Richard A. Norris, a Member of the Bridgewater-based law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been named the recipient of the 2009 Daniel J. O’Hern Award by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. The O’Hern Award is presented annually to an attorney who exemplifies commitment to the highest standards of professional conduct, career achievement, and service to the legal profession and community. Norris will be presented with his award at an Awards Luncheon on Thursday, October 22, 2009, at the New Brunswick Hyatt.
“I could not think of a more worthy recipient of this award than my longtime partner and friend, Dick Norris,” says G. Robert Marcus, Chairman of Norris McLaughlin, P.A..
The New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law is a unique cooperative venture of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the state and federal judiciary, and New Jersey’s three law schools. The Commission was formed in response to increasing displeasure within the bar about the future direction of the profession, and public criticism of lawyers and the legal system. It hopes to contribute to a strengthening of the traditional values, and sense of responsibility and public purpose, that have made the practice of law a distinguished profession. Moreover, it hopes its work helps to increase public respect for judges and the justice system. Towards this end, the Commission develops programs and initiatives for lawyers, judges, and law students. It sponsors and participates in educational seminars, takes positions on professional responsibility issues, and serves as an information resource for bar associations.
Norris, a resident of Bridgewater, has over fifty years experience as a trial lawyer, and is certified as an arbitrator and mediator. He has authored articles on a wide variety of subjects and has frequently served as a speaker and panelist at continuing legal education programs and seminars.
Norris served as the first Public Defender for Somerset County in 1967 and was instrumental in establishing the Somerset County Legal Services Program during his tenure as President of the Somerset County Bar Association in 1970-71. He has also served as counsel to the Somerset County Board of Elections and the Somerset County Board of Taxation, and was the attorney for the organization and establishment of twelve commercial banks in New Jersey.
Norris is a member and former President of the Somerset County Bar Association, the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Family Law and Litigation Sections of the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, which recognizes achievements in family law and a commitment to the highest standards of practice in the field.
Norris is the recipient of the 2003 Professional Lawyer of the Year Award given annually by the Somerset County Bar Association (SCBA) and the Commission on Professionalism in the Law, and the SCBA’s 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award. He is regularly selected for inclusion in Marquis’ Who’s Who in America and in The Best Lawyers in America. He has also been included in New Jersey Super Lawyers, consistently since 2005.
Norris obtained his B.S. from Lehigh University in 1949 and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School in 1952. Before entering private practice, he was a Staff Judge Advocate at Wright- Patterson Air Force Base (USAF) and a law clerk to Chief Judge Philip Forman of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
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