CJ Griffin, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. Photo

CJ Griffin

Partner & Director of the Stein Public Interest Center


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 extensive experience 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 Rivera v. Union County Prosecutor’s Office, Libertarians for Trans. Gov’t v. Cumberland County, 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 more than a dozen times and has worked on more than 30 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.


Honors & Recognitions

  • Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, Honorable Lawrence A. Whipple Memorial Award, 2022

  • Named in the top 10 on Insider NJ's 2021 Insider Out 100 LGBTQ Power List
  • Partners for Women and Justice, “Partner in Justice Award,” 2021
  • 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", 2019-2021
  • InsiderNJ, “Insider 100: Cannabis Power List,” 2021 & 2019
  • Databird’s Research Journal, “250 Cannabis Law Experts” List, 2018
  • InsiderNJ, “Insider 100 LGBT Power” List, 2018-2020
  • New Jersey Bar Association, Young Lawyer’s Division--Professional Achievement Award, 2017
  • New Jersey Law Journal, Attorney of the Year Finalist, 2018 & 2020
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2020-2022
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2013-2019

The Super Lawyers 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 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 Insider 100: Cannabis Power List is issued by Insider NJ. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://www.insidernj.com/2021-insider-cannabis-power/.

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

News & Insights


Speaking Engagements



Community & Professional

  • ACLU-NJ, Board of Trustees, Vice President (2016-Present)
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, 2009-Present
    • Media Law Committee, Co-Chair, 2018-current
    • LGBT Rights Section, Chair, 2015; Member, current
    • Bylaws & Resolutions Committee, 2018-current
    • Amicus Committee, 2018-current
  • Association of Criminal Lawyers of New Jersey, 2020-present
    • Police Accountability Committee, 2020-Present
  • New Jersey Law Journal’s Young Lawyers Advisory Board, Former Member

Important Cases

  • Rivera v. Union County Prosecutor’s Office, __ N.J. __ (2022)
  • Libertarians for Trans. Gov’t v. Cumberland County, 250 N.J. 46 (2022)
  • State v. Andujar, __ N.J. __ (2021)
  • In re Attorney Gen. Law Enf't Directive Nos. 2020-5 & 2020-6, 246 N.J. 462 (2021)
  • Gannett Satellite Info. Network, LLC v. Twp. of Neptune, __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2021)
  • State v. Lopez-Carrera, 245 N.J. 596 (2021)
  • State v. Garcia, 245 N.J. 412 (2021)
  • In re Attorney Gen. Law Enf't Directive Nos. 2020-5 & 2020-6, A-3950-19T4, 465 N.J. Super. 111 (App. Div. 2020)
  • Libertarians for Trans. Gov’t v. Cumberland County, 465 N.J. Super. 11 (App. Div. 2020), certif. granted, 245 N.J. 38 (2021) (pending)
  • Fraternal Order of Police, Newark Lodge No. 12 v. City of Newark, 244 N.J. 75 (2020)
  • State v. Courtney, 243 N.J. 77 (2020)
  • State v. Greene, 242 N.J. 530 (2020)
  •  Friedman v. Martinez, 242 N.J. 449 (2020)
  • State v. J.V., 242 N.J. 432 (2020)
  • State v. Shaw, 241 N.J. 223 (2020)
  • Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings Inc., 241 N.J. 285 (2020)
  • Digital First Media v. Ewing Twp., 462 N.J. Super. 389 (App. Div. 2020)
  • State v. Trinidad, 241 N.J. 425 (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)
  • 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)


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

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


B.S., SUNY-Empire State College, 2005

J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, 2009

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