NJSBA Installs New Slate of Officers: Padin becomes Association’s first Latina president; Yonta is president-elect, Keefe immediate past president

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Contact: Kate Coscarelli 

Evelyn Padin was sworn in Thursday as president of the New Jersey State Bar Association. She took the oath of office at the association’s installation of officers at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.

She is the first Latina president of the association, New Jersey’s leading group for lawyers, judges and legal professionals.

Padin, a Jersey City practitioner who handles family law and personal injury matters, said she is honored and humbled to be a part of the association’s leadership.
“I am proud and humbled to accept this historic role. I look forward to working to continue to remove barriers and keep them down in society and the legal profession, to ensure people of diverse backgrounds are treated with respect and have access to opportunities in our communities and profession; and to encourage everyone to put their talents to use for the common good,” said Padin. 

Padin said she would focus the efforts of the association on ensuring access to the justice system through holding volunteer events in several inner-city communities during the course of the year; launching the next steps of Lawyers Helping Lawyers, a program to aid attorneys facing a medical crisis; expanding diversity and inclusion efforts in the NJSBA and legal profession; continuing to press for passage of legislation to level the playing field for professionals; and raising awareness and funds from the legal community to feed New Jersey's children who do not have enough to eat. 

“What I love about the law is that it gives people the opportunity to resolve their differences in a very civil manner, with dignity and fairness. We play an important role in ensuring the fundamental importance of the role of the law in our society. I am grateful for the chance to work on behalf of our members and I vow to devote myself to that work tirelessly in the year ahead,” she said.  

In addition to Padin’s installation, other members of the executive committee moved up the succession ladder. They were sworn in at the NJSBA’s Annual Meeting and Convention by New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner. Each officer holds the position for one year. 

·Kimberly A. Yonta became president-elect. She is a criminal defense attorney from Middlesex County.
  ·Domenick Carmagnola became first vice president. He is a labor and employment attorney with offices in Morristown.
·Jeralyn L.Lawrence, became second vice president. She launched her own firm in Watchung. 
·Timothy McGoughran, became treasurer. He is a family lawyer, municipal court judge and former president of the Monmouth County Bar Association. 
·William H. Mergner Jr. became secretary. He is a civil trial practitioner in Cedar Knolls.
·John E. Keefe Jr. began as a term as immediate past president of the association.
During his tenure, the association pushed forward on many efforts to improve the lives of lawyers. In the past year, the association's legislative agenda advanced, with Keefe shepherding legislation to provide fairness to professionals and consumers through the Assembly Judiciary committee; it launched MentorMatch, which has brought mentoring to a new level; and the Lawyers Helping Lawyers Task Force, has concluded a year of study and proposed ways for the association to serve as a safety net for attorneys facing a medical crisis.  
“It has been a privilege to represent the lawyers of this state. I have travelled the state and met lawyers from every county, every practice area and every stage of their career and I have been impressed over and over by the great things our members have achieved. I look forward to continuing to work to advance the association’s goals and I am confident that our association is relevant, powerful and in good hands moving ahead,” Keefe said.