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2024 NJ Condominium Law

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  2024 NJ Condominium Law

Current Edition: 2024

Print Edition Commentaries Are Current Through:
255 N.J. 59; 476 N.J. Super. 301; L. 2023 c. 163

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Online Edition - via Gann's What's New Feature - is Current Through:

N.J. cases app'd for pub. on December 1, 2023; U.S. Sup Ct cases through 216 L.Ed.2d 1178; N.J. Chap. Laws through L. 2023 c. 130

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Synopsis  arrow
NJ Condominium Law

N.J. Condominium & Community Association Law
With revised Master Deed and By-law Provisions
By Wendell A. Smith, Dennis A. Estis & Christine F. Li

A practical treatise, by an expert in the field, this book contains a detailed discussion of the legal, financial, and marketplace requirements imposed on developers and the consequences of these requirements for lenders and individual unit purchasers. By means of a point-by-point treatment of the provisions of a master deed, by-laws and other critical documents, the book highlights solutions to problems frequently encountered in the creation and administration of common interest projects. It includes statutes, regulations, sample documents and discussions of significant cases.

About The Authors  arrow

Wendell A. Smith
N.J. Condominium and Community Association Law

Wendell A. Smith has specialized in real estate law for nearly all of his professional career. Admitted to the Bar in New Jersey in 1960 and in New York in 1966, he became a partner in Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith, Ravin, Davis & Himmel in 1968 and since that time has become New Jersey's leading authority in condominium and community association law. Before then, he served as Vice President and General Counsel for Levitt & Sons, Incorporated and for Boise Cascade Building Company.

A charter member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, Mr. Smith has been a frequent lecturer on condominium and common interest real estate law for many years. In addition to being a faculty member for seminars sponsored by the American College of Real Estate Lawyers, the American Bar Association, the national Law Reporter Conference of Community Associations Institute, the Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law of the American Bar Association, and the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Education, he has also spoken before many other professional and trade groups. In addition, the author was a founder and the charter President of the New Jersey Chapter of Community Associations Institute and currently is its General Counsel. Moreover, he has served its national organization as a member of the Board of Trustees, and as President of its Research Foundation. He is also one of two charter members from New Jersey elected to the College of Community Association Lawyers. Mr. Smith is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and was co-chair of the "Development, Operation and Management of Community Associations" Committee of the Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law of the American Bar Association. He was also Chair of the Section's "Common Interest Community Associations" Committee and was Vice Chair of the Common Interest Ownership Committee of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers.

Most recently, Mr. Smith was a member of the New Jersey Assembly Task Force to Study Homeowners Associations and serves as Vice Chair of the New Jersey Community Association Institute's Committee on the New Jersey Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act. He is also a board member of the New Jersey Council on Senior Housing, affiliated with the New Jersey Builder's Association and serves as a member of the State of New Jersey Continuing Care Advisory Council. In addition, since 1967 Mr. Smith has been continuously listed among the New Jersey real estate attorneys in "The Best Lawyers in America" published by Woodward/White, Inc.

During his professional career, Mr. Smith has represented developers, lending institutions and community associations involving well over 300 condominium, cooperative and other common interest developments ranging in size from 2 to over 8,000 units. In addition, he has gained significant practical experience as president of a large high-rise condominium complex, as custodial receiver for a sizable garden apartment condominium conversion project and as a professional consultant to developers, lenders and associations involved with distressed common interest developments, or difficult transition issues. Moreover, he frequently serves as an expert witness in community association litigation, at the request of private litigants or as a court appointed master.

Mr. Smith is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Michigan Law School and is a Trustee of both Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Dennis A. Estis
N.J. Condominium and Community Association Law

Dennis A. Estis has specialized for almost 30 years in the area of complex litigation, particularly relating to condominium and cooperative corporation law, real estate disputes, construction defects, utility law, and environmental and municipal issues. He is one of only eight members of the College of Community Association Lawyers from New Jersey. Mr. Estis was a member of CCAL's 2002 Law Forum Educational Planning Committee, as well as serving as a member of the faculty. He is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Community Association Law.

Mr. Estis served as lead counsel for builder/developers in connection with defects related to fire retardant treated plywood roof sheathing. He helped draft the Fire Retardant Treated Plywood Statute, Chapter 202 of the New Jersey Laws of 1991, and spearheaded the successful effort to overturn the regulations promulgated by the Department of Community Affairs. He has served as special counsel to the New Jersey Builders Association and as counsel to several New Jersey municipalities and one of the major sewerage authorities in New Jersey. He is co-author of Chapter 8, "Defending the Developer," of Condominium and Homeowner Association Litigation published by John Wiley & Sons.

Mr. Estis, commenced his law practice with the law firm of Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith, Ravin, Davis & Himmel in September 1973, and has been with that firm continuously since that date. He is admitted to the Bars of the State of New Jersey and New York, as well as the Federal District of New Jersey, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Estis has lectured extensively on condominium and cooperative law, alternate dispute resolution, construction law and real estate law before national and local chapters of the Community Associations Institute, the New Jersey Bar Association, the American Bar Association Litigation Section, the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and the ABA Forum Committee on the Construction Industry. He served as Co-Chair of the Construction Litigation Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association from 1996 to 1999. He has likewise been an active member of the Corporate Counsel Committee, the Commercial, Banking and Financial Transactions Committee, and the Trial Practice Committee of the Litigation Section. He served as Chairman of the Equity Jurisprudence Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and currently serves as President-Elect of the Middlesex County Bar Association, where he also serves as co-chair of its Professionalism Committee. He is also a member of the N.J. Bar's Construction and Public Contracts Section, and the ABA's ADR Section. He is an American Arbitration Association trained mediator and has served as an arbitrator, mediator and partnering facilitator in New Jersey. He has been a member of the Roster of Mediators for the Statewide Mediation Program for Civil, General Equity and Probate for the New Jersey judiciary for the past four years.

Mr. Estis, a 1969 graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, was a member of its Alumni Council from 1991-1996. He received his J.D. degree from New York University School of Law in1972, where he was a Root-Tilden and John Ben Snow Scholar. Mr. Estis served as President of the New Jersey Chapter of the Law School's Alumni Association and served as a Vice Chair of the New York University Alumni Council. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Philharmonic Orchestra of New Jersey.

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Christine F. Li
N.J. Condominium and Community Association Law

Christine F. Li has specialized in real estate law for over 25 years, concentrating her practice in condominium and planned real estate development law, including the conversion of residential rental, commercial and industrial properties to the condominium form of ownership; high-rise complexes; mixed use developments; commercial and business condominiums; workouts of distressed communities; community association law; and the registration of planned real estate developments with the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Ms. Li's practice also includes the acquisition and sale, financing, and leasing of commercial and residential real estate. Ms. Li represents developers, sponsors of the conversion of rental properties, community associations, and lending institutions in her practice.

Ms. Li is a member of the American College of Real Estate Lawyers and the College of Community Association Lawyers of the Community Associations Institute. She has been ranked in Chambers USA - America's Leading Business Lawyers as a leading lawyer in real estate law since 2006, and in The Best Lawyers in America in real estate law. She served as Chair of the Board of Consultors of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association for 2010 - 2011 and has served as a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association's Amicus Committee. Ms. Li is a member of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey and is listed in the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association's Directory of Asian Pacific American Partners and Senior Attorneys in Major U.S. Law Firms. In 2003, she was recognized in the New Jersey Law Journal's annual report on leaders among women and minority lawyers in New Jersey. In 2006, she was also recognized as one of New Jersey's prominent real estate lawyers by Real Estate New Jersey magazine. Ms. Li has been selected for inclusion in "Super Lawyers - New Jersey Edition" in Real Estate since 2008 and for inclusion in "Super Lawyers - Corporate Counsel Edition" since 2009. She has also been acknowledged as one of the State's Top 50 women lawyers for 2008 and 2011.

Ms. Li is the author of the "Common Interest Ownership in Commercial Real Estate" chapter of the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education's 2010 publication, Commercial Real Estate Transactions in New Jersey. She is the author of the textbook entitled, Real Estate Closing Procedures, Practical Skills Series, last published in 2010 by ICLE. She served as an instructor of the New Jersey Real Estate Law and Practice component of the Skills and Methods Course administered by ICLE from1998 to 2008. Ms. Li served on the Ad Hoc Committee on the Skills and Methods Course created by the New Jersey Supreme Court. In 2000, ICLE awarded Ms. Li a Distinguished Service Award for excellence in continuing legal education.

Ms. Li has served as an elected member of the Board of Directors and vice president of the New Jersey Chapter of the Community Associations Institute. Ms. Li is a mediator certified by the CAI in the area of alternative dispute resolution. She presently serves on CAI's Legislative Action Committee and previously served on several other committees, including its Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act Task Force, Education Committee, and Editorial Committee. Ms. Li has written extensively and lectured on condominium and community association law at numerous seminars conducted by the New Jersey Chapter of the Community Associations Institute, the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey Builders Association, the New Jersey Land Title Institute, the Middlesex County Bar Association, and other professional and trade organizations.

Ms. Li commenced her practice of law with the law firm of Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP in 1983. She is the Chair of the firm's Planned Real Estate Practice Group and Co-Chair of its Distressed Real Estate Practice Group. Ms. Li is admitted to practice in New Jersey and before the U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey. Ms. Li is a graduate of Rutgers College, Rutgers University, and received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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