Nicholas F. Pellitta, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., presented “Social Justice and Hate Crimes in New Jersey” virtually to eleventh and twelfth graders at Hoboken Charter School on May 17.
“Statistics demonstrate that Bias incidents in New Jersey, including crimes motivated by a victim’s race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion, increased dramatically in 2020. Unfortunately, many of these incidents took place at schools, including universities and colleges. New Jersey has been proactive in its law enforcement and other efforts to address bias among young people and anti-bias education and training for public educators remains an important part of these efforts” said Pellitta.
The presentation was a discussion of the law governing bias-related incidents and hate crimes in New Jersey. Pellitta covered what the crimes are and the New Jersey law that governs these crimes. He talked about the increase in bias-related incidents throughout the state and country, including the increased racial divide and stereotypes; how hate crimes are prosecuted, including the proofs required to convict and the rights of victims; as well as the issue of bias-related incidents in schools and student conduct, i.e., bullying and student discipline.
Pellitta has substantial experience in a variety of legal areas in both federal and state courts. It is his goal to maximize efficiency for his clients by promptly analyzing their objectives, identifying necessary strategies, and implementing an appropriate course of action.
In the area of higher education, Pellitta has represented colleges and universities for more than 30 years in areas such as tort claims defense, campus security, alcohol policies, police litigation, civil rights, and student discipline. He has represented the Rutgers Police Department and has provided in-house training and advice on police-related matters. Representative clients include Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Seton Hall University, and Monmouth University.
On the individual level, Pellitta assists clients in matters involving the defense of criminal charges, juvenile delinquency, and similar offenses, in both municipal and superior courts.
Pellitta has served as Second Vice President in the C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court, an organization designed for the continuing education of newly-admitted attorneys. He has also lectured at the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and on behalf of the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office in trial practice.
In addition to his practice, Pellitta has served as Chairperson of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and is currently Legal Counsel to the Chamber. He also served on the Board of Trustees and is a former chairperson for Prevention Resources, an organization dedicated to promoting health and wellness and addressing substance abuse and violence in the community. Pellitta earned his J.D. from New York Law School and his B.A. from Rutgers University.