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Michael B. Kates

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Michael B. Kates specializes in municipal law and, zoning and planning, representing municipalities, zoning and planning boards, a wide range of developer interests, neighbors in opposition to deleterious development, redevelopment projects, and environmental groups. He sits on the prestigious Technical Review Committee of the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, which authored the Municipal Land Use Law and is advisory to New Jersey Legislature. He is also a contributor to the definitive text on the subject, New Jersey Zoning and Land Use Administration by Cox & Koenig, and he has served as an adjunct professor of Rutgers University, Center for Government Services. In 2003, he became General Counsel to New Jersey Planning Officials, a State-wide organization of municipalities, planning and zoning boards, and land use practitioners, primarily engaged in educational programs for members of land use agencies. Today he is General Counsel Emeritus.

Mr. Kates also specializes in chancery litigation, constitutional litigation and individual rights. He participated in the formation of Advance Housing, Inc., a consortium of mental health agencies in Bergen County which develops supportive housing alternatives for the mentally ill, principally with Federal and State grants. His partner, Bruce L. Nussman, is now General Counsel to Advance Housing.

Mr. Kates is the author of "An Ethical Lapse and its Effect on a Municipal Contract",Municipal Law Review , Volume 17, No. 2 (June, 1994); "Pop Quiz: Spot the Poison Pill', Conflict of Interest", New Jersey Law Journal , January 25, 1993 (133 N.J.L.J. 236); "Civilian Complaint Review Boards - A Prototype", Municipal Law Review , Vol 14, No. 1 (March 1992); "Private Clubs Which Discriminate: Can Liquor Licenses be Withheld by the Municipality?", Municipal Law Review , Vol. 12, No. 4 (December 1990); and "Public Relations and Public Information Services - To Bid or Not to Bid', Municipal Law Review , Vol. 12, No. 4 (December 1990).

A graduate of Colgate University (B.A., 1964), Mr. Kates received his Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University, School of Law, in 1967. He served a legal clerkship in 1967-68 with the Hon. Theodore W. Trautwein, Superior Court of New Jersey. He served on the Ethics Committee, District VI (Hudson County), by appointment of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, 1988-92; and is a member of American Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association and Bergen County Bar Association. Mr. Kates is also a member of the Bars of the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Mr. Kates is a past-president of Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson, and past-president of J-ADD, an organization providing Kosher homes for the developmentally disabled.

Mr. Kates represented homeowners in arbitration proceedings against Brunelleschi Construction, LLC, which had contracted to renovate a home in Tenafly, New Jersey at a cost of $200,000+. The homeowners were awarded $857,894 by the arbitrator against Brunelleschi, as well as HGTV "Kitchen Cousins" John Colaneri of Ramsey and Anthony Carrino of New Jersey, who were principals or employees of Brunelleschi. The arbitration award on July 23, 2015 included the costs to remediate and complete the home improvements, as well as damages for consumer fraud.

Areas Of Practice

  • Municipal Law
  • Zoning and Planning
  • Chancery Litigation
  • Constitutional Litigation
  • Individual Rights

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1968
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 3rd Circuit, 1984
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1989

Year Joined Firm

  • 1969

Education

  • Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Law - Newark, Newark, New Jersey
    • J.D. - 1967
  • Colgate University
    • B.A. - 1964

Representative Cases

  • Kinderkamack Road Associates, LLC v. Mayor and Council of Borough of Oradell, 421 N.J. Super. 8 (App. Div. 2011)
  • Robinhood Plaza, Inc.et al. v. City Council, Jersey City, Unreported, Law Division 2015
  • Avery v. Brunelleschi Construction

Honors and Awards

  • New Jersey Super Lawyers
  • AVVO Rating 2016- "Superb" (9.3/10)

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • District VI (Hudson County) Ethics Committee, Member by appointment of the Supreme Court of New Jersey, 1988 to 1992
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Member
  • Bergen County Bar Association, Member
  • Jewish Family Service of Bergen and North Hudson, Past President
  • UJA Association for Developmental Disabilities, Past-President

Past Employment Positions

  • Law Clerk to the Hon. Theodore W. Trautwein, Superior Court of New Jersey, 1967 to 1968

Published Works

  • An Ethical Lapse and its Effect on a Municipal Contract, Municipal Law Review, Volume 17, No. 2, June, 1994
  • Pop Quiz: Spot the 'Poison Pill' Conflict of Interest, New Jersey Law Journal (133 N.J.L.J. 236), January 25, 1993
  • Civilian Complaint Review Boards - A Prototype, Municipal Law Review, Vol. 14, No. 1, March, 1992
  • Private Clubs Which Discriminate: Can Liquor Licenses be Withheld by the Municipality, Municipal Law Review, Vol 12, No. 4, December, 1990
  • Public Relations and Public Information Services - To Bid or Not to Bid, Municipal Law Review, Vol 12, No. 4, December, 1990