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Gibbons Of Counsel James Zazzali Awarded NJSBF Medal of Honor


June 15, 2010

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation (NJSBF) conferred its highest award, its 2010 Medal of Honor, on James R. Zazzali, Of Counsel to the Gibbons Business & Commercial Litigation Department and retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey. The award was presented at the foundation’s annual awards dinner, held last week at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick.

NJSBF annually awards its Medal of Honor to professionals who have made noteworthy contributions to the improvement of New Jersey’s justice system, the advancement of the legal profession in the state, or the betterment of their broader communities.

Justice Zazzali was named Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court in 2006 by Gov. Jon Corzine, a position he held until stepping down in 2007 at the mandatory retirement age for judges in New Jersey. He was initially appointed to the Court by Gov. Christine Todd Whitman in 2000 and went on to become one of the state’s most admired jurists, exceptionally committed to fairness, especially to children, the elderly, the poor, and workers. Justice Zazzali began his career representing workers in the South as part of the broader, then-nascent civil rights movement. In the 1980s, he was selected by the United States District Court, District of New Jersey, to serve as a monitor for four correctional facilities, to supervise practices and policies and to issue reports on ways to improve conditions; he led this ground-breaking effort for ten years. In addition, he has served as Attorney General of New Jersey and Commissioner and Chair of the State Commission of Investigation.

At Gibbons, Justice Zazzali advises clients on such matters as corporate governance, institutional ethics, internal investigations, appeals, mediation, and arbitration.

Founded in 1958, The New Jersey State Bar Foundation is the charitable and educational Foundation of the New Jersey State Bar Association. Its mission is to foster an increased awareness, appreciation, and knowledge of law and the legal system among New Jersey residents; serve as the statewide resource for law-related education for the public; provide opportunities for lawyers to serve the public through its programs; and foster professionalism and pride in the profession of law through public service. NJSBA undertakes its mission by offering a free, comprehensive public education program. For more information, please see www.njsbf.org.