As the third installment in the series, “From Ink to Occupancy, A Game Plan for a Successful Real Estate Project,” stemming from the Gibbons Women’s Initiative Seminar Series held in May, this blog addresses the question of whether title review alone is sufficient for purposes of ascertaining what restrictions are in place for a property being acquired. The simple answer is NO. All too often commercial buyers anxious to close on a property take shortcuts and limit their due diligence to title review as opposed to conducting land use due diligence. This blog explains why, particularly in New Jersey, it is critical to conduct land use and zoning due diligence in addition to title review prior to the acquisition of a property, so that you can be fully aware of any potential restrictions impacting the property.
In a recent decision of the Superior Court of Connecticut, Fairfield Judicial District, captioned Urban Girls, Inc. v. Zoning Board of Appeals of Bridgeport, the Court was confronted with an interesting set of issues involving the intersection of the alleged lapse of a nonconforming use and the resulting loss of the right to utilize a liquor permit. The Court found that the Zoning Board of Appeals applied the incorrect standard by following the Bridgeport zoning regulations, which had not been amended to reflect amendments to the State’s zoning laws. Thus, the matter was remanded to the Zoning Board of Appeals to make a determination on whether there was an intent to abandon the nonconforming use, which would be determinative on the status of the liquor permit.
Russell Bershad, Co-Chair of the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, was featured as an Industry Leader in the August 25, 2010, issue of Real Estate Weekly. Real Estate Weekly noted, “In one of the most challenging real estate environments in recent history, Bershad has expanded what is one of New Jersey’s busiest regional practices.”
A Michigan court dismissed a juror who during the trial posted on Facebook, “gonna be fun to tell defendant they’re guilty.” A New Jersey Appellate Court holds it is alright to google jurors’ names during jury selection. Carino v. Muenzen, App. Div. August 30, 2010. The upshot is that the internet is moving into the jury box. In Carino, the plaintiff’s attorney used the court’s wi-fi to access the internet on his laptop. The court, ever hip, asked if he was googling the potential jurors. The trial court told him to put away the computer because he gave no notice he intended to google the jurors.