COUNTY BAR ASSOCIATION PROFESSIONAL LAWYERS OF THE YEAR
Melissa Rosenblum – Atlantic County Bar Association
Being a legal professional means more than just pursuing a career with a view toward making money. Certainly, for me, the practice of law entails running a small business—and all that comes with that!—and supporting myself and my family with the fruits of my labors. But, being a true professional means dedicating your energies toward achieving the best result for the client while maintaining complete integrity. Professionalism in the law comes down to real-life practicalities. I think of things like being punctual, prepared and polite. I always return phone calls, if not the same day, first thing the next day. I am accessible to adversaries, court staff, professional organizations and all other stake-holders in the legal profession. In the final analysis, I try to be the lawyer I would want to hire.
Hon. Brian R. Martinotti – Bergen County Bar Association
Professionalism means candor, compassion, civility, and integrity toward the court, your adversary, and all litigants, understanding that we are all ambassadors of the legal community, and our singular conduct is the prism though which the legal profession will be viewed.
Alan H. Schorr – Burlington County Bar Association
As attorneys, we are an indispensable part of resolving conflicts through the legal process. Professionalism requires us to work together to advocate our clients' positions and resolve those conflicts.
Steven K. Mignogna – Camden County Bar Association
Professionalism in the law equates with professionalism in general. Treating each other with dignity and respect, in our profession and in our society, means more today than ever.
Carol N. Goloff – Cape May County Bar Association
I believe professionalism in the law has four components: (1) looking professional which conveys respect for yourself, the court, and your client; (2) being prepared, punctual, and competent; (3) treating people respectfully even when it is difficult; and (4) serving the bar and its individual members as you are able. While far from perfect, I strive each day.
Charles J. Wettstein – Cumberland County Bar Association
Professionalism in the law involves three principles: respect and candor towards the judiciary; being cordial and hospitable towards your adversary; and freely providing mentorship and guidance to your colleagues.
Hon. Harriet F. Klein, J.S.C. (Ret.) – Essex County Bar Association
To be recognized by the Bar with this Award is very gratifying since professionalism was my credo from my first day of practice, was demanded of every person in my courtroom, and is stressed in my mentoring of young lawyers. Now more than ever, at a time when our society is so fractious, it is important that all of us work to make our profession a bastion of civility.
Lisa Marie DeRogatis – Hudson County Bar Association
Professionalism means, to me, that I am prepared to skillfully advocate with confidence on behalf of my clients, that I consistently present myself with honesty and candor to the Court, and that I and courteous and respectful to my clients, adversaries and the Court.
Denise M. Mariani – Mercer County Bar Association
Professionalism in the law means practicing with competence and integrity at all times and treating everyone with respect. Not only is professionalism an unconditional responsibility but it makes the practice of law enjoyable.
Hon. Frank Ciuffani, P.J.Ch. (ret.) – Middlesex County Bar Association
Practicing law professionally for me has always meant practicing the Wilentz way by treating all parties, including opposing counsel, other lawyers and their teams, witnesses, members of the court, and the court’s professional staff with civility and courtesy.
Kathleen N. Fennelly – Morris County Bar Association
Professionalism – defined in the NJCOP Principles of Professionalism to include professional integrity and personal courtesy – has been one of the guiding principles I have relied on throughout my career as a lawyer. In my experience as a litigator, I have learned that zealous advocacy and professionalism can and should go hand in hand. My hope is that trying to incorporate these principles into every decision I make has made me a better lawyer, a better parent and a better person.
John J. Foti, Jr. – Ocean County Bar Association
Upon reflection of my 45+ years as an Attorney-at-Law of the State of New Jersey and 28+ years as an Assistant Ocean County Prosecutor, I feel a sense of pride that I always did my best for my clients, whatever the outcome may have been. Being honest, ethical and true to yourself in the task at hand and without regret, in my opinion is the true definition of "professionalism in the law."
Salvatore Bellomo – Passaic County Bar Association
To me professionalism has always meant doing the best you can for your clients and your profession. You treat your clients with dignity and respect not just as clients but as people who come to you with issue that they can’t solve on their own. They look to you for help and though you can’t promise results, you must and should promise that you will do your absolute best for them and their case, as if it is the only case you have.
Jennifer L. Toth – Warren County Bar Association
Professionalism in the law is not exclusively client driven, it also involves being mindful of our conduct with adversaries, the Court, and in our interactions with the general public. As lawyers, we should strive each day to be prepared, to be courteous, and to use our best judgment in each decision that we make.
SPECIALTY BAR ASSOCIATION PROFESSIONAL LAWYERS OF THE YEAR
Andrew Sarrol – Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association
Professionalism means recognizing the pressure that our colleagues, adversaries, judges, and public employees face each day. It means acting with grace toward others, while staying true to our duties as advocates or neutrals.
Norma R. Evans – Association of Black Women Lawyers
Professionalism in the law is the unwavering commitment to be the voice for the voiceless and creating opportunities for everyone to be heard and seen. It is ensuring that everybody, without exception, is treated fairly and their humanity is affirmed. Professionalism in the Law is an obligation to bring justice where injustice exists, while maintaining the core values of integrity, honesty, competence and independence.
John A. Azzarello – Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey
I believe all lawyers should exhibit the utmost professionalism at all times both inside and outside the courtroom. To me, this means you must devote one hundred percent of your very best efforts to representing each and every client while simultaneously adhering to the highest ethical standards, respecting the Court and your adversaries and maintaining the highest level of honesty and integrity. We must remember that, as lawyers, our conduct is an example of who we are as individuals as well as a symbol of the legal profession.
John B. Kearney – Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey
I was fortunate at an early stage in my legal career to have role models like Morse Archer and Joe Kenney, mentors who taught me that the practice of law was a profession, not a business, and that being a professional conferred responsibility on a lawyer. They taught me that there was no place in the practice of law for treating anyone as an "enemy". They modeled civility in every professional interaction - the way they treated clients, judges, adversaries and co-workers. Finally, they taught me that pro bono service enhanced the profession, advanced the system of justice, and made being a lawyer more meaningful.
Natalya G. Johnson - Garden State Bar Association
Professionalism in the law means being service-minded and oriented. The practice of law and the opportunity to be a part of the legal community carries an obligation to be respectful, effective, and conscientious advocates for our clients and for the broader community. In our aims, we must also carry the mantle which demands that we operate in integrity and fairness.
Julia A. Lopez – Hispanic Bar Association of NJ
The law is a noble profession. Professionalism in the law means valuing and improving the legal profession by demonstrating integrity, character, and honesty in representing our clients, respecting our peers, and serving the community at large.
Michael A. Malia – New Jersey Defense Association
To me, professionalism in the law means, during this challenging time now more than ever, we must remember to assist our fellow attorneys with as much fervor as we help our clients. After all, we share a common goal: to move our practices forward, the accomplishment of which will benefit the profession as a whole.
Rabiya S. Kader – New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association
Professionalism in the law means to me that a lawyer acts ethically and with integrity at all times, regardless of how it affects her personally. It means the lawyer advocates zealously for her client and puts the client's best interests forward.
Dina M. Mastellone – New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
Professionalism in the law includes listening and being open to the viewpoint of others, even those you do not agree with, conducting yourself with integrity and treating your colleagues, clients, the bench and the bar with respect, courtesy and honesty. As lawyers, we sometimes forget how privileged we are to be in this profession. As Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg so eloquently reminded us, “If you want to be a true professional, you will do something outside yourself, something to repair tears in your community, something to make life a little better for people less fortunate than you."
Rahil Darbar – South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey
Professionalism is bringing a positive and productive approach to your professional and personal obligations despite unexpected short and long term impediments.
Michael R. Ricciardulli – Trial Attorneys Association of NJ
Professionalism means being an effective, ethical, and respectful advocate for your client and the justice system. Passion in your representation and civility to your adversary are not mutually exclusive.