Hackensack-based law firm Pashman Stein Walder Hayden is pleased to announce that Partner CJ Griffin has been selected as one of three finalists for the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2017 “Attorney of the Year Award.” The Law Journal, the leading legal trade publication in NJ, made the selection from among the state’s 41,000 lawyers with the help of an outside panel of distinguished practitioners, along with their editorial staff.
Griffin, along with Matheu Nunn of Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost and Christopher Porrino of Lowenstein Sandler/former New Jersey Attorney General, will be honored at the Professional Excellence Awards Dinner on Tuesday, June 21, at the Brooklake Country Club, in Florham Park. The winner will be announced during the evening’s events.
“I am truly honored to receive this recognition and congratulate my fellow finalists,” said CJ Griffin. “I also am very thankful to work in a firm full of talented attorneys and staff who support me and the work that I do.”
In a very short amount of time, Griffin has developed significant experience in the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) and has built the firm’s media law department from scratch. Griffin has litigated more than 40 police records cases and was part of a team of firm attorneys who litigated North Jersey Media Group v. Twp. of Lyndhurst, 229 N.J. 541 (2017), a landmark Supreme Court decision involving records relating to a police deadly shooting. The decision is so important that the New York Times wrote an editorial praising it.
Griffin also has substantial appellate experience, having argued before our Supreme Court 8 times and accumulating more than a dozen published appellate opinions (with several pending). Because of her passion for government transparency and social justice issues, a large percentage of her appellate work has been on a pro bono basis, representing organizations such as the ACLU of New Jersey, Libertarians for Transparent Government, Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, and others as amicus curiae in landmark cases on OPRA topics, criminal procedure, and defamation law.
In 2017, Griffin was elected Vice President of the ACLU of New Jersey’s Board of Trustees and was appointed to the Supreme Court Committee in Minority Affairs. She also received a “Professional Achievement Award” from the NJSBA’s Young Lawyer’s Division. In 2012, she received the New Jersey Law Journal’s “New Leaders of the Bar Award.” She is a prior Chair of the NJSBA’s LGBT Rights Section.