Cento Amici Welcomes N.J. District Court Chief Judge Jose LinaresCento Amici board members welcomed their newest member, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey Jose Linares, at their annual fundraiser dinner held at Alfie’s Ristorante in Warren on Oct. 9, 2017. Cento Amici is a New Jersey nonprofit that raises money for underserved students in the state. Cento Amici raised $60K for scholarships at the event.
“I am deeply honored to become Cento Amici’s newest member. My parents always placed paramount importance on education and the societal responsibility of helping those in need. It is extremely gratifying to know that I am becoming a member of an organization that embodies both of those ideals,” Linares said.
Born in Cuba, Linares grew up in Newark and attended Immaculate Conception High School in Montclair. He received his undergraduate degree from Jersey City State College (now New Jersey City University) in 1975 and a J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 1978. After graduation, he was a supervising attorney of the New York City Department of Investigation from 1978 to 1980. He was in private practice in New Jersey from 1980 to 2000. He served as a judge on the Essex County Superior Court from 2000 to 2002. He was nominated to the District of New Jersey in 2002 by President George W. Bush and in 2017 became the chief judge. He is the first Hispanic chief federal district judge in New Jersey history, and the first Cuban-born chief district judge in the country.
Since its founding in 1989, Cento Amici has donated more than $1.1 million directly to New Jersey scholarship programs as well as an endowed fund for future scholarships. This year, $110,000 was awarded, and 52 scholarships were funded at Montclair State University, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Raritan Valley Community College, Union County College, Saint Peter’s Prep, Saint Anthony High School, Roselle Catholic High School and St. Benedict’s Preparatory School.
Cooper Levenson Collects $7,863 to Benefit United for Puerto Rico
Cooper Levenson organized a dance party to raise funds for Puerto Rico residents in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria on Oct. 18 at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City. The event included live music by Jimmy Jorge and the Latin Express, a Salsa dance lesson by LaPalma Dance Studio, performances by Arlin’s Dance Academy teachers and Latin dance troupe, traditional Puerto Rican food by Resorts, and a special presentation of funds raised by the staff of Seashore Gardens Living Center. “We have several staff members with family in Puerto Rico who are facing insurmountable odds,” said Ken Calemmo, chief operating officer of Cooper Levenson. “We wanted to do what we could to help. Resorts Casino stepped up in a huge way to produce this event and we are grateful for their assistance in making it all happen.”
Sponsors for the event included Resorts Casino Hotel, a Mohegan Sun Property, AtlantiCare, Fulton Bank of New Jersey, The Finkel Group, a Merrill Lynch firm, the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce, the Press of Atlantic City, SNJ Today, PhotoGraphics Photography, Argyle Interactive, Arlin’s Dance Academy, LaPalma Dance, and WEMG-MEGA 105.7 FM and 1310 AM. A special events production group, “Amazing Ventnor,” and Seashore Gardens Living Center presented $490 and $1,600, respectively, from their recent fundraising efforts. Those donations, along with the dollars raised by the Oct. 18 event, are to be sent to Unidos Por Puerto Rico, an initiative brought forth by the First Lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, in collaboration with the private sector, with the purpose of providing aid and support to those affected in Puerto Rico by Hurricanes Irma and María. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to helping the victims.
Toscano Sworn in as Member of N.J. Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards
Patrick P. Toscano Jr., principal owner of The Toscano Law Firm in Caldwell, was sworn in as a member of the N.J. Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards by on Oct. 27 by N.J. Supreme Court Associate Justice Walter Timpone in his chambers in Newark. The committee has authority to receive, investigate and report to the Senate and General Assembly with respect to allegations concerning the conduct or activities of members of the Legislature and employees of the legislative branch of state government.
Dugan Reappointed Chair of District Ethics Committee
David M. Dugan, counsel to the professional liability, trade secrets and general litigation groups at Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi in West Orange, has been reappointed by New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Stuart Rabner as chair of the court’s District V-A Ethics Committee. Dugan has served as a member of the District V-A Committee since 2012, and was named chair in September 2016 after a 20-month period as vice-chair. With this reappointment, Dugan will continue as chair through August 2018. As chair, Dugan is charged with presiding over the committee’s monthly meetings, overseeing all ethics investigations and approving motions for discipline on consent. Additionally, he will be tasked with interfacing with the Supreme Court’s Office of Attorney Ethics and Disciplinary Oversight Committee to see that the attorney-monitored disciplinary system’s mission is carried out in accordance with the rules and in a manner that fosters the public’s confidence in the bar.
“Serving on the District Ethics Committee during the last five years has been extremely rewarding, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue with this important work for the next year,” Dugan said. “We have an extremely talented group of members both within and outside our State’s bar who are benevolent enough to volunteer their time to ensure that the disciplinary process is complete and fair to all participants.”
Dugan focuses his practice in professional liability matters, including complex legal malpractice defense for prominent New Jersey firms, representing court-appointed receivers, and handling restrictive covenant, trade secret, and general litigation.