Municipal Law Practice Areas

Dorsey & Semrau Litigation Team
Dorsey & Semrau Tax Appeal Team
Dorsey & Semrau Open Records Act Team

Zoning and Defense of Ordinance Challenges

The Firm has extensive experience defending municipal land use challenges and zoning ordinances, including successful outcomes in Washington Township (Morris County), Mount Olive Township, West Milford Township and Hanover Township. Zoning and Ordinance challenges are also known as Prerogative Writ cases. There are few firms in the State that have extensive experience in this area of the law. We have the experience and success of significant decisions defending zoning ordinances in Passaic, Morris and Sussex Counties.


Land Use and Affordable Housing Issues

With a demonstrated focus on the differing needs, concerns, and nuances of communities, we have guided numerous municipalities through the affordable housing process and successfully obtained substantive certification for those towns. We have handled numerous issues relating to affordable housing as each municipality has their own specific challenges and issues to address in order to protect the overall goals of the community.

Contract Matters Involving Public Entities

Dorsey & Semrau has successfully defended a wide variety of municipal contract matters, including land acquisition, construction, and local public contract disputes.


Municipal Tax Appeals

We have provided the defense of municipal tax appeals to numerous municipalities, using our extensive experience to file appropriate motions, minimizing our clients’ exposure and costs in the defense of such appeals. We have also been successful in filing added or increased assessments against properties which have been determined to be undervalued. This has resulted in over $1 million in tax revenue in the last five years as a result of counterclaims or municipal tax appeals for increases in assessments. We do not file tax appeals against municipalities.

Municipal Attorney

The Firm has proudly and consistently served as Municipal Attorney for multiple municipalities over the past 25 years. The office is staffed to handle the day-to-day questions and needs of public entities in all phases of municipal law. Our focus is strictly focused on defending, and providing legal guidance to, public entities. We do not file claims or challenges against municipalities.

Open Public Records Act

We provide extensive guidance to Municipal Clerks regarding requests for government records pursuant to the Open Public Records Act and common law. We have defended Municipal Clerks in their decision, as well as Police Departments with respect to the Open Public Records Act. We have a very good success rate of defending decisions and advising our clients in order to ensure transparency.

Open Public Meetings Act

Having served as Municipal Counsel annually at over 150 municipal meetings, we have many years of experience in providing legal guidance on the Open Public Meetings Act.

Drafting Legislation

The Firm has drafted countless ordinances and resolutions and provided legal counsel to support the needs of the governing bodies and their legislative directives.

Special Labor Counsel

We have served as Special Labor Counsel, as well as hearing officers at disciplinary matters.
(973) 334-1900
(973) 334-3408