Business & Finance

The Power of Two: Summit Partnership Creates Hybrid Firm Offering Dynamic Mix of Legal Minds, Services

Avelino & Hartlaub principals Jude Avelino, left, and Jeff Hartlaub in front of their Summit headquarters office located at 47 River Road. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
A diverse, complimentary pairing of skill sets and experience, and a shared commitment to client service, brought Jeff Hartlaub, left, and Jude Avelino together. Credits: Greg Elliott / TAPinto Summit
The firm has office locations in Summit and New York City, with primary practice areas including Real Estate; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Elder Law; Corporate Law; Land Use & Zoning; and Litigation.

SUMMIT, NJ - Merging two law firms with impressive resumes and an equally stout slate of accomplishments has resulted in the formation of Summit- and New York City-based Avelino & Hartlaub, LLP. The partnership is the result of the coming together of Hartlaub & Dotten and Avelino Law.

The prospect of a new partnership arose when Jeff Hartlaub and Jude Avelino found themselves on 'opposite' sides of a transaction; it fostered a relationship between two legal heavyweights who knew each other, but soon learned that they share a common vision on ways to maximize value for their clients and bring enhanced energy to the Summit legal landscape.

“Representing a client in a real estate transaction requires an attorney to tread a fine line between being adversarial and diplomatic,” stated Hartlaub. “I found that Jude was a fierce advocate for his client, while being open to opportunities to negotiate solutions to issues. It didn’t take long for us to recognize the complementary nature of our practices and the opportunities that a merger would provide.”

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The eventual marriage of the two firms allowed the principals to invigorate this new entity with a larger platform, positioned to serve its clients at the highest level across a wide array of practice areas.

“Jeff and I both believe that our firm offers an exciting opportunity to maximize the benefits and services we can provide to our clients,” Avelino explained recently. “My family and I have lived in this community for 15 years, Jeff for longer than that; we have similar ambitions and challenges to those of our clients. Our mission at Avelino & Hartlaub, LLP is to advocate for our clients, and to prepare them for, and protect them from, all of life’s scenarios.”

Avelino & Hartlaub’s primary practice areas include: Real Estate; Wills, Trusts and Estates; Elder Law; Corporate Law; Land Use & Zoning; and Litigation.

While the scope of the firm's services is wide, a key differentiator of the new firm is the insight, dedication to excellence, and commitment to client service within each area. This laser-like focus enables the firm's clients to achieve their business and individual objectives. Paramount within this philosophy and capability is the cross-discipline collaboration by the firm, its principals and associates to attain the best outcomes.

The relative boutique size of the firm, combined with its suite of supreme-in-class capabilities, provides a 'best of both worlds' dynamic.

Both precursor firms brought well-established reputations for excellence to the merger. Hartlaub & Dotten, which traces its roots to 1952, was founded by District Court Judge John L. Hughes and Raymond J. Hartlaub, father of current partner R. Jeffrey Hartlaub. While offering counsel in a variety of practice areas, the firm's primary focus has been all aspects of the residential real estate transaction for more than six decades.

Acknowledged as one of the premiere real estate attorneys in the state, Jeff Hartlaub has been named a “New Jersey Top Attorney” numerous times, and has held an “AV” pre-eminent rating (the highest available) from Martindale-Hubbell, the leading independent attorney rating organization in the United States, continuously for over 25 years.

Avelino Law began in New York City in 1999, with its founding by managing partner A. Jude Avelino; the firm subsequently opened offices in Summit and Garden City, Long Island. Avelino Law's emphasis centered on estate planning, including wills and trusts estate administration, litigation and corporate law. The firm brought to the merger more than 15 years’ experience in maximizing clients’ asset retention and protection, and successfully addressing their corporate and litigation needs. A. Jude Avelino similarly holds an “AV” preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Avelino & Hartlaub, LLP has offices in Summit, at 47 River Road, and in Manhattan at 928 Broadway, Suite 1105. For more information, including a free and private consultation, call 908-273-5730 or contact

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