Martin R. Cramer, Esq., Township Attorney
The Township's Legal Department comprises attorneys serving the Township, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Rent Board, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the Environmental Commission, and the Historic Preservation Commission, as well as a Labor Attorney, a Municipal Prosecutor, and a Public Defender. Each of these attorneys is in private practice and serves the Township on a part-time basis. The Township Code of Ethics bars each of the appointed attorneys, and other members of their firms, from appearing before any Township agency, board or department on behalf of private clients.
Apart from litigation, the members of the department serve the municipal government in a number of ways. They attend all meetings of the boards to which they are assigned, they render advisory opinions to municipal appointed and elected officials, and they facilitate the business of government, including drafting public contracts and local laws. The Municipal Prosecutor and the Public Defender attend all sessions of the Municipal Court, where the Prosecutor presents all criminal charges on behalf of the Township and the Police Department, and the Public Defender assists those defendants who cannot afford legal counsel. The Public Defender also acts as legal counsel to the Civilian Complaint Review Board.
The municipal attorney may also serve as attorney for the Self-Insurance Commission which administers the self-insurance program. That program, in existence since 1976, covers all risks in Teaneck except for fire damage to major buildings and liability for automotive equipment.