Speaker, New Jersey Press Association, "2022 Annual Membership Meeting"


November 4, 2022 | 11:30 AM - November 4, 2022 | 2:00 PM EST

Featuring: Thomas J. Cafferty

About this event
This year, the NJPA 2022 Annual Membership Meeting will be held on Friday, November 4, 2022, at Forsgate Country Club, Monroe Township, NJ.

The NJPA Nominating Committee will present the proposed Slate of Officers and Directors for 2023 to be voted on by the general membership of the New Jersey Press Association. We’ll also hear remarks from our 2022 NJPA outgoing President, Paul D’Ambrosio as well remarks from the new 2023 NJPA President, Brett Ainsworth.

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS – CJ Griffin – Partner – Pashman Stein Walder Hayden

CJ Griffin is the director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden (Stein Public Interest Center). Established in 2019, the Stein Public Interest Center is dedicated to a broad range of public interest impact litigation and appellate advocacy that advances social, racial, and economic justice; protects civil liberties and constitutional rights; and promotes an open and transparent government.

CJ has extensive experience representing media companies, non-profit organizations and citizens in Open Public Records Act (OPRA) litigations. Several of CJ’s cases have resulted in landmark decisions from the Supreme Court and Appellate Division, including Rivera v. Union County Prosecutor’s Office (police internal affairs records), Libertarians for Transparent Gov’t v. Cumberland County (employee separation agreements), and North Jersey Media Group Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst (dash cams/use of force reports). CJ publishes the Firm’s “OPRA Blog” (www.njopra.com) to keep the public informed about updates in the law and routinely hosts OPRA trainings for community organizations and newsrooms.

Thomas J. Cafferty – Director, Commercial & Criminal Litigation – Gibbons, PC


Cafferty will discuss the case involving Gibbons’ Media Law Group who represents the Asbury Park Press in litigation relating to the release of internal affairs records of the Neptune Township Police Department. The newspaper requested, under both the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and the common law, internal affairs records of former Sgt. Philip Seidle, who had previously pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter after shooting and killing his ex-wife on a public roadway in front of their young daughter.

This case is significant in that the Appellate Division (1) affirmed the trial court’s order of access to internal affairs records despite an Attorney General’s written policy that deems such records confidential; and (2) acknowledged the availability of counsel fees under the common law, absent a statute that provides for fee shifting.

A Q&A session will follow.

Tom Cafferty, who leads the highly respected Media Law Team at Gibbons, has played a significant role in shaping New Jersey’s laws regarding government transparency and public access. He has extensive experience litigating and counseling on First Amendment and media issues and handles some of the most complex and significant matters relating to these issues in New Jersey, addressing, for example:

• Cameras in the courtroom• Invasion of privacy and defamation• Crisis management• The Shield Law• The Open Public Meetings Act• Public notice

Cafferty represents trade organizations, including the New Jersey Press Association, daily and weekly newspapers, television and radio organizations, media personalities, and media insurance companies, as well as clients throughout the business community who face First Amendment or media challenges. Cafferty also serves as General Counsel to the firm.

Cafferty offers exceptional service and focus to media industry clients attempting to operate within the evolving media landscape. He recently chaired a sub-committee of the New Jersey Supreme Court Bench Bar Media Committee that issued a critical report, ultimately adopted by the New Jersey Supreme Court, recommending major changes in the current Guidelines of the Supreme Court regulating the use of electronic devices (such as cameras, laptops, and cell phones) in courtrooms. Cafferty has served as General Counsel for the New Jersey Press Association for over 40 years and has worked with some of the largest news organizations and newspapers throughout the state. Additionally, he served as an Adjunct Professor of Communications Law for the Rutgers School of Communication and Information for more than a decade.