Pashman Stein Walder Hayden (PSWH) is pleased to announce that Partner CJ Griffin has been selected as one of three finalists for the 2020 New Jersey Law Journal’s “Attorney of the Year” award. This is the second time CJ has been selected for this prestigious award.
CJ, along with Frank Corrado of Barry, Corrado, Grassi & Gillin-Schwartz, and Michelle Movahed of McCarter & English, will be honored at the Professional Excellence Awards Dinner on Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 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.”
According to the New Jersey Law Journal, the “Attorney of the Year” award honors an attorney who made the greatest impact of all during the year, one who has made their mark on the profession, and in the law, with an achievement in the past year that goes beyond service to the client. In 2019, CJ Griffin helped to develop and launch the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at PSWH, a groundbreaking initiative. 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. As the Center’s first Director, CJ serves as the Center’s public face, works alongside our partner organizations, and leads all of the firm’s pro bono efforts, including drafting briefs, arguing high-profile matters before the Supreme Court, and supervising attorneys in their pro bono work.
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 New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division, with the bulk of those decisions focusing on greater transparency in policing.
CJ has built a considerable appellate practice, having argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court 10 times and accumulating more than 25 cases that have become published opinions (with several cases pending). One of CJ’s significant achievements in 2019 was representing the ACLU-NJ as amicus curiae in Correa v. Grossi, a voting rights case related to accessing election ballots in Spanish that resulted in a published appellate division decision ensuring the rights of bilingual registered voters. Now, in districts where the primary language of at least 10 percent of registered voters is Spanish, both the sample and official ballots must be printed bilingually in English and Spanish.
This award is one of many that CJ has earned throughout her career. Most recently, CJ received the following honors:
- Star Ledger, “20 New Jerseyans to Watch in 2020”
- National Law Journal, “2019 Litigation Trailblazer”
- Senator Loretta Weinberg’s “2019 Women’s Power List”
- InsiderNJ, “Insider 100 Cannabis Power” List, 2019
- InsiderNJ, “Insider 100 LGBT Power” List, 2019 & 2018
“We are thrilled that the New Jersey Law Journal has once again selected CJ as a finalist for the ‘Attorney of the Year’ award. One need only watch CJ’s arguments and read the numerous news stories covering CJ’s cases to see the tremendous impact on the law that CJ has had. Establishing the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden in 2019 was one of the most significant initiatives in our firm’s history, and we couldn’t have done it without CJ, who also serves as its director,” remarked Michael S. Stein, Managing Partner.
The announcement of the awards by the New Jersey Law Journal can be found here.