Richard P. Cushing, President 
Richard P. Cushing
Welcome to the NJILGA website. We use this medium to effectively communicate with our members as well as provide them (read more)


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J. Peter Jost, Executive Director 
Peter Jost
Dear Colleagues – It’s my honor to serve as Executive Director of the Institute of Local Government Attorneys. I am also privileged to act as NJILGA’s “Webmaster.” We are pleased to present our revised and updated website, which we hope will enhance your membership experience. In the meantime, if you need any assistance in accessing your membership information or benefits, please feel free to contact me at 908-735-8876 or Send us an Email
Member Forum
More Online Resources for Local Government Attorneys

Discuss your local government issue or question with other NJILGA members.
Trishka W. Cecil, Editor
Municipal Law Year-End Review 
Trishka W. Cecil
Members can access summaries and commentary on important local government law cases and developments for 2020 and prior years. Available in the Member Section.

Local Government Law Review
The Local Goverment Law Review is a comprehensive review and analysis of legislative and court cases in NJ affecting municipal law. By joining NJILGA you too can have access to the information you need regarding New Jersey local government law and recent court cases
October 2021 Issue table of contents - PDF
Members - Full issue October 2021 Law Review
NJILGA Diplomate Certificate
Diplomate in Local Government Law is awarded by NJILGA. The Diplomate Program is a voluntary educational program that consists of six separate courses. The courses cover a broad area of municipal practice and are taught by attorneys or licensed professionals in their respective disciplines. The courses are...
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An Affiliate of
The New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys has been an affiliate organization of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities for many decades.
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NJILGA Seeks Volunteers For Amicus Cases
The New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys has been an affiliate organization of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities for many decades.
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More Online Resources for Local Government Attorneys
NJILGA Trustee Donald Scarinci and Scarinci Hollenbeck have created two valuable online resources: local government attorneys need these
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    SUCCESSFUL CLE PROGRAMS IN ATLANTIC CITY The New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys, in cooperation with the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, provided an extensive selection of CLE programs at the State League of Municipalities Conference in Atlantic City on November 17 & 18, 2021. A complete listing of the programs given, as well as the CLE credits available, is shown at the link below. All CLE programs were free to registrants of the League Conference. Attendees are reminded to log onto the League’s CEU tracking system to print out their certificates of attendance. Read More

    ANNUAL MEETING AND SOCIAL EVENT HELD IN ATLANTIC CITY The Annual Business Meeting of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys was held on Thursday, November 19, 2021, immediately following the conclusion of the Institute’s CLE Programs at the Convention Center in Atlantic City. Agenda items included the election of one half of NJILGA’s Trustees from all vicinages in New Jersey and other regular business. The following Trustees were elected for a two-year term from their respective vicinages: Richard J. Allen, Jr. (Bergen), David Frank (Burlington), James Burns (Camden), Jonathan E. Drill (Essex), Matthew Lyons (Gloucester/Cumberland Salem), Donald Scarinci (Hudson), F. Clifford Gibbons (Mercer), Michael J. Baker (Middlesex), Edward Purcell (Morris/Sussex), Dennis Galvin (Ocean), Joseph M. Wenzel (Passaic), Jolanta Maziarz (Somerset/Hunterdon/Warren), Bruce H. Bergen (Union) and Jennifer M. Eugene (At-Large Trustee). Following the Annual Meeting, the Institute’s Social Event was held at Ceasar’s Palladium C Ballroom. The agenda for the Social Event included the swearing in of newly elected Trustees, presentation of awards and enjoyment of the Institute’s famous lamb chops and other refreshments. The Institute thanks First Vice President and Event Chair Michele Donato and her Committee for their efforts in providing a comprehensive offering of successful CLE programs and a very enjoyable social event.
  • Special Recognition Award to Thomas Dunn

    Special Recognition Award to Thomas Dunn At the Institute’s Social Event on November 18, 2021 a Special Recognition Award was presented to Senior Trustee and retiring Editor, Thomas W. Dunn, in appreciation of his distinguished and dedicated service as Editor of the NJILGA Local Government Law Review from 2003 through 2021. Mr. Dunn assumed the position of Editor following Michael Pane, who served as Editor for many years prior to his death in 2003. Tom Dunn worked tirelessly during his tenure as Editor, leading a dedicated group of contributing editors and organizing and refining a wide range of legal analysis and commentary into a respected and important legal publication. NJILGA’s Board of Trustees is very grateful for Tom’s service.
  • William J. Hamilton, Jr. Receives Pane Award in Memoriam

    William J. Hamilton, Jr. Receives Pane Award in Memoriam The 2021 Michael A. Pane Ethics in Government Award has been presented posthumously to William J. Hamilton, Jr.of New Brunswick. The Pane Award, established by the Pane family and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, and administered by the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys and the NJLM, is given in honor or Michael A. Pane, Sr., who was a Past President of NJGILA, the long-time editor of the NJILGA Municipal Law Review, Counsel to the New Jersey Association of Municipal Clerks and Assistant Counsel to the NJLM, author of the Local Government Law volumes of the New Jersey Practice series, and a faculty member in the Institute’s Diplomate in Municipal Law Program. His contirubtions to local governemnt law scholarship were immense. He received the Fred Stickel Award for excellence in municipal law, the highest award given by the Institute, the President’s Distinguished Service Award from the League of Municipalities, the Achievement in Planning Award from the Association of New Jersey Planning Officials and the Frank J. Osborne Memorial Award in public health from the NJ Health Officers’ Association. The Pane Award honors a municipal professional who exemplifies the highest standards of ethics and whose work has significantly enhanced the integrity of local government. William Hamilton was former Speaker of the New Jersey Assembly and a State Senator representing parts of Middlesex and Somerset Counties. In 1981, he sought the Democratic nomination for Governor. He graduated from St. Peter’s High School, Rutgers University, Georgetown Universtiy Law School and received a master’s degree in history from Monmouth University. He served as an aviator in the U.S. Navy and later in the reserves, rising to the rank of Captain. In 1962 he was appointed First Assistant U.S. Attorney in Jacksonville by then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy. He prosecuted civil and criminal cases. In 1967 he returned to New Jersey where he established a private law practice, eventually speciailizing in municipal law. He served as Borough Attorney for Highland Park, Municipal Attorney for South Brunswick, Winfield Park and Carteret. He served New Brunswick as City Attorney from 1986 until he retired and later supported the City law department as Special Counsel until his death in 2019. He served on numerous boards of trustees, including the Crossroads Theatre Company and St. Peter’s Medical Center, Senior NJILGA Trustee and League General Counsel, Bill Kearns recounted both Michael Pane’s and Bill Hamilton’s distinguished backgrounds and numerous accomplishments. NJILGA Executive Director, Peter Jost, and NJILGA First Vice President, Michele Donato, also spoke of their personal impressions of Bill Hamilton’s exceptional ethics, integrity and sincerity. The Pane Award was accepted in memorium by Bill’s son, William J. Hamilton, III, on behalf of the Hamilton family. Also in attendance was current New Brunswick City Attorney, T.K. Shamy.

    NORTH JERSEY SOCIAL EVENT POSTPONED Dear Members -- The New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys and the Bergen County Bar Association are postponing our scheduled September 29, 2021 North Jersey Networking Social Event due to concerns with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Plans are being made to reschedule this event for the Spring of 2022.

    Thank you for your patience and we look forward to seeing you in the Spring,

    Edward W. Purcell, Esq., Chair

    NJILGA TO HOST NORTH JERSEY NETWORKING SOCIAL The New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys and the Bergen County Bar Association will host a North Jersey Networking Social Event on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Casual Habana Restaurant, 125 Main Street, Hackensack NJ 07601. Additional Parking: BCBA Offices, 15 Bergen St., Hackensack NJ 07601

    Admission is free for NJILGA members and non-members, and all local government attorneys are welcome.

    Meet, greet and network with your fellow North Jersey colleagues !

    There will be a cash bar and complimentary appetizers provided by our sponsoring law firms.

    Please R.S.V.P. by September 27, 2021 to .
  • NJILGA to Present Diversity Program – A Message from President Dick Cushing

    NJILGA to Present Diversity Program – A Message from President Dick Cushing Click here for presenter bio's and related references for today's meeting

    As part of its service to our members, the profession and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, I am pleased to announce that NJILGA’s Diversity Committee, headed by Jason Holt, and members Victor Afanador, Trishka Cecil, Elissa Schragger and Steve Kleinman, will be presenting an excellent, free, lunchtime seminar on diversity. Without spending a dime, it will fulfill your diversity ethics credits, but more importantly will help you guide your clients in the fraught areas of recognizing and avoiding inadvertent bias in word and deed. Whether you are right of Attila the Hun or left of Mao Zedong it is important to recognize when your foot, or your client’s, is about to explode a hidden bias mine. As lawyers we need, and are obligated by our ethics obligations, to know how to communicate in ways that don’t give offense because of preconceived notions about others. We also need to help our clients communicate in ways that don’t allow a language gaff to interfere with the intended message.

    Jason and his team have put together an impressive group of skilled communicators who will share their varied perspectives in an engaging manner. I think we will all leave the seminar with a more nuanced view of getting along in a new America. The investment of your time at lunch will be rewarding. In view of the timely importance of this program, we are also making it available to non-member attorneys and other public officials and employees.

    Richard Cushing, President .

    Click here for complete meeting information
  • NJILGA Announces Formation of Diversity Committee

    NJILGA Announces Formation of Diversity Committee The Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys (“NJILGA”) has formed its first Diversity Committee. The Committee, established in January 2021, is chaired by NJILGA Trustee Jason Holt and includes NJILGA Past President Trishka Waterbury Cecil, and Trustees Victor Afanador, Elissa Grodd Schragger and Steven Kleinman. The Diversity Committee will drive the core mission of educating, promoting and fostering diversity, equity and inclusion in legal business development and professional opportunities, as well as increasing diverse attorney visibility in NJILGA, public and private entities, and the practice of law at-large.

    NJILGA President Richard P. Cushing noted, “This committee is the latest in a series of efforts to champion and crystallize our organization’s commitment to inclusiveness and diversity within the public entity realm and the legal profession. In establishing this Committee, NJILGA is proud to continue its tradition of educating the next generation of attorneys and industry leaders within the State of New Jersey.”

    Newly appointed Chair of the Diversity Committee, Jason Holt stated, “I am honored and humbled to be chosen as this Committee’s leader. I am excited to work with my fellow committee members, esteemed legal professionals I call my peers, to continue promoting high standards, professionalism and competence while elevating NJILGA’s inclusiveness to new heights. We are excited to get to work.”

    NJILGA, an affiliate of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, was established in 1951 for the purpose of promoting education and professionalism among local government attorneys, and to assist members of the legal profession to better serve local governments in the State of New Jersey. It presently has a membership of approximately 300 attorneys engaged in the representation of various local government units in the State of New Jersey, including municipalities, counties, planning and zoning boards, utilities authorities, and other local government entities.
  • NJILGA Statement on Violence Against Asian-Americans

    Recently there has been a rise in acts of violence directed toward Asian American and Pacific Islanders. We call upon all likeminded Americans to stand in solidarity and condemn these and all acts of racism, hatred and bigotry. This organization joins with the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey ("APALA-NJ") and other bar associations in denouncing these criminal acts that directly contradict the tenets upon which our nation was founded. It is incumbent upon all of us to work to eliminate bias, promote the dignity of each person and elevate the moral and social consciousness of our profession, State and nation. We accomplish this goal by not merely tolerating others, but by respecting and embracing the beneficence of our differences.

    The New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys extends its heartfelt condolences to those who have suffered as victims of hatred, violence, loss and discriminatory treatment.

    NJILGA 2020 YEAR-END LAW REVIEW NJILGA Past President Trishka Waterbury Cecil has completed her annual Year-End Law Review for 2020 (a/k/a the “Big Book”) which is now available in the Members Section. At a webinar presented on November 19, 2020 at the New Jersey State League of Municipalities Virtual Conference, Trishka and NJILGA Treasurer Steve Goodell highlighted and discussed selected local government cases from the past year and entertained questions and comments from attendees. NJILGA thanks Trishka and Steve for their presentation and extends special recognition to Trishka for her extensive efforts in putting together this year-end compendium. Thank you Trishka ! Read More
  • Successful Zoom Conference Held for Members

    Successful Zoom Conference Held for Members The Legal Assistance Committee of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys conducted another Members Zoom Conference Call on September 9, 2020 to provide updates on the continued impacts of Covid-19 on local government operations and different ways of addressing same. Hosted by NJILGA President, John Gillespie, other topics for discussion were what actions a public body can take against one of its members for conduct it deems inappropriate or improper, current developments in the regulation of Small Cell Telecommunications Facilities (5G), and other issues raised by our members. The Members Call lasted 1 3/4 hours and was actively participated in by numerous attorneys. NJILGA thanks all who participated.

    NOTE: In order to avoid duplication of resources, we recommend that our members utilize the COVID-19 resource page located on the New Jersey State League of Municipalities website

    This content is for members in good standing. Please log in.

    If you would like to become a member, please click here.
  • Renaud Wins in NJ Supreme Court

    Renaud Wins in NJ Supreme Court NJILGA Past President, Robert F. Renaud, and the Renaud DeAppolonio firm have successfully overturned a decision of the Appellate Division, in a New Jersey Supreme Court appeal filed on behalf of Union Township (Union County). The issue in the appeal was whether a high-end restaurant operated by a for-profit entity but housed in a building on the Kean University campus qualifies for exemption from local property taxation. In its June 30, 2020 opinion the Supreme Court unanimously held that the accomplishment of a public purpose must be the paramount factor in an arrangement with a private entity's use of public property, and for a tax exemption to apply, any private advantage must be incidental or subordinate. The Supreme Court agreed with the Tax Court that the restaurant's interest in the property was accordingly not tax exempt. Mr. Renaud was assisted on the brief by Adam J. Colicchio. NJILGA congratulates Mr. Renaud and his firm on this important Supreme Court win. Read More
  • Successfully Conducting Remote Municipal Land Use Public Hearings

    Successfully Conducting Remote Municipal Land Use Public Hearings Frank Scangarella, Esq.
    June 1, 2020

    New Jersey municipal planning boards and zoning boards of adjustment (“Planning and Zoning Boards”) have struggled to meet their legal obligations in conducting public hearings during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Their obligations to conduct public meetings remotely in response to emergency orders requiring social distancing (Emergency Orders), has presented unique challenges for their compliance with the Municipal Land Use Law (“MLUL”) and the Open Public Meetings Act (“OPMA”). This article provides guidance to Planning and Zoning Boards in navigating the legal and technical issues necessary to successfully conduct remote meetings with a focus on public hearings of municipal land use applications pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-10 (“Public Hearing”). LOG IN TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.
  • Provided with Permission of Parker McCay Blog

    Provided with Permission of Parker McCay Blog From Courtroom to Court Zoom--Serving Justice Virtually duringCovid-19By Steven Goodell, Linda Galella on May 21, 2020

    Read More
  • Message From the President

    Message From the President Dear NJILGA Colleagues:

    In these most extraordinary and uncertain times, local government attorneys are challenged to offer solutions - - often untested, given the circumstances - - to clients responsible to service the general public. Read More
  • Trouble Receiving NJILGA E-mails?

    Trouble Receiving NJILGA E-mails? Dear Colleagues – Some of our members have reported that they have not been receiving e-blasts from NJILGA, or have been finding our e-mails in their “Junk Email” folders. To facilitate receiving our e-mails, please add the following address to your “E-mail Contacts” list: This should eliminate the problem.

    J. Peter Jost
    Executive Director
  • Free Employment Listings on NJILGA Website

    Free Employment Listings on NJILGA Website Dear Colleagues – This is just a reminder that the NJILGA website has a listing of Employment Opportunities for local government attorneys in the Members Section. If you are seeking a local government attorney to fill a position at your firm, please feel free to place an ad in our Members Section. It’s free!

    Ads may be submitted to our Executive Director, Peter Jost at


    John C. Gillespie, President

    STEVE GOODELL’S INSPIRING TALK NJILGA Officer Steven Goodell, Esq. was the guest speaker at the New Attorney Admissions Ceremony, December 4, 2019 at the Old Courthouse, Ceremonial Courtroom, in a ceremony sponsored by the Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem County Vicinage and the Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem County Bar Associations. Steve discussed his incredible journey to return to what he loves, the practice of law, following a horrific bicycle accident that left him permanently disabled. His story is truly inspiring. Steve currently serves as Treasurer of the New Jersey Institute of Local Government Attorneys (see articles below). Watch Steve’s talk at:
  • NJILA Trustee Vacancy in Atlantic-Cape May Vicinage

    NJILA Trustee Vacancy in Atlantic-Cape May Vicinage Any NJILGA member interested in being considered for nomination as a Trustee of the Institute from Atlantic-Cape May is invited to submit a resume or biographical information to Robert F. Renaud, Esq., Chair, Nominating Committee at . Trustee candidates must have an office or reside in the Atlantic-Cape May Vicinage. Trustees serve a term of two years. There are two trustees from each vicinage. Trustees are members of the Board of Directors of the Institute, the body which operates the Institute between annual meetings. The Trustees generally meet four times per year, in the evening. For additional information, contact Mr. Renaud.
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