Joel L. Shain

Joel Shain

Joel L. Shain, who specializes in governmental, administrative, appellate and banking law, is a founding Principal and the Secretary/Treasurer of Shain Schaffer.

After graduation from Rutgers College and Boston University Law School, where he served as President of the Student Bar Association, Mr. Shain entered the Army and served in Vietnam where, as a Captain, he was a company commander and was awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Achievement. Upon his return to the States, Mr. Shain took his first legal position with the New Jersey State Attorney General’s Office and served as Chief Counsel to the Department of Banking. In that capacity he was instrumental in creating the state’s branch banking and bank holding company laws while giving day-to-day legal advice to the Commissioner and his deputies and representing the Department in both state and federal courts. Upon entering private law practice, in which he has been engaged for over forty years, Mr. Shain was honored by his peers through selection as Chairman of both the Banking Law Section and the Administrative Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association. In those capacities, he was instrumental in developing and promulgating plain language consumer legislation in New Jersey. As a private attorney, Mr. Shain, among many other endeavors, chartered three state banks and established numerous branch banks on behalf of his clients. In addition, he obtained financing of $120,000,000 for a luxury high-rise residential development on the Jersey City waterfront in addition to representing the property developers. Mr. Shain is a former two term Mayor of the City of Orange and is a founder of Suburban Cablevision, now a part of Comcast.

Mr. Shain, who presently serves as Special Counsel to the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, provided the legal representation to the Township of Monroe, Middlesex County in the successful establishment of New Jersey's first customer choice electrical aggregation program. On behalf of the League and AARP, Mr. Shain has testified before New Jersey State Senate and Assembly Committees, has represented both groups at hearings involving the deregulation legislation before the BPU, and has lectured and written extensively on issues relating to energy deregulation and governmental aggregation of energy services. Of further note, Mr. Shain successfully represented both the League and AARP before the BPU resulting in the establishment of the Universal Service Fund, a $30 million fund to help poor and low-income families pay their gas and electric bills, a program to be financed by a small surcharge on customers’ bills.

In his capacity as Monroe Township’s attorney for 30 years, Mr. Shain and the firm have provided day to day legal advice to the Mayor, Council, Business Administrator and Department Heads; prepared and/or reviewed resolutions, ordinances and municipal contracts; attended Township Council meetings; handled numerous tax appeals; provided guidance in personnel matters, including representation at disciplinary and grievance hearings; handled land use matters; and represented the Township in litigations with respect to a wide variety of issues. Virtually all aspects of municipal law have been dealt with during this representation.

Contact Mr. Shain at

Published articles: 

  • “Meet the Consultant – Why Signing the Right One is the First Step to a Successful Municipal Energy Aggregation Program,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, May 2014

  • “Municipal Energy Aggregation Comes of Age,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, November 2013

  • “Energy Aggregation – An Idea Whose Time Has Come,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, February 2013

  • “Why Build Power Plants When Cheaper, Cleaner Alternatives Exist,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, June 2012

  • “21st Century Energy Wisdom: We Have the Tools and the Knowledge – Use Them,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, November 2011

  • “The State’s Tendency to Take from the Municipal Tax Pie,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, April 2010

  • “Protecting Municipalities From the Telecom Tax Fight,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, February 2009

  • “Earn Some Green by Going Green,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, November 2008

  • “Demand Response: Drawing Savings From the Grid,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, February 2007

  • “Conservation and Innovation – It’s Time to Apply Master Planning Principles to Energy,” NJ Municipalities Magazine, February 2006

  • “Municipal Energy Aggregation – Let’s Get it Right This Time,” - NJ Municipalities Magazine, June 2003

  • “Energy Competition: Prepare For A Price Shock,” - NJ Municipalities Magazine, October 2002

  • “Universal Service: The Board of Public Utilities New Top Priority,” - NJ Municipalities Magazine, February 2002

  • “League Weighs in on Energy Deregulation,” - NJ Municipalities Magazine, May 2001

  • “Energy Deregulation - Prepare for a Price Shock,” - NJ Municipalities Magazine, March 2001

  • “From Success to Failure and The Way Back, A Short History of Municipal Energy Aggregation in New Jersey,” - NJ Municipalities Magazine, May 2000

  • “Beyond Aggregation - Conserve and Generate Your Own Electricity,” - NJ Municipalities Magazine, December 1999

  • “Electric Aggregation and The Monroe Experience,” - NJ Municipalities Magazine, April 1999