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  • Dec 04, 2018Annmarie Simeone to Present Middlesex County Bar Association Ethics Seminar

    Annmarie Simeone, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will be a co-presenter discussing “All About Ethics Complaints: What Lawyers Need to Know” for the Middlesex County Bar Association (MCBA).  The seminar, approved for 1.5 hours of Ethics/Professionalism CLE credit, will be held at 12:15 PM on Friday, December 14, at the MCBA office in New Brunswick.

    The seminar, Simeone will cover a variety of topics related to understanding the attorney ethics grievance process, including the procedures followed in that process, defending yourself once the grievance is filed, possible outcomes, the appeals process, and avoiding situations that commonly trigger ethics complaints. For more information and to register, visit the MCBA website.

    Simeone concentrates her practice on labor and employment counseling and litigation.  She primarily defends management in claims made by employees under state and federal employment laws, including whistleblower claims and claims alleging harassment and discrimination based on race, gender, religion, national origin, and disability.  Simeone’s work includes the defense of corporations, as well as individual officers, directors, and employees, addressing issues unique to small businesses, and challenges faced by larger companies.  She also provides advice and counseling to human resource professionals and in-house counsel on employment issues including employee leaves of absence, workplace investigations, employee discipline, and layoff and termination issues, including the negotiation and design of severance agreements.  Simeone drafts employee handbooks and employment-related policies and procedures and has significant experience protecting businesses from liability by conducting training for supervisors and employees.

    Simeone, Immediate Past President of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association (NJWLA), received her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 1993, and her B.A., summa cum laude, from St. John’s University in 1990.  In 2013, she was named Outstanding Woman in Somerset County in the area of Law by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women; in 2016, she received the Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law on behalf of the NJWLA; and in 2018, she received the Presidential Leadership Award from the NJWLA.

    Posted in: Annmarie Simeone, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Dec 03, 2018Norris McLaughlin Welcomes Associate to New Jersey Office

    The law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Doris Cheung as an Associate.  She joins the firm’s Litigation Practice Group, concentrating in the area of complex insurance fraud and healthcare litigation with an emphasis on Anti-Kickback Laws, Anti-Money Laundering, and Improper Licensing Regulations.

    Cheung has experience drafting pleadings, motions, petitions, interrogatories, and trial materials for cases defending private and public entities in employment law and education matters in state and federal court, including employment discrimination, retaliation, School Ethics Commission matters, and special education cases before the Office of Administrative Law.

    Cheung has extensive experience in drafting pleadings, discovery motions, dispositive motions, and appellate briefs, and conducting depositions of key defendants and fact witnesses.  She is adept in effective case management through the use of specialized legal technology.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Cheung was a litigation associate for a firm specializing in plaintiffs’ work on behalf of a Fortune 100 insurance company.  She was a member of a trial litigation team that recovered $10 million in damages in favor of their client in a bench trial.  Cheung was instrumental in preventing her adversary from dissipating $3 million in assets during litigation through the pursuit of a Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act claim.  Doris has also written summary judgement motions that resulted in a $3 million settlement in favor of her client.

    Cheung earned her J.D. in 2011 from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark and her B.S. from Cornell University.  During law school, Doris served as a clinical student in the Child Advocacy Clinic and the Urban Legal Clinic, where she represented, counseled, and provided post-dispositional representation for juvenile clients. She also served as a law clerk at Legal Services of New Jersey, assisting counsel in legal research and community outreach for low-income residents of the state.  After graduating, she clerked for the Honorable Judge Kathryn A. Brock, J.S.C., of the Union County Superior Court in the Family Division.

    Posted in: Doris Cheung, Litigation, News | Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Nov 13, 2018Jeralyn Lawrence to Speak on Alimony at NJICLE 2018 Fall CLEfest

    Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., member of its Management Committee, and Chair of the Matrimonial & Family Law Practice Group, will speak on alimony at the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education’s Fall CLEfest on Monday, November 19, at the Renaissance Woodbridge Hotel in Iselin.  The full-day event offers a total of 7.2 CLE credits through morning and afternoon sessions within the civil trial, family law, labor and employment, and tax and estate planning tracks.

    As part of the family law track, Lawrence will discuss the new alimony law and if it overrules earlier case law; the new standard; the statute’s comparability language; and how the law affects leisure time, savings, pensions, asset distribution, tax consequences, and enhanced alimony awards. Also participating will be Hon. Marie Lihotz, PJAD (Ret.), Lawrence R. Jones, Frank A. Louis, Esq., Michael A. Weinberg, Esq., and R. Joseph Gunteski, CPA, CFF.  For more information and to register, visit www.njicle.com.

    Lawrence is Treasurer of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) and is expected to become its President in 2022.  She is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, a Past President of the Somerset County Bar Association, and is a Senior Editor of New Jersey Family Lawyer, the official publication of the NJSBA Family Law Section.  She works with the State Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Program, providing pro bono legal assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas or on active duty in the armed forces after September 11, 2001.  Lawrence was appointed to the Somerset County Domestic Violence Working Group as a representative of the Somerset County Family Law Section.  She is Treasurer of the New Jersey Chapter of the AAML and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the nation’s leading research institute for interdisciplinary empirical study of law.

    A resident of Watchung, Lawrence devotes her practice to matrimonial, divorce and family law, and collaborative law.  She is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.  She is a trained Family/Divorce Mediator, admitted to the rosters of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases and of Custody and Parenting Time Cases for Somerset County; is certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), the preeminent family law association in America, as a Family Law Arbitrator; and is a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.  She has worked with clients in every area of matrimonial and family law, including divorce litigation and mediation, custody and parenting time, alimony and child support, separation and property settlement agreements, adoption and guardianship, domestic partnership matters under the Domestic Partnership Act, domestic violence and sexual abuse, and palimony.  She has also handled high profile matters including celebrities and professional athletes.  She takes immense pride and care in helping her clients through these difficult personal matters.

    Lawrence is a member of the New Jersey Association of Justice, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, New Jersey Collaborative Law Group, Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Central New Jersey Inns of Court, and the Norris McLaughlin & Marcus Women’s Forum Steering Committee.  She serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Matrimonial Certification Committee, which oversees the statewide matrimonial attorney certification process, and is a former member of The New Jersey Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics, District XIII Attorney Ethics Committee.

    Lawrence has been selected by the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey to receive their Carol Murphy Award, presented to a woman with a successful career demonstrating leadership, advancing policies in support of women and families, and helping to pave the way for women of the next generation.  She was honored with the 2013 NJSBA Distinguished Legislative Service Award for her cumulative and diligent efforts on alimony reform, open adoption records, and electronic monitoring on domestic violence.  In 2007, she received this annual award for the first time for her efforts to incorporate “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce under New Jersey law.  Lawrence was also selected as a 2015 Attorney of The Year Finalist by the New Jersey Law Journal for her work with New Jersey alimony reform.  She has also received an award from the NJSBA for her amicus curiae work on behalf of the bar.

    Lawrence has been honored by NJBiz as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business for her dedication and contributions to New Jersey business and the community.  She was selected by the Kean University Alumni Association as a Kean University Distinguished Alumna, their highest award for alumni.  She was also honored as an Outstanding Woman in Somerset County by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women.  The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named her one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the State of New Jersey.  She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Family Law, Family Law Arbitration, and Family Law Mediation sections, and was named the Best Lawyers 2018 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” and the 2016 Family Law Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area.  New Jersey Family has also named her as one of “New Jersey’s Best Lawyers for Families”.  Lawrence has been selected as one of the TOP 10 Family Law Attorneys in New Jersey by The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.  In 2007, she received the Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Achievement Award from the NJSBA.  She has also been selected by her peers as one of New Jersey’s Top Ten matrimonial lawyers under the age of 40 and recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of 40 accomplished and promising attorneys in the State of New Jersey under the age of 40.

    To complement her practice, Lawrence involves herself in professional engagements outside the firm.  She frequently serves as a speaker and panelist at divorce and family law programs and seminars.  She serves as an attorney volunteer at the Resource Center for Women and Their Families in Somerset County.

    Lawrence earned her bachelor’s degree from Kean College and her law degree from Seton Hall, where she graduated second in her class.

    Posted in: Jeralyn Lisa Lawrence, Matrimonial & Family Law, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Nov 06, 2018Jeralyn Lawrence to Speak at New Jersey Association for Justice Meadowlands Seminar

    Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., member of its Management Committee, and Chair of the Matrimonial & Family Law Practice Group, will speak at the Meadowlands Seminar 2018, hosted by the New Jersey Association for Justice Educational Foundation, Inc. (NJAJ), November 14 – November 16, at Hilton Meadowlands Hotel in East Rutherford.  Lawrence will present “Handling a Relocation Trial After Bisbing,” 11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., on Thursday, November 15.

    The Meadowlands Seminar 2018, compromising of 19 separate seminars, has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 7.8 hours of total CLE credit.  Of these, 1.2 hours qualify as credit for ethics/professionalism, and 6.6 hours qualify as credit toward certification in matrimonial trial law.

    Founded in the late 1940s and incorporated in 1976, the NJAJ is a statewide association of over 2,400 members in private practice and public service, paralegals, law clerks, law students, and law school graduates not yet admitted to the bar.  NJAJ is dedicated to protecting New Jersey’s families by working to preserve and strengthen the laws for safer products and workplaces, a cleaner environment, and quality health care.  The NJAJ Educational Foundation, Inc., incorporated in 1990, provides ongoing legal education to attorneys and sponsors Lexicon, a public education program that includes the NJAJ Speakers Bureau and other programs designed to educate consumers about their rights under the law.

    A resident of Watchung, Lawrence devotes her practice to matrimonial, divorce and family law, and collaborative law.  She is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.  She is a trained Family/Divorce Mediator, admitted to the rosters of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases and of Custody and Parenting Time Cases for Somerset County; is certified by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), the preeminent family law association in America, as a Family Law Arbitrator; and is a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.  She has worked with clients in every area of matrimonial and family law, including divorce litigation and mediation, custody and parenting time, alimony and child support, separation and property settlement agreements, adoption and guardianship, domestic partnership matters under the Domestic Partnership Act, domestic violence and sexual abuse, and palimony.  She has also handled high profile matters including celebrities and professional athletes.  She takes immense pride and care in helping her clients through these difficult personal matters.

    Lawrence is Treasurer of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) and is expected to become its President in 2022.  She is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, a Past President of the Somerset County Bar Association, and is a Senior Editor of New Jersey Family Lawyer, the official publication of the NJSBA Family Law Section.  She works with the State Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Program, providing pro bono legal assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas or on active duty in the armed forces after September 11, 2001.  Lawrence was appointed to the Somerset County Domestic Violence Working Group as a representative of the Somerset County Family Law Section.  She is Treasurer of the New Jersey Chapter of the AAML and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the nation’s leading research institute for interdisciplinary empirical study of law.

    Lawrence is a member of the New Jersey Association of Justice, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, New Jersey Collaborative Law Group, Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Central New Jersey Inns of Court, and the Norris McLaughlin & Marcus Women’s Forum Steering Committee.  She serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Matrimonial Certification Committee, which oversees the statewide matrimonial attorney certification process, and is a former member of The New Jersey Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics, District XIII Attorney Ethics Committee.

    Lawrence has been selected by the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey to receive their Carol Murphy Award, presented to a woman with a successful career demonstrating leadership, advancing policies in support of women and families, and helping to pave the way for women of the next generation.  She was honored with the 2013 NJSBA Distinguished Legislative Service Award for her cumulative and diligent efforts on alimony reform, open adoption records, and electronic monitoring on domestic violence.  In 2007, she received this annual award for the first time for her efforts to incorporate “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce under New Jersey law.  Lawrence was also selected as a 2015 Attorney of The Year Finalist by the New Jersey Law Journal for her work with New Jersey alimony reform.  She has also received an award from the NJSBA for her amicus curiae work on behalf of the bar.

    Lawrence has been honored by NJBiz as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business for her dedication and contributions to New Jersey business and the community.  She was selected by the Kean University Alumni Association as a Kean University Distinguished Alumna, their highest award for alumni.  She was also honored as an Outstanding Woman in Somerset County by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women.  The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named her one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the State of New Jersey.  She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Family Law, Family Law Arbitration, and Family Law Mediation sections, and was named the Best Lawyers 2018 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” and the 2016 Family Law Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area.  New Jersey Family has also named her as one of “New Jersey’s Best Lawyers for Families”.  Lawrence has been selected as one of the TOP 10 Family Law Attorneys in New Jersey by The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.  In 2007, she received the Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Achievement Award from the NJSBA.  She has also been selected by her peers as one of New Jersey’s Top Ten matrimonial lawyers under the age of 40 and recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of 40 accomplished and promising attorneys in the State of New Jersey under the age of 40.

    To complement her practice, Lawrence involves herself in professional engagements outside the firm.  She frequently serves as a speaker and panelist at divorce and family law programs and seminars.  She serves as an attorney volunteer at the Resource Center for Women and Their Families in Somerset County.

    Lawrence earned her bachelor’s degree from Kean College and her law degree from Seton Hall, where she graduated second in her class.

    Posted in: Jeralyn Lisa Lawrence, Matrimonial & Family Law, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Nov 06, 2018Rita Aquilio to Speak at Annual Hot Tips in Family Law Program

    Rita M. Aquilio, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will speak at Hot Tips in Family Law, the annual program sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law Section in association with the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.  This year’s program, focusing on the statutory components of alimony, equitable distribution, and custody, will be held Monday, November 12, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick.  Aquilio will discuss the tax treatment and consequences to both parties of any alimony award, including the designation of all or a portion of the payment as a non-taxable payment.

    Hot Tips in Family Law brings together the state’s leading matrimonial attorneys, who will share their insights into the most familiar cases to provide fresh perspectives and new takeaways about those opinions.  The program is being offered for CLE credit for New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Matrimonial Law Certification.  To register or for more information, visit www.njicle.com or call (732) 214-8500.

    Aquilio practices in the areas of divorce, child support, custody, and post-judgment issues. She represents clients in all types of matrimonial actions, from basic matters to complex asset valuation cases.  She is a trained Collaborative Divorce Attorney and a member of the Executive Committee of the Somerset County Family Practice Committee.  Aquilio has also been trained by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as a Family Law Arbitrator.  She is a member of the Editorial Board of the New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, the professional journal of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

    Recognized by the New Jersey Superior Court as a R.1:40 Qualified Family Law Mediator, Aquilio is a panelist for the Superior Court Early Settlement Panel in Somerset County.  She is also a Trustee for the Somerset County Bar Association, with a three-year term commencing in September 2018.

    Aquilio was recognized as Outstanding Subcommittee Chair for her 2015-2016 and 2017-2018 terms as Co-Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Family Law Litigation Committee and continues in that role as Co-Chair for the 2018-2019 year.  She frequently lectures for the NJSBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education at its Hot Tips seminars, serves on the Board of Editors for the ABA Section of Litigation’s Appellate Practice Journal, and has served as Editor of the ABA Family Law Litigation Subcommittee’s E-Newsletter.

    Aquilio earned her J.D. from Western New England College School of Law, and her B.A., cum laude, from Drew University.

    Posted in: Matrimonial & Family Law, News, Rita M. Aquilio | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Nov 01, 2018Jeralyn Lawrence to Speak at Annual Hot Tips in Family Law Program

    Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., member of its Management Committee, and Chair of the Matrimonial & Family Law Practice Group, will speak at Hot Tips in Family Law, the annual program sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Family Law Section in association with the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.  This year’s program, focusing on the statutory components of alimony, equitable distribution, and custody, will be held Monday, November 12, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick.

    Hot Tips in Family Law brings together the state’s leading matrimonial attorneys, who will share their insights into the most familiar cases to provide fresh perspectives and new takeaways about those opinions.  The program is being offered for CLE credit for New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Matrimonial Law Certification.  To register or for more information, visit www.njicle.com or call (732) 214-8500.

    Lawrence is Treasurer of the NJSBA and is expected to become its President in 2022.  She is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, a Past President of the Somerset County Bar Association, and is a Senior Editor of New Jersey Family Lawyer, the official publication of the NJSBA Family Law Section.  She works with the State Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Program, providing pro bono legal assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas or on active duty in the armed forces after September 11, 2001.  Lawrence was appointed to the Somerset County Domestic Violence Working Group as a representative of the Somerset County Family Law Section.  She is Second Vice President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the nation’s leading research institute for the interdisciplinary empirical study of law.

    A resident of Watchung, Lawrence devotes her practice to matrimonial, divorce and family law, and collaborative law.  She is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.  She is a trained Family/Divorce Mediator, admitted to the rosters of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases and of Custody and Parenting Time Cases for Somerset County; is certified by the AAML, the preeminent family law association in America, as a Family Law Arbitrator; and is a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.  She has worked with clients in every area of matrimonial and family law, including divorce litigation and mediation, custody and parenting time, alimony and child support, separation and property settlement agreements, adoption and guardianship, domestic partnership matters under the Domestic Partnership Act, domestic violence and sexual abuse, and palimony.  She has also handled high profile matters including celebrities and professional athletes.  She takes immense pride and care in helping her clients through these difficult personal matters.

    Lawrence is a member of the New Jersey Association of Justice, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, New Jersey Collaborative Law Group, Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Central New Jersey Inns of Court, and the Norris McLaughlin & Marcus Women’s Forum Steering Committee.  She serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Matrimonial Certification Committee, which oversees the statewide matrimonial attorney certification process, and is a former member of The New Jersey Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics, District XIII Attorney Ethics Committee.

    Lawrence has been selected by the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey to receive their Carol Murphy Award, presented to a woman with a successful career demonstrating leadership, advancing policies in support of women and families, and helping to pave the way for women of the next generation.  She was honored with the 2013 NJSBA Distinguished Legislative Service Award for her cumulative and diligent efforts on alimony reform, open adoption records, and electronic monitoring on domestic violence.  In 2007, she received this annual award for the first time for her efforts to incorporate “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce under New Jersey law.  Lawrence was also selected as a 2015 Attorney of The Year Finalist by the New Jersey Law Journal for her work with New Jersey alimony reform.  She has also received an award from the NJSBA for her amicus curiae work on behalf of the bar.

    Lawrence has been honored by NJBiz as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business for her dedication and contributions to New Jersey business and the community.  She was selected by the Kean University Alumni Association as a Kean University Distinguished Alumna, their highest award for alumni.  She was also honored as an Outstanding Woman in Somerset County by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women.  The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named her one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the State of New Jersey.  She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Family Law, Family Law Arbitration, and Family Law Mediation sections, and was named the Best Lawyers 2018 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” and the 2016 Family Law Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area.  New Jersey Family has also named her as one of “New Jersey’s Best Lawyers for Families”.  Lawrence has been selected as one of the TOP 10 Family Law Attorneys in New Jersey by The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.  In 2007, she received the Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Achievement Award from the NJSBA.  She has also been selected by her peers as one of New Jersey’s Top Ten matrimonial lawyers under the age of 40 and recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of 40 accomplished and promising attorneys in the State of New Jersey under the age of 40.

    To complement her practice, Lawrence involves herself in professional engagements outside the firm.  She frequently serves as a speaker and panelist at divorce and family law programs and seminars.  She serves as an attorney volunteer at the Resource Center for Women and Their Families in Somerset County.

    Lawrence earned her bachelor’s degree from Kean College and her law degree from Seton Hall, where she graduated second in her class.

    Posted in: Jeralyn Lisa Lawrence, Matrimonial & Family Law, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Oct 25, 2018Jeralyn Lawrence Installed as Second Vice President for NJ Chapter of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

    Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., member of its Management Committee, and Chair of the Matrimonial & Family Law Practice Group, has been installed as Second Vice President of the New Jersey Chapter for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), the preeminent family law association in America.

    The AAML was formed in 1962 by a small group of nationally-known matrimonial lawyers to “encourage the study, improve the practice, elevate the standards and advance the cause of matrimonial law, to the end that the welfare of the family and society be protected.”  Today, the Academy has more than 1,600 Fellows who concentrate their practices in family and matrimonial law, a specialty that involves all aspects of pre-marriage counseling and agreements, legal separation, divorce, annulment, unmarried cohabitation, child custody, property valuation and division, and support.  By demonstrating the highest standards of matrimonial practice, Fellows of the Academy have set the standard for the rest of the matrimonial bar and have helped improve the quality of family law practice throughout this country for attorneys and litigants alike.

    Lawrence is Treasurer of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) and is expected to become its President in 2022.  She is a Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, a Past President of the Somerset County Bar Association, and is a Senior Editor of New Jersey Family Lawyer, the official publication of the NJSBA Family Law Section.  She works with the State Bar’s Military Legal Assistance Program, providing pro bono legal assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas or on active duty in the armed forces after September 11, 2001.  Lawrence was appointed to the Somerset County Domestic Violence Working Group as a representative of the Somerset County Family Law Section.  She is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, the nation’s leading research institute for interdisciplinary empirical study of law.

    A resident of Watchung, Lawrence devotes her practice to matrimonial, divorce and family law, and collaborative law.  She is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney.  She is a trained Family/Divorce Mediator, admitted to the rosters of Mediators for Economic Aspects of Family Law Cases and of Custody and Parenting Time Cases for Somerset County; is certified by the AAML, the preeminent family law association in America, as a Family Law Arbitrator; and is a graduate of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy.  She has worked with clients in every area of matrimonial and family law, including divorce litigation and mediation, custody and parenting time, alimony and child support, separation and property settlement agreements, adoption and guardianship, domestic partnership matters under the Domestic Partnership Act, domestic violence and sexual abuse, and palimony.  She has also handled high profile matters including celebrities and professional athletes.  She takes immense pride and care in helping her clients through these difficult personal matters.

    Lawrence is a member of the New Jersey Association of Justice, New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators, New Jersey Collaborative Law Group, Matrimonial Lawyers Alliance, International Academy of Collaborative Professionals, Central New Jersey Inns of Court, and the Norris McLaughlin & Marcus Women’s Forum Steering Committee.  She serves on the New Jersey Supreme Court Matrimonial Certification Committee, which oversees the statewide matrimonial attorney certification process, and is a former member of The New Jersey Supreme Court Office of Attorney Ethics, District XIII Attorney Ethics Committee.

    Lawrence has been selected by the Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey to receive their Carol Murphy Award, presented to a woman with a successful career demonstrating leadership, advancing policies in support of women and families, and helping to pave the way for women of the next generation.  She was honored with the 2013 NJSBA Distinguished Legislative Service Award for her cumulative and diligent efforts on alimony reform, open adoption records, and electronic monitoring on domestic violence.  In 2007, she received this annual award for the first time for her efforts to incorporate “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce under New Jersey law.  Lawrence was also selected as a 2015 Attorney of The Year Finalist by the New Jersey Law Journal for her work with New Jersey alimony reform.  She has also received an award from the NJSBA for her amicus curiae work on behalf of the bar.

    Lawrence has been honored by NJBiz as one of New Jersey’s Best 50 Women in Business for her dedication and contributions to New Jersey business and the community.  She was selected by the Kean University Alumni Association as a Kean University Distinguished Alumna, their highest award for alumni.  She was also honored as an Outstanding Woman in Somerset County by the Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women.  The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys named her one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the State of New Jersey.  She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Family Law, Family Law Arbitration, and Family Law Mediation sections, and was named the Best Lawyers 2018 Family Law “Lawyer of the Year” and the 2016 Family Law Mediation “Lawyer of the Year” in the Woodbridge, New Jersey, Metro Area.  New Jersey Family has also named her as one of “New Jersey’s Best Lawyers for Families”.  Lawrence has been selected as one of the TOP 10 Family Law Attorneys in New Jersey by The National Academy of Family Law Attorneys.  In 2007, she received the Young Lawyers Division’s Professional Achievement Award from the NJSBA.  She has also been selected by her peers as one of New Jersey’s Top Ten matrimonial lawyers under the age of 40 and recognized by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of 40 accomplished and promising attorneys in the State of New Jersey under the age of 40.

    To complement her practice, Lawrence involves herself in professional engagements outside the firm.  She frequently serves as a speaker and panelist at divorce and family law programs and seminars.  She serves as an attorney volunteer at the Resource Center for Women and Their Families in Somerset County.

    Lawrence earned her bachelor’s degree from Kean College and her law degree from Seton Hall, where she graduated second in her class.

    Posted in: Jeralyn Lisa Lawrence, Matrimonial & Family Law, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Sep 25, 2018Kristyl Berckes Appointed to NJSBA Appellate Practice Committee

    Kristyl M. Berckes, an Associate of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been appointed to the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Appellate Practice Committee for the 2018-2019 term.  The committee is essential to advancing the interests of the NJSBA, the legal profession, and the general public.  Members address all issues affecting practices and procedures in the Appellate Division and Supreme Court of New Jersey, including commenting on proposed amendments to court rules, promoting an open and ongoing exchange of views with appellate judges and court administrators, and sponsoring cooperative efforts between the Bench and the NJSBA to enhance the quality, effectiveness, and efficiency of justice at the appellate level.

    Berckes, a resident of Bedminster, represents clients in all aspects of matrimonial and family law, including all stages of divorce litigation, mediation and arbitration, custody and parenting time issues, alimony and child support, separation and marital settlement agreements, post-judgment litigation, domestic violence, grandparent visitation rights, palimony, and domestic partnership matters under the Domestic Partnership Acts.

    Berckes just completed a fellowship with the NJSBA Leadership Academy and is a Co-Chair of the Somerset County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Division.  In 2016, she was awarded with the NJSBA Young Lawyer’s Division Professional Achievement Award and was recognized by the National Academy of Family Law Attorney’s as a Top 10 Family Law Attorney Under 40.  Berckes has also been selected for inclusion on the current list of New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Family Law since 2017.  The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has named her as one of the “10 Best” Attorneys for the state of New Jersey since 2015.

    Berckes earned her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and her B.A. from Boston College.  She completed her law degree while working as a New Jersey public high school English teacher. After law school, Berckes held a judicial clerkship with the Honorable James G. Troiano, J.S.C., in the Essex County Superior Court, Chancery Division, Family Part.

    Posted in: Appellate Practice, Kristyl M. Berckes, News | Tags: , , , , ,

  • Jun 25, 2018Jerry Gallagher Receives 2018 NJIT Alumni Achievement Award

    Jerome F. Gallagher, Jr., a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been honored by his alma mater, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), as an alumnus bringing honor to NJIT with exceptional accomplishment in his career, while also giving back to the school and community.  He received the 2018 NJIT Alumni Achievement Award during Alumni Weekend, which occurred May 18-20 on campus.  NJIT issued this press release prior to the event.  For more information, contact Michael K. Smullen at or Alumni Relations at (973) 596-3444.

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    Posted in: Jerome F. Gallagher, Jr., News | Tags: , , , ,

  • Jul 28, 2017Rita M. Aquilio Re-Appointed to Three Bar Association Committees for 2017-2018

    Rita M. Aquilio, a Member of the Bridgewater-based law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been re-appointed to the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Litigation Family Law Litigation Committee as Co-Chair.  She has also been re-appointed as a member of the Executive Committees of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Family Law Section and NJSBA Appellate Practice Special Committee for the 2017-2018 terms.

    The ABA Section of Litigation Family Law Litigation Committee assists the litigator of domestic relations and family law disputes by providing of programs, forums for exchange of information, and regular communication on family law matters.  A particular focus of the committee is to provide representation or assistance to unrepresented parties in family law matters through pro se and pro bono efforts, and the role that individual practitioners and the bar can play in these efforts.  The committee follows national developments in family law litigation and brings appropriate issues to the attention of the Section for its input and action.  As continuing Co-Chair of the Family Law Litigation Committee, Aquilio participates in a leadership role in the largest section of the ABA.

    The NJSBA serves, protects, fosters, and promotes the personal and professional interests of its members. It serves as the voice of New Jersey attorneys to other organizations, governmental entities and the public with regard to the law, legal profession, and legal system; and promotes access to the justice system and fairness in its administration. The organization fosters professionalism and pride in the profession, as well as within NJSBA. It provides educational opportunities to New Jersey attorneys to enhance the quality of legal services and the practice of law, and to the New Jersey public to enhance awareness of the legal profession and legal system.  The Family Law Section maintains and improves the practice of family law through effective interaction with the family courts and by informing members of current legislation and regulations.

    The NJSBA Appellate Practice Special Committee addresses all issues that affect practices and procedures in the Appellate Division and Supreme Court of New Jersey, including, but not limited to, commenting on proposed amendments to court rules; promoting an open and ongoing exchange of views with appellate judges and court administrators; and sponsoring cooperative efforts between the Bench and the Association in order to enhance the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of justice at the appellate level.

    Aquilio practices extensively in the areas of divorce, child support, custody, and post-judgment issues. She represents clients in all types of matrimonial actions, from basic matters to complex asset valuation cases.  Aquilio is a trained Collaborative Divorce Attorney and Executive Committee of the Somerset County Family Practice Committee.

    Recognized by the New Jersey Superior Court as a R.1:40 Qualified Family Law Mediator, Aquilio is a panelist for the Superior Court Early Settlement Panel in Somerset County and a member of the Somerset County Judicial and Prosecutorial Due Diligence Committee.

    Aquilio was recognized as Outstanding Subcommittee Chair for her 2015-2016 term as Co-Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation Family Law Litigation Committee.  She frequently lectures for the NJSBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education at its Hot Tips seminars and has served as Editor of the ABA Family Law Litigation Subcommittee’s E-Newsletter.

    Aquilio earned her J.D. from Western New England College School of Law, and her B.A. from Drew University, cum laude.

    Posted in: Appellate Practice, Matrimonial & Family Law, News, Rita M. Aquilio | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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