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RFP

Tenant’s Advocacy Attorney

City of Union City Requests Proposals From Attorneys Interested in Serving as “Tenant’s Advocacy Attorney”  for the City of Union City for the Period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019


Introduction

Pursuant to the Fair and Open Process described under N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1, et seq., the City seeks Requests for Proposals (“RFP”) from attorneys licensed to practice law in the State of New Jersey that wish to provide tenant’s advocacy services to the general public in the City as directed by the Board of Commissioners or other appropriate official within the City for a contract period July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019.  All candidates are required to comply with N.J.S.A. 10:5-31 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 17:27 et seq. as amended.  (Affirmative Action.  See Exhibit A included herewith).  Each candidate shall submit proof of business registration with the New Jersey Division of Taxation (P.L. 2004, C.57) within the time permitted by law.  The successful attorney must have significant experience in representing residential tenants as a tenant’s advocate.  

The City reserves the right to award a contract to a single attorney/firm to provide all the services required by the RFP, or to award contracts to multiple attorneys/firms to provide a portion of the services required by the RFP.  By way of non-limiting example, the City may award contracts to multiple attorneys/firms for court appearances and award separate contracts to attorneys/firms to provide counseling to citizens.

The successful attorney among his/her other duties may be requested to do any or all of the following:

1.    Provide and distribute information to tenants regarding federal, state and municipal laws affecting the rights and duties of landlords and tenants.

2.    Distribute information specifically dealing with tenants’ legal rights;

3.    Write and publish information pamphlets, leaflets or booklets providing information on tenant/landlord rights and duties;

4.    Operate a hotline to provide advice to tenants;

5.    Promote, sponsor and organize tenants’ rights workshops to disseminate information between tenants and tenant groups and assist tenants in organizing to protect tenants’ rights;

6.    Receive and forward to appropriate agencies of the city complaints from tenants relating to the administrative action or inaction of any department;

7.    Give free advice and assistance to apartment dwellers in their dealings with the city rent control board or appeals before the Board;

8.    Appear before state and federal tribunals on behalf of tenants as assigned by the City;

9.    Any other matters as directed by the appropriate City official(s).
10.    The vendor shall provide monthly billing statements that include a brief statement showing the original amount of the Contract, any increases established by amendment to the Contract, the amount previously billed under the Contract, and the total amount of unbilled funds remaining available under the Contract, and the total amount of unbilled funds remaining available under the Contract after deduction of the most recent amount billed.  A copy of each billing statement shall be made available to the State Fiscal Oversight Officer upon request.  

11.    The vendor shall also provide the services of a paralegal. Bilingual paralegals are preferred.

Each candidate shall submit proof of business registration with the New Jersey Division of Taxation (P.L. 2004, C.57) within the time permitted by law and must comply with the Affirmative Action requirements contained at N.J.A.C. 17:27 et seq. (See Exhibit A attached hereto)

Professional Information and Qualifications
    Copies of these standardized submission requirements and selection criteria are on file and available from the Office of the City Clerk.  Each interested attorney shall submit the following information:

1.    Name of attorney/firm;
2.    Address of principal place of business and all attorneys or firm’s offices and corresponding telephone and fax numbers.  Please note specifically which attorney will be assigned to work with the City;

3.    Areas of Practice;
4.    Description of attorneys’ education, experience, qualifications, number of years with the present law firm and a description of their experience with projects similar to those described above;

5.    Experience related to representation of municipalities as a tenant’s advocate in an urban environment in New Jersey which is substantially similar to the City of Union City;
 
6.    At least four (4) references, three (3) of which must have knowledge of your representation of municipalities as a tenant’s advocate;

7.    Examples of your record of success representing municipalities as a tenant’s advocate;

8.    The firm’s ability to provide the services in a timely fashion (including staffing, familiarity and location of key staff);

9.    Cost details, including the hourly rates of each of the individuals who will perform the services and the time estimates for each individual, and all expenses and provide a “not to exceed amount” for these services, taking into account that the City will not pay more than $150.00 per hour for the services of any attorney;

10.    Statement of corporate ownership (c.52:25-24.2);

11.    Disclosure of Investment Activities in Iran Form (c. 52:32-55, et seq.);

12.    Business Registration Certificate (within time permitted by law); and

13.    Statement, see attached, executed by a corporate officer, member, partner or   sole proprietor certifying that there are no prior or pending ethics complaints against them or their company;

14.    List of paralegals and their qualifications. Please note specifically which paralegals will be assigned to work with the City.

Selection Criteria

    The selection criteria used in awarding a contract or agreement for professional services as described herein shall include:

1.    Qualifications of the individuals who will perform the tasks and the amounts of their respective participation;

2.    Proven experience in representing municipalities as a tenant’s advocate in urban environments substantially similar to Union City and references;

3.    Ability to perform the task in a timely fashion, including staffing and familiarity with the subject matter; and

4.    Ability to be available with the appropriate personnel at all times necessary to accomplish the representation; and

Submission Requirements

Sealed RFPs will be publicly opened by the Union City Clerk in her offices at Union City Hall, 3715 Palisade Avenue, Union City, at 1:20 p.m. on July 6, 2018.  The RFP must be received no later than 1:20 p.m. on July 6, 2018 by:

Erin Knoedler, City Clerk
City of Union City
3715 Palisade Avenue
Union City, New Jersey 07087

Please submit one original and two (2) copies of the RFP.  Use white 8 ½” x 11” paper.

View Official Notice Here