Articles Posted by Eric B. Levine

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C. is please to announce that 15 of the firm’s have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2023.

  • Steven Backfisch was recognized as Best Lawyer in America for Litigation in Labor & Employment.
  • John R. Blasi was recognized as Best Lawyer in America for Trust & Estates.

We are proud to announce 4 of our attorneys have been selected to the 2022 New Jersey Super Lawyers® list, and 2 have been selected to the 2022 New Jersey Rising Stars® List. This recognition in The Super Lawyers© 2022 and Rising Stars® 2022 lists, identifies each attorney for their leading legal talent in their corresponding practice areas.

The following Lindabury attorneys were named as Super Lawyers honorees:

On September 1, 2021, the remnants of Hurricane Ida struck New Jersey. Heavy rain and flooding ensued throughout the area, with many homes and businesses suffering significant damage as a result. Tenants of rental properties were particularly affected, as many were unaware their leased premises were located in a flood zone. Many commercial tenants suffered flood damage to their equipment, inventory, and other assets and incurred loss of business revenue but carried no flood insurance because they were unaware of its availability. This unfortunate circumstance raises questions about a commercial landlord’s obligation to inform its tenants about the flood zone status of their leased premises and its potential liability for failing to do so.

Many commercial landlords are unaware that New Jersey’s Truth in Renting Act (“TRA”), which is more commonly associated with residential tenancies, specifically addresses a commercial landlord’s obligation to advise tenants of the flood zone status of their leased premises. While the term “landlord” in the TRA is generally defined as one who leases “dwelling units,” see N.J.S.A 46:8-44(a), the “Tenant Notification of Flood Zone Location” provision, which requires landlords to notify tenants when a property is located in a flood area, expressly references lessors of commercial space. N.J.S.A. 46:8-50.

Many commercial landlords believe that the requirements under the TRA apply solely to residential leases. Yet, legislative history suggests the drafters of the TRA considered the damage caused by storms such as Hurricane Ida when determining flood zone notice requirements. The New Jersey Senate’s Community and Urban Affairs Committee reported favorably on the bill for the Truth in Rending Act, stating that “during the heavy flooding which occurred during the fall of 1999, many tenants discovered that the apartments or businesses which they rented were located in flood zones.” Notice to tenants was important because “had they been apprised of this information earlier, these tenants may have determined to purchase flood insurance, or to rent elsewhere.” Therefore, the plain language of N.J.S.A. 46:8-50 makes it clear that the flood zone notice provision of the TRA applies to commercial spaces, notwithstanding that the rest of the Act is limited to residential leased premises.

As technology associated with commercial real estate has evolved, landlords are confronted with conundrum: How to use new technologies to modernize buildings and increase profitability by attracting high quality tenants through maximizing tenant experience, while addressing the cybersecurity threats that accompany these new technologies?

The exact problem will differ based on the type of commercial property being offered by a landlord, but the overriding concern remains the same, namely, how to secure the property from cyber-security breaches.  For instance, whether a landlord owns: (i) a climate controlled industrial property used for housing cloud servers, storing food or pharmaceuticals, (ii) a multi-tenant retail property with an open WIFI network and cloud-based security system, or (iii) a mixed use development with state of the art building systems, should the integrated building systems of these properties be accessed and manipulated by a hacker, it could wreak havoc on the tenants, who will seek relief from the landlord. What can a commercial landlord do today to prevent this disaster from occurring and protect its assets and reputation?

Step 1: Technology Audit

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This webinar addresses best practices to protect yourself virtually during the coronavirus pandemic.

Presented by Eric Levine, Executive Vice President of Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook, & Cooper and Co-Chair of the firm’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice, this virtual presentation was hosted by The Suburban Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Levine works with and creates cybersecurity policies and procedures for corporate leaders as well as with internal cyber-breach response teams that respond to cyber-attacks. He advises corporations and executives on mitigating the impact of cyber-breaches and counseling on post-breach regulatory reporting and client/customer notification duties. Mr. Levine is an accomplished litigator who has trial experience in both state and federal courts. As such, he works with corporations to defend claims brought by plaintiffs affected by cyber-breaches.

By the time you are reading this guidance, your business has likely been operating under a shelter in place order or perhaps even a governmental quarantine in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and your staff has been operating remotely for an extended period.  While it may be too soon to fully assess whether remote access and teleworking is functioning optimally for your business, it is not too soon to ensure that the process of remote access and telework is being undertaken on the enterprise level in a safe and diligent fashion. Indeed, this is a responsibility that should be addressed from the Board of Directors and C-suite level down to the factory floor.

While the topic of remote access and its impact on cybersecurity could fill up volumes, there are two aspects of remote access and telework that businesses of all sizes need to acknowledge and address immediately. First, while remote access and telework were on the rise before the Coronavirus Pandemic, they are now most assuredly an integral part of your business for the foreseeable future. Your customers and staff expect you to be able to keep your business open through remote operations, and the harsh reality is that businesses that cannot operate remotely in some capacity have less chance of success during periods of shelter in place orders, governmental quarantines and social distancing.

Second, with more staff utilizing remote access and telework during the pandemic, the likelihood of your business’s information technology and the data stored thereon being exposed through cyber-breaches and attacks has grown exponentially.  There are countless articles explaining the inherent dangers of remote access and telework, but the theme that permeates them all is that working remotely comes with its own set of dangers and that hackers and cybercriminals who have already been relentlessly attacking businesses through email and phishing scams, DDoS attacks, ransomware and social engineering, have already increased their attacks on businesses using remote access.  Simple changes in your staff’s routines caused by new procedures can throw them off balance and create an opportunity for a hacker to exploit.

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Eric Levine,  Cybersecurity & Data Privacy co-chair of Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper,  was quoted by Legaltech news, in a recent article concerning the coronavirus’ impact on law firms.  Eric says “the firm is proactively reminding the firm’s lawyers and staff to remain vigilant against coronavirus-related phishing emails.

“From a cybersecurity and data privacy standpoint, people must be aware that the virus itself presents an opportunity for hackers and wrongdoers to gain access to resources,” he said. “I sent an email to our staff and attorneys with an article saying to be careful for these types of email scams, they’re more potent because they’re tied to a health scare.”

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Eric Levine, co-chair of Lindabury’s Cybersecurity and Data Privacy practice is quoted in a recent issue of NJBIZ regarding the growing digital threat often disguised as a legitimate-looking email.  Eric says that when our firm receives an email in regards to a bank transaction, “We won’t cut a check against it until it clears our financial institution, and then we’ll wait up to another 10 days.   It can be an inconvenience for a client, but this way we know the money is good.”

To read the full NJBIZ article click here.

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Eric Levine, co-chair of Lindabury’s Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice group spoke recently to attendees during NAIOP New Jersey’s final installment of their “Future Proof Your Buildings” series.

Coverage of the event by Real Estate Weekly was recently published providing highlights and strategies for ensuring security of smart cities throughout the state.

Eric says he believes liability is one of the fundamental risks facing building owners.

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Eric Levine and Robert Anderson co-authored the recently published article in Training Industry addressing the need of businesses to assess their own cybersecurity risks and openly exchange internal information to effectively address and mitigate an actual breach situation. Yet a company’s internal assessments of its own weaknesses and the holes in its cybersecurity protections can, ironically, actually expose the company to even greater danger in future security breach litigation.

Read the full article online here.

Training Industry, Inc. (Dec. 18, 2018). How Cybersecurity Training Protects Your Organization Even After a Breach.


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