Paul P. Josephson solves complex business problems for CEOs, elected officials, and agency heads. He is typically called on in matters involving significant public interests, highly regulated industries, or novel legal issues. In addition to serving as a team lead for the Duane Morris Cannabis industry group, Mr. Josephson is a constitutional and regulatory litigator with decades of experience in the transportation, infrastructure and real estate sectors.
Paul represented the Gateway Program Development Corporation on the $13 billion Hudson Rail Tunnel project, developing identical bi-state legislation establishing the Gateway Development Commission as a unique, tripartite entity created by New York, New Jersey and Amtrak to build the historic rail tunnel project. He is New Jersey Co-Chair of the Regional Plan Association, which for over 100 years has developed and promoted ideas to improve the economic health, environmental resiliency, and quality of life of in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
For 15 years, Paul has served as a trustee and pro bono counsel to the New Jersey Public Charter Schools Association, defending the principles of parental choice and excellence in public education. He previously served as Policy Counsel for the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association, assisting in the development of New Jersey’s cannabis regulatory system.
Mr. Josephson's areas of practice include:
- infrastructure and real estate development/redevelopment;
- government contracting and contract administration;
- business permitting and licensing;
- state and federal economic incentives, including compliance, investigation and enforcement issues;
- environmental and land use regulation, including condemnation and regulatory takings;
- health, energy, banking, insurance and professional regulation;
- corporate compliance and government ethics and transparency;
- political advocacy, including all aspects of election and campaign finance, nonprofit and trade association activity, and media law;
- gaming, including casino, Internet and sports betting, lottery, horse racing, and sweepstakes;
- cannabis licensing, finance, real estate, advocacy and business strategy;
- legislative and regulatory drafting and extensive appellate court practice and advocacy;
- transactional and litigation matters;
- manages public affairs, media relations and crisis communications.
Mr. Josephson has represented or advised three Presidents, six New Jersey governors, two United States senators, and numerous congressmen, state legislators, mayors and county executives on matters of law and policy. Most recently, he served as counsel to Governor Phil Murphy’s campaign and as senior counsel to his Transition.
Mr. Josephson served as Chief Counsel to the Governor, and as Director, Division of Law, for the New Jersey Office of Attorney General, where he oversaw the State’s appellate and trial dockets. As Chief of Authorities for the New Jersey Governor, he oversaw more than 50 bi-state and state authorities, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New Jersey Transit and the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
During his State service, Mr. Josephson merged the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, fixed New Jersey's broken electronic tolls and vehicle inspection systems, implemented electronic voting and registration technologies, and laid the groundwork for what has become the Hudson Rail Tunnel project.
Since his state service, Mr. Josephson has been designated to serve as Special Counsel to the State in complex litigation and other matters. In that role he has represented the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and NJ Transit in major cases. He was also selected by the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority to co-author the Atlantic City Master Plan blueprint for revitalizing that city in 2012. He served as the Board President of the top performing charter and public K-8 school in New Jersey.
Mr. Josephson is a 1990 graduate, with honors, of The George Washington University Law School, and a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Paul Josephson is an active member of Duane Morris’ Cannabis Industry Practice Group who counsels a wide range of highly regulated industries. Mr. Josephson advises industry leading multistate operators active in New York and across the country, investors and non-cannabis businesses concerning investments, licensing, regulations, and public policy. As Policy Counsel for the NJ Cannabis Industry Association, he has been a key advocate reforming New Jersey’s medical cannabis program, establishing a comprehensive framework for adult use regulation, educating public officials on cannabis regulation, and advising industry associations in other states. Mr. Josephson has been recognized by multiple publications for excellence in the Cannbis industry, including Global Top 200 Lawyers by Cannabis Law Report, 2021 and 2022; NJ Insider's list of CannaInfluencers—People Shaping Cannabis Industry in New Jersey, 2020; New Jersey Trailblazer by New Jersey Law Journal, 2019 (for cannabis); and The Insider 100: Cannabis Power List by Insider NJ, 2019.
Represented Lotus Infrastructure Partners (formerly Starwood Energy) in reaching a deal with New Jersey's last operating coal fired power plant's utility customer and state regulators, allowing Starwood to permanently retire the plant, an action welcomed by N.J. Governor Murphy and the national director of the Sierra Club as well as state environmentalists. Also advising Starwood on the reuse of the property for clean energy purposes including battery storage of wind and solar generated energy.
Assisted a provider of paratransit services in obtaining relief from over $5 million in liquidated damages assessed by New Jersey Transit, in addition to recovering approximately $640,000 in extraordinary maintenance costs.
Challenge to adverse NJ medical cannabis licensing decisions issued in October 2021 on behalf of Curio Holdings, a market leading medical cannabis company.
Represented iAnthus Capital Holdings in obtaining approval from the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission for its purchase of MPX New Jersey, one of only 12 businesses approved to cultivate and sell medical cannabis in New Jersey.
Represented Tesla in a suit brought by the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers against Tesla and New Jersey state officials where the plaintiffs alleged non-enforcement of the state’s motor vehicle laws and consumer fraud act in connection with Tesla’s direct-to-consumer sales model and its initial announcement of Model 3 pricing of $35,000 net of anticipated tax credits. In a rare move, the Appellate Division granted Tesla summary judgment in its favor on all allegations and dismissed the matter in its entirety before oral argument.
Represented a major publicly traded multistate cannabis operator in defeating emergent relief and denying injunctive relief sought by a New Jersey cannabis licensee to prevent the MSO from completing construction of licensee’s cannabis cultivation facility and to stymie the MSO’s acquisition of the New Jersey medical cannabis license.
Represented iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. which owns, operates, and partners with regulated cannabis operations across the United States, as US Counsel for a comprehensive strategic review process culminating in a Restructuring Support Agreement with 100% of its Secured Lenders and over 91% of the Unsecured Debentureholders to effect a proposed recapitalization transaction, as well as provide Interim Financing of $14 million.
Represented iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. as U.S. counsel in connection with its all-stock merger with MPX Bioceutical Corp., offering equity consideration to MPX shareholders valued at $1.6 billion, representing the first “public to public” merger in U.S. cannabis history.
Represented iAnthus Capital Holdings, Inc. (CSE: IAN; OTCQX: ITHUF) in its acquisition of CBD For Life, a top-ranked producer of innovative CBD-infused wellness, self-care, and beauty products.
Represented Green Thumb Industries as lead counsel in a broken lease dispute arising out of termination of lease after $5 million expended to fit out site due to landlord defaults.
Led application, siting and regulatory efforts for Green Thumb’s two cultivation and three retail facilities.
Served as transaction counsel to the concessionaire in the historic Pennsylvania Rapid Bridge Replacement Public-Private Partnership, which entails nearly $1 billion in financing, the rebuilding of almost 600 structurally deficient, non-tolled bridges throughout the Commonwealth, and the operation and maintenance of those bridges for 25 years over the course of repayment.
Represent leading companies providing public safety and IT services to state and local governments on contract awards and bid protests.
- Appealed and defended appeals of dozens of public contract awards and controversies, including In re: On-Line Games, 279 N.J. Super. 566 (1995) overturning on appeal award of lottery services contract.
- Appealed and defended appeals of dozens of election and campaign finance controversies, including N.J. Democratic Party v. Samson, 175 N.J. 172 (2002) (right of party to replace Senate candidate after statutory deadline); and Lesniak v. Budzash,133 N.J. 1 (1993) (right of party members to nominate candidates for office).
Defended numerous charter schools against appeals of charter approvals, renewals and amendments.
Advises applicants for medical cannabis licensure and advocacy groups supporting reform of cannabis laws.
Represented Xerox State Health Care Services, LLC in securing a final Administrative Determination and Order from the New Jersey Government Records Counsel protecting sensitive business information from public disclosure.
Represented operator of affordable housing developments and nursing homes in obtaining a $4,101,250 Grow NJ Award to construct a new office building in Brick, NJ.
Secured $44 million N.J. Urban Transit Hub tax credit for major news publication’s priority facilities.
In re: Prudential Financial Transit Hub Tax Credit: Successfully challenged $250 million tax credit award to Prudential to build new world headquarters in Newark on behalf of Prudential's current landlords; secured $40 million reduction in award. Brought land use, redevelopment and other challenges to Prudential project.
New Jersey Turnpike/Parkway Merger: Conceived, developed and led historic merger of New Jersey's toll roads.
New Jersey Electronic Tolling Project: Assumed responsibility for failed electronic tolling project; replaced key vendors and oversaw successful transition and repair of system.
Sandy Hook Privatization Effort: Stopped proposed private redevelopment of U.S. Park Service facilities at Sandy Hook/Gateway National Recreation Area through litigation and media efforts.
- Edwards v. NJ Casino Control Commission: Defended Commission and its Chair in novel wrongful termination/whistleblower/civil rights suit brought by former Tropicana director of surveillance against CCC and its Chair for terminating Director during State conservatorship of property. Case dismissed on summary judgment within 6 months of assuming defense from AG's Office; presently on appeal.
New Jersey Urban Transit Hub Tax Credits: Secured first-ever Transit Hub tax credit from NJEDA for expansion of industrial facilities in Jersey City, New Jersey. Quadrupled value of credit offered by the State, and developed key policies and document templates for future credit awards. Advised numerous developers, financial institutions and tenants on the availability and applications for these and other tax credits.
Mercer County (NJ) Community College Solar Project: Defended 45 acre, 8mw project to power college against land use challenges; secured ruling that project was immune from local land use regulation due to county sponsorship.
New Jersey Interoperable Communications System/Broadband System: Worked with state and local officials on behalf of Motorola Solutions to launch and implement first statewide police/fire radio communications system and broadband data system.
Atlantic City Tourism Master Plan: Secured $1 million contract to develop new master plan for State-run tourism district in Atlantic City; developed plan with design professionals and secured approval of plan within 3 months.
- In re: Rumana: Secured dismissal of ethics charges against NJ Assemblyman Scott Rumana concerning his efforts to develop municipal solar project for Wayne Township, NJ.
2007 NJ Lottery Procurement: Protested 2005 NJ award of lottery services contract to GTECH on behalf of Scientific Games. Represented Intralot in rebid of contract.
NJ General Counsel, Obama for America: Senior legal representative of President Obama's 2008 campaign in New Jersey.
General and Special Counsel, NJ Democratic State Committee: Represent state party in wide variety of legal matters.
Counsel/General Counsel to numerous statewide campaigns in NJ, including Gov. Corzine, Sen. Lautenberg, Sen. Torricelli, Gov. McGreevey, as well as numerous House, state legislative and local races throughout NJ.
Outside Compliance Counsel, Scientific Games: Principal outside attorney advising Scientific Games board and compliance committee concerning compliance, probity, ethics and licensing matters; conducted internal investigations.
NJ Transit Major Real Estate Acquisitions and Cost Recovery Matters: Represented NJ Transit in cost recovery actions against Conrail and other predecessors in interest. Responsible attorney for major proposed acquisition of 120-acre contaminated site in Kearny, NJ for a new rail yard, and originating attorney for substantial condemnation matters.
Areas of Practice
- Complex Commercial Litigation
- Public Entity Operations and Appeals
- Cannabis Law
- Redevelopment and Real Estate
- Regulatory and Government Procurement
- Political Activity, Election and Campaign Finance
- White-Collar Litigation
- New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- The George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors, 1990
- University of Michigan, B.A., 1987
- Duane Morris LLP
- Partner, 2013-present
- Hill Wallack LLP
- Partner, 2004-2013
- State of New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
- Director, Division of Law/Assistant Attorney General, 2003-2004
- State of New Jersey Office of the Governor
- Chief Counsel to the Governor, Chief of Authorities, 2002-2003
- Sills Cummis & Gross
- Partner, 2000-2002
- Associate, 1990-2000
- New Jersey Co-Chair, Regional Plan Association (NY-NJ-CT)
- Member, Alliance of Public Charter School Attorneys
- Advisor, New Jersey Cannabis Industry Associations
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Past Chair, Administrative Law Section
- Past Co-Chair, Committee on Election Law
- International Association of Gaming Advisors
Honors and Awards
- Listed in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, 2023
- Named to ROI New Jersey's Influencers Power List: Government Affairs and Cannabis, 2023
- Listed in Global Top 200 Lawyers by Cannabis Law Report, 2021-2024
Named to ROI New Jersey's Influencers Power List: Real Estate, 2018 and 2020-2023
- Named to Insider NJ's Insider 100: Cannabis Power List, 2022
- Named to NJ Insider's list of CannaInfluencers—People Shaping Cannabis Industry in New Jersey, 2020
- Named to National Law Journal's list of Cannabis Law Trailblazers, 2020
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America, 2016-2024
Named a New Jersey Trailblazer by New Jersey Law Journal, 2019 (for cannabis)
Named to The Insider 100: Policymakers List by Insider NJ, 2017-2019
Named to The Insider 100: Cannabis Power List by Insider NJ, 2019
Named a Top Rated Lawyer in Appellate Law by The American Lawyer, 2018
Listed in New Jersey Super Lawyers
- Named to NJBiz The Power 100 list, 2017
- Listed in Best Lawyers Greater Philadelphia, 2016
- Recipient, New Jersey State Bar Association Distinguished Legislative Service Award, 2005 and 2011
- Named to PolitickerNJ.com's Power List of Most Influential People, 2002
- AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
No aspect of these rankings has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Further information on methodologies is available via these links.
Civic and Charitable Activities
- President, Princeton Charter School Board of Trustees
- Trustee, Drumthwacket Foundation
- Member, Newark Penn State Modernization Project Advisory Committee
- Co-Chair and Executive Committee Member of the Regional Plan Association
- Trustee, New Jersey Charter School Association Board
- Contributor, Duane Morris Cannabis Industry Blog
- Co-author, "New Jersey Announces Required Safety Protocols for Reopening Businesses," Duane Morris Alert, June 5, 2020
- Co-author, "New Guidelines for New Jersey Construction, Retail, Warehouse and Manufacturing Sectors," Duane Morris Alert, April 9, 2020
- Co-author, "New Jersey Governor Authorizes State Police to Commandeer Supplies, Property and Services from Private Entities," Duane Morris Alert, April 6, 2020
- Co-author, "New Jersey Economic Development Authority Announces $5,000 Grants for Small Businesses, $100,000 No Interest Loans for Mid-Size Businesses," Duane Morris Alert, March 27, 2020
- Author, "Emergency Powers Law in New Jersey," New Jersey Law Journal, March 19, 2020
Co-Author, "President Unveils Plan to Rebuild America's Infrastructure," Duane Morris Alert, February 13, 2018
- Co-author, "Taking the Leap from Public Service to Private Sector," New Jersey Lawyer, February 2015
- Author, "Good Faith No Bar to Attorney Fees Under NJCRA," New Jersey Law Journal, November 6, 2014
- Co-author, "New York Voters Approved Casino Expansion – Now What?" Law360, November 8, 2013
- Quoted, “Why the U.S. Virgin Islands Are Fertile Soil for Cannabis Businesses,” Benzinga, September 27, 2023
- Quoted, "Employee Numbers Up at Some Cannabis MSOs Despite Challenging Conditions," MJBizDaily, April 20, 2023
- Quoted, "Minorities and Women Seeking to Own N.J. Legal Weed Stores `Swimming Uphill’ to Land Licenses," NJ.com, August 2, 2022
- Quoted, "EDA Can Provide Financial Incentives to Small New Jersey Cannabis Businesses Under New Law," Politico, July 6, 2022
- Featured in "Tunnel Vision: How Cannabis Lawyer Paul Josephson Scored a Front-row Seat to a $13B Piece of Infrastructure," New Jersey Super Lawyers Magazine, March 11, 2022
- Quoted, "These South Jersey Towns Are Allowing Legal Weed Stores to Set up Shop," The Philadelphia Inquirer, October 3, 2021
- Quoted, "Reopening The Economy, Business Resiliency And Change," Forbes, April 13, 2020
- Quoted, "Why 3rd-Party Testing Labs are Essential to Cannabis Expansion," NJ Cannabis Insider, August 1, 2019
- Quoted, "CBD in NJ: Magical Cure for Aches and Anxieties or Just Marijuana Hype?" app. (part of USA Today), June 6, 2019
- Quoted, "Marijuana Legalization: Cannabis Expo Tells NJ, NY What Comes Next," Ashbury Park Press NJ, June 1, 2019
- Quoted, "Off to a Good Start: Insiders are Optimistic about Murphy," ROI, January 16, 2018
- Quoted, “How Legal Marijuana in New Jersey Will Disrupt Pennsylvania's Medical Program: A Q&A with Duane Morris Lawyers,” The Philadelphia Inquirer, November 17, 2017
Selected Speaking Engagements
- Panelist, Introduction to Administrative Law - Special Situations, N.J. Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Brunswick, NJ, July 11, 2023
- Panelist, “Rescuing Your Cannabis Business,” Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, Miami, April 11, 2023
- Panelist, “Lessons Learned from Adult Use Conversions,” Pennsylvania Cannabis Coalition, Philadelphia, March 10, 2023
- Speaker, “Implications of Interstate Commerce Clause Decisions for Operators,” Duane Morris General Counsel Boot Camp, September 2022
- Moderator, "Cultural Competence in Cannabis Marketing," Duane Morris Cannabis Webinar, May 25, 2022
- Speaker, "Cannabis Recreational Business Impact on Real Estate," 86th Annual Princeton Conference, Appraisal Institute Metro New Jersey Chapter, Princeton, New Jersey, April 25, 2022
- Moderator, "The Future Of Cannabis," Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, Miami, April 20, 2022
- Moderator, "Cannabis 403: Big Money Meets Big Government: Greenlighting Mergers as State and Federal Regulators Step Up Scrutiny," Duane Morris Cannabis Webinar Series, June 15, 2021
- Speaker, "The $2.3 Trillion Biden Infrastructure Plan: What’s Real, What’s Merely Ambitious and What’s Likely to Happen," Duane Morris and Deloitte Webinar Series, May 19, 2021
- Moderator, "Cannabis 401: How to Prevent Your Cannabis Investment from Going Up in Smoke: Tips for Having a Successful Cannabis Workout," Duane Morris Cannabis Webinar Series, February 25, 2021
- Presenter, "Inauguration 2021: Anticipated Government Policy Updates and Changes Regarding COVID-19 Concerns," Duane Morris COVID-19: Navigating Forward Webinar Series, January 28, 2021
- Presenter, "Cannabis 301: Cannabis Crisis Communications," Duane Morris Cannabis Webinar Series, February 20, 2020
Speaker, "Fall Cannabis Meetup," NJ Cannabis Insider and the New Jersey Cannabis Industry Association, September 18, 2019
Presenter, "Cannabis 204: The Roundup of State Cannabis Legislation," Duane Morris Cannabis Webinar Series, August 20, 2019
Speaker, "Emerging Issues in Cannabis, Medical Office and Green Office Building Leasing," ALI/ABA, Webinar, May 31, 2018
Panelist, "Growing a Sustainable Industry in the Empire State," Crain’s Presents The Business of Cannabis, New York City, April 18, 2019
Moderator and Panelist, "Getting Into the Weeds of Legal Marijuana/Cannabis," NJICLE, New Brunswick, New Jersey, March 26, 2018
Speaker, "Legalizing Marijuana in New Jersey-What It Means to Your Business," Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, New Jersey, March 7, 2018
Speaker, "Public Private Partnership Option," National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure, February 28, 2018
- Speaker, "What's Next for Atlantic City?," NJSBA 2017 Annual Conference and Convention, Atlantic City, May 17, 2017
- Moderator, "Crossing the Hudson," Regional Plan Association General Assembly, April 21, 2017
- Moderator, "What Every New Jersey Attorney Needs to Know About Administrative Law," New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education Program, New Brunswick, New Jersey, December 6, 2016
- Speaker, "Thought Leadership from the City's Most Active Developers & Investors," Newark Commercial Real Estate Summit, June 21, 2016
- Speaker, "Lawyer-lobbying: Advocating Your Client's Interests to Move the Bill and Mobilize Support," New Jersey State Bar Association Town Hall Advocacy Program, Trenton, New Jersey, March 7, 2016
- Moderator, "Ethics in State Government," New Jersey State Bar Association 2015 Advocacy Town Hall Program, Trenton, New Jersey, March 2, 2016
- Panelist, "Developments in Public Private Partnerships," 2015 30th Construction Superconference, San Diego, December 8, 2015
- Speaker, "African Fellowship Program 2015: Liberia," Widener University Delaware Law School, August 25-27, 2015
- Speaker, "The Newark CRE Summit," CRE, July 16, 2015
- Co-Presenter, "Strategies for Ensuring Open Enrollment for Charter Schools" and "Hot Topics in Regulation and Innovation"; Lead Presenter, "Funding Equity," Seventh Annual New Jersey Charter Schools Conference, Atlantic City, New Jersey, March 30-31, 2015
- Moderator, "Ethics in State Government," New Jersey State Bar Association 2015 Advocacy Town Hall Program, Trenton, New Jersey, March 9, 2015
- Panelist, "Legal Issues: Hot Topics in Charter School Law," 2014 New Jersey Charter Schools Annual Conference, Atlantic City, April 7-8, 2014
- Speaker, "The Politics of Public Education," New Jersey Arts and Science Charter Schools Quality In Education Summit, Garfield, New Jersey, January 29, 2014
- Speaker, "The First National Conference on State and Local Coastal Adaptation Plans: The Triple Threat of Rising Sea Levels, Extreme Storms and Aging Infrastructure: Coastal Community Reponses and The Federal Role," Boston, MA, November 12, 2013
Speaker, "NJICLE Seminar on Election Law and Political Campaigns," New Brunswick, New Jersey, October 8, 2013
- Moderator, "Exploding the Myths of Special Education in Charter Schools," "Regulatory Update and Hot Legal Topics," New Jersey Charter School Association Annual Meeting, Atlantic City, April 15-16, 2013
- Lecture Annually for NJICLE on Administrative Law, Election/Campaign Finance Law, Government Ethics, Advocacy Programs
- Moderator and Speaker, New Jersey Future Redevelopment Conferences on Transit-Oriented Redevelopment and Med Redevelopment, 2010 and 2011
- New Jersey Alliance for Action, Moderator on Atlantic City Infrastructure Issues, 2010