Joseph R. Haftek, Jr. joined Schenck Price in 2014 and represents developers, construction managers, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers, construction professionals, design professionals and businesses in both state and federal courts. In addition to being Co-Chair of the Firm's Construction Law Practice Group, where he heads the Bid Protest Team, he is a member of the School Law Practice Group. He was selected to the 2016-2019 New Jersey Super Lawyers® * list and to the 2014 New Jersey Rising Stars® * list, featured in New Jersey Monthly magazine, in the field of Construction Litigation. He was also included on the list of Morris/Essex Health & Life Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” in Construction in 2018 and 2019. Joe's knowledge and experience have been consistently recognized with opportunities as a lecturer to both lawyers and construction industry professionals on topics ranging from construction contracts to public bidding and bid protests.
Since entering private practice in 2005, Joe has focused on developing his construction law practice. He prides himself on the firm and Construction Law Group’s ability to assist clients from the earliest phases of project development and approval through closeout and post-project issues. He has experience in handling all aspects of litigation, including: prosecution and defense of construction lien claims; negotiating, drafting and reviewing contracts; defect, contract and negligence litigation; collection services; public and school bid protest and contract law issues; and providing general legal advice and guidance for each phase of the construction process. He is counsel to a number of construction companies, in particular several of the New York Metro Area's largest construction management firms.
Joe is also a very active participant in the NJSBA Construction Law Section, which is comprised of many of the state’s foremost construction law attorneys. The Construction Law Section monitors the laws governing construction and public contracts and recommends modifications to and/or comments on such laws when appropriate, and provides educational seminars, materials and publications to attorneys and other members of the construction industry. He has held the position of Co-Secretary and Co-Vice Chairman of the Section, and is currently the Co-Chairman of the Section through May 2021.
As the son and brother of contractors, Joe has grown up in and around the construction industry and understands the specific needs of today's construction practitioner. Prior to attending law school, he worked as a laborer, operator and supervisor, learning first-hand about day-to-day construction operations. This personal experience compliments his legal experience and allows him to develop valuable, long-term relationships with his clients.
Joe also has significant experience in general commercial litigation matters, and is the Pro Bono attorney for the Wyckoff Volunteer Ambulance Corps.
- Selected to the 2016 through 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyers® * list, featured in New Jersey Monthly magazine, in the field of Construction Litigation
- Selected to the 2014 New Jersey Rising Stars® * list, featured in New Jersey Monthly magazine, in the field of Construction Litigation
- Included on the list of Morris/Essex Health & Life magazine’s 2018, 2019 and 2020 “Top Lawyers” in Construction
- Co-moderator and speaker, 2020 NJICLE Construction Law Forum, June 4, 2020
- Author, "NJ Executive Order 122 Stops Non-Essential Construction with Exceptions and Imposes Other Requirements," April 9, 2020
- Speaker, "Construction Law and Ethics" Seminar, Halfmoon Education, August 1, 2019
- Moderator, “2019 Construction Law Forum: Handling the Construction Defect Case,” Speaker, “Construction Contract Workshop,” Halfmoon Education, August 28, 2014NJSBA, June 6, 2019
- Speaker, “Addressing Construction Collection Issues,” Metropolitan Builders & Contractors Association of New Jersey, January 17, 2019
- Speaker, “Construction Law in 2018: Legal Insight into Parties, Contract Terms, and Insurance Issues,” NJSBA, June 14, 2018
- Speaker, "Bidding Laws in New Jersey," NJSBA Seminar, Construction Law: The Bid, The Claim and the Potential Impact of Electronic Bidding, February 23, 2018
- Author, "Anatomy of a Bid Protest," New Jersey Lawyer, December 2017
- Speaker, “Contract Law Primer for Engineers,” Halfmoon Education, November 28, 2017
- Author, "Local Public Contracts Law, Am I a Qualified Bidder?," MeadowlandsUSA, October 2014
- Co-Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association Construction Law Section
- Member, Bergen County 200 Club
- Inaugural member, Wyckoff's Historic Preservation Commission
- Represented a general contractor on a lien foreclosure matter with a $1,600,000.00 defect counterclaim asserted by the commercial owner. Prevailed at arbitration and obtained a six figure award for the firm's client
- Represented a general contractor on a multi-million dollar public project regarding withheld retainage and alleged defects. Handled the matter through litigation and subsequent arbitration, and prevailed with the client awarded six figures in compensation
- Argued before the New Jersey Appellate Division on a high profile bid protest matter in Passaic County that was covered by the local media
- Successfully tried several cases to a jury verdict