John Salierno of Salierno Law is a local attorney that specializes in real estate litigation. He represented and counseled hundreds of tenants facing eviction on almost every ground, he has also recovered money judgments for tenants for the return of security deposits, illegal lockouts, wrongful evictions, and rent over-payments. Basically anything that involves landlord and tenant laws, he’s the guy to see. John recently opened his practice and offers personal injury and immigration litigation.
Salierno Law is located on Newark Ave in the Journal Square area! We recently went to visit and sat down with him to get the full low-down on what he does.
What’s your name?
What do you do?
I’m an attorney. I do a lot of real estate litigation.
What are the areas of practice you currently deal with?
I represent a lot of landlords, some tenants, with regard to evictions, and other litigation that grows out of that. It could be landlords getting housing violations, landlords getting sued by tenants when the property gets transferred, rent control issues. This year, I began to develop the personal injury and immigration practice areas of my firm.
What area do you practice the most in Jersey City?
Definitely tenants and landlords. The real estate market is very strong around here, so there’s a lot of buying and selling. When that happens, the new owners are usually buying properties with tenants in them. That usually creates problems for them. They don’t have leases, and sometimes they don’t even know who’s there. If there weren’t so many properties being transferred and sold all the time, there wouldn’t be that much business around here.
What about tenants who feel like they need to be protected?
There’s a lot of that, not as much in Jersey City but more in Union City and West New York where the towns have very restrictive rent control ordinances. The owners have problems making a profit on those properties – they can’t sell them and will try to find ways to get the tenants out. Often, they’re very weak cases and I defend many of the tenants in those cases.
How long have you been in Jersey City?
I’ve only been here for a year, but I had my office in Weehawken before. I’ve lived here for three years.
Why did you decide to move the office to Jersey City?
I’m always in Hudson County Superior Court and it saves time going back and forth.
What do you love about being in Jersey City?
Everything’s here. All different kinds of people, different kinds of food, it’s like New York on a smaller scale because you can walk everywhere. I wish there were more parks in certain areas, especially Journal Square.
So, why should people work with you?
Mainly, because I’m honest. I tell people what they need to know, not what they would like to hear. Also, I think I’m different than many attorneys in that I have very close, open relationships with my clients. I spend the time with them to truly understand their problem, and they know I’ll do anything for them. I focus on their case and don’t pass them off to anyone else. I do all the work myself. They can call the office and speak with me directly; it’s all me and them with no barriers.
Right. Your focus is customer service.
How long have you been an attorney?
What made you decide to go into law?
When I decided to go to law school, I was doing it because I wasn’t sure of what else to do. When I was in law school and saw all the different things attorneys did, I felt that I made the right decision. You can do many things with a law degree, not just practice. You can teach it or use the knowledge to run a business. I’ve found that most successful attorneys made their money not so much from practicing law, but from what they learned from the experience.
What do you like about being an attorney?
Every once in a while, you get a case that really gets you going and you feel really good about it. If we win those cases, it’s satisfying.
Do you have a favorite Jersey City hangout spot or any place you like to go to?
I live on the border of the Heights and Journal Square, so I’m on Central Ave a lot. I like Renato’s Pizza Masters.
Is there anything else you’d like people to know about you or your practice?
I guess a bit of background on me: I went to Saint Peter’s College, before it became a university. Then Seton Hall for law school in Newark. I have a lot of teachers in my family. My father is a Spanish teacher, he taught me a lot so I speak Spanish. My first job after law school was with a firm in Union City and everyone spoke Spanish. I already knew the language, but then I really got better through speaking Spanish on a daily basis. 20-30% of my clients are Spanish-speaking.
That’s great! What made you decide to go into this particular practice?
I’ve always liked real estate. I worked as a realtor in Hoboken while I was in law school. I did a lot of rentals. Real estate interests me because it’s always changing while the land doesn’t go anywhere. The use of land changes. In Jersey City, things are expanding so quickly. There’s no part of Jersey City that isn’t of interest, people want to buy anywhere.
Which can be good and bad.
They’re building affordable housing too, but I don’t think it’s enough. A lot of people are going to end up losing. It’s almost like the suburbs are going to become the places for low-income communities because everybody’s moving to the city.
How can people get in touch with you?
Nothing makes me happier than when a client sends an e-mail with their telephone number included.
What do you do for fun?
I spend a lot of time with my family and play basketball.
You can find more information about Salierno Law on their website or visit the office on 545 Newark Ave.