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Gordon Duus, shareholder and chair of the environmental department, Mandelbaum Salsburg law firm, Roseland, NJ Gordon Duus, shareholder and chair of the environmental department, Mandelbaum Salsburg law firm, Roseland, NJ

Gordon Duus is a shareholder and chair of the Environmental Department at the law firm of Mandelbaum Salsburg in Roseland, NJ.  In 35 years of practicing environmental law, he has been involved in thousands of real estate transactions, including the purchase, sale, leasing and financing of real estate, many involving contaminated properties, and has assisted his clients with obtaining hundreds of environmental insurance policies. This is part one of a two-part conversation. Part two will appear on GlobeSt.com’s New Jersey page on Friday.

Q: How is environmental insurance used in real estate transactions? A: Environmental insurance can be used to manage unknown environmental risks in real estate transactions, so that the insurer assumes the risks that the parties to the transaction would prefer to avoid. Getting someone to accept those risks sometimes threatens the ability to close the transaction. For example, in every transaction the parties need to agree who will pay the cost to clean up pre-existing contamination that may be discovered on the insured property after closing. Where the risk has a higher probability of occurring, such as on industrial properties, gas stations and shopping centers with dry cleaning operations, a key obstacle in closing the deal is getting someone to accept that risk. In my experience, when the parties are negotiating who will accept this risk, if I suggest that environmental insurance can be obtained at a cost-effective price so that the insurance company will pick up most of this risk, the parties are apt to give serious consideration to buying environmental insurance to facilitate closing the deal.

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Steve Lubetkin

Steve Lubetkin is the New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for GlobeSt.com. He is currently filling in covering Chicago and Midwest markets until a new permanent editor is named. He previously filled in covering Atlanta. Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. His audio and video work for GlobeSt.com has been honored by the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced audio podcasts on CRE topics for the NAR Commercial Division and the CCIM Institute. Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for CEOReport.com, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies. Steve also reports on-camera and covers conferences for NJSpotlight.com, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of StateBroadcastNews.com, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC. Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996. Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional. You can email Steve at [email protected].

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