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  • 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: , , , , ,

  • Sep 20, 2018Andrew D. Linden Named to New Jersey State Bar Association’s Inaugural Cannabis Law Committee

    Andrew D. Linden, a Member of law firm, Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been named a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s inaugural Cannabis Law Committee for the 2018-2019 term.

    A resident of Caldwell, Linden assists marijuana entrepreneurs, suppliers, growers, retailers, and investors to navigate complex statutory and regulatory schemes, including those related to permitting and licensing (such as initial applications, transfers, expansions, changes to ownership, and related disclosures), distribution, and general business operations (such as sales, storage of product, and recordkeeping). He assists clients in all tiers of the distribution chain regarding compliance and business law issues. Linden contributes to the firm’s cannabis law blog, Legally Grown.

    Linden also counsels alcoholic beverage manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers with all facets of their business. These include licensing and regulatory compliance, business formation, and product labeling. He has assisted craft breweries and distilleries with applications before the New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control and retailers with applications before the local municipality. Linden provides guidance in connection with TTB federal permitting laws, advises clients with respect to federal and state labeling requirements and approval processes, and helps them navigate state distribution and beer franchise laws.

    In addition, Linden has ten years of experience handling complex business litigations, including construction matters, shareholder disputes, and warranty and product liability claims.

    Linden has been included in New Jersey Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, for Business Litigation from 2013 to 2017. He is a trustee of the Grover Cleveland Park Conservancy, which supports Essex County’s Grover Cleveland Park; is an active member of the Lehigh Lawyers Association; serves on the Borough of Caldwell’s Rent Review Board; and previously served on the Executive Committee for Young Lawyers Division of the NJSBA. Linden attended Seton Hall University School of Law, where he received his J.D., cum laude, in 2007.  He earned a B.S., with honors, from Lehigh University in 2004, majoring in Accounting and Marketing.

    Posted in: Andrew D. Linden, News | Tags: , , , , ,

  • Jul 11, 2018Jill Lebowitz to Present at NJICLE Estate Planning Summer Institute

    Jill Lebowitz, a Member of the law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will present “Digging Deeper into the New Jersey Inheritance Tax” for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Education (NJICLE) Estate Planning Summer Institute. The two-day program, co-sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association Real Property, Trust, and Estate Law Section, will be held on Thursday, July 19, and Friday, July 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick.  The Institute offers 13.4 CLE credits and is also available as a live webcast.  For more information and to register, visit njsba.com or call NJICLE at 732-214-8500.

    Lebowitz devotes her practice to estate planning, trust and estate administration, and counseling tax-exempt organizations.  She is experienced in drafting sophisticated estate planning instruments and counseling individuals and families regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues.  Lebowitz advises clients on the development of both simple and complex estate plans, philanthropic planning and business succession issues.  She drafts estate planning instruments including wills, revocable living trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, shareholders agreements, limited liability company operating agreements, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.

    In addition, Lebowitz handles all aspects of trust and estate administration, as well as fiduciary litigation and guardianship matters.  She prepares federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns and federal gift tax returns.  She is knowledgeable in drafting disclaimers and agreements regarding post-mortem planning, informal distribution agreements, judicial fiduciary accountings, and handling court proceedings to effect final distribution of estates and trusts.  She also counsels individuals and financial institutions regarding their fiduciary duties as personal representatives and trustees, including advising on legal and tax issues, as well as issues in connection with administering trusts.  She also assists individuals, families, and fiduciaries with all aspects of fiduciary litigation.

    Lebowitz regularly advises tax-exempt organizations regarding federal tax exemption issues, state charitable registration filings, and governance issues.  On behalf of tax-exempt organizations, she drafts nonprofit corporation documents and prepares federal applications for tax-exempt status, state charitable registration filings, and state property tax and sales tax exemption applications.  She has extensive experience advising individuals, family and corporate foundations, and tax-exempt organizations on nonprofit corporate governance, private foundation excise taxes, domestic and international grant-making, executive compensation, excess benefit rules and intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, scholarship programs, and fundraising issues.

    Lebowitz is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national organization of approximately 2,500 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors.  She has also been selected for inclusion on the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Estate & Probate section.

    Lebowitz is the Immediate Past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section and continues to serve on the Section’s Board of Consultors.  She is also the Immediate Past President of the Greater Middlesex/Somerset Estate Planning Council and she continues to serve on its Board of Trustees.

    Lebowitz earned her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, and her B.A. from New York University.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Jill Lebowitz, News | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Jun 12, 2018Raymond Lahoud a Panelist at U.S. Immigration Law: Basics & Beyond

    Raymond G. Lahoud, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Chair of its Immigration Law Practice, will be a panelist for the “2018 U.S. Immigration Law: Basics & Beyond” seminar held Wednesday June 27, at the Law Center, in New Brunswick, New Jersey beginning at 9:00 a.m. Lahoud will cover removal and deportation. For more information or to register please visit: http://ow.ly/FN7z30jMojj.

    Sponsored by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, a division of the New Jersey State Bar Association, this seminar will review all immigration basics and bring attendees up to date on the Trump Administration’s immigration initiatives and its efforts to shift the immigration structure from a family-based to a merit-based system. It will include how to obtain Nonimmigrant and Immigrant Visas, how to handle employment and family-based immigration matters, and how to represent foreign nationals; will cover the latest procedural and substantive changes.

    Lahoud focuses his practice exclusively on immigration law and deportation defense for individuals and corporations. He has been awarded the Empire State Pro Bono Counsel Award each year since 2012, has been selected as Lead Counsel, has received the Martindale-Hubbell Platinum Client Champion Award, and has been named a Super Lawyers Rising Star, ranked as a Top Rated Immigration Attorney in the New York Metro Area.  EB5 Investors, the leading online portal, conference series, and magazine for investors, developers, and EB-5 professionals, has named Lahoud one of the “Top 5 Rising Stars” nationally. He was also named one of the 40 young professionals from the Greater Lehigh Valley as the Lehigh Valley Business 2017 Forty Under 40 for his commitment to business growth, professional excellence, and the community.

    Lahoud earned his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Lehigh University, where he earned Dean’s List; was named a President’s Scholar; was inducted into Phi Beta Delta; received the Williams Award, Treen Scholarship, and Littner Scholarship; and was Editor of The Lehigh Review. He earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he earned Dean’s List, received CALI awards in many courses, and worked on the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal.

     

    Posted in: Immigration, News, Raymond G. Lahoud | Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • May 24, 2018Rita Aquilio Appointed to New Jersey Lawyer Magazine Editorial Board

    Rita M. Aquilio, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been appointed to the Editorial Board of New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, the professional journal of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s (NJSBA).

    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 regarding 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.

    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.  Aquilio is a trained Collaborative Divorce Attorney and a member of the Executive Committee of the Somerset County Family Practice Committee.  She is Co-Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Family Law Litigation Committee and a member of the NJSBA Family Law Executive 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.

    Aquilio was recognized as Outstanding Subcommittee Chair for her 2015-2016 term as Co-Chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Family Law Litigation Committee and continues in that role as Co-Chair for the 2017-1018 term.  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., cum laude, from Drew University.

    Posted in: News, Rita M. Aquilio | Tags: , , , , ,

  • May 22, 2018Jeralyn Lawrence Sworn in as NJSBA Treasurer

    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, was sworn in as treasurer of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), the largest association of judges, lawyers, and legal professionals in the state, at the 2018 NJSBA Annual Meeting at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.

    As a former trustee and secretary, and now treasurer, Lawrence is on track to serve as NJSBA President in 2022.  Her involvement with the NJSBA is extensive.  She is a past chair of its Family Law Section, a senior editor of New Jersey Family Lawyer, and former co-chair of its Legislative Committee.

    “Jeralyn is a true advocate for the legal profession and I look forward to working with her and the entire executive board as we serve our members, the bench, the bar and the public,” said John E. Keefe, Jr., newly inducted NJSBA President.

    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 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, P.A. 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 is the recipient of the 2018 Women’s Political Caucus of New Jersey Carol Murphy Award, which is 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, Lawrence received this annual award for the first time for her efforts to incorporate “irreconcilable differences” as grounds for divorce under New Jersey law.  She 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.  Lawrence 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, News | Tags: , , , ,

  • May 09, 2018Jeralyn Lawrence to Speak on Child Custody at NJSBA 2018 Annual Meeting & Convention

    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 participate in the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Family Law Section’s seminar, “Would Equal Physical Custody Elevate a Parent’s Desires Over the Child’s Best Interests?” on Thursday, May 17, 8:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m., at the NJSBA 2018 Annual Meeting and Convention at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City.

    Lawrence, a Past Chair of the Family Law Section of the NJSBA, will be a part of a panel including Hon. Terry Paul Bottinelli, J.S.C., Family Division, Bergen County Superior Court; Megan S. Murray, Esq., Paone Zaleski & Murray; Amy Wechsler, Esq., Shimalla Wechsler, Lepp & D’Onofrio, LLP; and Michael A. Weinberg, Esq., Archer Law.  The moderator will be Ronald G. Lieberman, Esq., of Cooper Levenson.  They will discuss whether equal physical custody between parents elevates a parent’s desires over the fundamental underpinning of custody, which is a child’s best interest, by reviewing social science and human conflict need to determine whether exactly equal physical custody is appropriate.  The seminar will be available for 1.8 general NJ CLE credits, 1.5 NY transitional and non-transitional professional practices CLE credits, and 1.5 pending substantive credits PA CLE.

    The multi-day event, to be held from May 16 to May 18, will feature speakers and presenters including members of New Jersey’s federal and state, appellate, and local courts.  The NJSBA serves, protects, fosters, and promotes the personal and professional interests of its members, serving as the voice of New Jersey attorneys.  It fosters professionalism and pride in the profession and the NJSBA and provides educational opportunities to New Jersey attorneys to enhance the quality of legal services and the practice of law.  For more information and to register, visit www.njsba.com.

    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 currently Secretary of the NJSBA, where she is expected to become its President in 2022.  She is 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, P.A. 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 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 21, 2017Kristyl Berckes Joins NJSBA Leadership Academy

    Kristyl M. Berckes, an Associate with the law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has joined the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) Leadership Academy Fellows for the 2017-2018 class.  The Academy is open to New Jersey attorneys who have been in practice for at least five years.  In an effort to achieve diversity among the participants, qualified individuals are considered from different backgrounds, large and small law firms, private and public sectors, different practice areas, and different geographical areas of the state.

    To help young lawyers attain the skills to become the next generation of bar and community leaders, the Fellows are obligated to attend nine meetings throughout the year, culminating in graduation at the NJSBA Annual Meeting and Convention in Atlantic City, and are expected to participate in mentoring, bar activities, or community service.  The Academy’s goals are to increase awareness and engagement regarding concerns facing the legal profession through the study of ethical, professional, and public service issues; build relationships, networking, and leadership opportunities among the future leaders of the NJSBA; and secure the future of the NJSBA by developing well-informed, committed leaders to be called upon for leadership and service.

    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.

    In 2016, Berckes 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.  She has also been selected for inclusion on the current list of New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Family Law.  The American Institute of Family Law Attorneys has named Berckes 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.  She is co-chair of the Somerset County Bar Association’s Young Lawyer’s Division.

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

  • Sep 25, 2017Jill Lebowitz Speaks at NJICLE Summer Seminars

    Jill Lebowitz, a Member of the Bridgewater-based law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., spoke at the NJICLE Estate Planning Summer Institute on July 21 at the New Jersey Law Center.  The NJICLE presented the seminar in cooperation with the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, of which Lebowitz is Chair.  She presented on Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax planning.

    Lebowitz also spoke at the NJICLE Estate Planning 101 – Client Intake to Final Plan on August 16, which was presented in cooperation with the NJSBA Senior Lawyers Special Committee.  Lebowitz presented a review of lifetime giving techniques for gifts to individuals and various trusts with an emphasis on issues attorneys need to consider to be best prepared for estate and gift tax audits, as well as other challenges in connection with lifetime giving.

    Lebowitz devotes her practice to estate planning, trust and estate administration, and counseling tax-exempt organizations.  She is experienced in drafting sophisticated estate planning instruments and counseling individuals and families regarding estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax issues.  Lebowitz advises clients on the development of both simple and complex estate plans, philanthropic planning and business succession issues.  She is experienced in drafting estate planning instruments, including wills, revocable living trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, shareholders agreements, limited liability company operating agreements, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.

    In addition, Lebowitz handles all aspects of trust and estate administration, as well as fiduciary litigation.  She prepares federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns and federal gift tax returns.  She is knowledgeable in drafting disclaimers and agreements regarding post-mortem planning, informal distribution agreements, judicial fiduciary accountings, and handling court proceedings to effect final distribution of estates and trusts.  She also counsels individuals and financial institutions regarding their fiduciary duties as personal representatives and trustees, including advising on legal and tax issues, as well as issues in connection with administering trusts.  She also assists individuals, families and fiduciaries with all aspects of fiduciary litigation.

    Lebowitz regularly advises tax exempt organizations regarding federal tax exemption issues, state charitable registration filings, and governance issues.  On behalf of tax-exempt organizations, she drafts nonprofit corporation documents and prepares federal applications for tax exempt status, state charitable registration filings, and state property tax and sales tax exemption applications.  She has extensive experience advising individuals, family and corporate foundations, and tax exempt organizations on nonprofit corporate governance, private foundation excise taxes, domestic and international grant-making, executive compensation, excess benefit rules and intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, scholarship programs, and fundraising issues.

    Lebowitz earned her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, and her B.A. from New York University.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Jill Lebowitz, 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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