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Board of Trustees | Past Presidents

Eugene Wishnic
Wishnic & Jerushalmy
146 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

New Jersey native and partner in the firm of Wishnic & Jerushalmy, Eugene Wishnic earned his JD in 1992 from the Rutgers School of Law in Camden. In 1997 he opened a solo practice on Bayard Street in New Brunswick and in October 2015 opened the doors of his present office on Livingston Avenue.

His practice is primarily focused on representing accident victims in Superior and Workers Compensation Court and defendants in both Municipal and Superior Court. Since becoming an attorney in 1992, Eugene has developed a fluency in Spanish that has allowed him to better serve his client base among the local Latin community.

Eugene is a member of the Middlesex County Bar Association, New Jersey State Bar Association, Middlesex County Trial Lawyers’ Association (MCTLA), New Brunswick Bar Association, American Association for Justice, New Jersey Association for Justice, and is a contributor to NJ-PAC. He also serves as an Officer of the Middlesex County Trial Lawyers Association, participates in the Rutgers University Student Legal Services/MCBA Attorney Referral Program and has served as a judge of the finals of the Regional High School Mock Trial competition for the past two years.


He looks forward to again serving on the Executive Board of the MCBA and continuing to promote the strength and growth of the Association and the members it serves.

Edward Testino
121 Highway 34
Matawan, NJ 07747

Ed is a solo practitioner in the Township of Old Bridge and concentrates his practice on trial work, including personal injury, family law and municipal court. He received his JD from Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1984 and he received an LLM in Securities Regulation in May 1985 from Georgetown University School of Law. Ed is an alumnus of the University of Delaware where he received his BA degree. He is also admitted to the New York and D.C. Bars.

Ed is a Past President of the Middlesex County Bar Foundation. In addition, he is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, NJSBA Family Law Section and American Inns of Court. He has taught continuing legal education courses and lectured at trade associations on legal topics.

Ed has served in many capacities in his community, including serving sixteen years on the Old Bridge Town Council and 30 years as a member of the Old Bridge/Sayreville Rotary Club. As a member of his local Rotary Club, Ed helped support various local charities and he is a recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award for his service.

John F. Gillick
First Vice President
Rainone, Coughlin & Minchello
555 US Highway 1 South
Suite 440
Iselin, NJ 08830

John F. “Jack” Gillick is a Partner at Rainone, Coughlin & Minchello and concentrates his practice on the litigation of employment, civil rights, and personal injury claims on behalf of public entities and their employees.

A Past President of the Middlesex County Bar Foundation, Jack was recently named Secretary for the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and also serves as Vice President and Legal Counsel for the Boy Scouts of America, Monmouth Council. He has been named a “Super Lawyer” by New Jersey Monthly magazine since 2009 in the area of employment law and has argued and won appeals before both the New Jersey Supreme Court and Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Counsel of record on numerous opinions, Jack is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, is a former Trustee for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, and is also a member of the New Jersey, New Brunswick, and American Bar Associations.

Jack received his Juris Doctor from Seton Hall University in 2001, where he was Articles Editor for the Legislative Journal, President of the Irish American Law Students Association, a Senator of the Student Bar Association, and an intern for the New Jersey State Assembly’s Democratic Office and the Hon. Rosemary K. Reavey. He thereafter served as Law Clerk to the Hon. Jack L. Lintner, former Presiding Judge of the Superior Court, Appellate Division.

Megha R. Thakkar
Second Vice President

Hill Wallack, LLP
21 Roszel Road
Princeton, NJ 08540

Megha is Counsel in the Princeton office of Hill Wallack LLP, where she is a member of the firm’s Family Law practice group.  She represents clients in all aspects of matrimonial and family law, including divorce litigation, mediation, and arbitration, custody and parenting time issues, alimony and child support disputes, post-judgment applications, marital settlement agreements, prenuptial agreements, and domestic violence litigation.  Megha is also a qualified mediator in family law matters pursuant to R. 1:40 and serves as a Matrimonial Early Settlement Panelist in Middlesex and Somerset Counties.

Megha served as Trustee of the MCBA from 2011 to 2018 and Secretary last year. In January 2016, Megha received the Martin S. Goldin Family Law Award from the MCBA. She is also a Co-Chair of the Association's Diversity Committee. This year, Megha was named as a New Leader of the Bar by the New Jersey Law Journal. 

Additionally, Megha is a member of the NJSBA and Somerset and Mercer County Bar Associations. She is a Barrister for the Aldona E. Appleton Family Law Inn of Court.  Megha is also a member of both the South Asian Bar Association of NJ and the Asian Pacific Lawyers Association of NJ. She also serves on the District VIII Ethics Committee.  Megha was selected for inclusion on the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars for Family Law for the last six consecutive years.

Prior to entering private practice, Megha served as a Judicial Law Clerk to Hon. Andrea G. Carter, JSC, in the Superior Court of NJ, Family Part, Middlesex County.  She is admitted to practice in NJ and NY. Megha earned her JD from St. John’s University School of Law, where she was a St. Thomas More Scholar, and her BA from New York University.

Marc S. Gaffrey

Hoagland Longo et. al.
40 Paterson Street
PO Box 480
New Brunswick, NJ 08903

Marc is the Supervising Partner of the Environmental & Toxic Tort Litigation Department at Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas in New Brunswick. With a background in biochemistry, Marc has been able to apply his unique knowledge of the scientifically complex world of toxic tort litigation to cases in asbestos litigation, toxic tort, mass tort and environmental matters over his 31-year career.  He is also one of only a few attorneys in the nation who is a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.

Marc handles toxic tort, mass tort and environmental litigation matters throughout New York, New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania. He also serves as National Coordinating Counsel for multiple manufacturers, where he coordinates the defense of all toxic tort matters, particularly asbestos, talc, silica and benzene throughout the country, including overseeing litigation, strategy and trial, managing files, negotiating major settlements, hiring local counsel and retaining experts.

Marc has also litigated numerous environmental matters involving fuel oil discharge, hazardous waste, Superfund site construction and remediation, and landfill clean-up. In particular, he assisted in the defense of the significant Ayers v. Township of Jackson case, and was lead trial attorney in the momentous NJDEP v. Dimant case which set the standard for causation in environmental discharge matters. In March, he argued in the New Jersey Supreme Court as Amicus Curiae for the New Jersey Defense Association (NJDA) on the issue of the requisite proofs at trial to assert cross-claims against settled parties in a multiple party toxic tort case.

Marc has authored several articles in the toxic tort field and has been a frequent lecturer at both national and regional conferences including: Defense Research Institute, Perrin Conferences, New Jersey Defense Association, HB Litigation Conferences, Harris Martin, Worley, Claims Litigation Management and NJ Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Marc routinely gives in-house seminars to clients, trade associations and scientific professional associations discussing the most recent trends and trial techniques in asbestos and toxic tort litigation. Marc is also the Co-Chair of the MCBA’s Environmental Law Committee and has been a speaker at the  Committee’s seminars.

In addition, Marc is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University, Department of Political Science, and teaches undergraduate Constitutional Law, as well as seminars combining aspects of bio-chemistry and the practice of law.

George J. Shamy, Jr.

Shamy and Shamy
178 Livingston Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901


Daria Anne Venezia
Immediate Past President
Venezia & Nolan
306 Main Street
Woodbridge, NJ 07095

Joanne graduated from Seton Hall Law School in 1998. She clerked for the Hon. Stephen E. Mochary, J.S.C. in Essex County before she went on to become a top litigator in the insurance defense industry. She has a distinguished history with the New Jersey Defense Association, having served as President of the organization from 2009 to 2010. Joanne is a partner at Maraziti Falcon, LLP and currently focuses her practice in environmental and redevelopment law. She represents property owners, public entities and private companies in complex environmental litigation, compliance, and transactional matters. Joanne represents the Cities of Hoboken and Newark as Special Environmental Counsel; she also represents the Cities in various redevelopment matters. Before becoming a partner at Maraziti Falcon, LLP, Joanne practiced at two of the largest law firms in Middlesex County: Hoagland, Longo, Moran, Dunst & Doukas, LLP and Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis, LLP.

In 2015, Joanne received the Association's Transactional Lawyer of the Year Award; in 2008, she was recognized by Real Estate New Jersey as one of 50 Women of Influence; and in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, she was named a Rising Star in Environmental Law by Superlawyers Magazine® (administered by Law & Politics, Inc.).


Joanne is a former Adjunct Professor  at Fairleigh Dickinson University and has taught Introduction to Civil Litigation in the school's ABA-approved Paralegal Program. She continues to be an avid speaker and is frequently published on the topics of environmental law, litigation, and women in the law.


Joanne is also Co-Chair of the Association’s Environmental Law Committee and welcomes the opportunity to assist her colleagues in this regard.

Jonathan P. Cowles

Executive Director
732.828.3433, x. 102

Jonathan has been the Executive Director since 1992.  Prior to joining the MCBA, he was the Associate Director of the South Carolina Guardian ad Litem Program in Columbia, SC, where the program grew from 4 counties/$100k budget/8 staff in 1985 into a statewide, nationally recognized program with $2m budget/90+ staff in 1991.


He received a BA in Political Science from Syracuse University in 1980 and a MPA from California State University at Heyward (now East Bay) in 1984. During his studies at Syracuse, he was a 4-year varsity letterman in soccer. Following his graduation he continued playing soccer until he was 51. He also served as the assistant varsity coach at his alma mater Westfield High School (Westfield, NJ) from 1980 to 1982, where the teams won county championships all 3 years. He continued his coaching career when he moved to South Carolina, serving as the JV, then varsity coach at Hammond Academy in Columbia. His 1990 team won the Independent League state championship where he was named Coach of the Year.


Jonathan lives in Colts Neck with his wife, Martha, children Daniel and Abigail, and labradoodles Ollie and Darcy.

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