proxy (Medical Power of Attorney and Living Will) if the client so desires.
The laws and tax provisions that apply to many available estate planning techniques are constantly changing. Our firm can assist clients and their families in implementing comprehensive plans. We also often work with the client’s accountants to accomplish these goals and outside professionals with whom we are associated in the tax and estate planning arenas.
Probate and Estate Administration
Probate is the procedure of presenting a decedent’s Will to the Surrogate of the county where the decedent resided and asking the Surrogate to declare the Will valid, admit it to probate, and qualify a personal representative (i.e., an Executor). In New Jersey, this process generally takes less than 15 minutes and costs merely a few hundred dollars. In other states such as New York, the probate process is Court-supervised and can take much more time and cost a significant amount of money.
If someone dies without a Will (referred to as intestate), his or her estate is subject to Administration, which includes the process of gathering together the decedent’s assets and liabilities, satisfying all debts and expenses, filing estate tax returns, if necessary, paying the taxes, if any, and distributing the remainder of the estate per the decedent’s Will, or in the case of an intestacy, according to the applicable statutes. Our firm can help you understand the law and make the most appropriate decisions for you and your family.
Our personal injury practice offers comprehensive client service to people who need help with their damages claims. This means that you can count upon us not only for advice and representation on your legal position but also for assistance with the other problems associated with you and your family after an accident. These issues might include problems with insurance coverage, medical benefits, life insurance, or workers’ compensation.
We represent individuals in a wide range of personal injury cases and claims against insurance companies for failure to honor their contracts to provide benefits.
Zoning, Land Use, and Development
Our firm represents individuals, developers, and businesses who own property that is either not being put to its best use or requires development. Land Use Law is the area that addresses issues involving zoning, site plan applications, subdivision applications, use and bulk variance applications, and related land use issues. Frequently, the process of obtaining approvals for new developments, new construction, or home improvements requires the interaction of owners, their professionals, and local and state governmental bodies, and an analysis of the local and state rules and regulations related to land use.
Our firm can assist you in navigating the myriad of laws, rules, and regulations relating to land use. We provide a comprehensive review of your municipality’s Zoning Ordinance to help you develop an appropriate plan. We coordinate efforts with your other professionals, such as architects and engineers, to obtain approvals and development.
Our firm represents clients injured while performing duties within the scope of their employment, who may be entitled to lost wages due to their disability, as well as a permanent partial disability award. A permanent partial disability award compensates the employee for any partial and permanent loss they suffer to their body as a result of the work injury. In rare cases, a client may be deemed totally disabled, depending on the severity of the work accident, in which case they may be entitled to lifetime benefits.
Our firm handles all aspects of workers’ compensation matters on behalf of petitioners, including investigation and gathering of medical records related to the work injury, petitions to demand payment of lost wages while out of work, scheduling of expert medical examinations to determine the extent of disability, and negotiation of the amount of permanent partial disability awards.
Alternate Dispute Resolution
Alternate dispute resolution is an integral part of our practice. The firm's principal, Charles A. Gruen, serves as a Court-appointed and private Mediator and Arbitrator. Representation is also offered to clients in the alternate dispute resolution process.