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Corporation Counsel

City of Union City Request for Proposals from Law Firms Interested in Serving as
“Corporation Counsel” for the City of Union City
for the Period July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021


Pursuant to the Fair and Open Process described under N.J.S.A. 19:44A-1, et seq., the City of Union City (“City”) seeks proposals in response to this Request for Proposals (“RFP”) from law firms licensed to practice law in the State of New Jersey that wish to provide general counsel services to the City as directed by the Board of Commissioners or other appropriate official within the City for a contract period from July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021.  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 attached hereto).    The successful firm must have significant experience in representing New Jersey municipalities as corporation counsel.  The successful firm will provide the City with legal guidance relating to, but not necessarily limited to:

1.    Legal research and/or advisory opinions as needed;

2.    Represent the City in federal and state courts and administrative forums;

3.    Review, analyze and advise the City on any application before it;

4.    Review and/or draft resolutions and ordinances;

5.    Attend all meetings of the Board of Commissioners and any other board or committee as directed;

6.    Perform all requirements of the position of Corporation Counsel pursuant to the City of Union City Code, et seq.

7.    Conduct programs on various municipal issues for appropriate elected officials, City employees, Board members or other persons upon request;

8.    Notify the City of changes in law or regulations, as well as Court decisions, that impact the City and its officials; and

9.    Any other matters as directed by the appropriate City official(s).

10.    Corporation Counsel shall not provide the following services: Tenant Advocate Counsel, Rent Control Counsel, Zoning Board Attorney, Planning Board Attorney, Bond Counsel, ABC Prosecutor, Public Defender, Municipal Prosecutor, Tax Appeal Attorney, Workers’ Compensation Attorney.

11.    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.  

Each candidate shall submit proof of business registration with the New Jersey Division of Taxation (P.L. 2004, C.57) prior to the award of contract but preferably with their proposal,  and must comply with the Affirmative Action requirements contained at N.J.A.C. 17:27 et seq.  (See Exhibit A attached hereto).

Proposers are advised that the contract with the successful proposer will permit the City to make payments to the successful proposer for approved services in accordance with, and within the time permitted by, the law governing prompt payment of public contracts for the purchase of goods and services.

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 firm shall submit the following information:

1.    Name of 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 attorneys will be assigned to work with the City of Union City;

3.    Areas of Practice;

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

5.    Experience related to representation of municipalities as general counsel 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 corporation counsel;

7.    Examples of your record of success representing municipalities as corporation counsel;

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, all expenses, and where appropriate, total cost of “not to exceed” amount 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) (form provided);

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

12.    Business Registration Certificate (prior to the award of contract but preferably with the proposal);  

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; and

14.    The successful proposer must comply with the requirements set forth in the Mandatory Equal Employment Opportunity language included herewith (Exhibit A).

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.    Experience in representing municipalities as general counsel in urban environments substantially similar to the City of Union City and references;

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

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

5.    The cost and expense that will be necessary to familiarize the attorney with the municipal issues facing the City;

6.   Cost competitiveness in light of all of the above factors;

7.    Proven experience as a municipal attorney and extensive knowledge of municipal law, including, but not limited to, the Open Public Meetings Act, the Open Public Records Act and municipal pay to play laws, rules and regulations; and

8.    Experience in representing municipality(ies) operating under the commission form of government.

9.  Attorney having a Diplomate in New Jersey Local Government Law is

    Submission Requirements

    Sealed proposals will be publicly opened by the Union City Clerk in her offices at Union City Hall, 3715 Palisade Avenue, Union City, at 2:45 PM on July 24, 2020.  The sealed proposal must be received no later than 2:45 PM on July 24, 2020 by:

Erin Knoedler, City Clerk
City of Union City
3715 Palisade Avenue
Union City, New Jersey 07086

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

View Official Notice Here