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Administrative Coordinator

Recognized by Newsday as a Top Workplace, Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP – a premier law firm with offices across Long Island – is seeking a highly motivated Administrative Coordinator based in our Ronkonkoma office. This position is a fantastic opportunity to get your foot in the door at a respected, busy firm and develop your administrative skills in a professional atmosphere.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Basic IT tasks such as changing toner, moving/setting up computers and peripherals, ordering devices, phone setup/maintenance, inventory management, communicating with vendors, external IT provider and software helpdesks to solve user issues, etc.
  • Tech support for events and meetings, including videoconferencing, recording, setting up presentation materials (such as PowerPoints)
  • Providing backup for busy reception desk (including answering and routing calls)
  • Unpacking supplies and filling supply requests
  • Straightening up, rearranging and restocking conference rooms, kitchens and Training Room
  • Preparing offices/workspaces for new hires and other personnel
  • Other administrative tasks as assigned

Qualifications

  • Strong communication skills: comfortable answering phones and greeting clients
  • Extremely tech savvy: proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Acrobat, Teams, Zoom, PowerPoint
  • Ability to work well under pressure and handle and prioritize multiple tasks
  • Impeccable attention to detail and strong organizational skills
  • Prior office experience required
  • Customer service experience a plus
  • Reliable and punctual
  • Team player

About CMM

Campolo, Middleton & McCormick, LLP is a premier business law firm recognized by Forbes as a Top Corporate Law Firm in America. The firm seeks candidates who share our mission to exceed our clients’ expectations and provide service of the highest quality.

Benefits of working at CMM include:

  • The opportunity to work with professionals on diverse projects at a recognized law firm with a stellar reputation
  • Benefits including health, dental, and vision insurance, life insurance, and flexible paid time off

Please email resume and cover letter to recruiting@cmmllp.com.

CMM is an equal opportunity employer.

Navigating Your Commercial Lease Agreement During Inflation

Posted: June 22nd, 2022

By: Arthur Yermash, Esq. email

Tags: ,

Rising inflation is influencing virtually every aspect of life. For commercial landlords and tenants alike, it is more important than ever to focus on rent escalation provisions in your commercial lease agreement.

Instead of fixed and consistent increases in rent, some commercial leases provide for rent to increase in line with certain economic metrics: for example, the consumer price index. This is especially relevant as it relates to tenant renewal options. Where inflation is especially notable, as has been the case this year, rent increase formulas that rely on economic metrics to calculate an increase in rent may yield unexpectedly high rent for a commercial tenant, and may result in an unexpected windfall for a commercial landlord. Since the commercial real estate market relies on certain market equilibrium, unexpected or unanticipated increases in formulaic rent may have unintended disruptive market consequences. Focusing on these issues now will help minimize disputes and non-payment for commercial landlords and business risk for commercial tenants.

Negotiating Your Commercial Lease Agreement

For commercial landlords, protecting property interests and maintaining consistent profitability are two focal points when drafting and negotiating a commercial lease agreement. For commercial tenants, managing risk and expense (as well as future increases) is a vital part of negotiating a commercial lease agreement. Inflation and rent escalation clauses go hand in hand – when inflation rises, rents rise along with it. While inflation is not a new economic concept, rising inflation at unusual rates does create unanticipated results.

Clarity on rent and rent increase is an integral part of any lease. Most commonly, commercial leases provide for annual rent increases at a fixed rate. Sometimes, these increases are not annual, but every few years. Where things become more complex is when increases are tied to economic metrics. As we address the four common commercial lease rent structures, it is important to think about these in the context of periods of high inflation. 

Common Forms of Rent Escalation

  1. Fixed Increases (also known as Stepped or Percentage Increases) allow landlords to increase rent by a set amount at specific points in the duration of the lease agreement. This is one of the most popular options because it is a relatively straightforward method. However, a landlord may feel cheated out of profits if costs have gone up and a tenant may feel like they lost out on potential savings if costs have gone down.
  • Pass Through Escalation is a form of rent escalation that is initiated only when the landlord experiences an increase in costs that have been specified in the commercial lease agreement. This is most common in scenarios where a commercial tenant is responsible for compensating landlord for building operating expenses.
  • Direct Operating Cost Escalation is similar to the Pass Through option, except here the escalation is based on the increases of all the operating costs such as utilities, security, and maintenance.
  • Indexed/Variable Escalation (Consumer Price Index or another inflation index) – This option allows landlords to increase rent when an established index rises. Often, a cap will be included on how much the rent can go up in a year. This option is not favorable to tenants because index increases can be very unpredictable and dramatic.

Understanding the various rent escalation options is critical for commercial landlords and tenants negotiating new leases.

For existing leases that have rent escalations tied to inflation risk, it is critical to understand how the current economic environment will impact future rent. A common issue is whether a commercial tenant should exercise a right it may have in the lease to renew. Often, tenant renewal options provide for rent to be calculated using market metrics. Conceptually, this generally works well where the economic environment is stable and inflation is low. In such cases, the formulaic rent escalations adjust the rent to where the market suggests it should be and mostly everyone is satisfied. However, in situations where the economic market is unstable and inflation is especially high, the formulaic rent escalations could adjust the rent to extreme amounts not expected by landlords or tenants. For tenants, this could create an increase in rental expenses beyond what may been budgeted or sustainable by the business. For landlords, this could create scenarios where multiple tenants are unable to afford the drastically increased rent, leading to higher rate of default.

Ultimately, by highlighting and focusing on the impact of inflation on commercial rent increases, our goal is to shed light on this critical but often overlooked legal and business issue.

Here at CMM, we help clients – whether they are landlords or tenants – navigate how to structure the commercial lease agreement and the rent escalation provisions. We would be happy to help businesses navigate their existing leases to assist with making sound business decisions in light of existing rental escalation framework. 

Please contact us to discuss options.

Thank you to Ashley Cohen, Esq. for her contributions to this article.

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter. The firm provides legal advice and other services only to persons or entities with which it has established an attorney-client relationship.

CMM Closes €11 Million Investment for Client in Belgian Company

Posted: June 20th, 2022

Successfully closing an investment deal can be a taxing endeavor as the process requires clarity of communication, transparency, and unwavering focus. Executing on this process in a transnational transaction is even more challenging. But as our client can attest, it’s possible with the right counsel, as our team just closed an €11 million investment for our client.

Through this investment, our client obtained a 10% equity interest in a Belgian company specializing in the development of axial flux motors for electric vehicles. CMM’s team – Donald Rassiger, Marc Saracino, and Zachary Mike – served as lead counsel, with support from one of CMM’s partner law firms in Belgium. This was a strategic investment for our client, as the development of the investment target’s products is critical to the client’s other investments across the globe. Further, by closing this investment, CMM helped not only our client but also provided support for the growth and development of the burgeoning electric vehicle industry.

This transaction highlights CMM’s ability to close significant multinational transactions and bridge the various legal, language, and cultural gaps that exist in cross-border transactions. CMM has supported our client in over $100 million in investments around the world over the past two years. This investment closing is one of many that exemplifies CMM’s ability to close challenging deals and help clients achieve their goals.

To learn more about how we can help you, please contact us.

DeMaio Sworn in as Officer of the Suffolk Academy of Law

Posted: June 10th, 2022

Campolo, Middleton & McCormick is proud to announce that Senior Associate Richard DeMaio was recently sworn in as an Officer of the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Academy of Law. He was sworn in by the newly installed SCBA President Vincent J. Messina Jr. at the SCBA’s 114th Annual Installation Dinner on June 1.

DeMaio has been extremely involved in the SCBA and has acted as an invaluable resource to the Academy of Law over the years. In addition to his new role as an Officer of the Academy, DeMaio also serves as a member of their Marketing Committee. Officers of the Academy serve four years on the board.

DeMaio is a litigation attorney that focuses on contract issues, business disputes, environmental matters, and municipal matters in state and federal court. His municipal work includes Article 78 proceedings, zoning/land use matters, and defending municipalities. He also focuses on commercial landlord-tenant cases and a variety of appeals. Richard works extensively on researching and drafting motions and appellate briefs in state and federal court. He has argued and won several appeals pertaining to land use/zoning, commercial, and general litigation.

We are pleased to congratulate DeMaio on his new role which will not only increase his involvement in the legal community but will also help the Suffolk Academy of Law build on their continuing legal education programs.

McCormick Elected First Vice President of the Suffolk County Bar Association

Posted: June 2nd, 2022

Campolo, Middleton & McCormick is proud to announce that Senior Partner Patrick McCormick has been elected First Vice President of the Suffolk County Bar Association. As First Vice President, McCormick will continue to advocate for the legal community through legal education programs and represent the SCBA in the absence of the President and President Elect.

This election is a particularly noteworthy professional milestone for McCormick, who has previously served as Second Vice President, Secretary, and Treasurer of the SCBA Board of Directors, as well as Dean of the Suffolk Academy of Law. A proven leader in the community, this election highlights McCormick’s long-standing dedication to the SCBA. McCormick was sworn in at the SCBA’s 114th Annual Installation Dinner at Villa Lombardi’s on June 1.

McCormick chairs the Appellate Practice at CMM, having built a reputation as a strategic and talented appellate attorney over three decades in the field. Representing clients in civil and criminal matters in both federal and state courts, he has argued numerous appeals, including three arguments at the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. McCormick is also a respected trial attorney, litigating all types of complex commercial and real estate matters. He represents national commercial shopping centers, retailers, and publicly traded home builders in commercial and residential landlord-tenant matters. McCormick has been recognized by his peers with the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent® rating for ethical standards and legal ability, the highest possible rating from the most recognized legal directory and resource. 

Campolo and Guide Dog Foundation’s Miller Moderate HIA-LI Gold Member Meeting

Posted: May 28th, 2022

If there are two things we love at CMM, it’s puppies and making connections within the business community! CMM’s Joe Campolo, joined John Miller, CEO of the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind and America’s VetDogs, to moderate a monthly meeting for HIA-LI Gold Members. May’s meeting was held at the Guide Dog Foundation & America’s VetDogs campus in Smithtown with fellow HIA-LI members Terri Alessi-Miceli, Rich Humann, Kevin O’Connor, Scott Maskin, Peter Klein, John Luongo, Allison Norris, and David Okorn.

Attendees were joined by special guest Tony Croslin from the New York Mets who spoke about the team’s great start and their partnership with the Guide Dog Foundation. Guide Dog’s Puppies with a Purpose, Shea and Monte, also made a special appearance!

Gold member Peter Klein and the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, of which Klein is President, showed their support for the Guide Dog Foundation with a generous donation presented at the meeting.

The HIA-LI Gold program is open to CEOs and Presidents of HIA-LI member companies that have 10 or more employees. Thanks to Joe Campolo’s vision, Gold membership offers CEOs a powerful opportunity to get involved in critical initiatives that will make all the difference for their businesses and for Long Island. If you’re a new business looking to grow, an established business searching for ways to expand, or a member of the business community interested in making connections, then a membership with HIA-LI is an effective way to advance your goals.

HIA-LI’s 34th Annual Trade Show Executive Breakfast

Posted: May 26th, 2022

On May 26, 2022,  Joe Campolo joined HIA-LI’s 34th Annual Trade Show Executive Breakfast as a panelist to discuss his efforts in revitalizing the Long Island economy. The event took place at Suffolk Federal Credit Union Arena and was filled with industry leaders and the business community who were eager to learn about the exciting things happening in our region. Panelists spoke on significant regional projects, several of which Joe Campolo has spearheaded, such as Ronkonkoma Hub, Downtown Patchogue, Long Island Innovation Park at Hauppauge, Long Island MacArthur Airport, Midway Crossing Project, Long Beach and much more.

The discussion was moderated by Marc Herbst, Executive Director at Long Island Contractor’s Association and panelists included Scott Burman, Principal at Engel Burman; John D Cameron Jr., Managing Partner at Cameron Engineering & Associates, LLP; Jim Coughlan, Principal at TRITEC Real Estate Co.; and Joe Campolo.

CMM Overcomes Motion to Dismiss in Real Property Compensation Lawsuit

Posted: May 23rd, 2022

CMM recently represented our client, a prominent real estate developer, successfully as the plaintiff in a million-dollar East End real property compensation dispute.

Our client sued the defendants (a real estate brokerage firm and its principal) to recover compensation for various services rendered unrelated to real estate brokerage activities.

Following this lawsuit, the defendants moved for an Order to dismiss the complaint. According to the defendants, our client was not a real estate broker and was therefore prohibited from collecting/splitting any commission and from commencing a legal action seeking such commission.

CMM’s Jeffrey Basso and Rich DeMaio opposed the motion to dismiss and ultimately received a favorable decision from the Court denying the motion in its entirety. In its decision, the Court held that our client’s lawsuit stated viable claims and thus, was sufficient to withstand the defendants’ motion to dismiss. The case will now proceed to discovery where CMM can continue to prosecute the claims on behalf of our client.

CMM’s litigation team is well versed in real estate matters, representing clients in all types from contract disputes to landlord-tenant proceedings. Contact us to learn more.