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Edward Schoifet Family Law Award
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Bill Brigiani to Receive
2014 Edward Schoifet Family Law Award

In recognition of his contributions to the practice of Family Law, William G. Brigiani has been awarded the 2014 Edward Schoifet Family Law Award presented by the Family Law Section of the Middlesex County Bar Association at the January 22, 2013 General Membership Dinner Meeting held at The Pines Manor in Edison.

The Schoifet Award, the highest honor presented by the Family Law Section, commemorates the legacy of Edward Schoifet who passed away in 2006. Ed was considered the dean of the Middlesex County Family Bar and was recognized as a role model for all family law practitioners.

The Award is presented annually to a Family Law Practitioner who has been engaged in the practice for 15 years or more and who exemplifies those principles by which Ed practiced family law:  maintaining knowledge of past and present case law to advise clients thoroughly; analyzing the facts of each case in detail and diligently applying the law to those facts; presenting the issues and applicable law to the client in a manner appropriate to the client’s understanding; making purposeful efforts to settle the issues in fair and reasonable terms before resorting to litigation; fostering respect and courtesy for the bench and fellow attorneys; maintaining highest standards of integrity and professionalism; and exhibiting leadership in the Middlesex County or State Bar Association.

Bill has been chosen by his colleagues to receive this award in honor of his long career as an accomplished family law attorney known for his advocacy for his clients while maintaining an attitude of fairness with his adversaries and courtesy and professionalism in all circumstances. In representing his clients, Bill draws on his long career in family law which exceeds 48 years. Whether in the courtroom or in discussion with his colleagues, Bill brings his rich vocabulary and his flair for the dramatic in discussing the elements of the case and in advocating for his client’s position.

Bill received his B.A. degree from Dartmouth College and became the New Hampshire State Golden Gloves Boxing Champion in the light heavy weight division in 1959. He served twelve years of active and reserve duty in the U.S. Navy attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander and completing his service in the Navy in 1971. After his military service, Bill received his J.D. degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark in 1964.

From 1980 to the present time Bill has been a partner in the firm Brigiani & Cohen, L.L.C. in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Bill is an active member of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the Middlesex County Bar Association and was elected President of the Middlesex County Bar Association for the 1986-87 term. He has served on the Middlesex County Bar Foundation and as President for the 1993-94 term, and the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, and he was a Trustee of the State Bar Foundation from 2003 – 2011.

Bill was an active participant as a Bencher in the Joseph Halpern Inn of Court from 1994 to 2002 and as a Master of the Bench with the Central Jersey Family Law Inn of Court from 1996 to 2003. In Middlesex County Bill founded the Mentor Program in 1986 through the Bar Association in which he and other experienced attorneys provide advice and support for new attorneys. Bill mentors in the areas of Criminal law, Family law, and Municipal Court practice.

Bill is a member of the District VIII Ethics Committee and a panelist in the Family Law Early Settlement Program from its inception in 1981. Bill has served on the Assignment Judge’s Committee on Family Law since 1986 and on the Family Law Executive Committee since 2006.

Many organizations have benefited from Bill Brigiani’s very generous pro bono service as counsel and advisor, program presenter, lecturer, and volunteer at legal clinics: Women Aware, Manavi, Central Jersey Legal Services and the Help the Homeless committee which he has chaired since 1987. No Bar Association event takes place without Bill charming donations from the attendees in his large glass jug at the end of the evening. The donations are distributed each year to several homeless shelters in the area.

The Arthur Miller Lawyer Achievement Award was presented to Bill Brigiani in 1991, and he received the David Pavlosky Service to the Bar Award in 2003 from the Middlesex County Bar Association. On May 3, 2006, Justice Coleman presented Bill with the Legal Services of New Jersey Equal Justice Award. Bill has been honored on many occasions by the organizations for whom he has performed pro bono legal services.

Bill resides in South Brunswick, New Jersey, and maintains a fleet of 19 classic automobiles for which he performs the mechanical repairs and body work. Bill serves as the official classic car expert for his colleagues, and is always willing to provide guidance in family law cases involving classic cars. Bill is a devotee of religious and maritime art which he collects as well as antique and ecclesiastical jewelry and military insignia. Bill is known for his authentic costumes which he debuts on special occasions. In his spare time, he is working on increasing his fluency in understanding and speaking French and Italian and plans to add Spanish to his repertoire of languages.

The previous recipients of the Edward Schoifet Award were Charles F. Vuotto, Jr. in 2013, Evelyn M. Hartmann in 2012, Leonard Busch in 2011, Jean Ramatowski in 2010, Manny Gerstein in 2009, John P. Paone, Jr. in 2008, and David Wildstein in 2007.

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Calendar

11/10/2014
Nov 10th Family Law Section Dinner CLE/Meeting

11/13/2014
Nov 13th Elder Law Breakfast CLE

11/14/2014
Nov 14th Board of Trustees Meeting

11/18/2014
Nov 18th Civil/Family Law CLE Seminar

11/19/2014
Nov 19th - Free Screening of "The Borinqueneers"

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