James R. Zazzali Named Ethics Counsel to Gubernatorial Transition


November 15, 2017

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Governor-elect Phil Murphy today announced his appointment of James R. Zazzali, Of Counsel at Gibbons P.C. and former Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court, to serve as ethics counsel to Transition2018.

In this role, Mr. Zazzali will ensure transparency in the transitional campaign’s operations and compliance with state ethics laws on the part of all gubernatorial transition staff, committees, and volunteers. Gary Stein, a former Associate Justice on the New Jersey Supreme Court, was also appointed as ethics counsel to Transition2018.

“James Zazzali has a lengthy and highly regarded history of civic engagement and dedicated service to the state of New Jersey,” says Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons. “Those of us at the firm are well aware of the exceptional qualifications that Governor-elect Murphy clearly recognized in appointing him to the transition team.”

“I am honored that Justices Zazzali and Stein will be ensuring that my transition lives up to the highest standards of ethics and transparency, and will set the tone for my administration,” said Murphy. “They are giants in the law community and are respected statewide. Their leadership and guidance will be invaluable.”

Mr. Zazzali joined Gibbons in 2007, after retiring from the bench. He had served on the Supreme Court for over six years, and had written more than 100 opinions, before he was named Chief Justice in 2006. At Gibbons, Mr. Zazzali advises clients on such matters as corporate governance, institutional ethics, internal investigations, appeals, mediation, and arbitration. Prior to his service on the bench, Mr. Zazzali had served as, among other positions, general counsel for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority, Chairman of the New Jersey State Commission of Investigation, New Jersey Attorney General, and Chief of the Appeals Division of the Office of the Essex County Prosecutor. Mr. Zazzali is a past recipient of both the Sidney H. Lehman Award from the New Jersey State Bar Association and the Medal of Honor Award from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, as well as the Roger N. Baldwin Award from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of New Jersey and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Jersey Law Journal.