Michelle Cresti, former President of the Hunterdon County Bar Association, presented the annual donation of the HCBA and its members to LSNWJ President, Mary Ellen Koscs-Fleming, and Martha Gonzalez, LSNWJ-Hunterdon Managing Attorney, at a recent meeting of the HCBA.
In 2014, legal assistance provided by LSNWJ helped more than 8,000 low-income people maintain safe and affordable housing, gain sustainable income to escape the ravages of poverty, access quality health care, secure family stability and personal safety, and live with dignity in the community. 98% of clients provided with legal representation by LSNWJ were empowered to pursue their legal remedies and 87% of those clients were successful in meeting their essential needs.
LSNWJ met the challenge of declining government resources through thoughtful strategic planning, fostering of partnerships, and maintaining our steadfast focus on doing the work that makes a difference in the lives of low-income people. LSNWJ is particularly grateful to the foundations, organizations and individuals who supported our work in 2014.
LSNWJ’s Diane K. Smith, Carol V. Spicer, and Viv Kale were honored to be included in Lowenstein Sandler’s celebration of equal justice at the annual Pro Bono in the Park. LSNWJ works with Lowenstein Sandler, Merck and Community Hope through our Veterans Justice Initiative to provide legal assistance to veterans in need. Retired Justice Long spoke passionately about the great needs in our community for the skills, expertise and time of attorneys. She reminded us that it is not enough to be smart – smart lawyers are a dime a dozen – we have to be smart AND do good.
Check out the 2014 Legal Services Corporation Annual Report featuring Diane K. Smith, LSNWJ, Catherine Weiss, Lowenstein Sandler, and Sylvia Ayler, Merck, Sharp & Dohme , at the White House Forum on Increasing Access to Justice.
Janet Walton was highlighted in the recent issue of LSNJ Reports for her service to the community and legal services.
Justice Center Groundbreaking as reported in the Express Times, May 28, 2015, by Steve Novak
Michael Weiner probably wouldn’t want his name on a building, his family admitted.
But he would still be proud of what is accomplished there.
The Legal Services of Northwest New Jersey building in Belvidere on Thursday was renamed the Michael Weiner Justice Center in honor of the late Major League Baseball Players Association executive director and Mansfield Township resident.
Legal Services of Northwest Jersey is a nonprofit law firm that serves low-income people in Warren, Hunterdon, Sussex, Morris and Somerset counties, and his colleagues, friends and family said that was something about which Weiner felt strongly.
“Mike had a broader social vision,” Dave Prouty, MLBPA’s general counsel, told the crowd at Thursday’s dedication. “That’s what it’s all about — making sure people have the access they need to legal services … to move forward with their lives.”
Prouty and others who knew Weiner from their days at Harvard law school said they wanted to do something to honor the man who died in 2013, a little more than a year after announcing he had an inoperable brain tumor.
In addition to the name change, the group is funding renovations at the Legal Services building at 91 Front St. Those changes will improve the entrance and reception area, pending town approval.
Weiner joined the MLBPA as counsel in 1988 at age 26, according to a union news release when he died. He oversaw collective bargaining negotiations as executive director in 2011, when the teams and union agreed on a five-year contract.
“Weiner helped usher in precedent-setting changes to the structure of the game, including the addition of a second Wild Card team in each league, the creation of two 15-team leagues, approval of expanded instant replay … and the institution of new protocols and procedures with regard to concussions,” the MLBPA release said.
But his passions went beyond baseball.
Diane Margolin, Wiener’s widow, said Thursday that Mike would be “overjoyed” at the work Legal Services was doing, though “maybe not the name” that will be on the building.
Weiner was a “low-key, under-the-radar kind of guy,” said his brother, Dave Weiner.
But “Michael was always a strong proponent of social causes,” he continued.
Prouty said Weiner believed in the labor movement, saying it could help people achieve more and “level the playing field.”
In a 2011 talk at a Washington Business Improvement District dinner,Weiner praised longtime businesses for their ability to adapt to the times while still holding on to what they believe.
“In order for any business or organization to persevere, they need to have some principle to stick to,” Weiner said.
Michael L. Wojcik, partner at Hollander, Strelzik, Pasculli, Pasculli, Hinckes, Wojcik, Gasquin, Vandenberg & Hontz, has joined the LSNWJ Board of Trustees.
Diane K. Smith, Executive Director, is honored to be joining the New Jersey State Bar Association Board of Trustees and appreciates the support of the Somerset County Bar Association.
The Board of Trustees of the Morris County Bar Foundation and
Legal Services of Northwest Jersey gratefully acknowledge the
generous contribution of the following sponsors toward
the success of the 2014 Golf & Tennis Outing:
Bressler, Amery & Ross,
Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C.
Sobel & Co., LLC
Einhorn, Harris, Ascher, Barbarito & Frost, P.C.
Norris, McLaughlin, & Marcus, P.A.
Donohue, Hagan, Klein & Weisberg, P.C.
Laufer, Dalena, Cadicina, Jensen & Boyd, LLC
Nusbaum, Stein, Goldstein, Bronstein & Kron, P.A.
Pallarino & Bogan, L.L.P.
Rosenberg Rich Baker & Company
Rotenberg Meril Solomon Beriger & Gutilla, P.C.
Wiss & Company
Tom and Pat Bracken
Cipolla & Co.
D’Amico Certified Shorthand Reporting
Peter Gilbreth, Esq.
David Pennella, Esq.
Stephen “Skippy” S. Weinstein, Esq.
and Day Pitney Partners:
Mary Lou Parker
We also thank Christopher L. Garibian, Esq. for his generous contribution of the Hole-in-One.