The New Jersey Law Journal has announced this year’s honorees for the New Jersey Legal Awards, including the Attorney of the Year and Law Firm of the Year finalists.

The honorees will be recognized, and the Attorney of the Year and Law Firm of the Year winners announced, at this year’s gala, scheduled for September 29 at the Brooklake Country Club, as well as in special magazines to be published at that time. For more information, please visit the NJ Legal Awards event site.

Special thanks to the members of our outside judging panels who provided indispensable help in evaluating the Attorney of the Year and New Leaders of the Bar categories.

Congratulations to the honorees:

Attorney of the Year Finalists

  • Beth Baldinger, Mazie Slater Katz & Freeman – In 2021 Baldinger concluded a civil rights case against the Camden County Police Department, filed on behalf of a man paralyzed during his arrest, with a $10 million settlement.
  • Paul da Costa, Snyder Sarno D’Aniello Maceri & da Costa – da Costa obtained large recoveries for families in litigation concerning the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation and COVID-19 inside veterans’ homes.
  • Diana Manning, Bressler Amery & Ross – As she ascends the leadership of the New Jersey Women Lawyers Association, she also became the first woman to serve as managing partner at her firm, while continuing her overall efforts on behalf of women in the profession.

Law Firm of the Year Finalists

  • Brach Eichler
  • Riker Danzig
  • Sills Cummis & Gross

Lifetime Achievement

  • Bonnie Frost – Einhorn Barbarito Frost & Botwinick
  • Peter Pearlman – Cohn Lifland Pearlman Herrmann & Knopf


  • McCarter & English Cannabis Group
  • David Schwartz of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
  • Riker Danzig Real Estate Group
  • Flaster Greenberg Mergers and Acquisitions Group
  • Jeremy Piccini of Bertone Piccini
  • John Cromie of Connell Foley
  • Reed Smith Finance Group
  • Sills Cummis & Gross Creditors’ Rights and Bankruptcy Reorganization Group


  • Joshua Bauchner of Ansell Grimm & Aaron
  • Diane Bettino of Reed Smith
  • Britcher, Leone & Sergio
  • Sean Callagy of Callagy Law


  • Tracey E. Diamond, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders
  • David Dugan, Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi
  • Daniel “Donny” Epstein, Epstein Ostrove
  • Fred Garsson, Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr
  • Michael Gordon, Lowenstein Sandler
  • Alexis Aloi Graziano, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
  • Kevin J. O’Connor, Peckar & Abramson
  • Kimberly Parson, Rebar Kelly
  • Melissa Peña, Norris McLaughlin
  • Ben Raindorf, Hinshaw & Culbertson
  • R.N. Tendai Richards, Winne Banta Basralian & Kahn
  • Tracey Salmon-Smith, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath

Unsung Heroes

  • Denise Alvarez, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden
  • Kristine Butler, DiMarino, Lehrer & Collazo
  • Daniel Fleming, Wong Fleming
  • Gregory Gianforcaro, Gianforcaro Law
  • Gregory Reilly, Lerner David Littenberg Krumholtz & Mentlik
  • Morris Sabbagh, Vishnick McGovern Milizio

Litigation Departments of the Year

  • Riker Danzig – General Litigation
  • Brach Eichler – Health Care Litigation
  • Lerner David Littenberg Krumholtz & Mentlik – Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Methfessel & Werbel – Insurance Litigation
  • Pashman Stein Walder Hayden – Appellate Litigation
  • Seeger Weiss – Products Liability and Mass Tort Litigation
  • Sills Cummis & Gross – Labor and Employment Litigation

In-House Impact

  • Kathy Card Beckles, Verisk Analytics Inc.
  • Jeffrey Blockinger, CrossTower Inc.
  • Susan Crane, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
  • Jonathan Jung, Innovative Cosmetic Concepts
  • Brian Wilton, New Jersey Transit

New Leaders of the Bar

  • Matthew Baker, Genova Burns
  • Omar Bareentto, McCarter & English
  • Rebecca Borgese, Riker Danzig
  • Brian Budic, Florio Perrucci Steinhardt Cappelli Tipton & Taylor
  • Justin Calta, Saiber
  • Alex Capozzi, Brach Eichler
  • Rasmeet Chahil, Lowenstein Sandler
  • Joel Clymer, Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis
  • Thomas Cotton, Schenck Price Smith & King
  • Charlie Dennen, Archer & Greiner
  • Melissa Osorio Dibble, Archer & Greiner
  • Francis M. Giantomasi, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi
  • Bhaveen Jani, Stark & Stark
  • Brett Kahn, McCarter & English
  • Carla Karp, Greenberg Traurig
  • John Kelly, Norris McLaughlin
  • Charles Korschun, Gibbons
  • Christina Sartorio Ku, Connell Foley
  • James A. Lewis, V, Cole Schotz
  • Joseph Linares, Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga
  • Cameron MacLeod, Gibbons
  • Ryan Magee, Riker Danzig
  • Brad Marcum, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath
  • Marissa Mastroianni, Cole Schotz
  • Nicole McDonough, Archer & Greiner
  • Dillon McGuire, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden
  • Alexa Miller, Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath
  • Rachel Mongiello, Cole Schotz
  • Ryan O’Neill, Riker Danzig
  • Evelyn Onyeani, City of East Orange
  • Anthony M. Osbourne, Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer
  • Michael Riccobono, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart
  • David Roeber, Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young
  • Laura Sedlak, Sills Cummis & Gross
  • Meghan Steingall, Laddey Clark & Ryan
  • Xiao Sun, Orloff Lowenbach Stifelman & Siegel
  • Herbert Washington, City of Newark
  • Danielle Weslock, McCarter & English
  • Francis Yook, Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga
  • Young Yu, O’Toole Scrivo


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