Yolanda Melville Elected National President of NAACP NextGen

ATLANTIC CITY — Yolanda Melville, Esquire, the Legal Redress Officer for the Atlantic City NAACP Branch and National NAACP Legal Committee member, was elected national president of the NAACP’s Next Generation Alumni Leadership Council.

Melville, an attorney at Cooper Levenson in Atlantic City, was selected at the recent NAACP national convention in Detroit this summer. Melville was a member of the inaugural NAACP NextGen Young Professional Leadership Program comprised of 68 leaders ages 21 through 35, from 29 states.

The NextGen Leadership Program is designed to train and develop future leaders to serve the NAACP.

READ: Ashley Bennett, Samantha Whitfield Among 2019 NAACP NextGen Class

“Yolanda is an intelligent, compassionate, and focused leader who uses her legal talents to strive for equality and justice for all people,” Kaleem Shabazz, president of the Atlantic City NAACP and a city council with Atlantic City.

“The Atlantic City Branch has realized what Yolanda’s peers from across the nation have come to learn.  Yolanda is a sure bet for a leader who is energetic and goal-oriented,” he added.

Melville will serve a two-year term as an elected officer.

READ: Yolanda Melville Establishes Roots, Activism in Atlantic City

Participants complete a rigorous training program, including classroom trainings, webinar trainings, case studies, group assignments and special projects on leadership fundamentals, political action, economic empowerment, criminal justice, environmental justice, health advocacy, budgeting, fundraising, technology and direct action.

The NAACP said that NextGen participants are civically engaged young professionals committed to equality and social justice.

SB 212 Makes Towing in CICs Easier

Let’s be honest, no one likes to have their car towed. It’s inconvenient and costly. However, it’s equally frustrating to a resident living in a common interest community (CIC) to fi nd another car parked in their assigned spot, or when a person uses a handicap space without a permit, or leaves their vehicle in a red zone hindering the necessary access emergency vehicles need. The 2019 Nevada Legislature understands and has responded by passing Senate Bill 212 making it easier for residential communities to have cars removed for parking illegally inside a CIC.

Most of us are aware that part of living in a CIC is the requirement that homeowners and guests abide by rules and restrictions intended to protect the “community” and preserve its aesthetics. Doing so helps owners maintain the property value in their communities. These rules, commonly
referred to as CC&Rs (covenants, conditions, and restrictions), restrict the usage and enjoyment of real property. A staple of all CC&Rs is parking guidelines – where you can park, where you can’t, and when your car will be towed.

Under Nevada law, there are two types of legal tows: consent and non-consent. Anytime a car is towed from a residential community without the owner’s permission it’s deemed to be a non-consent tow. To protect car owners, the law requires a CIC’s homeowners association (HOA) to give notice of the possible tow. The notice may be in the form of a vehicle sticker affi xed to the car advising the owner that it may be towed if, after 48 hours, the violation is not cured. However, more serious parking violations, which will be discussed in further detail below, could
subject a vehicle to being towed “immediately.”

Clink link to read full artlice – SB 212 Makes Towing in CICs Easier

 

Our Partner Russell Lichtenstein represents Levinson and Formica and argued the motion that resulted in their dismissal from the sex discrimination lawsuit against county prosecutor.

As seen in The Press of Atlantic City July 16, 2019 edition
by MICHELLE BRUNETTI POST Staff Writer

A judge on Friday dismissed Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson and Freeholder Frank Formica from the lawsuit alleging discrimination against women by County Prosecutor Damon Tyner.

“The reason I was put in, in the first place, is I went to a rally at a church in Pleasantville in support of Damon Tyner,” said Levinson on Monday. “Not about whether he was guilty or innocent (of the charges of discrimination), but in support of him as a human being and what he has given to the community.”

Levinson credited Tyner with successfully bringing murder and drug charges against Linwood doctor James Kauffman, in the 2012 death of his wife April Kauffman. The case had gone cold under previous prosecutors.

Kauffman killed himself in prison.

The suit, filed in January by former Assistant Prosecutor Diane Ruberton, former Lt. Heather McManus and current Assistant Prosecutor Donna Fetzer, alleges gender discrimination, retaliation and other illicit behavior by the prosecutor and others in his office.

The attorney representing Levinson and Formica said Monday that Cumberland County Superior Court Judge James R. Swift found no merit to any of the claims against his clients, and dismissed the case against them with prejudice. That means the plaintiffs can’t file an amended claim to bring them back in, he said.

The case was moved to Cumberland County in March.

“It appears the plaintiffs were trying to silence County Executive Levinson and Freeholder Formica from speaking out in support of the fine job Damon Tyner has done,” said Russell Lichtenstein, a partner at Cooper Levenson.

Lawyers for the women released a written statement via email Monday afternoon.

“We believe that Dennis Levinson and Frank Formica engaged in actions that were retaliatory and that failed to protect these three women from discrimination,” said Michelle Douglass and Philip Burnham, the lawyers for the women. “New Jersey law makes clear that these actions can be the basis of a legal claim of discrimination even if the retaliation comes after an employee is no longer at her job.”

Tyner, whose office did not respond to a request for comment Monday, released a statement about the suit at the time it was filed.

“It is apparent that the plaintiffs are living in an alternative universe,” the statement said. “The very same conduct they accuse me and the members of my administration of committing was actually carried out by them and others during their brief, ineffective period of leadership of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office.”

Levinson called his inclusion in the sex discrimination case “preposterous,” pointing out that he and the county have no say over who is appointed prosecutor, or how the office is run.

“As their lawyers should know … he is appointed by the governor,” Levinson said, and the prosecutor’s office operates independently.

Formica was named in the suit, according to Levinson, because his brother, Mario Formica, worked for the Prosecutor’s Office.

County Counsel Jim Ferguson estimated the inclusion of Levinson and Formica has already cost county taxpayers at least $20,000 in legal bills and expenses related to the case.

And the expenses will continue, Ferguson said, because the county itself is still named in the lawsuit.

“It’s an outrage. We don’t appoint, direct or hire anybody for that office,” Levinson said. “All we do is pay for it.”

He said the lawsuit will stretch out for quite some time, and cost the county taxpayers plenty.

“It is what it is. We have to live with it,” Levinson said.

The women allege in the suit that Tyner demoted high-ranking women while giving men raises, paid newly hired women at a lower rate than newly hired men, covered up complaints of gender discrimination and spoke in a derogatory fashion about women in general.

In addition to allegations of gender discrimination, the three women claim Tyner was involved in mortgage fraud, failed to investigate a claim that a police officer was leaking confidential information about the April Kauffman murder case and failed to tell defense counsel about the possible leak. They also accuse him of firing employees to hire his brother, and refusing to investigate after an assistant prosecutor exchanged advice via texts with a defendant in a pending domestic violence case.

Regarding Levinson and Formica, the lawsuit alleged they “refuse to look deeper at gender bias and systemically devalue plaintiffs, as women, in the workplace” and “have publicly announced their support of the male defendants even before this lawsuit was filed and even before all the facts were and/or have been disclosed.”

Contact: 609-272-7219 mpost@pressofac.com Twitter @MichelleBPost

Yolanda Melville among the graduates of the NAACP NextGen program to be recognized at 110th annual convention

BALTIMORE (July 11, 2019) The NAACP will recognize 68 Graduates from the inaugural 2018 NAACP Next Generation (NextGen) Young Professional Leadership Program during a graduation ceremony and reception at the NAACP 110th National Convention in Detroit, MI on Tuesday, July 23, from 5:00 pm to 7:00. The graduation ceremony will feature the pronouncement of the 2018 NEXTGEN class, highlight the social justice work of the graduates, and award graduation certificates by NAACP National Leaders. Rev. Dr. William Barber, II, member of the NAACP National Board of Directors and architect of the Moral Monday’s Movement, will offer the keynote address to the graduating class.

NextGen is a 12-month leadership development training program for young adults between the ages of 21 and 35 to develop civil rights competencies and leadership skills necessary to be active and effective social justice advocates. The NextGen program features a series of webinar & classroom trainings, case studies, and group exercises. The NextGen curriculum encompasses leadership development, legislative action, unit administration, communications, fundraising, budgeting, intergenerational relations, ethics in leadership, advocacy, and program planning consistent with NAACP strategic plan: Game Changers for the 21st Century.

The inaugural class launched in January 2018 and concluded in December of the same year with a total of 68 graduates. The ceremony will also recognize six Scholars of Excellence, which are 2018 participants that will continue in 2019 to complete the curriculum.

NEXTGEN Graduates are actively involved in their local Branches as subscribing life members of the NAACP, elected officers and executive committee members.  They have recruited hundreds of new members, developed voter action plans for their local communities and have become actively engaged on a wide range of social justice issues. The 2018 graduating class includes NAACP leaders from 29 different states.

To learn more about the 2018 NEXTGEN Graduates, visit here: NEXTGEN Leaders.

Graduates of the NAACP NextGen Program to be Recognized at 110th Annual Convention

 

Cooper Levenson Welcomes Young Yoon, Esquire to the Firm

Cooper Levenson is pleased to announce that Young Yoon has joined the firm. Yoonwill work in the firm’s Cherry Hill office, in the Defense Litigation Practice Group.

Yoon has significant experience with auto property damage lawsuits through trial or settlement. Young’s background also includes residential and commercial real estate transactional work.

While in law school, Yoon worked with the Community Health Law Project in Collingswood, where he handled matters involving developmentally disabled clients and tenant rights with regard to housing habitability. He also interned with the office of New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez, where he worked on mortgage modification issues for constituents and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants.

We are very happy to welcome Young to the Cooper Levenson team. His background will be a great fit for our Defense Litigation Practice Group,” said Kenneth J. Calemmo, chief operating officer of Cooper Levenson.

Yoon is admitted to the District Court of New Jersey and the Southern District of New York. He is fluent in Korean. Young  is a member of the South Jersey Korean-American Association.

Young graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and from Rutgers School of Law with a Juris Doctor.

Cooper Levenson is a full service law firm since 1957, with 65 attorneys and offices in New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Nevada, and New York.  For  more information, visit www.cooperlevenson.com.

Our Partner Rona Kaplan honored at United Way Power of the Purse event

Today, Thursday, June 6, for the 2019 Women United Power of the Purse event, keynote speaker Cecilia Zalkind, President and Chief Executive Officer of Advocates for Children of New Jersey, led a discussion on the power of philanthropy in early childhood education, as well as the presentation of the Power of the Purse Award.

The Power of the Purse Award celebrates the positive impact women make on our community and recognizes the outstanding contributions of women leaders who are dedicated to changing the lives of others. This year, Women United is pleased to honor three exceptional leaders, advocates and philanthropists whose professional and personal accomplishments have made a positive impact across our footprint.

Atlantic County Honoree
Rona Z. Kaplan
Partner, Cooper Levenson

Cape May County Honoree
E. Marie Hayes
Freeholder, Cape May County

Cumberland County Honoree
Shelly O. Schneider, Ed.D.
Interim President, Cumberland County College

As appeared on

Women United Power of the Purse

Cooper Levenson opens New York City Office

Joseph C. Mahon to head new office

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Cooper Levenson is pleased to announce the law firm’s expansion into New York. Joseph C. Mahon, Esq., LL.M., a partner of the firm formerly, will return and assume the role of lead attorney for the firm’s New York City office.

Cooper Levenson, founded in 1957 in Atlantic City, N.J. with 2 attorneys, has expanded to 65 attorneys and offices in New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Nevada – and now New York. The firm, which has become known as one of the premier gaming, casino, and iGaming law firms in the country, has also built a reputation as a full-service law firm serving businesses and individuals, from tax and business law to estate planning and administration, litigation, labor and employment law, health care law, maritime law, cannabis law, land use, zoning and planning, real estate law, education law, and more.

“Having a physical location in New York City will enable us to better service our present and future national and international clients,” said Lloyd D. Levenson, Chief Executive Officer.

The new office will be located at 45 Rockefeller Plaza, 20th Floor, New York, NY 10111. The phone number is 212-372-7400.

In his new role, Mahon will continue his work of more than 25 years, advising executives, business owners and high net worth clients on a range of issues, including: Estate Planning;Estate, Gift and Income Tax Planning, Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Planning, State Death Taxes, Family Governance, Liquidity Events, Business Succession, Lifetime Gifts, including Valuation Discounts, Grantor Trusts, Dynasty Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, Intra-Family Loans, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Private Annuities, Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, Crummey Trusts, Trust Terminations, Trustee Succession, Trust Protectors, Pre-Nuptial Agreements, Powers of Attorney, and Health Care Proxies. Mahon also regularly advises clients on trust and estate litigation and dispute resolution, including contested guardianships, and on tax and other issues unique to non-U.S. persons and assets.

A graduate of Rutgers University School of Law – Newark with a Juris Doctor and New York University School of Law with an LL.M. in Taxation, Mahon has been named to the Super Lawyers list in New York from 2012 – 2019 in the areas of estate planning and probate. He was also named to Best Lawyers in America 2017 – 2019.

Cooper Levenson is a full service law firm since 1957, with offices in New Jersey, Delaware, Florida, Nevada, and New York.

Rebecca C. Lafferty Honored: 10 Years of Service as Volunteer for Mock Trial Program in Atlantic County

Join us in congratulating our attorney Rebecca C. Lafferty, county coordinator for the Atlantic County Mock Trial program. Rebecca was presented with a plaque and honored for her ten years of service to program. “I think Mock Trial is an invaluable program that is often overlooked,” Rebecca said in a recent Press of Atlantic City interview. “It provides students with an opportunity to learn and utilize critical thinking, leadership, public speaking, and listening skills that can be utilized going forward in whatever profession they choose to pursue.”

Cooper Levenson Welcomes Kasi M. Gifford, Esquire to the Firm

Cooper Levenson is pleased to announce that Kasi M. Gifford has joined the firm. Gifford will work in the firm’s Atlantic City office, in the Education Law Practice Group.

Gifford’s practice previously included a focus on all areas of plaintiffs’ personal injury work. Gifford served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable James P. Savio, J.S.C., in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Civil Division, Atlantic County. She also served as a judicial intern to the Honorable Allen Littlefield as well as to the Honorable James Savio. Gifford is a state trained mediator for the State of New Jersey.

While in law school, Gifford served a legal internship with the Delaware Civil Law Clinic, where she represented victims of domestic violence and handled custody and visitation matters. Gifford participated in an Intensive Trial Advocacy Program and earned a Specialized Legal Studies in Trial Advocacy Law Certificate. She was a member of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Society.

“We are thrilled to welcome Kasi to the Cooper Levenson team. She will be a great addition to the Education Law Practice Group,” said Kenneth J. Calemmo, chief operating officer of Cooper Levenson.

Gifford is an Executive Board Member and Secretary to the Young Lawyers Division, Atlantic County Bar Association. She has also served as that group’s Director of Events and Director of Community Outreach. Gifford is a Member of the, Vincent S. Haneman Inn of Court.

Gifford graduated from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Psychology. She earned a Juris Doctor from the Widener University Delaware Law School.

Cooper Levenson Attorney Michael L. Salad named as Top 40 Under 40 Honoree

Cooper Levenson is pleased to announce that Michael L. Salad has been named to the 2019 Atlantic City Weekly’s  Top 40 Under 40 list.

“We are most proud of Mike’s achievements and very glad that he is part of the Cooper Levenson team,” said Kenneth J. Calemmo, Jr., Chief Operating Officer.

Salad is a tax and business attorney and a partner with Cooper Levenson, Attorneys at Law. He concentrates his practice on business transactions, tax matters, probate administration and estate, asset protection and business planning.

Salad graduated from Mainland Regional High School, George Washington University, where he earned a degree in criminal justice and political science, Nova Southeastern University where he received his Juris Doctor, and Western New England University, where he received a Masters of Law in Estate Planning and Elder Law. He is licensed to practice law in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, the District of Columbia and Florida. He regularly works with clients who have dual residences in the Northeast and Florida.

Salad serves as a Board member of Gilda’s Club South Jersey, a charity that offers, at no cost, comprehensive educational, psychological and social support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. Michael and the law firm are involved in many other charitable organizations throughout South Jersey.  He co-founded SoPro, AC in 2012, a young professionals networking group that hosts events throughout Atlantic County bi-monthly