Tom Wells, Stu Liebman, and Jim Jaworski have for many years enjoyed an AV (highest possible) peer review rating from Martindale Hubbell, the granddaddy of all lawyer directories and rating agencies. The firm, as a whole, also enjoys an AV rating. This year Bergen’s own, 201 Magazine, is putting out an issue listing all Martindale Hubbell AV rated attorneys in Bergen County, which will include Tom, Jim and Stuart. Look for this listing and our ad in the May edition of this magazine. Separately, partners, Stuart Liebman and Ken Porro also enjoy the distinction of being named “Super Lawyers” here in New Jersey by the magazine of the same name. Congratulations to all!This past November in New York City, partner, Jim Delia, received the Caribbean Sunshine Award for his humanitarian efforts in Haiti. Billed the “Grammies of the Caribbean,” the Sunshine Awards recognize those who have made a positive contribution to bring focus and attention to the Caribbean. This year, for the fifth time, Jim will lead a team of coaches running a soccer camp in Haiti for young men and women, co-sponsored by the Ridgewood YMCA, and the YMCA d’Haiti.
Our firm’s work in Haiti also includes Tom Wells’ efforts through the Ridgewood YMCAWorld Service Committee which he Chairs, and the Wells Mountain Foundation of which he is President. Last year, the two organizations joined together to build the first ever, “Container YMCA” in LaBoule, Haiti. This Y was built utilizing two containers which were among the twelve sent to Haiti through local efforts to send materials and clothes after the 2010 earthquake. Tom will be leading another team this year to build the second Container YMCA, this time using three containers and an improved design. The new Container YMCA will be in Croix Des Bouquets. For more information on this work go to the Wells Mountain website at www.wellsmountainfoundation.org.
Partner, Stuart Liebman, continues to serve as the Co-Chairperson of the Land Use Section of the Bergen County Bar Association. His Section recently completed the presentation of its 22nd annual seminar for planning and zoning board members. The State of New Jersey Department of Community Affairs has licensed this Section of the Bar Association as one of only 3 programs in the state of New Jersey where planning and zoning board members can obtain their mandatory course training and certification as a board member. Stuart has also just been reappointed to serve a three year term as a member of the President’s Council at the Valley Hospital.
We are happy to welcome new Associate, Spencer Rothwell, who recently joined us, bringing our attorneys to 14 total. Spencer is a graduate of Lehigh University and of Rutgers Law School. He will practice in the Land Use, Litigation, and Real Estate areas.
About every five years, it is necessary for us to completely upgrade not only our software, but computer hardware at the office. Our Office Administrator, Marcia Geller, works with partner/CFO Tom Wells on this project, but Marcia does most of the work! This year the new computers arrived in October, and with two weeks of training, were put to use immediately. The happy news is that we have been able to find a home for all of the hardware now “used”….but not necessarily “used up.” Mount Abraham Regional High School located in Bristol, Vermont, took a small truckload of equipment from us which included thirty-six desktop computers, monitors, keyboards, etc. and through the efforts of staff and a class of young high school techies, refurbished the computers and they are now utilized at the school. Everybody wins……and we love this!
Partner, Jim Jaworski, is serving on the Advisory Board of the Anisfield Business School of Ramapo College and is also on the College Round Table. Partner, AnnMarie Palermo-Smits, serves as Chair of the Estate Planning Council of our client, Children’s Aid and Family Services. She is also on a similar council at the New York Hospital, Cornell Weill Medical College. She was recently a guest lecturer at a National Business Institute program on Estate Planning for the Disabled.
Partner, Ken Porro, likes to use his legal talents not just in the courtroom, but in the classroom. Ken has been helping to coach the Lyndhurst High School 2012 Mock Trial Team. How are they doing Ken? They look pretty happy in the picture! Ken Porro also reports great results on the tax appeals with our 250 appeals in process and over $600,000 in tax reductions received in 2011.
We have some happy news to report on the home fronts. Of Counsel, Lisa Aljian, became the First Lady of River Edge, when, in last fall’s election, her husband, Sandy Moscaritolo, was elected Mayor. Both report that they are enjoying their new positions. Meals on Wheels continues to be a great project for our office with full responsibility for meals delivered 2 days each month by our office volunteers Andrew Kohut, Stuart Liebman, James Delia, Rhonda Robinson, Fran Mezzatesta, Tom Wells, AnnMarie Palermo-Smits, Nicole Russak, Doreen Brothers, and Mary Lotito.
One of the ways children of our attorneys find out what their parents do during the day, is we have them come to work for us during their high school, college, and sometimes, graduate school years. Stuart and Arlene Liebman’s oldest son, Matthew, one of our “ex-employees,” is just completing the second year of a five year doctoral program in psychology at Long Island University. Matt has just accepted a placement for his third year externship at Tomorrow’s Children’s Institute in Hackensack. Amerger of a more personal sort is on tap for Matt this October as well, (He will be marrying Nicole Osit on October 13th). Tom and Carol Wells’ youngest daughter, Carlyn, who has worked at our office this year between clinical placements, has now finished her six year doctoral program at Northeastern University, and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Daughter, Jordyn, is dividing her time between being Management Fellow in Columbia University’s International Counseling Master’s program and helping to run the Shining Hope for Communities Girl School in Nairobi, Kenya. She literally goes back and forth, and will be in Africa for a total of 5 months this year.
Partner, Darrell Felsenstein’s daughter, Marleigh, plays on her high school softball team and is an active member in the Reflections Teen Theater Group. Darrell’s son, Max, continues to excel both on the field and in the classroom, as he plays for his school baseball team, as well as a very competitive club team. Kyle, son of Partner, Ken Porro, was elected as his Junior Class President at Indian Hills High School and his brother, Konnor, is enjoying his French class at Eisenhower Middle School, which is traveling to Quebec, in May. Partner, Jim
Delia’s daughter, Kali, continues to pursue her interests in music and theater. Kali is a member of the Saddle River Youth Theater’s Teen Repertory where she recently starred as Hedy LaRue in its production of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. She also recently appeared in her school’s production of the Wedding Singer. Partner, Jim Jaworski’s son Michael, now 12, is rumored to be very likely to be soon beating Dad down the hill on his snowboard. Go Michael! You can probably tell we are all proud of our kids!