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Compiled by Nathaniel Barr / New Jersey's Best Lawyers 2017

FROM THE HEADLINES:

► Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & DavisAndrea J. Sullivan (commercial litigation, 2010) became president of the Middlesex County Bar Association for the 2016-2017 term.

► LeClairRyan: Karol Corbin Walker (commercial litigation, insurance law, 2006) is chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary and led the committee in its recent evaluation of D.C. federal appeals Judge Merrick Garland’s candidacy for the U.S. Supreme Court. The committee unanimously found Garland well-qualified for the open spot on the Supreme Court, which has been unoccupied since Justice Antonin Scalia died in February. Walker praised Garland in a written statement, noting that Garland is “a preeminent member of the legal profession with outstanding legal ability and exceptional breadth of experience. He meets the highest standards of integrity, professional competence, and judicial temperament. ” 

► Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo partnered for a third year with Kids Chance of New Jersey to award a “Doctorate Degree” scholarship to a young adult suffering financial hardship as a result of the death or serious injury of a parent in a workplace accident. This year’s recipient, Scott Kwiatek, of South Amboy, New Jersey, is pursuing his bachelor’s degree in business at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). The boy lost his father when he was only two months old in a tragic building explosion that left him and his mother struggling to make ends meet throughout much of his childhood. 

 Zegas Law OfficesAlan L. Zegas (appellate practice; criminal defense: general practice; criminal defense: white-collar, 1993) is representing Dr. Gale Gibson, the former president of a Newark community college, who was fired from her position by a vote of the school’s board of trustees. The board accused Gibson and Rashidah Hasan, the school’s general counsel and vice president for human resources, of blocking their colleagues from communicating with the board and improperly accessing employee hard drives. “Dr. Gibson’s name has been wrongly dragged through the mud, and she has been relieved from her employment by persons with a political agenda,” said Zegas, in a statement to the press.


WOMEN IN THE LAW:

Best Lawyers-Listed Women Attorneys Leading the Way, Honored as Executive Policy Makers


Three women attorneys named to the Best Lawyers list again this year were celebrated at the Executive Women of New Jersey’s “Salute to the Policy Makers” biennial gala, held this spring in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) president-elect Michellene Davis, who is executive vice president and chief corporate affairs officer of RWJBarnabas Health and who chaired the gala, spoke to the value of honoring executive women for their achievements, saying: “There is a persistent misconception that the reason women are underrepresented in top corporate leadership is because there are not enough qualified women to assume these positions. This false perception creates a barrier to women’s advancement, which is why highlighting the multitude of well-qualified women is so essential.”

Susan A. Feeney (litigation and controversy – tax, 2005) of McCarter & English, Galit Kierkut (commercial litigation; litigation – labor and employment, 2013) of Sills Cummis & Gross, and Liza M. Walsh (commercial litigation; litigation – ERISA; litigation – patent, 2007) of Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga were among the 38 executive women from both the private and public sectors honored at the event. Feeney is a partner in her firm’s tax and employee benefits practice group and is a past president of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Kierkut is an executive board member and past president of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association and partner in her firm’s labor and employment practice. Walsh, who co-founded a new law firm in May (see below), counsels and represents business clients in a wide array of legal areas and is a fellow of the American Bar Association.


ON THE MOVE:

In House

► Romney L. Grippo (corporate law, 2007) became general counsel at EdisonLearning. She was previously a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath and a member of the corporate and securities group. 

Private Practice

► CohnReznick: Alison L. Galer (litigation – banking and finance, 2012) joined the firm from Norris McLaughlin & Marcus.

► Budd LarnerDominick J. Bratti (labor law – union, 2013) joined the firm from Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer.

► Cooper Levenson: Ronald G. Lieberman (family law, 2017) joined the firm as partner in the Cherry Hill office. In addition to being named to the Best Lawyers list this year, Lieberman is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, a distinction held by only three percent of attorneys in the state.

 Greenberg TraurigSeth E. Zuckerman (corporate law, 2016) joined the firm’s Florham Park office. He was previously at Saiber.

► Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & CooperMary Patricia Magee (litigation – trusts and estates; trusts and estates, 2008) joined the firm from Neff Aguilar.

► The Donnelly Law Firm: Dennis M. Donnelly (medical malpractice law – plaintiffs; personal injury litigation – plaintiffs; product liability litigation – plaintiffs, 2001) started his new law firm in April. He was previously a name partner at Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari.

► Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly FalangaLiza M. Walsh (commercial litigation; litigation – ERISA; litigation – patent, 2007) and Tricia O’Reilly (commercial litigation, 2016) co-founded the new firm. Both Walsh and O’Reilly were previously at Connell Foley. Their new firm, announced May 9, is based in Newark, with additional offices in midtown Manhattan and Philadelphia, and is a majority women-owned business. 

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NOTE Lawyers listed in Best Lawyers are indicated by their selected practice area(s) in parentheses along with the first year they were included in the Best Lawyers list. To be included in next year’s In the News feature, please email us your news at: news@bestlawyers.com.