Lee Cohen

Tice Corporate Center
50 Tice Boulevard, Suite 380
Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677

Tel: 201-391-3737
Fax: 201-391-9360

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J. Sheldon “Lee” Cohen

Of Counsel

J. Sheldon “Lee” Cohen joined the firm in 2021, Of Counsel.  An attorney with over 45 years of experience, Lee is highly regarded for his work in the areas of property redevelopment, municipal law, eminent domain, railroad law, government and regulatory affairs, trial and appellate litigation, administrative law, and labor and employment law.

Mr. Cohen was the Fort Lee Borough Attorney, Redevelopment Counsel and Labor Counsel for over 20 plus years and has also served as Township and Redevelopment Counsel for the Township of Aberdeen.  Lee was lead counsel involved with the success redeveloped of a 17-acre site adjacent to the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee. Mr. Cohen’s team eliminated all prior claimants, including, through successful litigation, clearing the land for new development, conducted a national RFP process to choose new redevelopers, oversaw the Borough’s selection process, negotiated the new redevelopers and financing agreements and brought the projects to completion. The two new, $1 billion developments include two 50-story luxury residential towers of 450 units each, two new Borough parks, parking garages, over 200,000 square feet of retail space, an additional 400 apartments, with possible additions including a hotel or office building.  Construction of a public theatre-museum will close out the projects.  Mr. Cohen has overseen several other high, low, and mid-rise residential projects, as well as a train station mixed-use project, including affordable housing compliance in each residential project.

Mr. Cohen also condemned and litigated the value of the 2153 acres of Sterling Forest located in New Jersey to maintain the Forest as parkland for the County of Passaic, and derivatively, for the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The settlement in that case formed the basis for the parkland acquisition of the 18,000-plus acres of Sterling Forest in New York State.

Acquisition of a privately owned electrical distribution system for the City of Vineland was another of Mr. Cohen’s accomplishments. This project involved the acquisition of a portion of an electric substation, thousands of poles, two thousand miles of wire, hundreds of transformers, subsurface easements and thousands of unrecorded easements connecting property owners to the actual electrical poles.

He was also lead counsel for three railway companies in the acquisition, permitting and construction of several major rail terminal facilities in the New Jersey Meadowlands, which now act as terminals for international “ship to rail” or “land bridge” operations.

The condemnation of the former Hoehst-Celanese chemical manufacturing facility was also overseen by Mr. Cohen.  A former Superfund site, it is now the current site of the Essex County Jail. Aside from the obvious environmental issues, the case was noteworthy because the County intended a change of use from industrial use to residential use.

In a case of first impression before the New Jersey Supreme Court, Lee also successfully defended the validity of an employee discharge pursuant to a “Last Chance” employment agreement in New Jersey.  Watson v. City of East Orange, 175 N.J. 442 (2003).  In a case of national first impression, he successfully prevailed under the newly amended U.S. Surface Transportation Act, involving the Federal pre-emption of State legislative railroad regulatory schemes.  Village of Ridgefield Park v. the New York Susquehanna Railway Corp., 163 N.J. 446 (2000)

Also noteworthy, was his successful defense of the right of New Jersey counties to direct the delivery of solid waste to designated transfer stations against a Dormant Commerce Clause claim of the unconstitutionality of such direction orders.  Atlantic Coast Demolition and Recycling Inc. v. Bd. of Chosen Freeholders, et al., 48 F. 3d 701 (3rd Cir. 1995) and 112 F. 3d 652 (3rd Cir. 1996)

Mr. Cohen was an Adjunct Professor at Rutgers University Graduate Institute of Management and Labor Relations (1976-77 and 1977-78) and has addressed numerous professional organizations on public and private labor and employment law issues and is the author of several articles on the subject, including:

Statutory and Derivative Public Policy Remedies [At-Will Employment], New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, Nov. 1984

How the Interest Arbitration Law Works and Why the Effects of Caps is Unclear, New York Times, June 3, 1979

Index and Outline of Scope of Negotiations Determinations, Rutgers, The State University, Institute of Management and Labor Relations, 1977

Mr. Cohen received his B.A. from Fordham College at Fordham University in 1971 and his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law in 1975. As a law student, he was the recipient of the Distinguished Senior Achievement Award and the Am-Jur Administrative Law Award.

Bar Admissions:

  • New Jersey (1975)
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (1975)
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (1978)
  • United States Supreme Court (1988)

Professional Memberships, Associations and Activities:

  • Former Councilmember, Fort Lee, New Jersey
  • Founding and Life Member, Fort Lee Ambulance Corps

Martindale-Hubbell Preeminent AV Rated

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