Two of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s current trustees, a former trustee and an officer of the Family Law Section are all seeking the position of secretary of the association.
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 criminal defense attorney in Bloomfield; Amirali Y. Haidri, a solo practitioner in Springfield; Jeralyn L. Lawrence, a family lawyer and partner at Norris, McLaughlin and Marcus in Bridgewater; and Evelyn Padin, a Jersey City practitioner who handles family law and personal injury matters.
The state bar’s Nominating Committee will vet the candidates and issue 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. Successful candidates will be sworn-in in May.

Robert Brass
Brass concentrates his practice on federal and state white-collar litigation, as well as other federal and state criminal matters, federal civil rights litigation, attorney ethics issues, and other litigation, at the Aloia Law Firm, in Bloomfield. He is a former deputy attorney general with the state Division of Criminal Justice. He is a bar association trustee and a member of the association’s Judicial Administration and Continuing Legal Education committees, and is a former chair of the Criminal Law Section. He is a frequent moderator and lecturer for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education and at the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Annual and Mid-Year meetings.
“I have been greatly 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.

Amirali Haidri
Haidri is a former trustee of the state bar association, was a member of the Amicus Committee and is active with the Appellate Practice Committee. He is a former trustee of the Union County Bar Association, is a past panel chair of a District Fee Arbitration Committee, and is a member of the Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising. He serves as an arbitrator for a superior court automobile and personal injury arbitration program. His practice includes personal injury, professional malpractice, products liability, workers’ compensation and patent and trademark cases. He is a certified civil trial attorney and registered patent attorney.
“It is my hope that upon my being installed as secretary, I can work with the executive committee to re-energize 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.

Jeralyn Lawrence
Lawrence is chair-elect of the association’s Family Law Section and is a certified matrimonial law attorney. She is also a trained collaborative lawyer and divorce mediator. Lawrence serves on the Supreme Court’s Matrimonial Certification Committee and the District XIII Attorney Ethics Committee. She is a fellow and on the board of managers of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, first vice-president of the Somerset County Bar Association, and also belongs to the New Jersey Association for Justice and New Jersey Women Lawyers Association. Her involvement in the state bar is extensive, and includes being a senior editor of New Jersey Family Lawyer and providing pro bono assistance through the Military Legal Assistance Program. She has been recognized by the Young Lawyers Division and received the association’s Legislative Recognition Award twice.
“My commitment to the NJSBA is rooted in how highly I value the importance of the NJSBA and its impact on the lawyers of New Jersey. It is my desire to promote professionalism in the practice of law, as well as bolster bar association membership. I would also focus on enhancing the NJSBA’s lobbying efforts. I would welcome the opportunity to continue to act as a liaison, bridging the interests of the NJSBA with the legislative and judicial branches. I have first-hand experience promoting the NJSBA’s interests to state legislators, government officials and other bar groups, which is a benefit to our members and the community.”

Evelyn Padin
Evelyn Padin is the senior partner and founder of the Law Office of Evelyn Padin in Jersey City. Her areas of practice are family law and civil personal injury litigation. Known for her aggressive advocacy style, she has represented injured plaintiff’s in personal injury matters, having successfully handled a $4.25 million recovery that set a record in Hudson County in 2010. Padin has been appointed to several committees within the New Jersey State Bar Association, including the Nominating, Diversity, Meeting Arrangements and Program, and Finance committees. She is a member of the Hudson County Bar Association, the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, and the state bar association’s Women in the Profession Section. Presently, Padin serves as a trustee to the NJSBA and was recently appointed to the board of governors of the New Jersey Association for Justice.
“If selected by the Nominating Committee to be the future secretary of the New Jersey State Bar Association, my mission will be to advance and retain women in the legal profession through activism; to promote qualified women to the highest levels of law firms, government, and academia; and to endorse qualified female attorneys for appointments throughout the state and federal government,” said Padin.