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Christopher John Stracco

Partner

F: (973) 210 8545
Overview Experience Insights News Education and Credentials Recognition and Community

Overview

Christopher Stracco practices in the areas of real estate, property, and general commercial litigation, including zoning, land use, and real property-related litigation, wireless and cellular telecommunications, ordinance challenges, prerogative writ, riparian rights, quiet title, deed restrictions, adverse possession, real property tax appeals, real property taxation consulting, tax foreclosures, condemnation, eminent domain, valuation litigation, and landlord-tenant litigation and lease disputes.

Christopher has been designated by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, Board on Attorney Certification, as a Certified Civil Trial Attorney.

His experience includes general commercial, tax and real property-related litigation and appeals before the courts of New Jersey; and before United States District Court for the District of New Jersey; United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York (admitted pro hac vice); United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Third Circuits; United States Bankruptcy Court.

Christopher has handled cases in all 15 of New Jersey's Superior Court vicinages.

Christopher has appeared before land use boards, governing bodies, county planning boards, and chosen Freeholders in connection with land use disputes, and has served as the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Adjustment of Frelinghuysen Township. Christopher serves on the Township Committee of Frelinghuysen Township, served as Mayor from 2020-2021, and currently serves as Deputy Mayor. He also serves on the Frelinghuysen Township Land Use Board. In addition, he has been retained as an expert witness on real property and taxation issues with regard to legal malpractice claims.

Christopher has served as Special Property Tax and Litigation Counsel for Belleville Township.

Christopher was appointed to the 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008, 2010-2011, 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 terms of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Tax Court.

Christopher has been appointed to the Appellate Practice Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Christopher has also served on the board of editors for the ABA's Property Tax Deskbook, published by the ABA's Section of Taxation.

Christopher was appointed by the Supreme Court of New Jersey to a five year term on the Board of Trustees of the IOLTA Fund of the Bar of New Jersey in 2014. In 2017, he was elected to serve as Chairman of the Board and prior to that, he served a one-year term as Treasurer.

Christopher also served on the Supreme Court of New Jersey's Professional Responsibility Rules Committee.

* No aspect of these advertisements has been approved by the highest court of any state. See Awards Methodology.

Experience

Settled a real property tax appeal of a 200-acre corporate office site, which resulted in a reduction of the original assessment of $120 million to $85 million, as well as a subdivision of the property; a donation of a portion to the municipality resulting in an income tax deduction, the dedication of roads and reciprocal easements; and the rezoning of the property

Defended a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company in connection with an easement claim involving millions of dollars in damages filed by one of New Jersey's largest development companies; a no-cause judgment was entered in favor of Day Pitney's client after a ten-day trial and the trial court's judgment was affirmed on appeal by the Appellate Division

Successfully prosecuted, on behalf of a Fortune 100 pharmaceutical company, a zoning challenge and takings claim due to a rezoning of approximately 200 acres by a municipality with the Court ruling that the rezoning by the municipality was improper after a five day trial; intrinsic development value lost by the rezoning was estimated at approximately $20 million

Successfully defended a $14 million real property tax assessment as special tax counsel on behalf of a client municipality involving a golf-course and country club after a four day trial, where the Court affirmed the tax assessment and refused to decrease the assessment as requested by the property owner

Successfully resolved a sewer allocation dispute on behalf of a Fortune 100 client, where a developer sought to force a municipality to recapture sewer capacity allocated to Day Pitney's client and the sewer capacity was tied to development approvals, which added millions of dollars of development value to the property; case ultimately was heard by the New Jersey Supreme Court, and on remand, our client prevailed on summary judgment, and settled on a counter-suit against the municipality for millions of dollars in compensation for the sewer capacity which was recaptured

Settled a real property tax assessment appeal seeking a reduction of a $321 million assessment on behalf of one of the nation's largest financial institutions on the eve of trial; the real property assessment reductions negotiated were substantial, and resulted in tax savings to the client of approximately $20 million over several years

Successfully settled a sewer easement dispute between a nationally recognized retail chain and plaintiff, an adjoining property owner, that challenged the efficacy of the easement, and if successful, would have resulted in the closure of the retail store during the busy holiday season

Education and Credentials

Education
Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 1988
Purdue University, B.A., 1985
Admissions
State of New Jersey
State of Arizona
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Tax Court
Affiliations
American Bar Association
National Italian American Bar Association
New Jersey State Bar Association
Morris County Bar Association
Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies
Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey

Recognition and Community

Recognition

Chosen for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (Woodward/White, Inc.), Real Estate Law, 2023

Selected to the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers (Thomson Reuters), General Litigation, Real Estate, Tax, 2005, 2007, 2010-2017, 2021-2022

AV Preeminent rated by Martindale-Hubbell (LexisNexis)

Recipient of the Debevoise-Eakely Award by Legal Services of New Jersey, 2019

Honored by Joint Resolution of the New Jersey Legislature for Contributions to the Legal Profession in New Jersey, 2019

Listed as one of "40 Under 40" by the New Jersey Law Journal, August 26, 2002

No aspect of these advertisements have been approved by the highest court of any state. See Awards Methodology

Community

Mayor, Frelinghuysen Township (2020-2021)

IOLTA Fund, Chairman (2017-2019)

Green Hill, Inc., Trustee (2016-2019)

Deputy Mayor, Frelinghuysen Township (2015-2019)

Chairman, Frelinghuysen Township Zoning Board of Adjustment (2006-2012)

Tri-County Scholarship Fund, Trustee (2011-2015)

Day Pitney Diversity & Inclusion Committee