Posted by: Patricia Salkin | December 14, 2018

NJ Appellate Court Find No Conflict for Law Firm Representing Both Sides to Same Real Estate Transaction

This post was authored by Touro Law student Thomas Brown, ’20

In an unpublished per curiam opinion, a New Jersey appellate court found that it was not a conflict for the same law firm representing both sides to the same real estate transaction.  Here, plaintiffs challenged a resolution authorizing the sale of six properties owned by the City of Orange Township to a redeveloper, alleging, among other things, that there was a conflict of interest because the same law firm represented both the City and the redeveloper in this sale. However, the court reasoned that this dual representation alone was not sufficient to find a conflict of interest that would warrant the resolution to be voided or the agreement between the City and the redeveloper to be rescinded. Rather, to find a conflict of interest in this case, the court would have had to find that the conflict actually affected the resolution.   The court held that there was no evidence that the law firm’s actions were detrimental to the City’s interests or favorable to the redeveloper’s interests. Additionally, Plaintiffs did not show the City and the redeveloper’s interests and positions in the agreement were detrimental to the public in any way.  Thus, there was no basis to void the resolution or rescind the agreement.

Four Felds, Inc. v. City of Orange Twp., 2016 WL 3434417 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 6/23/2016)

 


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