Sills Cummis & Gross has operated at the intersection of law, public policy, business and government since its founding. That principle has been put into action repeatedly throughout the Firm’s history – from “The Beginning of the State’s Gaming Industry”, to the representation of Jim Florio in the New Jersey gubernatorial election recount of 1981, to today.
In 1981, Clive Cummis, one of the Firm’s founders, represented Jim Florio, who was running for governor against Tom Kean, in the New Jersey gubernatorial election recount. The night of the election, it looked like Jim Florio was going to be the next Governor of New Jersey. As the night progressed, the votes shifted in Kean’s favor. With a difference of 1,677 votes in the initial count, Florio requested a recount and asked Cummis and the Firm to represent him.
Notwithstanding Cummis’ and the Firm's counsel and tenacious advocacy, after the nearly month long recount, Jim Florio conceded. Despite this result, the Firm enhanced its reputation as a “go-to” Firm for bet the ranch matters. Significantly, the outcome was different for Florio in the 1989 New Jersey gubernatorial election, when he was elected Governor of New Jersey by a 62% to 38% margin.
As Sills Cummis & Gross Managing Partner Max Crane stated in a January 2017 Metropolitan Corporate Counsel interview about celebrating the Firm’s 45th anniversary, “The Firm has built a reputation around not just being good lawyers providing great service, but being broadly involved in government and the political process. To this day, we continue to emphasize the importance of not just community service but government service. There are so many regulatory aspects to business that unless you understand how government works, you’re going to miss the boat on behalf of your clients.”