Netvertising: Yea or Nay?

Turning Green?">Brownfields: Turning Green?

Hiring Without Fear

Clockwatching Caregivers

Sun’s Papadopoulos at Rutgers

Corrections or additions?

Survival Guide

These articles by Peter J. Mladineo and Barbara Fox were

in U.S. 1 Newspaper on February 11, 1998. All rights reserved.

Top Of Page
Netvertising: Yea or Nay?

When it comes to law, Israel D. Dubin is

considered

something akin to "Mr. Ethics." He is counsel for three major

policy-setting legal organizations in the state, the Advisory

Committee

on Professional Ethics, Committee on Attorney Advertising, and

Committee

on the Unauthorized Practice of Law.

The Mercer County Bar Association hosts Dubin Wednesday, February

18. Call 609-585-6200. Dubin’s topic: advertising on the Internet,

or "netvertising."

For those interested in the slings and arrows of attorney advertising,

Dubin’s opinion "carries a lot of weight," says Hanan

Isaacs,

a Ewing Street-based attorney renowned for his successful campaign

to liberalize the state’s attorney advertising regulations in the

1980s. Law firms, Isaacs explains, have traditionally adhered to a

much stricter set of advertising standards than other types of

businesses.

By law their advertisements are required to be "predominately

informational," and must be void of "techniques that rely

upon absurdity and that demonstrate a clear and intentional lack of

relevance to the selection of counsel, including any extreme portrayal

of counsel exhibiting characteristics clearly unrelated to legal

competence."

Televised attorney advertisements aren’t allowed to use "drawings,

animations, dramatizations, music, or lyrics." The Internet, says

Isaacs, could be construed as something in between print and

television,

but the rule has yet to be written.

Isaacs wonders whether his own website, which employs miniature gavels

and other icons as symbolic decorations, would make the cut if the

ossified advertising standards currently in place were applied to

the ‘Net. "Is that an animation?" he asks. "I did what

I thought was tasteful and dignified on my website. Is it not in the

eye of the beholder? We don’t know."

The anti-ad school, Isaacs explains, dates back to 1905 when the

American

Bar Association became powerful enough to create "a monopoly on

information dissemination," that precluded lawyers even from

wearing

nametags that identified them as lawyers. Then in the mid ’70s the

United States Supreme Court "opened the door a crack" and

began to allow very conservative ads in newspapers called

"tombstones"

that featured only the name of the firm, its specialty, and its prices

in plain typefaces.

But by the early ’80s, Isaacs and fellow attorney Robert Felmeister

challenged the system. "We came in at that point at the early

`80s and said that the federal court was more liberal than the New

Jersey Supreme Court," he says. The case got the New Jersey

Supreme

Court to "liberalize" the attorney advertising laws, but

"not

to the point we wanted it to," Isaacs recalls. The reason:

Robert

Wilentz, the state’s Chief Justice, who died last year. "The

late Chief Justice was really down on lawyer advertising — as

permitting people to showcase their firm in a way that was perhaps

misleading," Isaacs says.

But Isaacs thinks more liberalized attitudes towards attorney

advertising

will carry over onto the ‘Net. "Twelve years has gone by since

that opinion," he says. "There may be a less-fearful

perception

of the marketplace. In fact there have not been a glut of clowny ads

on TV."

"I don’t expect there to be a big fuss over it like there was

15 years ago. It hasn’t been like people have been rushing to the

barricade to create distasteful advertising."

— Peter J. Mladineo

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Brownfields: Turning Green?

If you’ve ever heard the word "brownfields"

and wondered what it meant, think of this: "brownfields" is

a politically correct term for eyesores. It refers to the state’s

profusion of "abandoned or underutilized, often contaminated

industrial

properties" — the things that gave New Jersey its "armpit

of the nation" handle. Currently the Garden State still has

roughly

9,000 of them left.

The word "brownfields" summons similar fears from investors,

says Stephen Nobel of Kemper Environmental in Forrestal Village,

who speaks at the Industrial/Commercial Real Estate Women on

Thursday,

February 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the Woodbridge Sheraton. Cost: $35. Call

973-238-8100, extension 19, for information.

But those fears are disproportionate to the risks, Nobel reports.

"The term `brownfields’ has been a real problem in the

marketplace,"

he says. "It seems to have taken a connotation that’s much worse

than it is. My goal is to demystify what it takes to address sites

like this. There are sites out there that are bad and there’s not

a lot you can do with them, but the large majority of them are doable,

provided you take certain steps."

One of those steps is to buy environmental insurance, Nobel suggests.

"It is designed to pick up the risks on the edges of a deal.

Insurance

provides for what I call the environmental surprises. For example,

if you’re developing a site and you hit buried drums."

A good policy will also absorb third party claims related to

contamination

issues at a site, as well as contract damages, legal defense costs,

and business interruption. Nobel attests that these types of policies

have been the popular sellers of late. "I can testify that my

life is made very busy by this," he says. "The demand is

high."

State and federal echelons of government have also enlisted their

support. In describing the City of Trenton’s overhaul of the mammoth

Hill Refrigeration site (U.S. 1, February 4), Trenton’s director of

economic development James Harveson reported that the federal

government was willing to commit $1 million to help fix the complex’s

roads, lighting, and drainage. "Everyone wants to get on the

brownfields

bandwagon," he said. "It’s the latest fad in urban

redevelopment."

Eager to attract new businesses and not have any more industrial firms

leave the state, Christie Whitman signed a new bill, the

Brownfield

and Contaminated Site Remediation Act, in early January. Among other

things, this law will promote redevelopment projects that will, in

turn, create more jobs and ratables.

The new law’s most important provision is a covenant not-to-sue, which

protects "innocent" persons who undertake a site remediation.

This means: if you purchased a brownfield and undertook site

remediation,

the government will not sue you if an environmental problem that

existed

before you purchased the site arises.

"I anticipate it’s going to be an important tool because in

brownfields

redevelopment there are three major areas, liability is one of

them,"

says Stuart J. Lieberman, an attorney with Goldshore & Wolf,

the Plainsboro Road-based environmental law firm.

This covenant says if a developer remediates a property up to certain

standards and is "truly an innocent," the state of New Jersey

will not hold the developer liable if a previously existing

environmental

hazard is later discovered.

"In order to qualify as an innocent party you have to undertake

certain amounts of due diligence before you make the purchase,"

says Lieberman. "Generally if you do due diligence and there’s

contamination you will find it. We generally say nobody is innocent,

as defined by the regulations."

The law also "liberalizes" required clean-up levels, Lieberman

adds. "There are many instances where no clean-up is going to

be required," he says. "And there are other less-than

permanent-remedies

that will be allowable in certain industries." Another area to

benefit is funding. "There are now more public monies available

in the government’s loan grant program," says Lieberman.

But perhaps the most significant improvement the bill seeks to make

is to increase New Jersey’s regional competitiveness. Pennsylvania

made similar allowances last year in its Act 2 legislation. "If

someone is looking to move into New Jersey or Pennsylvania, the laws

are very similar," he says. "We don’t have a handicap

anymore."

— Peter J. Mladineo

Top Of Page
Hiring Without Fear

A common fear among employers, says Carol

Schnitzler

of WiderViews, is that they don’t want to hire because they won’t

be able to fire. If they hire a disabled employee and it doesn’t work

out, they believe the worker could use the Americans with Disabilities

Act to file a lawsuit. (Under the ADA, a worker can indeed sue an

employer who does not make appropriate accommodations for the workers’

disability.)

Nevertheless, hiring and firing a disabled person does not have to

be different from hiring and firing anyone else, Schnitzler insists:

"No one should be hired just because they have a disability. Don’t

hire anyone who can’t do the job."

Her answer to the employer who is afraid of firing: If it turns out

that the worker can’t do the job, the supervisor must simply follow

the usual procedures for getting rid of an employee — keep good

records and document the work, being very clear about expectations

and having measurable objectives.

Schnitzler will speak at the Alliance for the Disabled at the

Princeton

YWCA on Tuesday, February 17, at 2 p.m. The meeting is free. Call

609-497-2100. Preregistration is recommended. In discussing employment

issues and other areas of disability related disputes, she will

present

an alternative to lawsuits: Mediation.

"Mediation is a newer, kinder approach to the resolution of

disagreements

large and small between people with disabilities and other

parties,"

says Schnitzler, a certified mediator. A trained mediator serves as

a neutral third party who provides a nonconfrontational setting,

facilitates

communication between the parties, keeps the parties focused on the

issues, helps them to create practical solutions, and records and

witnesses any agreements reached.

Among the examples she will cite: accommodation and access issues

involving a merchant, a college administrator, and a health care

provider.

She will also discuss resolving a complaint already filed with the

Department of Justice or the EEOC under the Americans with

Disabilities

Act. These individuals, for instance, sought mediation and were able

to achieve a satisfactory solution:

A woman who is deaf. Despite her request for a qualified

sign language interpreter, she was not provided one by the hospital

where she was treated.

A customer in a restaurant where the rest rooms were not

accessible and the owners were unwilling to make any reasonable

accommodation.

A parent of a disabled son who was denied a summer

recreation

program, though programs were available to his peers.

An employee returning to work after becoming disabled;

he was not given the opportunities for advancement that he thought

he deserved.

An employer of a worker who uses a wheelchair who was

no longer willing to accept the employee’s poor performance and bad

attitude.

Schnitzler grew up in New York City, went to Hunter College,

taught school, and raised three children. As a reaction to a family

member’s disability, she made it her mission "to help people to

see beyond the disability to the person." With a state grant she

taught parents to run "More Alike than Different," a

disability

awareness program for third graders. In 1981 when the disability

awareness

movement was just starting, her first client was IBM in Dayton, and

her practice spread. During the 1980s awareness grew, and the ADA

law passed in 1990. Title I was effective in 1992, and in 1994 it

applied even to smaller businesses, those with 15 or more employees.

She has expanded her practice from just training to consulting and

mediation and can just as easily be on management side as on the

employee

side.

Still, though the ADA now legislates acceptance, Schnitzler says that

most people are still not comfortable with people with disabilities:

"We made curb cuts, but not cuts in our belief system." And

though the ADA law is in the books, interpretations vary widely.

"I understand people’s frustration with the law as not specific

enough," she says. "That’s also the beauty of the law —

because you have to look at each individual person."

Top Of Page
Clockwatching Caregivers

Ninety-five percent of the people who qualify to be

in nursing homes are actually cared for at home, says Michael L.

Rosenthal.

"This has great impact on the workplace. It affects the employees’

work. People who were never absent before start missing days. Or they

become clock watchers," he warns.

Rosenthal will lead a series of interactive support/group seminars

for caregivers and potential caregivers. Introductory 90-minute

sessions,

entitled "Key Concepts for Dealing with the Concerns of Your Aging

Parents," are scheduled on Thursday, February 19, in six time

periods — 9 and 11 a.m. and 1, 3, 6, and 8 p.m. A similar series

is scheduled for Thursday, February 26. The cost is $15. Preregister

at 609-921-1782.

Just like those who have children but work fulltime, workers who have

elderly parents at home never know what they will encounter after

work.

"I know quite well the concerns people have," says Rosenthal.

For a dozen years he had been a caregiver to his own parents. Once

he came home to find his aged father had gone down to the cellar and

moved all the heavy power tools around. Another time he found his

mother screaming, standing in the middle of the kitchen, clutching

a teapot full of boiling water, unable to hold it but not able to

find a place to put it down.

"Although one cannot deny a diagnosis, one can and should go to

great lengths to defy any and all negativity — and this includes

the effects of aging both on the elderly and their caregivers.

Attitude

is vitally important in confronting all issues," he says, "and

being positive can be significantly instrumental in creating positive

physical outcomes — and additional feelings of strength and

well-being."

He quotes the late Viktor Frankel, the Auschwitz survivor and

philosopher,

who believed that if one has a purpose in life, one can survive

anything.

"Give your parent a purpose for what they can do right now. Tell

them you have to get a mailing out, and give them the stamps to put

on your letters. Keep it in the moment: `That’s your job right

now.’"

Rosenthal has a variety of degrees and a myriad of experiences that

he draws on for his counseling and social work practice. He grew up

in Trenton where his father was a teacher and his mother a bookkeeper,

went to George Washington University (Class of 1963), earned a

master’s

degree from American University in education, taught junior high

school

in Trenton, earned a second master’s degree in guidance and counseling

from Rider, then worked as a counselor at Nottingham High, and earned

his Ed.D. from Rutgers.

In 1976 Rosenthal opened his own practice, first in Pennington, and

then in Lawrenceville. "I was one of the first career counselors

back then," he says. He went back to school yet one more time

to get a master’s degree in social work from the Wurzweiler School

of Social Work at Yeshiva University.

"I work with people in anything that they and I feel I can help

with — careers, relationships, children having problems in school.

I have taken on the two specialties, elderly parents and children

having problems in school because I have much experience with

them."

Just as a toddler has a dream of going to kindergarten, the elderly

parent sometimes thinks he should be back in the workplace. "In

a way it is like caring for a young child," says Rosenthal.

"You

find your father up at 3 a.m. getting dressed, saying he is going

to work. This is a problem: He has no work and it is 3 a.m."

Instead of imparting the harsh reality, use validity therapy, he

suggests.

"Work with where they are emotionally. Instead of saying, `You

don’t have any work,’ say, `You can take the day off today.’"

Top Of Page
Sun’s Papadopoulos at Rutgers

Learn about linear programming and progress toward a

wireless Internet when Rutgers’ computer science department hosts

an open house on Friday, February 13, at 9 a.m. in the CoRE building

on Rutgers’ Busch campus in Piscataway. The free program will include

talks, project demonstrations, and laboratory tours.

The keynote speaker: Greg Papadopoulous, chief technology

officer

of Sun Microsystems, a California-based computer industry giant that

donated much of the equipment in the new program. The program focuses

on the design, development, and deployment of advanced Internet and

World Wide Web systems.

"Our new Internet Technology Initiative establishes Rutgers as

the place to study Internet, both for network technologists and those

working in technology management," says Tomasz Imielinski,

chairman of the computer science department and director of the

initiative.

He teaches courses in database systems and networking technology and

is known for research in mobile and wireless computing and database

mining.

With the technology transfer program, Rutgers students and faculty

can use the facilities to establish new high-tech businesses in the

state. The initiative includes an Internet Technology Laboratory as

well as an Internet Telephony Laboratory for development of software

tools for Internet access with a telephone interface enhanced with

speech recognition capabilities.

It also offers new certificate programs in network technology and

network technology management.

Born in Gdansk, Poland, the birthplace of the Solidarity movement,

Imielinski also plays lead guitar for a Rutgers faculty heavy metal

band, the Professors. "Some of my students try to get independent

studies in mobile computing by telling me what instrument they

play,"

he said (U.S. 1, September 24).


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