Noteworthy Winter 2009 – 2010

The lawyers of WJ&L remain busy in both professional and civic pursuits. Here are some highlights:
Far from the office, Partner, Jim Delia, returned to Haiti this summer….this time for two weeks….bringing along Associate, Andrew Kohut, for a week as part of the Ridgewood YMCA’s partnership with the YMCA D’Haiti. Jim and Andrew served as coaches, Jim running the whole program. Their willingness to give up their time, and talents, for a bunch of really deserving young men, and a few women, made us all proud. Take a few minutes to read Jim Delia’s article in this issue of Legal Update about his experience. Jim also signed for another semester as an Adjunct Professor at Ramapo College, teaching Business Law. Andrew has recently gotten involved in the Children’s Therapy Center in Fair Lawn.

Partner, Tom Wells, who heads up the Ridgewood YMCA World Service Committee and godfathered the Haiti partnership many years ago, returned to Haiti twice this year; once to open a new YMCA and libraries underwritten by the Wells Mountain Foundation, and the second time to celebrate with Jim, the final tournament and award ceremony of the soccer program. Tom also reports that the Wells Mountain Foundation, with support from many of those reading this newsletter, and others, achieved a milestone that in this school year they will have 31 WMF Scholars receiving scholarships from Haiti, Ghana, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Columbia, Macedonia and Peru.

Also on the civic front, but much closer to home, Partner, Stuart Liebman, was our first office volunteer in the Meals on Wheels program run by his Paramus Rotary Club. When the Paramus Sunrise Rotary Club joined the effort, Partner, Tom Wells, who is a member of this new Rotary Club, solicited more help and our regular Meals on Wheels volunteers now include, not just Tom and Stuart, but Partner, AnnMarie Palermo-Smits; “Of Counsel,” Lisa Aljian; Associate, Nicole Cleenput; Bookkeeper, Rhonda; and TT&E Secretary, Doreen. A few other staff people have recently signed up to be substitutes. An hour and a half of delivering meals a few times a month, produces some wonderful smiles and “thank yous.” Stuart also volunteers at Eva’s Village in Paterson and continues as President of Arts Power. Partner, Jim Jaworski, remains active in Bergen Highlands Rotary and serves as a Director of West Bergen Mental Healthcare.

On the professional front “Of Counsel,” Lisa Aljian and Associate, Jill Rosenfeld, continue to be active in the Hudson-Bergen Inns of Court for Transactional Counsel. Lisa is the Program Coordinator for the Inns of Court and Jill reports that she recently made presentations on minority Shareholder Oppression and Joint Ventures. Jill is also the Co-Chair of the Ad Journal Committee for the Paramus Education Foundation for its annual “Dream Awards” Gala.

Partner, Darrell Felsenstein, continues as a Trustee for the Bergen County Bar Association, and is now entering his second year as the Vice President of the Glen Rock Baseball Association, where he also serves as the head of the Travel Baseball Program. Partner, AnnMarie Palermo-Smits, has been busy making presentations on Estate Planning; at the National Business Institute in June, TD Bank in Ramsey in July, and First Bank in Morgansville in August. Lisa Aljian was a presenter at the Institute of the “New Jersey Organization and Sale of Small Businesses” for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Education. Stuart Liebman remains Chair of the annual Bar Association training for local board members.

On the Municipal front, Partner, Stuart Liebman, continues to be attorney for the Glen Rock Planning Board, “Of Counsel,” Lisa Aljian, as attorney for the River Edge Board of Adjustment, and Partner, Ken Porro, for the Lyndhurst Board of Education where he has recently addressed some interesting shared services issues with local, County, and State agencies as well as addressing Teacher/Administrators negotiations in an extremely difficult economic climate. Tom Wells serves on the other side of the table in Bristol, Vermont, where he continues as Chair for the local Planning Commission. Tom reports it is a tough job, since he has to report to Bristol’s Mayor, who this year (up there they call it Chairperson of the Selectboard) is his wife, Carol. Sounds a little like Mayberry! Tom also recently joined the Advisory Board of the Bergen Community College Non-Profit Institute for Philanthropy and Leadership and was a speaker at it’s recent symposium.

Perhaps our biggest out of the office recent accomplishment is by our newest attorney, Sylvia Hall, who joined the firm in January. Sylvia left at the beginning of September for maternity leave, and she and her husband, Paul, welcomed new daughter Adelle September 4th. Mother and daughter are doing well. Many of you know our office has two “Jims”. We also have a “Sylvia” and a “Sylvianne.” Sylvianne, known to many of you as Stuart Liebman’s secretary, also was out on maternity leave this year, now back in the office and doing double-duty, taking care of now 4 month old, Jackson, as well as Stuart.

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