For Immediate Release
April 16, 2014
Senior Managing Director, Communications
NEW BRUNSWICK – A lawyer who has dedicated his career to family law and education will receive the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Saul Tischler Award from the Family Law Section next month.
Edward J. O’Donnell, a co-founder of Newsome O’Donnell, LLC in Florham Park, will receive the award at the Family Law Section’s Annual Dinner, to be held May 5 at the Hilton Short Hills.
The lifetime achievement award recognizes his contributions to advancing the development of family law and the profession, his community service, and his dedication to family law issues through education and advocacy.
“Ed has always been committed to family law, and he is proud to be a lawyer. He also understands what it means to be a family lawyer, and is protective of those in our field. He is very deserving of this honor,” said Brian M. Schwartz, chair of the Family Law Section.
O’Donnell’s entire legal career has focused on novel and important issues affecting family law. As a law student he was involved in a nationally precedential right-to-die case involving a nursing home patient whose guardian wanted to remove her feeding tube. He has continued to handle many high-profile matters, including the landmark Baby M case, the first judicial decision concerning the custody of a child born of a commercial surrogacy contract. He was also counsel in a matter involving an international custody dispute between a New Jersey man and his wife, who was the daughter of the Uzbekistani president.
O’Donnell said he is humbled to receive the recognition from his peers.
“The practice of matrimonial law is a privilege. As family lawyers, we try to stabilize the most unstable situations imaginable. People pour their hearts out at a time of emotional devastation, and they look to you for help. It is an honor to do this kind of work, and being recognized by my peers means a great deal to me,” said O’Donnell.
O’Donnell is a certified matrimonial attorney, mediator and arbitrator. He received his law degree from Seton Hall University School of Law. His involvement in the organized bar is extensive, including serving for more than 20 years on the association’s Family Law Section Executive Committee, its Long Range Planning Committee and General Council. He will be sworn-in as a member of the association’s Board of Trustees in May. O’Donnell is also a former president of the Essex County Bar Association and Barry I. Croland Family Law Inns of Court and served as a trustee of Essex-Newark Legal Services.
This is not O’Donnell’s first recognition by his peers. In 2012, he received the Alfred C. Clapp Award for excellence in education from the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, having lectured in over 100 programs to educate members of the bar in the practice of matrimonial law. He has also received the Essex County Bar Association’s Family Law Attorney Achievement Award and the Legal Services of New Jersey Equal Justice Medal.
O’Donnell is married and has five children.