More New Jersey lawyers have been added to the transition team of New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy.
Frank Giantomasi of Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi was appointed to the Transition Counsel Committee; John Fanburg and Mark Manigan of Brach Eichler was appointed to the Healthcare Transition Subcommittee; and Stephen B. Genzer of Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s utilities practice was appointed to the Committee on Environment and Energy’s transition team, according to firm announcements Monday and Tuesday.
Those four join a large roster of New Jersey attorneys, including former state Supreme Court justices, on Murphy’s team.
“New Jersey needs an administration ready to hit the ground running in January, and through the work of the transition committees my administration will not take office blind to the challenges and opportunities before us,” Murphy, a Democrat who soundly defeated Republican Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno in the Nov. 7 gubernatorial election, said in a statement included with the Saul Ewing release.
“I am grateful to everyone who accepted the call to serve our transition. From analyzing and prescribing policy to taking a fresh look at the basic organization of government, these committees have a lot of work to do. I am confident they will put my administration in a position to begin delivering results for the people of New Jersey from day one,” Murphy added.
Giantomasi, a partner in the real estate, development and land use group at West Orange-based Chiesa Shahinian, said he met Murphy about three years ago, when Murphy asked for his support.
“Since that time, we’ve had many meetings, and open and great dialogue about New Jersey, its problems and its future,” Giantomasi said in a phone interview, noting that Murphy later visited Chiesa Shahinian and garnered support—votes as well as campaign volunteers—from the firm’s ranks.
“He spoke to our file clerks as well as our senior partners,” Giantomasi said. “That intimacy really led us to believe in him.”
Giantomasi said he expects the Transition Counsel Committee to support various other transition committees and receive other assignments.
Giantomasi, Essex County counsel from 2003 to 2005 and chief counsel to the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 1992 to 2003, said he’s not seeking administration appointments beyond the transition team.
“I have no desires nor designs on any job,” he said. “I think right now my value to this administration is with my firm.”
Fanburg is managing partner of Roseland-based Brach Eichler and chair of the firm’s health law practice. Manigan is a partner in the health law practice and an executive committee member.
Fanburg, reached by phone, said he voted for Murphy and, “we support his message.”
Fanburg said he’ll prioritize certain health care issues in advising Murphy: “further physician-hospital alignment in terms of working together collaboratively,” as well as enabling health care systems to better harness technology without regulatory constraints. Fanburg also plans to address issues related to insurance reimbursements, he said.
“As governor-elect, he’s in a position to influence the many different heads of agencies,” Fanburg added. “He’s also got a budget to contend with, which is a challenge for any governor.”
Manigan, also reached by phone, deferred comment to Fanburg.
Each has prior governmental advisory experience, according to the firm’s release: Fanburg, as a member of the Mandated Health Benefits Advisory Commission, appointed by then-Gov. James McGreevey; and Manigan, as a member of an Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee panel examining insurance costs, and a member of the Department of Health’s Patient Safety Adverse Event Committee.
Genzer, managing partner of Philadelphia-based Saul Ewing’s Newark office, advises utility company’s on regulatory issues. Prior to working at Saul Ewing, he was a managing attorney at the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, Division of Rate Counsel.
He couldn’t be reached by phone. Saul Ewing said in its release: “During a career spanning more than 40 years, Mr. Genzer has represented clients in hundreds of utility rate, regulatory compliance and structural matters before the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. When issues cannot be appropriately resolved at the agency, he acts as their counsel in the appellate courts.”
Fanburg, Manigan, Genzer and Giantomasi join a transition team that already has a number of lawyers in its ranks.
On Nov. 15, Murphy appointed former Supreme Court Chief Justice James Zazzali and former Associate Justice Gary Stein to the team. They are in charge of ensuring ethics compliance during the transition. Additionally, Murphy appointed Rajiv Parikh, a partner at Newark’s Genova Burns, the transition’s senior counsel.
Murphy recently announced that Peter Cammarano would be his chief of staff. Cammarano was Gov. Richard Codey’s chief of staff and currently is a lobbyist with CLB Partners in Trenton. Also, Matt Platkin was named chief counsel. He previously was with Debevoise & Plimpton in New York.
Other attorneys who are serving on Murphy’s transition team include Ronald Chen, the former public advocate who is now co-dean at Rutgers University Law School; former U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, who is now a distinguished visiting fellow at Seton Hall University School of Law; former First Assistant Attorney General Ricardo Solano, who now is with the Newark office of Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman; and Ehsan Chowdhry, who heads a firm in Neptune and is the president of the New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association. All are on the transition team’s Law and Justice Committee.