NJSBA Installs New Slate of Officers

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Keefe becomes president, Padin president-elect, Hille immediate past president

ATLANTIC CITY: John E. Keefe Jr. last night became president of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the state’s largest organization of lawyers, judges and legal professionals.

Keefe said he was humbled and honored to serve as the 120th president of the association.

The Monmouth County lawyer founded the Keefe Law Firm, where the civil trial practitioner handles complex mass tort, class action and personal injury litigation.

Keefe was sworn in at an installation held at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. New Jersey Chief Justice Stuart Rabner administered the oath of office for the one-year term.

Keefe said he plans to focus the energies of the association on advancing legislation that will put professionals on an even playing field; increasing diversity and inclusion in the profession; establishing a mentorship program; and creating a formal network to help attorneys in times of personal or health crisis.

Keefe said he was filled with gratitude to accept the position and pledged to continue the good work of the association on behalf of a profession he truly loves.

“I think of service as even more important, as a payback – or a pay forward – for all the good things that have happened to me and all the people that helped me,” Keefe said. “My one request of you all is to be mindful of each other, respect the profession and each other. We owe that to each other.”

In addition to Keefe’s installation, other members of the executive committee moved up the succession ladder. Each officer holds the position for one year.

·         Evelyn Padin became president-elect. She is a Jersey City practitioner.

·         Kimberly A. Yonta became first vice president. She is a criminal defense attorney from Middlesex County.

·         Domenick Carmagnola, a labor and employment attorney with offices in Morristown, became second vice president.

·         Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a family lawyer with Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus in Bridgewater, became treasurer.

·         Timothy McGoughran, a former president of the Monmouth County Bar Association, became secretary.

·         Robert B. Hille began as a term as immediate past president of the association.

During his tenure as president, Hille set a proactive agenda for the year, establishing task forces to study and recommend ways the legal profession can stay abreast of cybersecurity issues and examining the practice of law. He also was instrumental in developing outreach to the community and profession about a new veterans diversion program.

“It has been a rewarding year for me and I am so grateful to be a part of all that we accomplished in promoting and advancing access to justice,” Hille said. “Now more than ever, all participants in our legal system need to work together to meet those challenges.”