Summer  2017 
Second Annual Summer Soiree Success

Volunteer Lawyer for Justice's second annual Summer Soiree was a huge success, raising awareness and funding for VLJ's Children's Representation Program (CRP).  Hosted by VLJ's Generation Now Young Professionals Committee, the event was attended by almost 100 professionals at the Essex Fells Country Club on June 8, 2017 and featured an impassioned speech by exemplary volunteer Michael Malia.

Gemma Giantomasi, a Member of Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi PC and VLJ Trustee, has chaired the Generation Now Committee for the past two years.  She cited the Generation Now Committee members as the key to this year's success.  She said, "VLJ is such an amazing organization and the opportunities that VLJ and its volunteers provide for underprivileged clients in so many different areas of law are unparalleled."

Welcoming New Board Members

Retired Judge Patricia Costello, Esq. is of counsel at Chiesa, Shahinian & Giantomasi P.C. in West Orange, NJ. She served more than 25 years as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge, including as the Presiding Judge in Essex County Family Court. She concentrates her practice on mediation and arbitration of civil chancery and matrimonial matters. 
William Krovatin, Esq. is Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Merck & Co., Inc. in Kenilworth, NJ, where he specializes in intellectual property law.
Mary Frances Palisano, Esq. is the Director of Criminal Defense as well as the Pro Bono Coordinator at Gibbons, P.C. in Newark, NJ. She is a longtime VLJ volunteer and has been handling criminal cases for about 20 years and focuses her practice on criminal defense, juvenile proceedings, school discipline matters, and special education. She also serves as the Chair of the firm's Pro Bono Committee.
Geoffrey Rosamond, Esq. is a partner and former chairman of the Pro Bono Committee at McCarter & English, LLP, in Newark, NJ. He is a longtime VLJ volunteer and practices criminal defense and commercial litigation where he represents corporations and individuals in a broad array of criminal and regulatory investigations and proceedings. 
JUST ONE Campaign Highlights Legal Community Generosity

VLJ stands up for justice, and New Jersey's legal community proved their commitment to ensuring that access to justice is available to all with their support of VLJ's JUST ONE campaign.  Through the generous contributions of individual attorneys and legal staff and led by Gibbons P.C. and McCarter & English LLP, VLJ's 2017 JUST ONE campaign raised over $21,000 to assist low-income New Jersey residents with their civil legal needs. 

 Generous JUST ONE Donors

Individual Donors
Larry Lesnik
Kari and Ka Abrahamson Norbi Matos
Yonette Adams Scott McCleary
Mark Anania Susan McGahan
Gina Anton Diane McKay
Maria Adelaide Antunes Sheldon Misher
Guillermo Artiles Frank Montgomery
Anthony and Diane Bartell Michelle Movahed
Robert B. Bourne Bonnie Murch
David Broderick Natasha Obrien
Carol Brokaw Tricia O'Reilly
D. Brooks and M. Killian Mary Frances Palisano and Andrew Provence
Corinne Cerrati and Richard Myslinski Alyse Pashman
Louis and Andrea Bruno Chiafullo Susanne Peticolas and Henry Plotkin
R.J. Conway Loren Pierce
Angela Coxe and Steven Berkowitz Stephen Ravin
Alex Daniel Linda and Guy Restivo
Katie Daniel Ryan Richman and Anastasia Latsos
Mark and Yvonne Daniel Anthony Risalvato
Ryan Daniel Geoffrey Rosamond
Rita and Kevin Danylchuk Karen and Eric Sacks
Brenda Davis Margaret Saldana
Bernadette Decelle Damian and Sarah Santomauro
Thomas Doherty Karl Jay and Yvonne Santy
Donald Dominguez Charlotte Schoendorf
Sigrid Franzblau Aliza Sherman
Irv Freilich Peter Sluka
Avram Frey and Kristin Stangl Dave and Randi Sorin
Michael Friscia Divya Srivastav-Seth
Eliza Fromberg Kaitlyn Stone
Johanna Genao Emma Szilniczky
Jeannine Gerin Elsa Todd
Gemma Giantomasi Danielle Traylor
Noreen Giblin Elias Vargas
Maureen Gilligan Frank Vecchione
Emily Goldberg Alvin Weiss
Lawrence and Cynthia Goldman Rosemarie Williams
Karen Golubieski Romano Sheryl Williamson
Laura Gomes Christina Wilson
Michael Griffinger
Alyce and Theodore Halchak Firm Donors
Victor Hernandez Bevan, Mosca & Giuditta, P.C.
Debra Kaufman Brach Eichler LLC
Pam Keyl Duane Morris LLP
Suzanne Klar and Marc Brummer Saul Ewing LLP
W Craig Knaup Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler

Spotlight on Service: Eduardo Santiago-Acevedo

Nearly 40,000 people face eviction each year in Essex County.  The number seems overwhelming, but as Eduardo Santiago-Acevedo explains, even if attorneys can assist only a small percentage of families, "for those individuals, it means everything in the world."

Eduardo, Vice President and Regulatory Counsel with Prudential Financial's Enterprise Regulatory Law Group, manages the Tenants Facing Eviction Clinic (Tenancy Clinic or Clinic), in collaboration with VLJ and Lowenstein Sandler.  The monthly Clinic, located in the Landlord Tenant courthouse, provides free legal assistance to low-income tenants in Essex County facing eviction.

Meet VLJ's Newest  Staff Member: 
Joselyn Chavez

Joselyn joined VLJ in June as a Legal Assistant. She helps support the Divorce Program, the Bankruptcy Program, and the New Jersey Trafficking Victims Legal Assistance Program. She is proficient in Spanish and works with VLJ's Spanish speaking clients. Before joining VLJ, Joselyn interned at a women's rights advocacy group in India where she gained substantial research and writing experience, while also gaining experience in the non-profit world. She also attained extensive communication experience working for a law firm and various retail establishments. Joselyn graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a BA in Law and Society and a minor in Criminology.
A Huge Thank You to Our Summer Interns

VLJ is grateful for the hard work and dedication of our summer interns.  

Khushbu Solanki (top left) is a rising 3L at Rutgers Law School - Camden and worked on the Veterans Legal Program and Trafficking Victims Legal Assistance Program.   Molly Hopkins (top right) is a rising 2L at Rutgers Law School - Newark and worked on the Bankruptcy Program, Reentry Legal Services (ReLeSe) Program, and Disaster Legal Response Program.  Rachael Segal (bottom left) is a rising 2L at Rutgers Law School - Newark and worked with the Child Support Program, Divorce Program, and Children's Representation Program. Mark Ygarza (bottom right) is a rising 2L at Seton Hall University School of Law and worked on the Tenancy Program and Consumer Law Program.  

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