ACC Focus on the New Jersey Chapter - January 7, 2011 (Print All Articles)
Happy New Year to everyone.
2011 is upon us. With the start of the new year, it’s the best time to seek out 2 important items.
First, we’re looking for a few good volunteers. We have numerous committees, events, etc. and we are always looking for new volunteers. So whether you’ve been with NJCCA for years or if you’re a newcomer, please don’t hesitate to come out and volunteer. Whether you have a specific specialty or just want to come out and “do something”, come on out and volunteer. Please contact our Executive Director, Gail Girard, or contact me directly.
Second, we’re also looking for a few great ideas. Whether it’s programs, events, etc. we want your ideas and we will listen. We are constantly looking for ways to improve NJCCA. We need your ideas. I look forward to working with and meeting all of you.
Happy New Year and may 2011 be a great year for NJCCA, its members and its sponsors.
Best regards, Evan
Beyond Solar: New Jersey’s Commitment to Renewable Energy
Lisa Bromberg and Steven Gouin
New Jersey is committed to a future that includes an efficient, cheap, clean, and accessible renewable energy system. Review an overview of the various opportunities available to New Jersey’s business community.
Faced with an overburdened power grid, rising energy prices, and a distressed economy, New Jersey is moving forward with an ambitious plan to implement a state-of-the-art renewable energy infrastructure. The goal is cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy. At the same time, the state government hopes to fuel a much-needed economic recovery by creating new jobs that will be relevant for years to come. By being proactive, New Jersey has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in solar power development. However, while solar power gets most of the media attention, its large-scale production remains costly. Because of the high costs, New Jersey is currently promoting many other forms of renewable energy. The following is an overview of the various opportunities, beyond investment in solar power, available to New Jersey’s business community.
In October 2008, New Jersey promulgated an Energy Master Plan that committed the State to an aggressive energy policy including wide-spread implementation of alternative energy technologies. Under the plan, twenty-percent of New Jersey’s energy demand must be provided by alternative energy sources by 2020. In addition, greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. The intent is to provide reasonably priced and reliable energy to the state’s homes and businesses. To that end, if the plan is followed, New Jersey’s homes and businesses stand to save more than $30 billion in total annual energy expenditures between 2010 and 2020.
To facilitate the plan’s goals and encourage investment in renewable energy, the state government, in partnership with the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, has made various tax credits and funding sources available. Under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, New Jersey has access to $73 million in federal grants to be devoted to renewable energy projects. The state is considering various approaches concerning how the money should be spent to ensure the funds achieve the highest possible energy efficiency and conservation benefits.
Already, New Jersey has instituted a Renewable Energy Incentive Program designed to improve the financial returns of renewable energy investments by offsetting the upfront costs of system installation. In addition, the Economic Development Authority has created Clean Energy Solutions, a suite of financing programs including interest-free loans and grants aimed toward commercial, industrial and institutional entities promoting the transition to renewable energy. Moreover, manufacturers of certain renewable energy or energy efficiency systems, products, or technologies may be eligible for up to $3.3 million in grants and interest-free loans through the Edison Innovation Clean Energy Manufacturing Fund. Finally, the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, a federal program, allows a taxpayer to obtain a tax credit equal to 30% of taxpayer’s investment in any qualified energy project. Such projects include geothermal, energy, fuel cells, grids to support the transmission of renewable energy and carbon capture devices.
In addition to those funding sources, many tax incentives have already been implemented and more are pending. For instance, New Jersey corporations may receive a credit of up to ten-percent of the cost for qualified geothermal property or up to 30% of the cost for qualified fuel cell property, qualified small wind energy property, or solar equipment. Further, the New Jersey Energy Production Tax Credit is an income tax credit based upon the amount of electricity produced from renewable resources including trash, biomass, wind, wave, geothermal and hydropower.
Companies interested in becoming involved with wind power generation may take advantage of New Jersey’s Wind Manufacturing Tax Credit, which affords tax benefits up to $100 million after an initial investment of $50 million and the creation of 300 new full-time jobs at a facility located within a qualified wind energy zone. Though not yet passed, a bill that would give businesses a reusable, fifty-percent corporate income tax credit to offset expenses incurred in purchasing or installing renewable energy systems has been introduced in the State Assembly.
As discussed above, these funding programs and tax incentives have aided New Jersey in becoming a national leader in solar power development. However, New Jersey’s renewable energy future will not be limited to solar power. A bill recently passed by the State Assembly would change the definition of “renewable energy source” to include green technologies such as fuel cells, nuclear power, and clean coal in addition to solar power, biomass fuels, and wind generation. Approximately one year ago, the state legislature passed a law allowing preserved farmland, normally deed-restricted to agricultural use, to be used for the installation and operation of biomass, solar, or wind energy generation facilities. Another new law prohibits municipalities from adopting ordinances that unreasonably limit the installation or performance of small wind energy systems. This past June, New Jersey, along with nine other East Coast states and the federal government, formed the Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy Consortium, a cooperative effort aimed at establishing commercial wind power development off the Atlantic coast.
A large-scale, inter-coastal wind generation facility may become a reality sooner than one might think. Notably, on August 19, 2010, Governor Christie signed the Offshore Wind Economic Development Act. Designed to spur the development of offshore wind energy, the Act establishes an offshore wind certificate program and makes financial assistance and tax credits available for businesses involved in the construction and manufacturing of qualified offshore wind projects.
More importantly, development of the East Coast’s largest (and only) off-shore electric grid is already underway. A group spearheaded by developer Trans-Elect and internet giant Google wants to launch the first stage of a $5 billion off-shore wind project off the coast of Atlantic City. This first of three stages would begin in 2013 and stretch between Atlantic City and Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Eventually, transmission lines harnessing as much power as nine nuclear power plants would stretch from the New Jersey Coast to Norfolk, Virgina. Unlike other proposed grids, the massive project would be based on DC, rather than AC, power, meaning the turbines could be moved farther out to sea and away from public view. Electric companies PSE&G and Fishermen Energy have already committed to building off-shore wind farms and will potentially tap into Trans-Elect’s grid. If all goes well, New Jersey could be the first to develop a major offshore wind industry that will attract new factories and jobs all along the East Coast. Overall, the project has received a great amount of praise, including the endorsement of Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
The New Jersey Legislature aims to pass legislation that will allow for shore-bound wind farms as well. On August 26, 2010, the State Senate unanimously passed legislation aimed at opening access to old landfills and quarries for developing renewable energy facilities. The bill would permit the construction of wind turbines on dozens of uncapped landfills. Additionally, the bill would allow development of renewable energy facilities in areas preserved under the Pinelands Comprehensive Management Plan. This includes nearly 80 unused landfills, only two of which have been capped. The bill was received in the State Assembly on September 13, 2010 and is working its way through committee.
New Jersey is committed to a future that includes an efficient, cheap, clean, and accessible renewable energy system. While the State is spearheading the effort, it needs private sector partners to make this goal a realty. Working together to create a renewable energy grid, New Jersey’s public and private sectors can transform the state’s energy marketplace and, in so doing, generate long-term environmental and economic benefits.
Ms. Lisa Murtha Bromberg is a principal and Mr. Steven P. Gouin is an associate in the Environmental Law and Litigation practice group of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman P.C. in Morristown.
2010 Holiday Book Wrapping Party - Photo Essay
Val Camara and Rebecca Brazzano
It's a wrap! Literally, revisit te 4th Annual Holiday Book wrap to benefit Hopeline.
On December 7th, NJ Corporate Counsel Association held its Fourth Annual Holiday Book Wrappng Party. The gift wrapped books are donated to the children living in a number of Hopeline domestic violence shelters throughout New Jersey. A group of about 60 volunteers gathered to wrap 360 children's books.
This networking and holiday outreach event was graciously sponsored by NJCCA, Thompson Hine, Update Legal, Haley Stuart, Verizon, BASF and generous donations by our members.
The pictures that follow try to capture the work that was done to make each of the gifts look very special for the children receiving them.
One of the two piles of books the volunteers wrapped.
Mike Prokop and Val Camara cut and organize some of the wrapping paper. The gifts were wrapped in paper with fun prints!
Board members Barbra Levy, Giuliano Chicco and Elitza Meyer hydrate prior to the wrapping marathon.
Val Camara, Immediate past President of NJCCA and Rebecca Brazzano of Thompson Hine helped to organize this community outreach project.
Our BASF volunteers holding their thoughtfully wrapped children's books.
The Verizon volunteers!
Volunteers hard at work wrapping their gifts.
Some of our volunteers proudly show off their handiwork.
Rebecca Brazzano of Thompson Hine and Larry Samilow of Update Legal catching up.
Virginia Finno-Sorrentino of Merck checking Joe Aronds' work product!
Joseph W. Muccia and Barry M. Kazan of Thompson Hine and Joe Aronds, President Elect of NJCCA.
The sponsors for the book wrapping were: NJCCA, Thompson Hine, Verizon, Update Legal and Haley Stuart represented in the photo by Barbra Levy, Valerie Camara, Rebecca Brazzano and Karen Francis seated and Michael Prokop, Eric Rosen, Jessica Fernandez, Jean Weiner and Larry Samilow, standing.
Our New Members
As NJCCA approachs our symbolic 1,200th member, here are some of our recent new members.
Short notes of interest to and about our members
Brief notes for and about members
Member Notes is our monthly vehicle for members to share professional and personal information with other members of the NJCCA. If you have a new position, a new title, or have recieved a professional (or other) award, published a book or article, or have any other similar information you would like to share with the membership, please send a note directly to Giuliano Chicco, NJCCA Newletter Editor, at GChicco1@verizon.net.
Tell Us About Yourself!
NJCCA is seeking "Member Notes" for inclusion in our monthly Chapter Newsletter in 2011
- Been Promoted?
- Switched Jobs?
- Won an award?
- Written an Article?
… Or anything else you'd like to share with the 1,200 members of NJCCA?
Please tell us your exciting news and we will publish it in an upcoming Newsletter (space permitting).
Alumni Board Member Bret Parker has a new position
Bret Parker is now Vice President & Associate General Counsel at Elizabeth Arden in New York. New York City Corporate Counsel Association's gain is our loss. Best Wishes, Bret. NJCCA Offers Two New Discount CLE Progams for Members for 2011
If you sign up by April 15, 2011, you will have access to over 20 credits of New Jersey focused CLE opportunities.
- Option 1: $399.00 - Includes all four NJCCA major events, plus attendance at any NJCCA-sponsored CLE program throughout the year.
- Option 2: $250.00 - Includes our three NJCCA major events (listed below), plus attendance at any NJCCA-sponsored CLE program throughout the year.
For large law departments, if you buy 10 or more packages, you will be eligible for a further discount and will be recognized as a corporate sponsor at each event, as shown in the attached link.
Download complete details, purchase instructions and restrictions.
Social Networking and the NJCCA
Earlier this year the NJCCA joined the world of online professional networking. Because the success of online networking is predicated on building enough participation for ongoing conversations, we are very interested in asking you to join, participate and let us know if you see benefit in these activities. We hope you agree with us that online professional networking is a new and compelling way for NJCCA members to discuss issues and solicit ideas inbetween NJCCA events and seminars.
If you are interested in joining our private group on LinkedIn, please contact NJCCA Board Member, Eugene Weitz via his LinkedIn site at http://www.linkedin.com/in/eugeneweitz or go directly to http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1590257&trk=hb_side_g and request to join. Currently, this 275 member group is private and limited to in-house counsel in New Jersey (and in-house counsel that qualify and are or may be interested in becoming members of the NJCCA).
In addition to maintaining a LinkedIn presence, we have also established an NJCCA group on Martindale-Hubbell Connected (which is affiliated with LexisNexis' subsidiary Martindale-Hubbell) one of the only online professional networking sites specifically for lawyers. In addition to creating a general NJCCA Community, we have also created Communities for each working NJCCA Committee . Go to http://www.martindale.com/connected and sign up (see below if you are not currently a member) and then search for the NJCCA Communities. We have structured our group for privacy so you can decide who and how you are contacted by non-NJCCA members.
If you have any questions or concerns prior to joining, feel free to contact Eugene Weitz at (908) 337-1491.
Upcoming NJCCA Events
Register today for these relevant and insightful events.
NJCCA's 2nd LIFE SCIECES FORUM WEBINAR
Date & Time: January 13, 2010, 11:30AM to 13:30PM
Description: The NJCCA and LeClairRyan's BioPharma and Life Sciences Industry team invite you to join us for a 1 hour webinar that continues the important discussions from the Oct 21st event in Florham Park. The NJCCA's Ethics and Compliance, Life Science, Commercial Law and Career Management Committees are pleased to present this continuing legal education program on topics affecting the life sciences industry. The January 13th CLE program will provide perspective on regulatory developments in Pharmacogenomics.
Pharmacogenomics, Market Opportunities & Potential Barriers: Pharmacogenomics is the study of how variations in the human genome affect a patient's response to medication. This emerging science is part of a global effort to direct scientific research and, more importantly, research dollars, on so-called "personalized medicine." These efforts may permit drugs to be tailor-made to a specific person's genetic make-up, enhancing efficacy and increasing safety. Patrick Hurd, Senior Counsel of LeClairRyan, will review the short history of FDA's evaluation of such drugs, the Agency's plans for review and approval of new drug modalities, and key issues companies face in transitioning from the laboratory through clinical studies to commercialization. Mr. Hurd will also discuss recent developments regarding the patentability of genetic technology and the implications for pharmacogenomics product development. And present an update on FDA's approach to the review and approval of combination drug/diagnostic products in general.
Presenters: Jim Anelli and Patrick Hurd
Sponsors: NJCCA and LeClairRyan's BioPharma and Life Sciences Industry team
Registration: Register Online Please register by 11:00 a.m. EDT
CLE: The firm will apply for CLE credit in NJ, NY and VA.
2011 CORPORATE COUNSEL INSTITUTE
Date & Time: January 26, 2010, 9AM to 4PM
Description: Now in its 8th year, the Corporate Counsel Institute returns with the latest topics and information that is most relevant to your practice. Experts in 5 specific fields of corporate law will provide you with the information you need to know:
Corporate Governance: Current Trends You Need To Know
- Employment Law: Managing Leaves of Absence - FMLA, NJFLA, ADA and the NJ Paid Family Leave Law: "I won't be in today."
- Health Care: How the new Health Care Reform Law will Affect Your Company and Its Employees
- Renewable Energy: Hot Topics in Renewable Energy, Clean Technology and Climate Change
- Bankruptcy: The key warning signs of customer insolvency
Location: NJ Law Center, New Brunswick, NJ New Jersey 08901-1520, Phone: (732)214-8500 Directions.
Sponsors: NJICLE, New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association, the NJSBA Labor & Employment Law Section, Business Law Section and the Renewable Energy, Cleantech & Climate Change Committee
Registration: Register Online
Cost: $165 for Sponsor Members, $209 General admission, $229 at the door.
Green Guides, Green Marketing and Greenwashing: The FTC (and Your Insurers) Have Something to Say THREE'S A CONVERSATION: Best Practices in Pro Bono
Date & Time: February 10, 2011, 8:30 to 10:30 AM
Description: ATTEND THIS SEMINAR AND SAVE THE EARTH! - With Madison Avenue and businesses in all areas (including lawyers apparently) rushing headlong into "green," every business needs to know about the pitfalls and problems facing green marketing. Come join an FTC staff attorney and an insurance coverage lawyer from McCarter & English for an in-depth review of the Federal Trade Commission's Green Guides, including their latest revisions. We will address the history of the Guides and the review process, and then dig into "general environmental benefit" claims (like "green" or "eco-friendly") and also old stand-bys like "recyclable" and new messages like "made with renewable materials." Once we have mapped the "green" claim universe, we will investigate civil suits asserting violation of the Guides, and the role of insurance in protecting the bottom line.
Location: McCarter & English, 100 Mulberry Street, Newark, NJ
Sponsors: NJCCA and McCarter & English,
RSVP: Please call Christine Bongard at 973.848.5399 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Add to Your Calendar: Outlook,
Cost: Free to members
Date & Time: February 15, 2011, 9 to 11 AM
Description: Companies, Law Firms and Legal Services Organizations come together to improve the business of Pro Bono. Session Three: Setting Boundaries: Setting the scope of matters and termination procedures.
Location: Skadden Arps, Four Times Square, New York, NY, 10036
Sponsors: New York City Bar, Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Coordinators and Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom LLP & Affiliates,
RSVP: Diane Salzano
THREE'S A CONVERSATION: Best Practices in Pro Bono
Date & Time: April 12, 2011, 9 to 11 AM
Description: Companies, Law Firms and Legal Services Organizations come together to improve the business of Pro Bono. Session Four: Looking Back and Looking Forward. Evaluating what we have accomplished, setting future goals.
Location: Skadden Arps, Four Times Square, New York, NY, 10036
Sponsors: New York City Bar, Corporate Counsel Pro Bono Coordinators and Skadden Arps Slate Meager & Flom LLP & Affiliates,
RSVP: Diane Salzano
OVERRULED! by Aronds
As far as we know, still the only Chapter Newsletter with its own in-house cartoonist! And now in color!