Commercial real estate transactions involve much more than making a bid on a property for sale and cutting a check. There is a wide range of complex issues concerning environmental compliance, land use, redevelopment, sustainable development, construction, common interest ownership, financing, bankruptcy and foreclosure.

The New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education is hosting “Commercial Real Estate Transactions: From Handshake to Closing” on Wednesday, October 21, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel to help legal professionals navigate the complex deals that come with the commercial real estate territory. Cost: $239. Visit to register.

Among the forum’s speakers will be Russell Bershad, an attorney with Gibbons, a Newark-based firm, who will present “Financing and Buying Distressed Debt” at 11 a.m. Bershad co-chairs the real property and environmental department at Gibbons, and specializes in sophisticated financing, leasing, and conveying transactions.

A 1973 graduate of Penn, he received his J.D. from Rutgers in 1977.

The forum also hopes to cultivate the ability to recognize when there is need to bring other professional specialists onto the team; how to craft and negotiate contracts and leases that protect your clients against untoward or excessive risk; and teach about incentives that can transform a financially questionable transaction into a success in these difficult economic times.

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