Dawn Attwood’s complex civil litigation practice focuses on public entity defense and insurance defense, as well as employment and commercial litigation on behalf of both public and private sector clients. She has extensive experience at the trial and appellate levels representing private commercial insureds, the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, New Jersey Transit, a number of county prosecutor’s offices, boards of education, and municipalities. She is proficient in handling product liability, civil rights, and employment actions, along with dram shop, premises liability, automotive liability and coverage matters. She has also represented private clients with respect to bar admissions. She has handled numerous appeals in both the Appellate Division and Supreme Court of New Jersey and has been granted certification several times on novel and significant legal issues.
Prior to joining Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, Dawn was a partner at DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP. Before that, she spent five years with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, where she defended the State in tort, contractual and employment litigation matters and tried several civil jury matters involving the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. As co-counsel, she assisted in the successful prosecution of a municipal court judge in a trial before a specially appointed three-judge panel, affirmed on appeal to the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
- Obtained defense jury verdict on behalf of Department of Corrections officer in civil rights matter involving excessive force and failure to intervene claims.
- Obtained dismissal at jury trial for client defendants at close of plaintiffs' case in wrongful death/child abuse suit.
- Successfully appealed and obtained reversal in the Supreme Court of trial court's denial of summary judgment, based on the Tort Claims Act's notice provisions.
- Successfully appealed and obtained reversal of $7.6 million jury verdict in premises liability action.
- Obtained defense verdict on behalf of cleaning company against claims for contractual defense and indemnification asserted by the property owner.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of municipality where employee's estate sued under the wrongful death exception to the Workers Compensation Act following fatal accident. The trial court's decision was affirmed on appeal.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of county prosecutor's office, individual prosecutors and investigators, in a federal civil rights matter brought by the mother of an abused child, who had been arrested for tampering with the child victim witness in an effort to hinder the prosecution and protect the child molester, who was ultimately convicted. Summary judgment was affirmed on appeal to the Third Circuit.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of public authority in fatal motor vehicle accident, based on Tort Claims Act immunities.
- Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of City and its police officers in civil rights action involving false arrest and malicious prosecution claims.
- Jones v. Morey's Pier, Inc. 230 N.J. 142 (2017)
- Mandal v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 430 N.J. Super. 287 (App. Div.), petition for certif. denied (2013)
- Mann v. Heil Packer, 2010 WL 98883 (App. Div. 2010)
- Hyatt v. County of Passaic, 340 Fed. Appx. (3rd Cir. 2009)
Honors & Recognitions
- New Jersey Law Journal, Mentor of the Year, 2021
- New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2020
- Martindale Hubbell, AV Preeminent
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B.A., Fordham University, 1990, magna cum laude
J.D., Widener University School of Law, 1994, cum laude