When it comes to environmental issues, the legal side is always a key component, whether it’s determining liability for contamination, complying with regulations, or anything else.
Attorney David J. Mairo’s background makes him uniquely suited to this field. Before focusing on environmental law at the firm Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC, he worked as an environmental consultant.
He talks about how to blend the technical and legal sides of environmental issues like site remediation, land use, real estate transactions, or regulatory compliance to achieve results clients, regulators, and other stakeholders can agree on.
Tune in to find out…
- How to deal with ever-changing environmental regulations
- Why an environmental attorney is essential (and how to find the right one for your project)
- The truth about brownfield redevelopment
- What you must keep in mind when acquiring a property
- And more
Mentioned in this episode:
Mark Roman: Welcome, everyone to the Business of Environment Podcast where we explore insights on the intersection of business, the environment and regulation. I'm your host, Mark Roman. Today's podcast is going to provide a very informative insight into the environmental field because our special guest today offers a really unique perspective into these challenging environmental issues. Joining us today is Mr. David Mairo. Dave's a member of the law firm, Chiesa Shahinian and Giantomasi, and I apologize if I butchered that name, and works within the firm's environmental group.
Now, I think you'll find Dave's background pretty unique. You see, Dave graduated from Dickinson College with a degree in biology. He then earned a master's degree in environmental science from NJIT and ultimately a law degree from Rutgers Law School in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from college, Dave started his career as an environmental consultant with Dan Raviv Associates where he stayed for about seven years before leaving and attending Rutgers Law School.
Now since entering the practice of law in 1999, Dave's focused exclusively in the area of environmental law including brownfields redevelopment, site remediation and regulatory compliance. Now you'll notice that I didn't introduce Dave as an attorney, although he is a very good attorney. In my opinion, he offers his clients so much more than just that. Because of Dave's unique background, his education has a technical and legal basis.
He started his professional career as an environmental consultant and then he switched to practicing environmental law. And because of this, he's able to combine his technical and legal expertise for the benefit of his clients. Now in an acronym-heavy, highly technical area, Dave likes to say that he's able to break things down into digestible chunks for his clients and is better able to communicate with consultants and engineers based on his prior experience.
Now, I have worked with many attorneys over the years and I have always welcomed and enjoyed working with Dave because he brings knowledge and experience to the table from both sides of the coin, if you will. And in my 30 plus years in the environmental field, Dave's the only attorney that I've worked with that has this unique and extremely beneficial background. Welcome, Dave, to the business of environment podcast.
David Mairo: Oh, thank you, Mark. And thanks for having me. I'm looking forward to this discussion.
Mark: Fantastic. Dave, beyond the brief bio, can you let everyone know a little bit more about your background and really what led you down the path to environmental consulting and then practicing law in the environmental arena?
How Dave Wound Up in Environmental Law
Dave: Sure, sure. Absolutely. I will show my age with this answer. When I was in college, as you had mentioned, I was a biology major. And this was pre, you know, really pre-internet, pre-email. And I was on the phone one night with my dad who basically said, you know, listen, I know you're not going to med school. You got this biology degree. What are you going to do with it? And, you know, I gave him some answer that he saw right through and he just cut me off.
He said, Listen, you got to start thinking about this. So next day, I called up my mom and literally said to her Mom, can you mail me the yellow pages? Which she did. I opened up the yellow pages to environmental and saw that Dan Raviv Associates was in Melbourne and I just lived the town over in Maplewood and I said to myself, geez, I could bike there. So I called up Dan Raviv, who was a tremendous influence.
A wonderful person and much like a father figure in a lot of ways. And he said, he sounded just like Henry Kissinger and he said, Why don't you come on in? We'll talk. So I went in, and he offered me a summer job there. And I worked in the stock room and he got me out into the field when I could, and it rolled over into a full-time position. So that's how I started environmental consulting. And I learned a tremendous amount from wonderful people that are, you know, really still around and I still communicate with on a regular basis.
Mark: That's a great story. Yeah. I have some previous experience with Dan also and he was, he helped lay down the foundation for a lot of the environmental regulations in New Jersey. And I remember he was involved early on with a lot of the training seminars at Rutgers and stuff. So I sat through a few of them with him.
Dave: Yeah, he really was unique. I was very fortunate to hook up with him and that his office was just next door.
Mark: Yeah. So what made you decide to leave consulting and go to the dark side, if you will, environmental law?
Dave: Well, you know, as I was working there, Dan himself was a huge proponent of education, just in general. And it became pretty clear to me that if I was really going to progress in that field, I would need, you know, advanced degrees. And I wasn't sure about law school. It was always some passing interesting, quite honestly, it was really working with lawyers every day, virtually, as an environmental consultant that really spurred the interest for me.
You know, I was asking myself why were they asking me to do certain things, asking me not to do certain things. And during the course of that, I started the master's program at NJIT. And by the time I was about to finish that up, I decided that I wanted to shift gears and see things from that dark side, as you described, and decided, you know, when I entered law school, I really entered it with open minds, you know, that if some other area of law really grabbed me that I wouldn't, you know, preclude myself from considering that.
But really, when it was all said and done, you know, the issues continued to be and still are, you know, very, very interesting to me. And it was something that I just wanted to continue and basically marry the two disciplines together and it's been a happy marriage. I think it's been nice to be able to bring those two things together and work with, you know, both clients as well as consultants and engineers and feel comfortable in both areas.
Mark: What do you think was the biggest challenge in your successful conversion from the mindset of a consultant to the mindset of an attorney?
Dave: Yeah, you know, it's a great question. I think it was, you know, it is just the fact that you are considering you have a lot more issues to consider from a legal liability responsibility perspective. And also, you know, client goals and what they're trying to achieve and making sure that it is going to be adequately protective and allow them to do what they want to do.
And on a more, you know, kind of nuts and bolts perspective or from that, from a different perspective. It was also the writing style. And, you know, the legalese and the advocacy that you're often, you know, writing with whereas from a consultant perspective, that was a learning experience when I first entered from college where it's a very technical way to write. To convey, you know, the information in a very specific way that's easily understandable. And on the lawyer side, you want to do that, but it's from more of an advocacy position oftentimes.
Mark: Yeah, that's a great point that I never even thought of. It's, I have such a hard time what I call legalese. And I, my mind tends to muddy up when I start reading that stuff. And I can't imagine what it would be like trying to write that but you've done a great job at staging that around.
Dave: Just like anything, you know, you do it enough times you just get used to it.
Mark: Can you tell us a little bit more about your firm and about your specific practice?
Dave: Yeah, sure. So as you sort of indicated Chiesa Shahinian and Giantomasiis a bit of a mouthful. So we're actually rebranding and talk about, you know, just more acronyms, but we're reducing it just down a CSJ.
Mark: Thank God.
Dave: So, yeah, right. I think, I don't think there's gonna be any pushback on that one. But it's, you know, it is a large, you know, and growing firm in, we're based in WestnarsNew Jersey, it's a full-service firm. We just acquired, you know, one of the areas that we didn't have, we just acquired a family law practice, for example, where I think we're up to, I think of 170 or 180 attorneys. So there really isn't anything, virtually anything that we don't do.
We don't have criminal law. That's probably one of the few things, but we do have white collar, you know, defense. But one of the most attractive things that, you know, brought me here was the strength of the environmental practice itself. Here it is a complete standalone practice. And what I mean by that is that we work closely with other practice groups but we have enough of our own work to do our own thing. And it's chaired by Dennis Taft, who's a terrific attorney, and he's been here for I mean, pushing I think, close to 40 years, 37, 38 years.
And our land use in real estate practice is tremendous. And what I really enjoy is the collaborative aspect of the practice of law. I always have. You know, it's very difficult to be a solo. I tip my hat to those guys that do it because you know, there's so many, you know, proverbial ways to skin a cat and it's great to be able to, you know, literally walk across the hall and just bounce something off of one of my colleagues to say, you know, what do you think about this? And it's again, it's a benefit to my clients to have this, you know, this group that I can pull from.
So, you know, when you're retaining me, you're not just retaining me, you're retaining the entire practice group. And with the land use folks we work intimately close with them on the transactions, the land use issues, and every other, including, and the finance group as well. So I love being able to offer that to clients, to developers that, you know, it's an overused cliche, one-stop-shop, but you know, we really do have tremendous breadth and depth here that again, in order to the benefit of our clients.
Mark: Yeah, that's great to have that multifaceted capability for your clients. It helps, especially in property transactions where, like you said, so many different practices come into play, it helps streamline the whole process and speeds everybody everything up and also, in the long run, costs less for a client through that whole setup. The one thing that you had mentioned that you actively practice is brownfield redevelopment.
And that's been a hot topic for many years. And many of our listeners are property developers and property managers and I know some of them tend to shy away from these types of properties that have a history if you will. And it's a shame that they overlook these properties because many of them are located in areas really ideal for successful and profitable redevelopment. And I also find brownfield redevelopment is often misunderstood. And as a result, I have a multi-part question for you.
Mark: Can you help our listeners understand what's considered to be a brownfield property? How is a purchaser of a brownfield property legally protected from that, you know, property's history and are there any incentives that exists for someone to purchase a brownfield property?
All About Brownfield Properties
Dave: Sure. Let's take them one at a time there for sure. The, well, the definition of a brownfield is really any underutilized piece of property. And it's a very generic broad definition. Reality is that most brownfields, the reason why they are underutilized is because they have certain you know, impairments and oftentimes those impairments are environmentally related. Contamination, really the unknown conditions associated with them. So that is why they're sitting. It's kind of like, you know, that old, you know, small industrial complex in a town that has, you know, remained vacant for as long as everybody can remember.
That type of thing. Or you know, the vacant service station that shut down and never opened back up. So those are the types of, you know, brownfields that we're talking about. And, you know, they range much further and wider. Those are just a couple of examples. They can be, you know, postage stamps to hundreds of acres. As far as the various programs out there, there are, you can work with municipalities for example.
There's the HDSRF fund. More acronyms. Hazardous discharge site remediation fund. It allows public entities to conduct preliminary assessments and site investigations on pieces of property to basically tee them up for developers. So, you know, the developer can approach a municipality, you know, saying if they targeted a piece of property to inquire about it. Alternatively, you know, municipalities than on their own can look at different properties, apply for these grants to conduct that type of work.
There's also other types of incentive programs that on a state and federal level, but, you know, oftentimes on the developer basis when they're taking these types of larger projects on, you know, they can work with local entities to obtain, for example, what's known as a pilot a payment in lieu of taxes so that they know exactly what they're, you know, taxes are going to be for a certain amount of time or reduce them.
There's a number of different ways. It really is project dependent, site-dependent, location dependent. And it's one of the reasons why for brownfield redevelopment in particular, I think it's imperative that the developer put together the right team. And the right team, being from council legal, as well as consulting and also, you know, whatever construction engineering is going to be required because, you know, what you, there's many different ways to save money and time through the process.
And at the end of the day, what you don't want to do is you don't want to, you know, start your construction, for example, and only to then find out that you have to go back, tear it up and dig something out or address something that wasn't considered that the beginning.
And again, it's a very collaborative process, but It's all designed to get that property productive and back on the tax roll, so to speak. And for me, it's really, you know, feel-good work, you know, that you can point to something tangible and say, you know, I had a part in that. That used to be something that nobody, you know, liked and was a big problem and now look, you know? It's employing people, it's productive, it looks great, you know, it's usable by the community.
And as far as protections, you know, there are certain protections that are conveyed to brownfield redevelopers soon to the Brownfield Contaminated Site Act, there are certain agreements, really contractual shifts of responsibility and liability, again, between the purchaser of the developer and the entity, it's acquiring the property from. Really that's where it comes into play. And the fact that you really do need, you know, competent counsel to walk you through that process because there are several layers that you want to make sure that you are considering with respect to liability protection, responsibility protection.
And, you know, at the end of the day, there's also various insurance products that are available to entities to sometimes bridge gaps that, you know, where two parties are having a difficult time allocating responsibility, and, you know, or concerns about, for example, third party complaints that might arise in the future for, you know, the parties involved. So, there are mechanisms and instruments out there. Again, the availability of them, whether or not they make sense economically, is largely dependent on the scope of the project.
Mark: Fantastic. Thanks, Dave. And it's important for our property developers and managers that are listening out there that these are sites out there that can earn you a good return on your investment. And they're, as Dave, you know, eloquently stated, there's lots of programs and protections for you. But the key is, again, to have the right people working with you.
And that's why I can't stress enough to our listeners the importance of retaining a very knowledgeable environmental attorney, both for the issues at hand and also within the area where you're located. You know, that attorney needs to have experience and knowledge of local atmosphere, you know, federal, state and local atmosphere in terms of what's going on and regulations.
And with that said, many of our listeners just may not know where, you know, what to look for in an environmental attorney. So Dave, if you found yourself in a position where you needed to retain another environmental attorney, what would you look for to help you make that decision on who to choose?
Choosing an Environmental Attorney
Dave: Hmm You know, I think I'd want someone that really does, you know, focus on this practice just like anything. As time has progressed across the board, all these areas have become more and more specialized. I think I, you know, mentioned the general practitioner, someone nowadays that, bottom line is I don't think you can dabble in this. I think you need to have, find somebody that focuses on it virtually exclusively and understands the process.
And from just a client perspective, really understands is a good listener, frankly, and understands the goals of the client and can counsel that client on how to achieve those goals. And it' s really looking to simplify the process, as opposed to complicating it. And, you know, a lot of times I see and get involved in projects that have been, you know, lingering or languishing or not getting done, and oftentimes it's because, you know, the process has become overcomplicated.
I mean, at the end of the day we're, in large part our job is to be devil's advocate for what might happen. But there are limits and, you know, the likelihood that I'm going to get struck by lightning, sure, could it happen, but what's the likelihood that that is actually going to happen? And trying to quantify risk as I described to clients, you can't eliminate risk, but you can mitigate risk. And trying to establish the risk tolerance is also very, very important.
And particularly in a brownfield context where there are some projects, I have some clients that, there's this one guy, the way that he describes it is the hairier the better. You know, the more the, you know, I'll consider a Superfund site and other clients are not interested in something that quote-unquote, hairy. So it, that that really is it in my opinion, retaining somebody that you feel comfortable is going to listen, understand and has that requisite experience to pull it all together.
Mark: You know, we're talking a little bit about the internet back when we were both in school the internet didn't exist. And the internet, I mean, I can't imagine growing up with the internet. It's just the wealth of information at hand is fantastic, but it's also very dangerous. Because, like you said, it makes a lot of these folks who are solo practitioners, experts in everything, you know, out there. So you call regarding a specific environmental issue, they Google that issue and then they talk to following what Google's telling them.
So that's why it's important to really do your homework on, and quite frankly, to our listeners, a lot of your homework is already done. Just give Dave a call. But one of the biggest complaints I hear relative to environmental matters is really staying in tune with these environmental regulations. They're always changing. What do you believe makes some successful in navigating these regulations while others struggle with it?
Dave: Yeah. You know, I think it is just that. It is staying on top of it and having, you know, a true interest in it and understanding the progression of some of these regulatory changes. And as far as, you know, the navigating, you know, these various issues were people I find that struggle, I mean, I think that depending upon, you know, what category of individual we're talking about, you know, from a, the regulated community standpoint, you know, I think that the ones that struggle tend to, you know, kick the can down the road.
They know that they've got a problem, or they might have a problem or they might be, you know, they're not sure whether or not they're in compliance. And, you know, the ones that continuously sort of push that off, push that off, push that off, as opposed to addressing it early on, when they're, you know, thinking they might have a problem or just getting, you know, retaining, you know, a competent consultant, you know, like an envision to come in and give them an assessment.
Again, there's ways to, you know, protect that information and make sure that it's not going to trigger for example, further compliance requirements, you know, until unless and until, you know, a regulated entity is ready. So it's knowledge, and it's staying on top of it. It's just kind of, in some cases maintenance on your car, you know, you let it go, you let it go, you let it go and that, you know, $200 fix turns into a $2,000 fix. That is, that could be a problem.
But, you know, that being said, in the environmental context, the way that the statutes are written, you know, what you know, can hurt you. You know, and what you don't know, necessarily, if you don't have knowledge of it, that's not going to trigger any further compliance obligations. So again, it's a conversation and it's understanding the goals of the client and what they're really, what they're concerned about, and ultimately, what they're looking to do.
Mark: And we always advise our clients Listen, just don't listen to us. You need to get legal counsel on this stuff. Because, you know, as you just said, it's, sometimes it's, you know, it's what you don't know that can save you or what you don't know can hurt you. So you really need to get legal counsel on it. Especially whenever you're dealing with regulations and permitting and compliance, don't just rely on a consultant. Make sure you have legal counsel input there also. What's your number one piece of advice for businesses dealing with potential environmental challenges?
Don’t Rely Entirely on Your Environmental Consultants
Dave: I think it kind of dovetails with exactly what you were saying and I was saying, which is, there is a you know, everyone has their role. I, you know, counsel, you know, I think it's a bad idea for businesses to rely on their consultants, as lawyers. They're not lawyers. They don't want to be lawyers. And on the same, you know, on the other side of the table relying on your lawyer to be the consultant.
I mean, certainly, I bring a, you know, a unique background, but I don't pretend to be a consultant, and I'm not a consultant. I'm a lawyer that has, you know, that was a consultant and brings that experience to the table and I think is better able to be a liaison oftentimes, between the consultant and the client. But, you know, my number one piece of advice is, you know, again, putting together the right team or having the right people that, you know, you can reach out to.
I don't need to be inserted into the process unless and until there's a need. You know, I don't want to, you know, just be there as the, you know, third wheel. But when the situation arises where it goes beyond, you know, regulatory, just straight regulatory compliance that, you know, someone like yourself does every day of the week and, you know, kicks over to a potential liability fines violations, that puts that entity at risk. You know, that's when you really need to have somebody to reach out to.
You know, I've had several conversations over the years where, you know, at the end of the conversation, I just say, honestly, it doesn't sound like you need me right now. I think it sounds like your consultant is doing a great job. If this happens, then reach out. You know, if there's a need in the future that kind of looks like that, this or that, then you've got my number. But, you know, everybody sort of has a role to play. And that is having that understanding is really the message I'm trying to convey.
Mark: And that's precisely why your background is so unique and beneficial to a client because you've experienced both sides of that coin, if you will. That gray area of when does consulting become legal? Or when does legal become consulting? It's more defined. You're able to see that more clearly than a consultant that doesn't have legal background or a legal person that doesn't have a consulting background. So that's extremely beneficial to clients. Well, what do you see as the prominent environmental challenge that's facing us this coming year?
Dave: Well, yeah, you know, what was that?
Mark: How about just one of them?
Dave: Well, you know, I mean, we're in New Jersey specifically, you know, I mean, the current administration seems to be pretty aggressive and wanting to, you know, pick up we're seeing an uptick and enforcement actions. That's for sure. There's been some older cases or older open cases that have sort of floated to the top of the pile and various parties are getting letters from the department notifying them that, you know, something that happened literally 20 years ago is now, you know, going to be a problem today.
So on the enforcement level, I kind of, we've seen an uptick. On a, you know, regulatory level, again, it's one of the aspects about this area of law that makes it, you know, always interesting because as technology and science advances, the regulations also change and advance and evolve.
You know, so one of the big contaminants now, that seems to be at the forefront, of a lot of concerns are these PFOS and PFOA compounds that are, you know, have garnished the term the forever chemicals. Because they essentially, you know, never break down. Or what they break down into are just more for different PFOS and PFOAs. You know, we're now, I remember when you're sampling stuff for, you know, the parts per million range, and then its parts per billion range, and now we're down to parts per trillion range.
And, you know, New Jersey has established some groundwater regulatory requirements, or maximum contaminant levels for PFOS and PFOAs that, you know, 14 and 13 parts per trillion. And so, everyone's really trying to wrap their arms around how that's going to be handled. And the liabilities and risks associated with them from virtually every vantage point because they're so persistent once they're in the environment.
I don't think really anyone knows how to remediate them and remove them. And the liabilities associated with it really remains to be seen. You know, the federal government, really New Jersey and California are always at the forefront of environmental regulation. New Jersey has pushed the EPA to more highly regulate these compounds. The EPA has been reluctant to do so. New Jersey is taking the lead.
Mark: What I find often is this technology often has a lot of catching up to do with these regulations. Can we even test for down to parts per trillion levels, you know? So it's Yeah, there may be this requirement to meet that but try to find a laboratory that can test down to certain levels. It's difficult. So there is a you know, the technology and regulation needs to marry up more often than they've done.
Dave: Yeah, yeah, without a doubt. And so much is, you know, is oftentimes financially-driven. There are a lot of remedial technologies out there, I don't think, you know, for PFOS or PFOA I don't think they've really caught up. They're still trying to figure that one out.
But for other types of persistent compounds, and, you know, oftentimes it wasn't that the technology to address them didn't exist, but it was much cheaper to, you know, just dig it out of the ground and drive it across the country and dump it somewhere else, as opposed to, you know, treating it on-site until, you know, the economics made sense. And that's where, you know, you really see the real change.
Mark: Yeah. In many of, if not all of our environmental projects, consultants and attorneys need to work together for the same client. And you alluded to this before it can be quite challenging and often, you know, sometimes it could get closely for our clients. And a day for my fellow consultants listening today and more importantly for myself, what should consultants do to better work with and communicate with environmental attorneys?
Getting Consultants and Attorneys on the Same Page
Dave: That's a great question. You know, I think it is just, you know, to do that, and I mean, and communicate. I think that there oftentimes is a lack of communication, you know, between the two. And also, you know, I think it kind of, we've touched upon it and a lot of the different, you know, throughout this discussion, which is, I don't want, we're on the same team. At the end of the day, we're on the same team. We're both trying to do what's best and in the best interest of the client. The consultant is not my enemy.
I'm not the enemy as a consultant. And you know, I think having that understanding can break down, you know, some of the barriers and the walls to, you know, communicating effectively and honestly, with each other. And, you know, we're just if I'm asking a question of a consultant, and I'm very open about this, that when I'm reviewing, for example, a scope of work or something, you know, in my estimation, and, you know, in my experiences, you know, the good consultants see this, you know, such as yourself, like, if I'm asking you, Mark, can you explain to me why you need these samples?
Or why we need four wells instead of two wells, you are completely comfortable and confident in explaining that to me and giving me the reasons and the rationale behind it. Because oftentimes the client is, you know, the role that I play, you know, whether I want to or not, can be the client saying to me, you know, you're telling me I need to do this.
Do I really need to do this? Do I really need all of this? And if I can then explain to them and this is kind of what I feel like I can bring to the table in those digestible bits, so to speak, explain to them here, you know, yes, you do have to do this. And here's why. It makes the whole process, you know, much, much easier and much smoother, and the relationship between, you know, everyone more helpful.
You know, and again, at the end of the day, we're all trying to help each other. And it's the same thing, if I'm reviewing, you know, a report that, you know, is being put together, you know, I can massage some of the language to make it flow a little bit better, or, you know, I'm not trying to change a result, but there are, you know, various ways to explain the same thing to convey a certain message.
So, it's really that it really is that open communication and not being threatened. Now, that being said, you know, I mean that's where the differences between some attorneys comes in, you know, some attorneys are, you know, very aggressive and take that want to, you know, control the process at a much greater level. And, you know, my experience is that that can, you know, that can lead to, you know, problems or delaying the process as opposed to, you know, simplifying it, so to speak.
Mark: And increase costs in the long run for the same client.
Dave: Yeah, yeah, I think so. You know, like I said before, you know, I don't, the client has a consultant. You know, you've, they've retained, you know, someone to do that. And I don't, I'm not looking to be the consultant, everyone just kind of has an under, when everyone has an understanding of the role that they're playing and, you know, that this is a team effort and we're here to just essentially support each other in achieving, you know, that goal getting, you know, a site into full compliance or, you know, acquiring all the permits for, you know, to allow a development to proceed.
And ultimately, you know, being able to, you know, be at a ribbon-cutting when that development is completed. That's the goal, you know? I mean, as I like to say, you know, I'm here to make deals, not kill deals.
Mark: Yeah, that's refreshing to hear. Because sometimes, you know, working, you get a feeling with some members of the party you're working with that's not the case. And it's just, you know, one aggravating step after another. But that's true. And, and that's important to kind of convey at the onset of a project when there's a team involved is listen, we need to work together to get this thing done. You know, and a successful conclusion for our client, whatever it may be. And that's important to convey.
Dave: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And also just, you know, bringing a dose of, you know, being realistic. You know, sometimes there are, unfortunately, you know, because of the way the regulations, the regulatory requirements are, you know, put together, things take time. And, you know, that's the other thing that you know, when you sort of kick the environmental aspect down the road, especially in the context of development or redevelopment.
It doesn't even have to be, you know, a brownfield redevelopment per se. You know, it can be any, you know, purchase of property. I'll just set aside residential. Not including residential, but any other type of commercial industrial property, you need to take, you know, you need do the appropriate due diligence in order to, you know, protect that buyer. And there's certain ways to do that, that are, you know, must be complied with or else that buyer will be left holding the bag if something is found at a later date.
But, and nobody wants to, you know, have that kind of surprise put on them. So, not addressing the environmental or having it be part of, you know, the overall due diligence process is off, is a big mistake. And you don't want to, you know, at the closing so to speak, find out about something that you could have known much earlier in the process and addressed in the, you know, contractual documents to allocate whatever responsibility, liability risk within, between those parties.
Mark: And what's important for our listeners out there who find themselves in the role of a client is something I want to highlight that you said earlier, which is so valuable is you cannot eliminate risk, you can mitigate risk. And what that client needs to have an understanding for and it can only come from them is what level of risk are you willing to accept? And that helps the overall process go a lot smoother and you need to inform your project team, your legal counsel, your consultants of that level of risk that you're willing to accept.
Dave: Yeah, without question.
Mark: And I thought that was valuable information that you gave regarding the, you know, elimination versus mitigation of risk. Dave, can you share with our audience and interest or hobby that you enjoy doing with your free time?
Dave: Wow. Sure.
Mark: Besides reading regulations.
Dave: Oh, that's it. It's all I do. No, I'm a passionate, I love to fish. And in particular, I love surf fishing. So I will, you know, I was just, in fact, having this discussion this morning that, you know, when someone says they love to fish, what does that really mean? You know, for some people it means, you know, putting out a beach chair on the beach, you know, throwing, you know, a chunk of bait into the water, putting it in the rod holder and sitting down and cracking open a beer. And you know what, that's great.
That's fine. But my style of fishing is more, a little bit more in-depth where oftentimes with targeting striped bass, but I'm going after pretty much anything that's running but understanding, you know, looking at tide charts, wind charts, water temperature charts, and figuring out, you know, the best places to be and when to be them. And if that means, you know, standing on a jetty at two o'clock in the morning, well, then, you know, that's where you'll find me.
Mark: Well, Dave,
Dave: And trust me when I tell you, if I base how often I fish on how many fish I catch, I wouldn't be fishing all that, as often as I do. But for me, it's really about the experience.
Mark: I think that's just the definition of being a true fisherman is it doesn't matter what you catch. You're just doing it. You're just fishing. Thanks very much for taking the time to join us today. If people want to get in touch with you, how would they do that?
Dave: Sure. Yeah, my easily. Email is great. It's the first letter of my first name, my last name CSG law, so it's D Mairo MAIRO. It's like Kira with an M. So it's dmairo@CSGlaw.com. And my direct dial is 973-530-2091. And I would encourage anybody that just, you know, and again, this is an open invite, so to speak.
You know, if you just have a question about something, I'm happy to have that conversation, you know, gratis, just to see if there is, you know, something, some legal representation that you do need, either now or in the future. But, you know, if it's something that you just want to bounce off of me, I'm happy to talk to you.
Mark: Yeah, just don't try to get ahold of Dave at 2 am because he'll be out on a jetty somewhere along the Jersey Shore.
Dave: That's right.
Mark: Thanks again, Dave. And thank you everyone for listening to today's show. And until we share some time together again stay safe and be well.
Dave: Yeah mark. Thanks for having me. Really enjoyed it.