Steven A. Karg, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and one of the firm’s Meritas® Member Contacts, has been appointed to the Meritas U.S. Leadership Committee. “Being dedicated to building the relationship with other Meritas firms, it is my pleasure and honor to serve as the firm’s representative for the United States Leadership Committee,” said Karg.
Melissa A. Peña, a Member of the law firm and one of the firm’s Meritas Member Contacts, has been appointed to the Executive Committee of Meritas as Chair of its Finance Committee, and as Chair of the Meritas Women’s Leadership Congress Leadership Council. Peña commented, “It is my honor to lead this incredibly talented group of women with the common goal to increase and support female leadership within Meritas and, in so doing, show women how to leverage those leadership skills into more visible roles within their firms, as well as identify resources and programs that can help to inform policies and guidelines to improve diversity and gender equality within the legal industry.”
In addition, Jill Lebowitz, a Member of the firm and Co-Chair of its Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group, serves on the Meritas U.S. Trusts and Estates Industry Group Steering Committee, and Shauna M. Deans, an Associate of the firm, will participate in the Meritas Black Lawyers’ Forum.
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 the 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. As the only Meritas firm in New Jersey, Norris McLaughlin enjoys an international reputation for excellence through its membership.
About the Attorneys
Karg focuses his practice on commercial litigation with an emphasis on products liability and consumer claims defense. He served a term on the Meritas Board of Directors and its Quality Assurance Committee. Karg is a past President of the Somerset County Bar Association, a member of the New Jersey Defense Association, a Former Chairperson of its Products Liability Committee, and a member of the Defense Research Institute as well as its Products Liability and Drug & Medical Device Committees.
Karg has spoken about products liability issues to many organizations, and he is a co-author of the annual edition of “New Jersey Products Liability and Toxic Torts Law,” published by Gann Law Books. 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.
Peña, Chair of the firm’s Bankruptcy & Creditors’ Rights Practice Group, a member of the Management Committee, and Chair of its Diversity & Inclusion Committee, concentrates her practice in the areas of bankruptcy, commercial litigation, and mortgage foreclosures. Whether inside or outside the courtroom, Peña aims to find practical business solutions for her clients. She utilizes litigation as a tool to further her client’s business objectives in a cost-effective manner.
Peña serves on the Board of Directors for Meritas, as Chair of the Meritas Finance Committee as an Executive Committee Member, and as Co-Chair of its Financial Services/CRABS Section. She is also a member of the Bankruptcy Inn of Court, New York County Lawyers’ Association, and National Association of Women Lawyers. 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.
Lebowitz devotes her practice to estate planning, trust and estate administration, and counseling tax-exempt organizations. She 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.
Lebowitz is a 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 a Past President of the Greater Middlesex/Somerset Estate Planning Council and 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.
Deans, a member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, focuses her practice on estate planning and administration, including inheritance and gift taxation. She counsels beneficiaries and fiduciaries of estates and trusts on marshaling assets, issues regarding basis, and maximizing of tax savings. Deans is also certified by the State of New Jersey as a civil mediator and has assisted parties in the settlement of special civil, small claims, and landlord/tenant matters on behalf of the Court. Deans received her J.D. from Howard University School of Law in 2010, and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Spelman College in 2007.
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