Bern, Douglas M. Esq.
Current Employment Position(s)
Douglas M. Bern is a founding partner of Kaufman, Semeraro, Bern, Deutsch & Leibman, and L.L.P. Mr. Bern has extensive experience in handling legal matters in the fields of real estate and public finance, business law, public entity representation, real estate, zoning, community association law and environmental law. A large share of Mr. Bern’s practice is devoted to real estate, finance and land use and zoning law. He serves as counsel to various municipal planning and zoning boards in Northern New Jersey, as well as numerous other public and private entities. Mr. Bern has served as general counsel to a regional wastewater authority and continues to serve this utility as special counsel. Mr. Bern has served as Assistant Counsel, and occasional Parliamentarian for the New Jersey State Senate. Mr. Bern served as Counsel to a large New York-based company in their corporate reorganization and acquisition of a portfolio of multi-family properties in New York and New Jersey, and was Special Counsel for a nationally known developer in its due diligence of a major portfolio of New Jersey properties that were subject to numerous zoning, tax and New York/New Jersey Port Authority agreements.
Mr. Bern served four successful terms as City Councilman and Council President for the City of Englewood, New Jersey. During his tenure, he spearheaded an initiative to redevelop Englewood’s downtown business district and aging industrial areas, which earned the City the New Jersey Smart Growth Award for downtown redevelopment, and led to New Jersey Monthly Magazine’s naming Englewood the number one city in New Jersey in 2001. During his time on the Englewood City Counsel, Mr. Bern was elected to the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders. In this position, Mr. Bern represented the residents of Bergen County comprising seventy (70) municipalities and a population of over 850,000 in northern New Jersey. His colleagues selected him as Chairman of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, and he concentrated on implementing management reforms in the County’s 1100-bed hospital. Mr. Bern, a long-time advocate for public transportation also won the designation and funding for a light rail transit system from the State and Federal Governments.
Immediately following law school, Mr. Bern was a law clerk for the Hon. Paul R. Huot, Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division of the New Jersey Superior Court. He previously served as Coordinator for State and Federal Aid for Bergen County, New Jersey.
Mr. Bern received his J.D. degree in 1984 from New York Law School after earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University where he served as a Congressional Intern. He is admitted to the New Jersey and New York Bars, and is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the Bergen County (N.J.) Bar Association.
Mr. Bern serves on numerous boards. He resides in Englewood, New Jersey, with his wife, Karen Maas, and their three children.
Areas of Practice
- Land Use/Zoning Law
- Real Estate Law
- Government & Municipal Law
- Community Association Law
- Tax Appeals
West Practice Categories
Municipal Employment -- Employee, Government Agencies & Programs, Government Contracts, Tax Litigation, Real Estate Law, Condominiums & Cooperatives, Land Use & Zoning, State, Local & Municipal Law, Municipal Corporations, Municipal Liability
- New Jersey, 1984
- New York
Professional Associations and Memberships
- The New Jersey State Bar Association
- Bergen County (N.J.) Bar Association
Honors and Awards
- Smart Growth Award
- New Jersey Monthly Magazine, Englewood the number one City in New Jersey, 2001
- Chairman of the Board of Chosen Freeholders
Past Employment Positions
- Regional Wastewater Authority, General Counsel
- Occasional Parliamentarian for the New Jersey State Senate, Assistant Counsel
- City of Englewood, New Jersey, Council President
- State and Federal Aid for Bergen County, New Jersey, Coordinator
- The Hon. Paul R. Huot, Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division of the New Jersey Superior Court, Law Clerk
- City of Englewood, New Jersey, City Councilman
- Large New York-based Company, Counsel
- New York Law School, New York, New York,
- George Washington University