Five trustees are seeking to become secretary of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA). 

The position is typically the first rung on the ladder to president of the state’s largest lawyers group.
The candidates for the secretary position are: Robert J. Brass a solo practitioner in Newark; Bonnie Blume Goldsamt, a solo practitioner with offices in Verona and Hackensack; Amirali Y. Haidri, a solo practitioner in Springfield; Robert B. Hille, a partner at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter in Morristown; and John E. Keefe Jr., a founder of Keefe Bartels in Red Bank.
Dozens of other attorneys also filed petitions to be considered for other state bar posts available in May.
All of the candidates will be vetted by the state bar’s Nominating Committee, which issues a report to the association’s nearly 18,000 members on a slate of candidates. If someone decides to contest a candidate, a vote of the association’s members determines the winner.

Robert J. Brass
Brass concentrates his practice on federal and state white-collar litigation, as well as other federal and state criminal matters. He is a former deputy attorney general with the state Division of Criminal Justice. He is a former faculty member of the state Attorney Generals’ Advocacy Institute and was a member of the agency’s shooting response team. He is a trustee with the state bar association and serves as its representative to the state Supreme Court Committee on Model Criminal Jury Charges. He also belongs to the association’s Judicial Administration and Continuing Legal Education committees. He is a former chair of the Criminal Law Section.
“I have been honored, by the membership, to be of service to them as a trustee of the New Jersey State Bar Association. I am running for secretary of the state bar association in order to further serve this association, whose ideals and fellow members I greatly respect and admire,” he said.

Bonnie Blume Goldsamt
Goldsamt has been a solo practitioner for more than two decades. She has a general practice and does dispute resolution. She is a trustee of the state bar association, has served on many committees and sections, and was a past president of Women Lawyers in Bergen County. Goldsamt has also lectured extensively with the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and serves on the Supreme Court’s Complementary Dispute Resolution Committee.
“I seek nomination as NJSBA Secretary because I believe that I can help effectuate positive changes in the legal profession and in the New Jersey State Bar Association. During 33 years of NJ law practice, I have been privileged to practice in large and small firms, in government and on my own. … As a result, I have developed skills and experiences that work well and productively with all kinds of people on all sorts of taxing issues and problems,” Goldsamt said. “As a problem solver and a consensus builder, I am well equipped to work with attorneys, the state bar, the Judiciary as well as the public, and to tackle issues of importance to the bar. Moreover, I have the energy, drive and commitment to hard work, ethical practice and to the public, to do the job, whatever that task entails.”  

Amirali Y. Haidri
Haidri is a trustee of the state bar association, and a member of its amicus, appellate practice, diversity, meeting arrangements and program, and professional responsibility and unlawful practice committees. He is a former of the Union County Bar Association, and is a past panel chair of a District Fee Arbitration Committee. He serves as an arbitrator for the superior court automobile and personal injury arbitration program. His practice includes personal injury, professional malpractice, products liability, workers’ compensation and patent and trademark causes. He is a member of the Committee on Attorney Advertising.
“It is my hope that upon my being installed as secretary, I can work with the executive committee to reenergize our dormant sections and committees wherein much talent and affordable mandatory continuing legal education opportunities are being wasted. Second, I hope to be able to exert some influence in having the times, locations and affordability of our Mid-Year Meeting attractive to larger segments of our membership,” Haidri said.

Robert B. Hille
As a partner at McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, Hille concentrates on insurance and healthcare law. He has been published and lectured widely in the both of those areas. Hille is also certified by the Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney, and is a member of the Court’s Civil Practice Committee. He is a trustee of the state bar association and chairs the insurance benefits and amicus committees, and is also a member of the Malpractice Insurance Committee and Health and Hospital Law Section. He is a former president of the Bergen County Bar Association.
“I have had the great honor and privilege to serve our members who, in turn, are devoted to serving the citizens of this state by helping them navigate through our legal system. Those roles have given me the opportunity to be their voice and promote their interests,” said Hille. “I would like to continue my efforts to promote our profession in a more challenging leadership role and carry on the significant legacy established by those before me.”

John E. Keefe Jr.
Keefe founded Keefe Bartels in 1996 and serves as its co-managing partner. He is a certified trial attorney and practices throughout the state and federal courts in New Jersey, specializing in negligence and product liability, as well as complex mass tort litigation. He has tried numerous matters to verdict and prosecuted hundreds of cases on behalf of victims of catastrophic loss, including being appointed as plaintiffs liaison counsel in a historic consumer fraud national class action. He is a trustee of the state bar association, and is the former chair of the Civil Trial Bar Section. Keefe has been a frequent speaker and moderator of educational seminars for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.
“I have proudly practiced law in this state since 1990, and I have been surrounded by lawyers and the law for as long as I can remember. I find lawyers to be the most interesting and engaging people I know. I am passionate about the practice of law in New Jersey, in our jury trial system, and in the notion that our court system is the great equalizer in our society,” said Keefe. “I want lawyers to be proud of what we do and to let the public know how much good our profession does on a regular basis. What other profession does more mandatory and voluntary pro bono work than the lawyers in New Jersey? We have much to do, and much to be proud of. I hope to be part of the NJSBA leadership to focus on these and so many other issues vital to the profession.”