CJ Griffin


CJ Griffin


Practice Areas





CJ Griffin is the director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden (Stein Public Interest Center). Established in 2019, the Stein Public Interest Center is dedicated to a broad range of public interest impact litigation and appellate advocacy that advances social, racial, and economic justice; protects civil liberties and constitutional rights; and promotes an open and transparent government.

CJ Griffin’s legal practice focuses on media law, appellate advocacy, employment, criminal defense and cannabis law.

CJ has earned a reputation in the state as one of the leading attorneys representing media companies, non profit organizations and citizens in Open Public Records Act (OPRA) litigations. Several of CJ’s cases have resulted in landmark decisions from the Supreme Court and Appellate Division, including North Jersey Media Group Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst; Scheeler v. Atlantic County Joint Municipal Insurance Fund; and Wronko v. New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. CJ publishes the Firm’s “New Jersey OPRA Blog” to keep the public informed about updates in the law and routinely hosts OPRA trainings for community organizations and news-rooms.

CJ has built a considerable appellate practice. CJ has argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court ten times and has worked on 25 cases that have become published opinions. This includes regular appearances before the appellate courts in an amicus curiae capacity on a variety of legal issues. CJ also serves on the Amicus Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association. In 2018, the New Jersey Law Journal awarded the Firm a Litigation Department of the Year Award for its appellate work, primarily in the OPRA field.

CJ helped launched the Firm’s growing cannabis law practice and regularly contributes to the Firm’s “NJ Cannabis Blog.”

Prior to joining Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, CJ was a law clerk to the Honorable Ariel A. Rodriguez, presiding judge of the Appellate Division, and a litigation associate at Scarinci Hollenbeck. During law school, CJ was a research editor for the Rutgers Law Review. Prior to law school, CJ worked in non profit management in several non profit organizations, including the National Housing Institute, Identity House of New York City, and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.

CJ is currently the vice president of the Board of Trustees of the ACLU of New Jersey and performs significant pro bono work on a variety of civil rights issues. In the past, CJ has served as a chair of the LGBT Rights Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, a member of the New Jersey Law Journal’s Young Lawyer Advisory Board, and a member of the Essex County LGBTQ Advisory Board.

CJ has earned numerous accolades and awards, including being named a finalist for Attorney of the Year by the New Jersey Law Journal Professional Excellence Awards 2020, one of the “20 New Jerseyans to Watch in 2020” by the Star Ledger, a "2019 Litigation Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal and a finalist for the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2018 Attorney of the Year Award. In addition, CJ earned a Professional Achievement Award from the Young Lawyers Division of the New Jersey State Bar Association in 2017 and is listed as a New Jersey Rising Star for the 2013-2019 editions of Super Lawyers. In 2012, CJ was named one of New Jersey Law Journal’s “New Leaders of the Bar” (formerly “40 Under 40”). CJ has also been named to InsiderNJ's "Insider 100 LGBT Power" List for 2018, 2019, and 2020 list, as well as Senator Loretta Weinberg’s “2019 Women’s Power List.”

Professional/Civic Activities

  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Media Law Committee, Co-Chair, 2018-Present
  • ACLU-NJ, Board of Trustees, Vice President
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, 2009-Present
    • LGBT Rights Section, Chair, 2015; Member, current
    • Bylaws & Resolutions Committee, Member
    • Amicus Committee, Member
  • New Jersey Law Journal’s Young Lawyers Advisory Board, Former Member


  • The Use of Prior Restraints on Publication in the Age of Wikileaks,” New Jersey Lawyer, June 2017 (pending)
  • “Public-Private Partnerships May Be Subject to OPRA,” New Jersey Law Journal, November 6, 2014}
  • Using New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act as a Litigation Tool,” New Jersey Corp. Counsel Assoc. Newsletter(December 2014)
  • What Businesses Need to Know About New Jersey’s New Domestic Violence Leave Law,” NJBIZ, October 9, 2014
  • “How To Use NJ Open Public Records Act To Get The Scoop,” Law360, September 9, 2014

Important Cases

  • State v. Shaw, __ N.J. __ (2020)
  • Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings Inc., __ N.J. __ (2020)
  • State v. Trinidad, __ N.J. __ (2020)
  • Digital First Media v. Ewing Twp., __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2020)
  • L.R. v. Camden City Pub. Sch. Dist., 238 N.J. 547 (2019)
  • Correa v. Grossi, 458 N.J. Super. 571 (App. Div. 2019)
  • Piscitelli v. City of Garfield Zoning Bd., 237 N.J. 333 (2019)
  • Petro-Lubricant Testing Labs, Inc. v. Asher Adelman, 233 N.J. 236 (2018)
  • Scheeler v. Atl. Cty. Mun. Joint Ins. Fund, 454 N.J. Super. 621 (App. Div. 2018)
  • N. Jersey Media Group Inc. v. Twp. of Lyndhurst, 229 N.J. 541 (2017)
  • Wronko v. N.J.S.P.C.A., 453 N.J. Super. 73 (App. Div. 2018)
  • Brennan v. Bergen Cnty Prosecutor’s Office, 223 N.J. 330 (2018)
  • Paff v. Ocean Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 235 N.J. 1 (2018)
  • Kean Federation of Teachers v. Morel, 233 N.J. 566 (2018)
  • Libertarians for Transparent Gov’t v. Gov’t Records Council, 453 N.J. Super. 83 (App. Div. 2018)
  • In re New Jersey Firemen’s Ass’n, 230 N.J. 258 (2017)
  • N. Jersey Media Grp. Inc. v. Office of Gov., 451 N.J. Super. 282 (App. Div. 2017)
  • State v. Bacome, 228 N.J. 94 (2017)
  • Gilleran v. Twp. of Bloomfield, 227 N.J. 159 (2016)
  • N. Jersey Media Grp Inc. v. Twp. of Lyndhurst, 441 N.J. Super. 70 (App. Div. 2015)
  • Gilleran v. Twp. of Bloomfield, 440 N.J. Super. 490 (App. Div. 2015)
  • State v. Tate, 220 N.J. 393 (2015)
  • Turner v. Twp. Of Irvington, 430 N.J. Super. 274 (App. Div. 2013)
  • Headen v. Jersey City Bd. of Educ., 212 N.J. 437 (2012)
  • Wilson v. City of Jersey City, 209 N.J. 558 (2012)
  • Richard Rivera LLC v. Twp. of Bloomfield, 2020 WL109639 (App. Div. 2020)
  • Rivera v. Borough of Fort Lee, 2019 WL 1977336 (App. Div. 2019)
  • Carter v. Franklin Fire Dist. No. 1, 2019 WL 1224623 (App. Div. 2019)
  • Rivera v. Middlesex Cty. Prosecutor's Office, 2018 WL 1386235 (App. Div. 2018)
  • Wronko v. Twp. Of Jackson, 2017 WL 6398783 (App. Div. 2017)
  • Scheeler v. Galloway Twp., 2017 WL 5478319 (App. Div. 2017)


  • Judicial Law Clerk to Ariel A. Rodriguez, P.J.A.D. (2009-2010)

Bar/Court Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • United States District Court, District of New Jersey


  • B.S., SUNY-Empire State College, 2005
  • J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, 2009

Honors and Accolades

  • New Jersey Law Journal, Attorney of the Year Finalist, 2020
  • Star Ledger, “20 New Jerseyans to Watch in 2020”
  • National Law Journal, “2019 Litigation Trailblazer”
  • Senator Loretta Weinberg’s “Women’s Power List", 2019-2020
  • InsiderNJ, “Insider 100 Cannabis Power” List, 2019
  • Databird’s Research Journal, “250 Cannabis Law Experts” List, 2018
  • InsiderNJ, “Insider 100 LGBT Power” List, 2018-2020
  • New Jersey Bar Association, Professional Achievement Award, 2017
  • New Jersey Law Journal, Attorney of the Year Finalist, 2018
  • New Jersey Law Journal, New Leaders of the Bar, 2012
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2020
  • New Jersey Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2013-2019

The New Jersey Rising Star list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.

The New Leaders of the Bar list is published by the New Jersey Law Journal. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.njlawjournal.com/id=1202567879607/New-Leaders-of-the-Bar.

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Practice Areas