Pashman Stein Walder Hayden is pleased to announce that Joseph A. Hayden, Jr. is the 2020 recipient of the Daniel J. O’Hern Award.
The award is presented annually by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law, a cooperative effort of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the New Jersey judiciary and New Jersey’s law schools, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The award is given to a senior member of the bar who has demonstrated outstanding character and career achievement, and who has continually displayed a firm commitment to the ideals of professionalism.
“First of all, I would like to express my appreciation to Rutgers Law School where I received a superb legal education during an exciting time period in our country—the late 60’s,” said Joe. “I would also like to my express my appreciation to the giants of the trial bar, such as Raymond A. Brown, Michael Querques, Fred Lacey and Justin Walder, who inspired me by their work ethic and professionalism.”
“Everyone who knows Joe has benefited from his keen legal mind,” said Michael S. Stein, the firm’s managing partner. “As a criminal defense lawyer, he has dedicated his career to ensuring access to fair representation. He has contributed so much to this profession and our legal community through his ability to lead by example, and we are so very proud of him.”
Prior to attending law school, Joe participated in the Selma Civil Rights march in 1965 led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, and was then appointed deputy attorney general in the Organized Crime and Special Prosecution Section of the Division of Criminal Justice. As deputy attorney general, Joe tried the first wiretap case brought by the state of New Jersey.
“We are incredibly proud that Joe has been honored with the O’Hern Award,” said Justin P. Walder, firm partner and co-chair of its litigation practice. “I have counted Joe not only as a colleague but also a friend for decades. He is one of the brightest legal minds I know, and I can think of no one more deserving.”
An esteemed leader of the criminal defense bar, Joe was the founder and first president of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey (ACDLNJ), in 1985. In addition, he worked closely with former Governor Jim McGreevy on prisoner re-entry matters and presently serves on the Board of New Jersey Re-Entry Commission.
Criminal defense is a significant part of Joe’s practice, and many of his cases have received significant media attention. He has tried five cases with live TV cameras in the courtroom. While he relishes his work on these complex, high-profile trials, Joe has said that some of his most significant victories were those in which a client was being investigated for wrongdoing but, thanks to his representation, was never charged.
Joe has received accolades and honors for his excellence in trial work. He received the Lawrence A. Whipple Award for Professional Excellence from the ACDLNJ, and, in 2011, received the Rutgers University School of Law-Newark’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. In 2004, Joe was named Professional Lawyer of the Year in the area of Criminal Law by the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law. He is also the recipient of the Trial Bar Award for Professional Excellence from the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey, an organization of civil litigators. In 2014, Joe received the coveted Justice William J. Brennan Award from the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey in recognition of his contributions to the profession. New York Magazine named him the New York Area’s Lawyer of the year in 2011.
Mr. Hayden received his B.A. from Boston College and his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law, magna cum laude.
Click here to view the video of Joe’s remarks accepting the 2020 Daniel J. O’Hern Award.
Click here for a transcript of Joe's remarks for the 2020 Daniel J. O'Hern Award.