Counsel Ellen O’Connell prevails in Appellate Division case involving dispute over ownership of Bergen County Church property

On November 29, 2021, the Superior Court, Appellate Division held that the firm’s client, the Eastern Korean Presbytery of Presbyterian Church (USA), was the proper entity to control the assets of the defunct Palisades Presbyterian Church in Old Tappan, NJ. Former members of the Church unsuccessfully argued that they should have been awarded ownership and control of the Church and its assets because they had made the contributions for the construction of the church building. Counsel Ellen O’Connell argued that the congregation’s having voted to join Presbyterian Church (USA) and having revised their bylaws to affirm membership in that denomination established the Eastern Korean Presbytery was the proper entity to own and control the assets. The Appellate Division agreed, and confirmed that the assets belong to Eastern Korean Presbytery, and not the former members of the congregation.