David F. Broderick, Chairman
Partner, McCarter & English, Newark
David Broderick has been on the board of NJA since its inception and became its chairman in 2016.
David is a partner at one of New Jersey’s biggest and most prestigious firms, where he practices corporate and securities law and is particularly skilled in venture capital and private equity investment transactions. David is co-head of McCarter’s Small Business Investment Company practice, where his record of success includes helping a client obtain one of the first participating securities licenses issued by the Small Business Administration, in 1993.
In addition to his board leadership role with NJA, David was Chairman of the First Occupational Center of New Jersey, a now defunct nonprofit based in Orange. It was the state’s oldest and largest vocational training and job placement agency, serving developmentally disabled, elderly and economically disadvantaged New Jersey residents and their families. He is also a former trustee of the Center for Hospice Care.
He teaches a course in Business Planning as an adjunct professor at Seton Hall Law School and has lectured widely on venture capital and related topics and served as a judge at the annual New Jersey Venture Fair since 1999.
David has repeatedly been recognized as one of the Chambers USA “Leaders in their Field” and listed in Best Lawyers in America and he was chosen as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for 2006.
He is a Rutgers University graduate and obtained his law degree from Harvard Law School.
Conference Producer, Richmond Events (Executive Forums)
Board member Cheryl Fallick has 20 years of conference and conference production experience, and similarly lengthy involvement with nonprofits.
She held positions with the Global Association of Risk Management Professionals, where she produced the association’s annual Convention and other conferences. From the mid-90’s to the mid-00’s, while with another firm, she produced and was responsible for global financial conferences held throughout the U.S. and internationally, in the UK, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, South Africa, Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. Earlier in her career, Fallick was a Business Representative at the Screen Actors Guild for theatrical/television production.
A rent control advocate who resides in Hoboken, Fallick is politically active in her local community where she is a member of the Hoboken Rent Leveling Board and the Hoboken Fair Housing Association (HFHA). She served as Campaign Manager for the HFHA in connection with two successful campaigns to oppose a local ballot initiative that would have weakened rent protections.
Fallick studied acting at the Circle in the Square NYU affiliate acting program. She holds a B.A. in Labor Studies and a Certificate in Labor Relations from Cornell ILR/National Labor College.
Professor, Seton Hall Law School, Newark
Linda E. Fisher’s professional and academic interests link theory and practice. She has taught courses in Land Finance, Professional Responsibility, Gender and the Law and other subjects and her academic work concentrates on the areas of foreclosure and mortgage fraud, and, more broadly, consumer fraud.
Linda is a past Director of Seton Hall’s Center for Social Justice, a pro bono legal clinic serving indigent clients, and she continues to do clinical work, defending borrowers and pursuing a variety of consumer and civil rights claims against lenders and various scammers. She also integrates broader advocacy efforts into her practice and engages in legislative and policy advocacy on behalf of consumer and civil rights groups. She testified before the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing on Robo-signing, Chain of Title and Loss Mitigation Issues and presented at a Federal Trade Commission conference on mortgage fraud.
She has published in the areas of subprime lending and mortgage fraud, civil rights, and public interest litigation, as well as on issues pertaining to the recent financial crisis. Linda is currently a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Special Committee on the Residential Foreclosure Process, and is Co-Chair of the Legislative Solutions Subcommittee.
Linda has been honored as a Network Fellow at the Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard, researching financial institution dysfunction in negotiating mortgage modifications, and as a Bellow Scholar by the American Association of Law Schools, for her research project studying the relationship between vacant urban properties and banks’ abandonment of foreclosures. She has been a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns, and is frequently consulted by the media on related issues. Other past activities include chairing AARP-NJ’s Predatory Lending Task Force and membership on the Newark/Essex Foreclosure Task Force.
Before coming to Seton Hall in 1995, Linda was an Assistant Professor at Penn State-Dickinson Law School. Prior to that, she was a constitutional civil rights lawyer in Chicago and taught at Northwestern Law School. She has an LL.M. from Northwestern University, a J.D. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Macalester College.
Executive VP, St. George’s University Medical School, Grenada
Fred M. Jacobs was New Jersey Commissioner of Health from 2004 through 2008 and President of the State Board of Medical Examiners from 1993-1995. His four years as Commissioner were carved out of his 12-year tenure as Executive Vice President for Medical Affairs at Barnabas Health, from 1996 to 2004 and 2008 to 2012. In 2011, he became Executive VP at St. George’s University in Grenada and Chair of the Department of Medicine.
Among the many honors Fred has received are the UMDNJ Medal for Distinguished Leadership in 2005, and the Peter W. Rodino Citizens Award in 2009. “Dr. Jacobs is an eminent leader, physician, educator, administrator and humanitarian,” said Dr. Paul Hirsch, Chairman of the Excellence in Medicine Foundation.
As Health Commissioner, Dr. Jacobs spearheaded meaningful initiatives which have had an enduring impact on public health. He played a key role in the 2006 enactment of the Smoke Free Air Act, which prohibits smoking in the workplace and indoor public spaces. He also led major statewide initiatives for the management of childhood asthma, diabetes and childhood obesity, as well as efforts to prevent second-hand smoke exposure of children in homes and cars.
Fred received his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, and his medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine. He completed a pulmonary research fellowship at the University of California and a chief residency in pulmonary disease at Kings County Hospital. He is board certified in both internal medicine and pulmonary disease. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Chest Physicians and the American College of Legal Medicine. He was President of the American Lung Association of New Jersey, the NJ Thoracic Society and the NJ Chapter of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Decades after becoming a doctor, he obtained a law degree from Rutgers and passed the bar in New Jersey and Florida. He has never practiced law but his involvement with NJA was inspired by a law school class he took with founder Arthur Kinoy.
Partner, Weissman & Mintz, Somerset
Formerly with the Zazzali firm in Newark, where he represented individuals and entities in labor, employment, administrative, constitutional and election law matters, Flavio Komuves joined Weissman & Mintz in early 2019. The Weissman firm, which describes itself as “committed to bettering the lives of working people through collective bargaining, legal challenges and social action,” represents unions, employees and social justice organizations.
A good part of Flavio’s legal career has been devoted to public service. As a Deputy Public Advocate, he led the State’s voting rights program, and he has gone to court to protect voting rights both in his private practice and as senior counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey. He played a key role in reforming the Newark Police Department, through his work on a petition filed by the ACLU-NJ with the U.S. Department of Justice in 2010, which ultimately led to a 2016 consent decree. The decree requires new policies and training to end unconstitutional practices, use of body and car cameras, community oversight and strengthened Internal Affairs procedures, among other measures. Flavio has also gone to court to vindicate the right of public access to court records.
A member of the NJ Appleseed board since 2011, he also volunteers as Chair of the Election Law Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association, and was appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to the Advisory Committee on Extrajudicial Activities.
Flavios is a graduate of Rutgers University and Seton Hall University School of Law.
Partner, Cohen, Placitella & Roth, Red Bank
Christopher Placitella’s legal career, like his support for NJA, has been shaped by his notion of the role of the lawyer in our society. In his view, the lawyer stands between those who abuse power– be it government, corporate or judicial power—and the individuals at the receiving end of that abuse, a role exemplified by lawyers throughout history, including John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Clarence Darrow and Robert Kennedy.
Chris has devoted his career to representing individuals injured by defective products and drugs, toxic substances, and environmental damage and helping obtain justice for them and their families. With a nationwide reputation as a mass tort lawyer, he is best known for his advocacy on behalf of asbestos plaintiffs and helped establish a national asbestos litigation group dedicated to representing individuals suffering from asbestos-related diseases.
He has advised labor unions and consumer organizations across the country on occupational safety and health related issues, and educated the public on injuries caused by asbestos, defective drugs, and other toxic substances. He is Editor in Chief of the New Jersey Mass Tort & Class Action Treatise.
Placitella has received local, regional, and national recognition. For example, he has been selected by his peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America and designated a New Jersey Super Lawyer every year since 2005. Among other honors, he received the National Trial Lawyers Association’s Clarence Darrow Award and was named a member of the “Roundtable: America’s 100 Most Influential Trial Lawyers.”
He serves as counsel to Consumers for Civil Justice and volunteers with other consumer advocacy groups. He is also a founder of the Veterans Transition Initiative and is a trustee of Holidays for the Homeless and Underprivileged. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, he spearheaded an effort to provide modular homes and legal help to residents of Union Beach, NJ, which was devastated by the storm. Similarly, as part of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, he helped organize national pro bono effort to provide free legal assistance for families who lost loved ones in the tragedy.
Placitella holds a B.S. from Fordham University and a J.D. from Syracuse University Law School.
Attorney, Township of Wayne
As Assistant Township Attorney for the Township of Wayne, Lisa Scorsolini provides legal counsel to the Mayor, Council and Administration, drafts ordinances and resolutions, reviews contracts, and ensures compliance with the various state laws that govern New Jersey municipalities, such as the Open Public Records Act, Open Public Meetings Act, Local Public Contracts Law, Faulkner Act, and the Municipal Land Use Law.
Prior to her job with Wayne, Lisa was an Assistant Prosecutor/Deputy Attorney General for the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, where she worked in the Domestic Violence and Trial Divisions, and appeared regularly before the Criminal and Family Divisions of the Superior Court of New Jersey, as well as the Appellate Division.
Before becoming a lawyer, Lisa enjoyed a career in international development, managing multi-faceted USAID and Department of State-funded projects in business support and NGO development. She worked for six years overseas in Armenia and Georgia for International Executive Service Corps and Counterpart International, respectively, following her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer (Armenia, 1997-99). She joined the Peace Corps after working for the Port Authority of NY & NJ as an International Marketing Manager with the World Trade Institute at the World Trade Center.
Lisa became involved with NJ Appleseed through her work with PLANewark, which began in 2012. She currently serves as PLANewark’s Treasurer, a position she also holds on her condominium association board. In addition, she chairs the Project Support Committee for the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers of New Jersey and sits on the Johns Hopkins Alumni Association NYC Chapter Planning Committee.
Lisa is a graduate of Seton Hall University Law School where she served as Managing Editor of the Seton Hall Circuit Review. She received her BA degree from Johns Hopkins University, double-majoring in International Studies and Hispanic and Italian Studies. She speaks Armenian and Italian, as well as English.
University Professor of Law and Dean Emeritus, Rutgers University
Rayman Solomon was Dean of Rutgers University Law School in Camden from 1998 to 2014, when he became its first Provost and subsequently a Law Professor and Dean Emeritus in the newly merged (with Rutgers-Newark) Rutgers Law School.
During his 16 years as Dean, Ray hired over one-third of the current faculty, significantly expanded clinical and pro bono programs, redesigned the curriculum and oversaw an addition to and renovation of the original law school building. His innovations included creating classes that combined clinical and writing experiences and doctrinal and trial advocacy or transactional skills. His deanship saw the strengthening of the student experience, through establishment of two additional journals and an increased emphasis on alumni activity led to the successful completion of two capital campaigns and the involvement of more alumni in the life of the school.
Ray’s areas of research are the history of the American legal profession, the history of judicial ethics, and federal court history. He is co-editor of two books: In the Interest of Children: Advocacy, Law Reform and Public Policy and Lawyers’ Ideals and Lawyers’ Practices: Professionalism and The Transformation of the American Legal Profession, and he has published several articles. He teaches courses in American Legal History and Trusts and Estates.
Before coming to Rutgers-Camden, Ray was an Associate Dean at Northwestern University School of Law and Associate Director and a Research Fellow at the American Bar Foundation, where he was also editor of the Foundation’s Research Journal. In addition, he was a Bigelow Fellow at the University of Chicago, where he taught legal research and writing.
In addition to his NJ Appleseed board role, Ray is on the Advisory Board of the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia. A native Arkansan, Ray is a past chair of the Goldring/Woldenberg Institute of Southern Jewish Life, based in Jackson, Mississippi.
He has a B.A. from Wesleyan University and a J.D. and Ph.D. in American Legal History from the University of Chicago. He served as Director of the Seventh Circuit History Project and published A History of the United States Court of Appeals, 1891-1941 (Government Printing Office, 1981).
Executive Director, New Jersey Appleseed
Renée Steinhagen has been executive director of New Jersey Appleseed since the mid-1990s, when she helped Arthur Kinoy, the famed civil rights attorney, in founding the organization. Under her leadership, NJA has made a difference in a variety of areas such as protecting the environment, strengthening voting rights, defeating privatization of public infrastructure, expanding access to health care, standing up for the rights of those who live in common ownership associations, and blocking land use practices that are unsustainable and harmful to the community, among others.
In doing so, she has partnered with the ACLU-NJ, NAACP-NJ, NJ Citizen Action, Rutgers Constitutional Litigation Clinic, the NJ Sierra Club and Pinelands Preservation Alliance and other environmental and community groups. Since 2009, Renée has represented NJA on the leadership team of the New Jersey for Healthcare Coalition, which is focused on issues arising from implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. She played a similar role with the Help America Vote Act, chairing a 30-member plus coalition formed to aid implementation of that 2002 law. She also currently serves on the Board of the Greater Newark Health Care Coalition, which has established a Medicaid Accountable Care Organization or ACO in downtown Newark, and was a founding member of the Campaign to Protect Community Healthcare, which focused for a period of four years on protecting the public during hospital closings or sales. PLANewark, which advocates for responsible development in NJA’s home city, grew out of Renée’s efforts to assist a group of Newark residents in opposing the expansion of surface parking lots in the City and they continue to work closely together.
Renée’s advocacy has been recognized repeatedly over the years. Among other honors, she has received the 2016 Riparian Award for her efforts on behalf of Hoboken’s Fund for a Better Waterfront, the Evanoff-Schucter award for Organizing, presented by NJ Citizen Action, and the Mary Philbrook Public Interest Law Award, bestowed by Rutgers Law School in Camden.
She has authored or co-authored a number of publications for NJA, including Surprise Medical Bills: What they are and how to stop them,” The Database Dilemma: Has New Jersey met best practices of implementing the Statewide Voter Registration System?” and Where Do Our Children Play: The Importance and Design of School Yards.
Before establishing NJA, Renée, a New York City resident, practiced labor law there, with Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, and later in New Jersey, with Ball Livingston in Newark. In addition, she spent two years as a Housing Analyst at the Community Service Society, which fights poverty and inequality in New York City. Her long interest in health care issues includes participation in a year-long examination of the health and economic needs of New Jersey’s uninsured as a member of the Department of Banking and Insurance’s Healthcare Coverage Task Force, Committee on the Uninsured, to which she was appointed by the Governor in 2003.
Renee graduated magna cum laude from Williams College with a B.A. in Politics and obtained her J.D. at the University of Chicago. She also has an M.P.A. from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where she studied on a Rockefeller Public Service Fellowship.
Mary Pat Gallagher
Law and Public Policy Blog
Mary Pat Gallagher joined us following 15 years as an award-winning reporter at the New Jersey Law Journal. There, she covered a broad range of law-related topics with a particular emphasis on government transparency and accountability and the workings of the state and federal court systems.
Her most recent journalistic award came shortly before she left the Law Journal, in 2015, when the New Jersey Press Association recognized her for a series of 2014 articles about the threat to judicial independence presented by the possibility that Governor Chris Christie might not reappoint Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.
Before becoming a journalist, Mary Pat was a litigator at New York’s Townley & Updike and Haight Gardner Poor & Havens, among other firms. Her practice encompassed employment law, open records law, product liability, intellectual property, bankruptcy and admiralty. In addition, she worked at Matthew Bender & Co., editing law books on a variety of topics including Copyright Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Administrative Law and Business Associations.
She served on the board of New Jersey Peace Action for almost 10 years and before starting at the Law Journal, was volunteer intake coordinator for the ACLU-NJ.
A native New Yorker who moved to New Jersey in 1994, Mary Pat is a graduate of Cornell University Law School and has an undergraduate degree in English from Princeton University.
Website Design and Administration
Myles Zhang is an undergraduate student at Columbia and at Oxford University, majoring in the History & Theory of Architecture. His academic studies and independent research focus on architectural and urban history, with a particular interest in the causes of urban decay and its consequences on the built-environment. He has technical expertise in computer simulations, website design, photoshop, computer modeling, and interactive mapping. Myles was born in Newark, NJ and is a proud citizen of this city and frequent activist on issues including water privatization, land use, zoning, and historic preservation. Myles hopes to convey his knowledge and passion for cities through community activism, the digital humanities, and art projects. More about Myles can be found on his personal website.