As the son of small business owners, I understand the importance of striking a balance between efficient legal guidance and practical business realities. Effective legal representation requires an approach filled with compassion, creativity, persistence and attention to detail, and I strive to deliver that to my clients each and every day.

Mr. Mlenak concentrates a majority of his practice in the area of community association law, providing strategic guidance and general counseling to the firm's association clients across a broad range of legal issues.  His work encompasses the interpretation and amendment of governing documents and by-laws, drafting contracts, collection of delinquent assessments, the enforcement of rules and regulations, operational and maintenance issues, the fiduciary responsibilities of board members, transition negotiations and litigation, Municipal Services Act compliance, and alternative dispute resolution. He represents clients in construction defect litigation, Fair Housing discrimination cases and landlord-tenant matters.

Mr. Mlenak also provides support and guidance to clients on a variety of land use matters, including site plan, subdivision and variance applications, and counsels both developers and municipalities on issues related to the redevelopment process. His work in this area is enhanced by the valuable legislative experience he garnered while serving as Chief of Staff for a member of New Jersey's General Assembly, prior to entering private practice. 

Honors & Awards

  • While attending law school, Mr. Mlenak was a semi-finalist in the Nathan Baker Mock Trial Competition, and was a three-time merit scholarship recipient

Representative Matters

  • Mr. Mlenak played a significant role in representing a New Jersey condominium association in its successful appeal of a U.S. Bankruptcy Court decision. In In re: Rones, the Bankruptcy Court had ruled that Chapter 13 debtors could “strip” all but the 6 month priority portion of the condominium’s lien by reasoning that the New Jersey Condominium Act only afforded a payment priority, rather than a true lien priority which would protect the lien as a secured claim. On appeal, the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey reversed the Bankruptcy Court and held that the limited priority granted condominium liens in the Act protects it from being stripped or crammed down in any way. The impact of the important ruling is that condominium debtors will now be required to pay back the entirety of the validly-filed condominium lien as a secured debt in order to have a Chapter 13 plan confirmed. Mr. Mlenak authored the appellate and reply briefs in the association's appeal during his tenure at a prior firm, and also coordinated with the Community Associations Institute-New Jersey Chapter (CAI-NJ) in its filing as amicus curiae in support of the association

Uniquely NJ

  • Member, Community Associations Institute - New Jersey Chapter: member, National Legislative Action Committee - NJ 
  • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Member, New Jersey Apartments Association
  • Member, New Jersey Property Owners Association
  • Appointed a Commissioner of the Somerset Raritan Valley Sewerage Authority for two year term (2014-2016); reappointed for five year term (2016-2021)
  • Former Chief of Staff to New Jersey Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (2011-2012)
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More Activities & Experience

  • Member, American Bar Association: Young Lawyers Division
  • Former judicial intern to The Honorable Sebastian P. Lombardi, New Jersey Superior Court (2009)

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

Publications & Alerts

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Practice Groups

Education

Rutgers University School of Law-Newark, J.D., 2011

University of Connecticut, B.A., 2008

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 2011
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 2011 
  • New York, 2013