Monthly Archives: May 2024

Season 3, Episode 2

Riker Danzig partners Jim Lott and Diane Hickey were our special guests for the second episode of Season 3, moderated by our co-hosts Mike O’Donnell and Bethany Abele.  Jim and Diane practice in Riker’s Governmental Affairs practice with extensive experience in Land Use law, regularly dealing with disputes over title, and continually interacting with planning boards and the Department of Transportation at the intersection of title law and real estate development.

They explained to Bethany and Mike that most of their title examination for commercial development comes during thorough due diligence, whether for developers, lenders or investors, which serves to help avoid most title disputes. They advise as to the best courses of action to address a potential title issue in appearances before planning boards, from controversial warehouse projects, and commercial shopping centers to lighting applications for drive-up ATMs. Diane also addressed specific issues faced by cannabis licensees with applications before the local planning and zoning boards, when title insurance companies are not issuing policies because of federal law hurdles for real property transactions with cannabis uses.  Jim also provided insight on being attentive to DOT access rights for properties located along state highways when considering subdividing or changing lot lines, and dealing with easements in the planning board context.

Next, Mike interviewed then-associate Thomas Persico, who is now serving as Assistant General Counsel with JPMorgan Chase.  Tom explained the Community Wealth Preservation Program established by Governor Murphy early this year, which aims to intercept foreclosed-upon residential properties before public auction by giving first and second rights of refusal to purchase after foreclosure.  The goal of the program is to keep generational wealth within families.  Tom addressed how the Act works and the various restrictions, as well as how sales under the Program differ from other foreclosure sales.  Mike and Tom discussed the process of exercising the rights of refusal, exploring how sheriff’s offices are enforcing deed restrictions and addressing complaints.  They also identified areas of the Program that will likely be clarified in the future.