In her role as associate general counsel for Verizon, Karda oversees contracts for sourcing involving human resources benefits and plans, consulting, contact centers, contingent workforce, recruiting, advertising agencies and supplier diversity. Throughout her career, she has provided counsel and guidance on complex matters related to antitrust, fraud and abuse, FCPA, Medicare, Medicaid, PhRMA Code and physician agreements. She received the prestigious Pro Bono Service Award from Verizon for legal contributions in do-mestic violence and corporate matters. In May, Karda was appointed to the New Jersey Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Commission by Gov. Phil Murphy. The com-mission is charged with developing policies to address the social and economic needs of the growing AAPI communities in New Jersey. “It is an honor to be selected for participa-tion on Gov. Murphy’s AAPI Commission,” said Karda. “I commend the Governor’s Office for recognizing the urgent need for this focus on AAPI issues and identification of po-tential solutions at this crucial time. This appointment will be taken seriously, and I look forward to working effectively with others for the betterment of our overall community. To this end, I plan to utilize my more than two decades of legal experience and training as well as service on various boards to bring a unique voice to this commission to provide meaningful input to effectuate necessary change.”
Karmel is at the forefront of the future of waste and recycling thanks to his advocacy and groundwork for policy changes around the industry, his efforts to educate on emerging issues and opportunities, and the results he delivers for clients in the space. Bolstered by a passion for sustainability and the environment, he’s counsel in the Environmental Group at Riker Danzig in Morristown. The up-and-coming field leader has been able to forge his own path along his career development, incorporating his interests while sup-porting the waste industry as it pivots to accommodate future needs and changes. His practice also includes brownfields redevelopment and site remediation – he’s currently part of efforts for a $40 million remediation project involving traditional hazardous substances, radiological materials and emerging contaminants under the oversight of multiple government agencies – traditional environmental counseling and litigation and matters related to renewable energy, climate change, and environmental justice. Outside of his legal work, Karmel is a co-founder of the NJ Composting Council, which supports the state’s recycling industry. He’s also a member of the board of trustees of NJCC and is found-ing chair of its Advocacy and Market Development committee. In that capacity, he leads a monthly working group of stakeholders who advocate for improved regulations impacting organics recycling in the state. That includes the New Jersey Commercial Food Waste Recycling Mandate that was enacted in April 2019.
Kim’s rise at Cognizant came amid a shuffle that saw a number of legal team members exit the company early last year as the Teaneck-based IT services and consulting firm continued to try to distance itself from infamy due to past corporate bribery scandals. Now, executive vice president and general counsel – he previously served as senior vice president and deputy GC, Global Commercial Contracts, while also handling Cognizant’s commercial engagements – Kim oversees a legal department comprised of 300 associates located around the world covering items ranging from global commercial transaction support, corporate governance and M&A to labor and employment, immigration, ESG and legal operations. And it looks like his efforts have already started to pay off. In September, Cognizant was recognized as “Best Overall in Corporate Disclosure” ranking highest of the S&P 250 publicly traded companies rated in the annual competition sponsored by independent agency Labrador. The company’s Legal APAC team was also recognized as “IT In-house Legal Team of the Year 2021-2022” by India’s leading legal publication, Legal Era Magazine. And, in 2022 ESG research and advisory firm Verdantix awarded Cognizant with an Innovation Excellence Award for its ESG reporting.
Klausner is partner and co-chair of the Real Estate department at Fox Rothschild – in addition to serving on the Rutgers Business School Center for Real Estate’s advisory board – and you’re probably familiar with some of his work. In November, he was part of the team that represented Lincoln Equities Group in its offloading of 1.2 million square feet of space at the Princeton West Innovation Campus. He’s been busy in 2022 as well, representing Prism Capital Partners in the $132 million sale of ON3’s flagship office building – the largest suburban office sector sale so far this year – in Nutley; fellow N.J.-based organization The Hampshire Cos. in the portfolio sale of six Walmart properties in the Southwest valued at approximately $84 million; JV partners Camber Real Estate and AIG in the acquisition and assembly of a portfolio of seven South Jersey industrial properties valued at $30 million; and Vision Real Estate Partners in the leasing of 360,000 square feet for PTC Therapeutics that will see the company relocate its HQ to Warren. Over the course of his more than 30-year career, Klausner has repped clients – across office, industrial and retail – in leasing more than 100 million square feet of space, buying and selling more than $40 billion worth of properties, and borrowing and lending for more than $25 billion worth of properties. And like the ones he’s handled over just the past 12 months, those transactions have been ones to note: racking up 11 “Deal of the Year” awards from NAIOP for the attorney.
Lawrence is the top officer at the New Jersey State Bar Association, a role she took on in May, representing 16,000 lawyers statewide. She’s also immediate past president of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers New Jersey Chapter and has been practicing matrimonial, divorce and family law for 25 years. The lion’s share of her career was at Norris McLaughlin in Bridgewater. After rising through the ranks there to eventually chair the matrimonial law department, she opened her own firm in 2019 and has brought on seven other attorneys since.
With some of the world’s largest drugmakers based in New Jersey, it’s no secret that the pharmaceutical industry plays a pivotal role in the state’s economy. Lizza helps those drugmakers protect some of their most valuable assets: intellectual property. In 2021, he helped to secure a victory for one of those big-league pharmaceutical companies: Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen along with and Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corp. for their type 2 diabetes drug Invokana. The case was the first Hatch-Waxman trial to be held re-motely in the District of New Jersey, and among the first nationally. As a partner at Saul Ewing in Newark, Lizza has handled cases for dozens of pharmaceutical companies. He also holds a distinction not many attorneys can claim: one of his cases – Helsinn Healthcare S.A. v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., et al was the only patent case the country’s highest court heard in the 2019 fall term. Earlier in the case, Lizza racked up a victory on behalf of Helsinn in the U.S. District Court in New Jersey. He is a member of the Local Patent Rules Committee for the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, chairman of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law and a member of the Supreme Court’s Professional Responsibility Rules Committee. Lizza is also a trustee of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey and co-chair of its Judicial Conference.
Lopez is a partner in Reed Smith’s life sciences health industry group, which has her representing major pharmaceutical and medical device companies – something New Jersey is not short on – in coordinated litigation nationwide. She’s also a committed DEI leader, and is a frequent speaker on the topic both at Reed Smith, and beyond. The 39th president of the Hispanic Bar Association of New Jersey, Lopez is currently national finance director for the Hispanic National Bar Association. In the past year she’s raised more than $2 million for the group, with a goal to raise $3 million total by the end of 2022. At Reed Smith, she is nationwide partner chair for UNIDOS, the firm’s Hispanic/Latinx business inclu-sion group. According to Lopez, her goals include providing support and encouragement to Hispanic/Latinx professionals across the firm. That attitude extends to her work at HNBA, as well, which is awarding $250,000 in scholarships this year to deserving Hispanic/Latinx law students as a result of those aforementioned fundraising efforts. Her pro bono efforts include handling cases for veterans through the National Veterans Legal Services Program and immigration cases through Kids In Need of Defense, where she re-cently became a member of the Newark Advisory Committee. For the past two years Lopez has also had a different kind of power, serving on the Magistrate Judge Merits Selec-tion Committee, a position she was appointed to, to review applications for Magistrate Judge positions in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Maggiano is the founder and senior partner of Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, which has offices in Fort Lee and New York, and practices personal injury law. He boasts a long list of awards and recognition for his trial work, including being named as a top 100 trial lawyer by New Jersey Monthly magazine and the New Jersey Association for Justice’s Gerald B. O’Connor award for his career accomplishments. Maggiano is also an advocate for tort victims, providing testimony and speaking widely on issues related to injury litigation.
Manning was named as the first woman managing principal at Florham Park’s Bressler Amery & Ross in April 2021. Asked by Law.com earlier this year to name her main influences, she cited her colleagues. “Joining the firm in 1999 was the most defining moment of my career. The glass ceiling in law is notoriously thick. I have been so fortunate to work at a firm where I have been judged by my accomplishments and not limited by my gender. It is a testament to all the partners, past and present, who put me in positions to lead without hesitation.” Previously, Manning filled prominent roles at Bressler, including three years on the executive committee and seven years on the compensation committee. Manning has also served as chair of the firm’s women’s initiative committee and continues as co-chair of the multi-state business and commercial litigation group and leader of the appellate group.
Mebane is executive vice president and general counsel for RWJBarnabas Health, where he handles legal affairs for one of the state’s largest and most prominent hospital systems. His nearly three decades of health care work earned him a variety of honors over the years, including as NJBIZ Healthcare Attorney of the Year five years ago. Mebane came on board via the legal department at Barnabas Health, playing an integral role in the merger with the Robert Wood Johnson Health system in 2016. Now, he’s the top attorney for the health care system which operates one of New Jersey’s three Level One Trauma Centers, and the only one in Central Jersey. Mebane provides advice and counsel RWJBH’s transactions, litigation and contracts, risk financing, compliance and day-to-day operations and advocacy.
Miltenberg, the managing partner of Nesenoff & Miltenberg, ranks among the nation’s most prominent Title IX attorneys, an area receiving renewed attention this year, the 50th anniversary of the provision’s enactment. Based in Bergen County with offices in Manhattan, Miltenberg handles hearings at colleges across New Jersey and around the country. “You can turn these events into teachable moments. That’s not to say – I have two daughters, one’s in college, and there are rapes that happen. There are sexual assaults that happen. This is not to say that those should not be dealt with aggressively. Part of that is making sure they’re dealt with fairly and that the process and policy is equitable and transparent,” Miltenberg told NJBIZ in 2020.
Murphy is executive vice president and chief legal officer, operations for Hackensack Meridian Health. She has played an integral role in some of the health system’s most significant endeavors, and amid a global pandemic which upended the health care industry over the past 17 months. Murphy joined Hackensack years before the merger with Meridian Health, starting in 1992 as associate counsel and director of risk management for Hackensack University Medical Center in its namesake city. She rose up to executive vice president and chief legal officer at the medical center and Hackensack University Health Network. With decades as a both an attorney and a nurse, it’s no wonder she was named NJBIZ General Counsel of the Year for Healthcare, and is a recipient of a Best 50 Women in Business award. She has also been honored by the New Jersey Law Journal as In-House Counsel of the Year.
There’s a Chris Murphy in almost every town in New Jersey – or at least every town with an active real estate market. And these days, that’s most of them. Murphy, a partner at Murphy Schiller & Wilkes in Newark, is regarded as the top real estate practitioner in and around Montclair. He is the person to see, according to one insider, to get things done in the Essex County town. Murphy and his counterparts around the state know the lay of the land – literally and legally – in their areas. Builders, developers and brokers may have relationships with big law firms, but they need Murphy and others like him make their projects happen. Murphy boasts a background in state government and leads the firm’s Economic Incentive Advisory, Land Use, Zoning and Redevelopment, and Government Relations practice groups. According to the firm, he is also a registered lobbyist, providing government relations advice to developers, property owners, and businesses around the state.
Judging by the news headlines and government watchdogs, law firm Parker McCay and lobbying firm Optimus Partners might represent the epitome of the politically connected firms. Norcross, an executive at both, is the nexus of those connections. That became evident in 2019, when activists and a task force put together by the Murphy administration outlined Optimus’ and Parker McCay’s alleged influence over the creation of the 2013 tax break program, and in helping businesses win lucrative incentive awards. Philip is the brother of both George Norcross, the South Jersey political kingmaker, and Donald Norcross, a U.S. congressman representing the 1st Congressional District. With the creation of a new tax break regime, Trenton insiders have been speculating about just what kind of role Philip could play in helping businesses win incentives. And firms like Parker McCay remain key power players in the South Jersey business environment.
With a staff of nearly 30, including corporate and litigation attorneys, clinical risk and patient relations managers and insurance professionals, O’Halloran oversees all legal matters for Atlantic Health System in addition to risk and claims management. She also serves as corporate secretary for the growing health care network, comprised of six hospitals, more than 18,000 employees and over 4,500 physicians, which continues to strategically add more. Part of her purview includes overseeing the framework for these new partnerships, like the unique co-member affiliation that closed in 2021 between AHS and Centra-State Healthcare System in Freehold—a process that – in no small feat – overlapped with the need to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, which O’Halloran and her team also had a hand in. This past February, Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law that included a requirement that nonprofit hospitals in the state make a contribution to the communities they operate in—something that AHS has been doing for years thanks to O’Halloran’s proactive approach of negotiating agreements years earlier regarding financial responsibility in the system’s communities. As corporate secretary for AHS, O’Halloran was instrumental in transitioning to a competency-based board and now takes part in the trustee recruitment process to find and appoint board members. Among her community engagements, she is a past chair of the Westfield Area YMCA.
Last year, Orsen was named president of SJI Utilities, making her the first female to oversee both of South Jersey Industries’ utilities – South Jersey Gas and Elizabethtown Gas. She holds the position in addition to that of senior vice president for SJI, which the former NJEDA chief exec joined in 2017 as general counsel. This summer, South Jersey Gas kicked off a $200 million, five-year Infrastructure Investment Program that will target the replacement of nearly 250 miles of at-risk facilities for the organization’s more than 400,000 customers. Speaking during an NJBIZ panel discussion from earlier in the year focused on women in STEM, Orsen offered sage advice for how she forged her path, and it rests firmly on staying true to herself. “I didn’t bend over backwards to try and be a man, right? Fit in as they are,” she said. “I had my knowledge, that was mine; and I built relation-ships, and [tried to] be who I was.” Something that she tries to pass along to others now. “I think it’s important that we build other women up. So we always hire the right person for the job, but it’s so important to put our hand out and build those relationships,” she said. Next up, the company is set to be acquired by Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF), a private investment vehicle focused on investing in critical infrastructure assets, in a deal valued at $8.1 billion. According to SJI, the combination will set the utility up to achieve and execute its clean energy and decarbonization initiatives for itself, the state and the region. It’ll be interesting to see Orsen’s role as the organization continues to evolve.
In addition to founding and overseeing the powerhouse firm, O’Toole Scrivo, the former lawmaker in February was re-elected to a sixth term as chairman of the powerful Port Authority. In that post, he is at the center of the renewed efforts to finally move the Gateway Program forward. Earlier this month, an MOU was signed by the governors of New Jersey and New York to advance the Portal North Bridge and Hudson Tunnel Project. “We appreciate the efforts of Govs. Murphy and Hochul in moving this critical transportation project closer to the finish line,” said O’Toole. “It is a project of enormous consequence for the many millions of riders who will benefit from it, and it will be a significant driver of economic growth for the entire New Jersey-New York region.” O’Toole’s firm focuses on toxic tort, environmental law, risk management, class actions, complex litigation, and corporate investigations. He is regularly called on by large companies to obtain cost-effective, early resolution of complex matters. He has served as both national coordinating counsel for corporate clients and operational leader of multi-jurisdictional litigation teams that have been responsible for trying dozens of high-profile multimillion-dollar matters.
Palatucci is a partner at McCarter & English and a member of the Republican National Committee. That latter role – though diminished by the GOP’s waning fortunes in recent years, still makes him a political player to be reckoned with. And with midterm elections approaching, all eyes will be on Republican congressional candidates in several New Jersey swing districts. During the Christie administration, Palatucci was considered a top player in the national party and served as general counsel to the Trump transition commit-tee. When the campaigns kick into gear after Labor Day, Palatucci’s stature in the party and his contacts nationwide should once again put him in the forefront of electoral politics.
A partner with Genova Burns, Parikh serves as chair or co-chair of a variety of teams at the firm. He leads the India Law; Construction Law & Litigation; and Election Law & Litigation practices, and is co-chair of the Crisis Management Practice and Hotels & Restaurants Industry group. In addition, he leads diversity and inclusion efforts at Genova Burns. Parikh was transition counsel for Gov. Phil Murphy and has worked closely with the governor and his team on a variety of issues. And his work in politics extends further. Parikh has served as general counsel to the Democratic State Committee for more than five years and was lead counsel on dozens of campaigns, including those of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and U.S. Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Josh Gottheimer and Mikie Sherrill, among others.
Rabner is the eighth chief justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court since the 1947 state constitution. In recent months, he has warned of the number of vacancies across the state judicial system, including at the Supreme Court, especially when the shortfall collides with the backlog of cases that has been exacerbated by COVID-19. “Unless there is move-ment in the weeks ahead, we will soon reach a day when only four members have met … constitutional requirements,” Rabner said in May. “Ask any student of the constitutional convention of 1947, and they will tell you that is not what the framers of the modern constitution had in mind.”
Rabner has served on the high court since being nominated by former Gov. Jon Corzine in 2007. Before his time on the bench, Rabner served as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Newark. He is a member of the board of directors of the Institute of Judicial Administration at New York University School of Law and a member of the Council of the American Law Institute. Rabner has also been at the center of efforts to implement reforms in the court system to promote more access and fairness and introducing new uses of technology to make the judiciary more efficient.
The founding partner of Scarinci Hollenback is one of the most highly respected attorneys in the state. His practice focuses on representing public institutions and businesses that interact with government. Scarinci oversees more than 60 attorneys in New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C. He has represented some of the largest municipalities and counties in the state, as well as numerous planning and zoning boards, economic development authorities, school boards, utility authorities, colleges, hospitals and other public entities at all levels of government. Scarinci currently serves as corporation counsel to both Union City and West New York. And he previously served as counsel to the New Jersey State Assembly and as counsel to the Democratic members of both the Congressional and Legislative Redistricting commissions in New Jersey. In 2011, Scarinci launched the Constitutional Law Reporter, an award-winning blog that he writes and edits, which has become one of the top legal blogs in America. As a result, he has become a thought leader on the subject and a sought-after speaker on law panels involving constitutional issues. Since 2005, he has served on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Commission, which was created by Congress to review and approve all designs that appear on American coinage.
Jennifer Phillips Smith
As co-chair of the Real Property group at Gibbons PC, a position she was elevated to in February, Phillips Smith oversees the work of the attorneys in the group, managing its activities and workload, in addition to counseling clients on complex redevelopment, land use and regulatory matters, with a focus on development and redevelopment in addition to liquor licensing and Alcoholic Beverage Control. The latter area may see some more action soon, as new rules for craft breweries in the state that went into effect July 1 – the start was delayed due to the pandemic – spark a backlash from the community and its patrons. In the real estate space, she is lead land use attorney for projects including a $2.5 billion redevelopment to transform the Asbury Park waterfront and the 206,000-squre-foot industrial building coming to the site of the Marcal Paper factory that was destroyed in a 2019 blaze. Last year, she was recognized with a Women Worth Watching Award. In her profile, Phillips Smith called attention to a family history of involvement with local government that has helped – and continues – to inform her career. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, reversing Roe v. Wade and myriad rights for women throughout the country, she was one of what has grown to a list of more than 2,650 women attorneys (and six from Gibbons) to sign on to a letter published in The American Lawyer issuing a call to action in the wake of the decision. “Our presence and leadership within the bar is without question a byproduct of the freedom each of us has had to make reproductive decisions for ourselves,” the signatories, representing nearly 200 firms, wrote.
Tami Bogutz Steinberg
Steinberg’s been a trusted legal advisor to business owners and entrepreneurs for more than 30 years. She chairs Flaster Greenberg’s business and corporate department, is a member of the firm’s board of directors, and is known throughout South Jersey as one of the area’s best business and corporate attorneys. Steinberg also chairs the firm’s gaming industry group, representing casino developers and operators setting up new facilities and running those already in operation. She also represents online sports and gaming entrepreneurs as they maneuver through the regulatory process, in addition to providing them with corporate counsel.
Toft chairs the Environmental Law group at CSG Law, providing counsel on all aspects of environmental law including regulatory proceedings, environmental due diligence, permitting, enforcement and environmental litigation, development/redevelopment and environmental insurance. Toft is currently on the board of trustees at NJIT and a director at the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce. In 2002, he was appointed by former Gov. Christine Todd Whitman to serve on the New Jersey Brownfields and Contaminated Site Remediation Task Force, a group created by state law to identify and market brownfields sites. Toft regularly appears before the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, municipal land use boards, and the Office of Administrative Law, and in state and federal courts.
As one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson can be a hotbed of litigation and other legal activity. Ullman’s been the company’s general counsel and executive vice president since 2012, in charge of its legal arm as well as its government affairs & policy, privacy, global security, global brand protection, aviation and health care compliance arms. While not everything has been a win—the company agreed to pay $2.2 billion in 2013 to settle accusations that it improperly promoted antipsychotic drug Risperdal to certain populations—it won three pelvic mesh cases back to back to back this summer. Lawsuits related to talcum powder are ongoing. After 33 years with the company, Ullman recently announced plans to retire by year’s end. Worldwide Vice President and General Counsel of Pharmaceuticals Elizabeth Forminard will replace him in October.
A member of Sills Cummis & Gross, Zangari is chair of the firm’s Real Estate department (not to mention a founding member and executive committee member of the Rutgers University Center for Real Estate) and serves on its Management and Executive Committees. He’s the lead in Sills’ Redevelopment Law Practice group, work that finds him involved in big projects centered on brownfields, transportation centers and waterfronts. Like Hoboken Connect. The project finally won approval from the Mile Square City this summer, and Sills Cummis served as redevelopment council for its designated redeveloper, LCOR. Zangari also chairs the Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Practice group. This past spring, he offered his expertise as a participant in the state Chamber’s (where he also sits on the executive committee) ReNew Jersey Business Summit. Ahead of his engagement on the Taxes and Incentives panel, he spoke to NJBIZ about their status in the Garden State. “The best suggestion is quite simple: New Jersey policymakers should strive to keep and reduce all of the state’s tax rates — for businesses and individuals—at or below the tax rates of states all around us,” he said. “And if we can manage it fiscally, to re-ally break out from the regional pack, we should strive to eliminate certain taxes, ideally the corporate business tax, and to put certainty around other taxes by use of automatic, formulaic increases and automatic sunsets.”
Zaro is chair of the Banking and Real Estate Services department at Sills Cummis & Gross. He’s also commissioner and former chairman of the Gateway Program Development Corp., which oversees the $30 billion plan to build a new rail tunnel under the Hudson River and replace the Portal Bridge over the Hackensack River on top of expanding New York Penn Station, and other ancillary projects. Altogether, it adds up to the largest infrastructure project nationwide at the moment. After years of delay under the prior administration in D.C., Gateway has picked up steam. At the start of the year, the Hudson Tunnel Project was upgraded to medium-high by the FTA; a move that could make a combined $23 billion available. Meanwhile, the project received its first direct Federal funding allocation via $100 million from President Joe Biden’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget request. With regulatory requirements and permitting in place, transit officials expect construction to start in 2023. In May, the Commission moved forward on installing a CEO: former commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Transportation, Kris Kolluri. The next month, Amtrak announced a major contract to expand capacity and update the station. At the time, the Gateway commissioners stated that the effort was “a key part of delivering on the ultimate benefits of the Gateway Program.” Which is important, because as Zaro and other supporters of Gateway note, 20% of the American economy depends on the Hudson River tunnels carrying trains between Washington, D.C., New York City and Bos-ton. And Zaro has been a supporter of the project for a long time. “He was very committed to being out publicly at a time when the projects themselves hit significant road-blocks,” a source who works closely with him told NJBIZ. “We needed to keep stakeholders, elected officials, and everybody else motivated and on board and rowing together for the project. Jerry did a great job with being out there and being an advocate for them and an evangelist to keep people’s motivation and interest up.”