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Melissa Peña

  • May 10, 2018Melissa Peña Elected to Meritas Board of Directors

    Melissa A. Peña, a Member of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., Chair of its Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Group, and Co-Chair of the Meritas’ Financial Services/CRABS Group, has been elected to the Meritas Board of Directors for a three-year term, serving 2018-2021.

    Meritas is an established global alliance of more than 180 independent, full-service law firms in every state and in 90 foreign countries with a comprehensive means of monitoring and enhancing the quality of its member firms—a process that saves clients time in validating law firm credentials and experience.  Firms become members by invitation only and maintain membership by meeting standards of a uniquely comprehensive Quality Assurance Program.  Firms are regularly assessed and recertified for the breadth of their practice expertise and client satisfaction.  Firm quality feedback is reflected in a Satisfaction Index score, which is available online.

    Meritas is led by a 21-member Board of Directors that helps the organization continually enhance its services, strategy, and overall client experience.  Board members are elected by the voting members at each annual meeting to reflect the size and geographic composition of the Meritas alliance.  To qualify, the member must be an employee, officer, director, member, or partner of a Meritas firm and must be a licensed lawyer in good standing in his or her respective jurisdiction(s).  The responsibility of the Meritas Board is to build an effective organization that supports the mission, values, and goals of the organization and the interest of its members, making decisions based on what is best for the organization rather than for individual members or regions.

    Peña concentrates her practice in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and mortgage foreclosures.  Her practice covers all aspects of litigation and insolvency matters in both state and federal courts.  She frequently represents secured lenders, creditors’ committees, debtors, trustees, landlords, and other creditors in Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings pending in New York, New Jersey, and Delaware.  Peña also has extensive experience litigating cases involving UCC matters, actions to enforce promissory notes and guarantees, intercreditor agreements, lien priority disputes, equipment leases, fraudulent conveyance actions, preferences, and various creditor enforcement matters.

    Peña regularly represents lenders in commercial mortgage foreclosure proceedings.  She handles all aspects of the litigation, including defending against counterclaims, negotiating forbearance agreements when appropriate, and representing the lender in any subsequent bankruptcy proceeding by litigating stay relief motions and representing the lender’s interest in the plan confirmation process.

    Peña earned her J.D., cum laude, from The American University Washington College of Law in 2003 and her B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science, from George Washington University in 2000.  While in law school, Peña was the Recent Development Editor of the Administrative Law Review, a member of the Law and Government Society, and participated in the Washington College of Law Civil Practice Clinic.  She was an intern for Searles Solicitors in London, England, during the summer of 2001.

    Posted in: Melissa A. Peña, News | Tags: ,

  • Jan 25, 2018Steven Karg Named Norris McLaughlin, P.A. Meritas Member Contact

    Steven A. Karg, a Member of the law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been named the firm’s Main Meritas Member Contact, replacing Joel N. Jacobson, a Member of the firm and Chair of its Real Estate Practice Group.  Jacobson has been the firm’s representative to Meritas since 1991, when the firm first joined Meritas.  Melissa A. Peña, a Member of the firm and Co-Chair of the Meritas’ Financial Services/CRABS Group, will take Karg’s place as the Alternate Member Contact.

    Meritas requires its firms to provide a designated Member Contact to ensure all matters are handled with care based on the Meritas alliance features. When a prospective client reaches out to a firm, the Meritas Member Contact will work with them to understand their needs and be sure to connect them with the appropriate attorney with the essential expertise.

    Meritas is an established global alliance of more than 180 independent, full-service law firms, with a comprehensive means of monitoring and enhancing the quality of its member firms—a process that saves clients time in validating law firm credentials and experience.  Firms become members by invitation only and maintain membership by meeting standards of a uniquely comprehensive Quality Assurance Program.  Firms are regularly assessed and recertified for the breadth of their practice expertise and client satisfaction.  Firm quality feedback is reflected in a Satisfaction Index score, which is available online.

    “Meritas is integral in our ability to help our clients find quality legal assistance anywhere in the world.  Over the years, Joel has proved this time and time again, and I would like to thank him for his leadership.  I am excited and honored to be able to work closer with the Meritas organization and look forward to continuing Joel’s work,” said Karg.

    Karg focuses his practice on commercial litigation with an emphasis on products liability defense.  He has spoken about products liability issues to organizations such as the American Bar Association, New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association, New Jersey Defense Association, New Jersey Chapter of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, New Jersey Chapter of the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters Society, Northeast Pharmaceutical Attorneys, and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.  In addition, he has authored many articles on products liability and toxic tort issues.  He is a co-author of the 2018 Edition of “New Jersey Products Liability and Toxic Torts Law” (Gann Law Books).  Karg is a past President of the Somerset County Bar Association, and a member of the New Jersey Defense Association (Former Chairperson, Products Liability Committee) and the Defense Research Institute (Member, Products Liability and Drug & Medical Device Committees).  He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Seton Hall University and his B.S., magna cum laude, from Trenton State College in Mechanical Engineering Technology.  Karg served a term on the Meritas Board of Directors and its Quality Assurance Committee.

    Peña concentrates her practice in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and mortgage foreclosures.  Peña earned her J.D., cum laude, from The American University Washington College of Law in 2003 and her B.A., magna cum laude, in Political Science, from George Washington University in 2000.  While in law school, Peña was the Recent Development Editor of the Administrative Law Review, a member of the Law and Government Society, and a participant in the Washington College of Law Civil Practice Clinic.  She was an intern for Searles Solicitors in London, England, during the summer of 2001.

    Jacobson’s practice focuses primarily on real estate and banking matters.  He has been with the firm for more than 35 years, including 30 years as a shareholder.  He was a member of the firm’s Management Committee from 1986 to 2017.  Jacobson is a member of the New Jersey, New York, and District of Columbia Bars; and the Real Estate, Banking Law, and Debtor/Creditor Sections of the New Jersey State Bar Association.  He was named the 2011 “Newark Area Best Lawyers Banking Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers, the oldest and most respected peer-review publication in the legal profession.  He is the only banking law attorney accorded this honor in the State of New Jersey.  Jacobson served on the Meritas Board of Directors and was Chairman of its Financial Services Section.  He currently chairs the Chatham Township Planning Board, having done so for the past several years.  Jacobson earned his J.D. in 1971 and his B.A., cum laude, in 1968 from the University of Pennsylvania.

    As Meritas’ only firm located in New Jersey, Norris McLaughlin, P.A. utilizes Meritas member firms to connect clients with quality representation in every state and in 90 foreign countries.  The firm’s membership in Meritas provides clients with immediate access to high-quality legal services in other jurisdictions around the globe.

    Posted in: Joel N. Jacobson, Melissa A. Peña, News, Steven A. Karg | Tags: , , , , ,

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