Chair, Environmental Department
Chair, Environmental Practice Group
Mr. Farer joined the firm in January 2012 as chair of GRSD's newly established Environmental Department. A nationally-renowned environmental lawyer, Mr. Farer previously chaired the Environmental & Brownfields practice group at Farer Fersko, where he established that firm's environmental practice in 1984.
Mr. Farer concentrates his practice on the impact of environmental laws on transactions and real property in New Jersey and around the nation. He has been on the cutting edge of developments in the environmental law sector since the 1980s. He has extensive experience related to the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated properties including brownfields, environmental compliance and insurance issues, institutional and engineering controls, assessing and negotiating liability under federal and state Superfund laws, resolution of environmental issues in bankruptcy proceedings, litigation arising from those issues, and the emerging field of sustainable development and green building. For over twenty-five years, Mr. Farer has written and lectured extensively on environmental issues in New Jersey and nationally. He was the first New Jersey lawyer to be appointed a Fellow in the American College of Environmental Lawyers
Mr. Farer advises clients on environmental contractual protection techniques, due diligence, transaction-triggered environmental laws, funding options for brownfields redevelopment, state and federal cleanup liabilities, deed notices and use restrictions, and environmental disclosures. He has substantial experience as special environmental counsel in bankruptcy proceedings, dealing with state and federal environmental authorities in the process of estimating and resolving environmental liabilities of bankrupt entities.
Mr. Farer has been serving as Special Master in environmental lawsuits in New Jersey, having been appointed to those positions by Judges of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division. He is a qualified mediator under New Jersey court rules. He has also been selected by the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, to serve on the District’s Panel of Mediators.
Mr. Farer developed and chairs two long-standing American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE, formerly ALI-ABA) national courses of study: "The Impact of Environmental Law on Real Estate and Business Transactions: Brownfields and Beyond," which has been presented since 1987, and "Environmental Insurance." The Brownfields course will next be presented in Philadelphia in April 2013.
Since the mid-1980s, Mr. Farer has developed and presented numerous seminars for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE), including his longstanding series of lectures, programs and associated manuals on New Jersey’s Industrial Site Recovery Act (ISRA, formerly ECRA) and New Jersey’s Brownfield Law. His most recent NJICLE programs have focused on New Jersey's Site Remediation Reform Act and its Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program.
The eighth edition of Mr. Farer’s “ISRA Compliance” manual is scheduled for publication in November 2013 in conjunction with the latest of his NJICLE seminars on November 21, 2013.
Professional Activities / Honors
- Fellow of the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL); member of the Executive Committee; co-chair of the Program and Education Committee.
- Member of the Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources (SEER) and the Section of Dispute Resolution of the American Bar Association.
- Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent.
- Selected for inclusion in Chambers USA - America's Leading Lawyers for Business in the Environmental practice area, since 2005.
- Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the area of Environmental Law, since 2007.
- Listed in New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Environmental practice area, since 2005.
- Selected for inclusion in “Who’s Who Legal: The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers – Environment," since 2010.
- Profiled in “Meet the Lawyers” as one of New Jersey’s leading real estate lawyers by Real Estate New Jersey Magazine (2007, 2008).
Selected Publications / Articles / Presentations
- Author, "In Post-Sandy Moves, New Jersey Adopts FEMA Flood Maps in Emergency Rule," Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP Client Alert, February 2013.
- Interviewed David J. Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, at the October 2012 annual meeting of the American College of Environmental Lawyers (ACOEL), Washington, D.C. In 2009, Mr. Farer had the honor of interviewing Mr. Hayes for a special ACOEL presentation on the Obama administration’s environmental initiatives and priorities.
- Mr. Farer was interviewed by the Bureau of National Affairs Toxic Law Reporter, and is quoted in that publication's coverage of the New Jersey Supreme Court's September 26, 2012 decision in New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection v. Dimant. For additional information on this important ruling, in which the Court determined that Spill Act damage claims must be supported by a reasonable link between an alleged discharger's actions and environmental contamination at a specific site, please read our Client Alert on the decision.
- Moderator, The Dangers Within: An Update on Dealing with Environmental Hazards in the Workplace, New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association 10th Annual Full Day CLE Conference, September 21, 2012.
- Featured in the September 2012 issue of Commerce magazine, in which leading environmental professionals in New Jersey comment on the ongoing implementation and impact of the state’s Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) program. The magazine is a publication of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey (CIANJ).
- Interviewed for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) website in March 2013 on the legislative and regulatory impacts of Superstorm Sandy, as well as vapor intrusion and other environmental issues in the workplace; in March 2012 on the regulation of environmentally sustainable building; in March 2011 on brownfield redevelopment opportunities.
- Author, "ISRA Compliance: Environmental Issues in Transactions, Brownfield Redevelopment and the Site Remediation Reform Act," 7th Edition, NJICLE, 2010. (8th Edition scheduled for publication in November 2013.)
- Lecturer, "ISRA Compliance: Environmental Issues in Transactions," NJICLE, 1985 to present.
- Planning Chair and Faculty Member, "The Impact of Environmental Law on Real Estate and Business Transactions: Brownfields and Beyond," ALI CLE (formerly ALI-ABA) national course of study, 1987 to present.
- Planning Chair and Faculty Member, "Environmental Insurance: Emerging Issues and Latest Developments on the New Coverage and Insurance Cost Recovery," ALI CLE national course of study, 2000 to present.
- Discussion Leader, "Environmental Hazards in the Workplace," NAREIT REITWise 2013 Law, Accounting & Finance Conference, March 2013.
- Discussion Leader, "Green Issues Roundtable," NAREIT REITWise 2011 Law, Accounting & Finance Conference; March 2011.
- Presenter, "Allocation of Environmental Risks in Transactions," American College of Environmental Lawyers Annual Meeting, September 2011.
- Author, "Transaction-Triggered Environmental Laws, Transfer Notice Laws and Super Liens," ALI CLE Course of Study Materials, 2013, updated since 1987.
- Author, "Brownfield Redevelopment Initiatives: Federal and Selected State Developments," ALI CLE Course of Study Materials, 2013.
- Author, "Institutional Controls: Deed Notices, Transfer Notices, Environmental Covenants and Environmental Use Restrictions," ALI CLE Course of Study Materials, 2013, updated since 1987.
- Author, "Contractual Allocation of Environmental Risks in Transactions: Recent Case Law Developments Under CERCLA and Selected Contract Excerpts," ALI CLE Course of Study Materials, 2013, updated since 1987.
- Planning Chair and Faculty Member, "Environmental Insurance: Market Update and the Latest on Negotiation and Claim Strategies," ALI-ABA Video Webcast, May 2011.
- Planning Chair and Faculty Member, "Allocating Environmental Risk in Transactions: Case Law and Drafting Tips," ALI-ABA Audio Webinar, March 2011.
- Author, "Contractual Allocation of Environmental Risk in Transactions: Recent Case Law Developments under CERCLA" and "Selected Contract Excerpts From Synopsized Cases on Contractual Allocation of Risk," ALI-ABA Webinar Materials, March 2011.
- Contributing Author, "Environmental Aspects of Real Estate & Commercial Transactions: From Brownfields to Green Buildings" – Chapter: "Transaction-Triggered Environmental Laws," American Bar Association, 4th Edition 2011.
- Faculty, "Environmental Law Update: Hot Topics for In-House Counsel," New Jersey Law Journal In-House Counsel CLE Seminar, November 2010.
- Planning Chair and Faculty Member, "Site Remediation Reform and the New LSRP System: Transactional, Technical and Brownfield Impacts," NJICLE; March 2010.
- Author, "Site Remediation Reform Act Overview," New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education Seminar Materials, 7th Edition 2010.
- Planning Chair and Faculty Member, "ISRA 2009: Environmental Issues in Transactions & Brownfield Redevelopment & the New Site Remediation Reform Act," NJICLE; May 2009.
- Discussion Leader, "Green Leases Roundtable," NAREIT REITwise 2009 Law, Accounting & Finance Conference; March 2009.
- Moderator, "Climate Change Legislation and Regulation," American College of Environmental Lawyers Annual Meeting, October 2009.
- Presenter, "A Brownfield Redevelopment Case Study: K. Hovnanian’s Tides at Seaboard Point," Pace University Law School, May 2008.
- Mr. Farer argued successfully before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v CDMG Realty Co., where the court held that an interim property owner cannot be held responsible under the federal Superfund law for “passive migration” of pre-existing contamination.
- In April 2002, Mr. Farer lectured in London on U.S. environmental law issues. The three-day international law symposium was co-sponsored by the U.K. Law Society, the European Company Lawyers Association and ALI-ABA. Faculty members included former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, senior judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals and other noted U.S. teachers and practitioners.
- Massachusetts, 1978
- New Jersey, 1979
- U.S. Supreme Court, 1986
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit, 1995