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Edward Schoifet Family Law Award
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Robert Zaleski to Receive
2019 Edward Schoifet Family Law Award


In recognition of his contributions to the practice of Family Law, Robert M. Zaleski will receive the 2019 Edward Schoifet Family Law Award presented by the Family Law Section on January 22, 2020, a the Pines Manor in Edison, during the Middlesex County Bar Association’s joint dinner meeting with the Union County and Somerset County Bar Associations.


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 the highest standards of integrity and professionalism; and, exhibiting leadership in the Middlesex County or State Bar Association.


Robert received his undergraduate education at Villanova University where he graduated with a degree in Economics. He received his Law Degree from Seton Hall Law School in 1988 and began his career in a general practice firm in Morris County where he represented clients in a wide array of matters, including family, personal injury, civil, criminal, appellate and workers’ compensation cases. He is currently a partner with the family Law Firm of Paone, Zaleski and Murphy where he has practiced for the past 25 years. During this time, he has represented clients in all areas of family law, including divorce, child custody, parenting time and domestic violence matters. He is also a collaboratively trained attorney and a member of the International Academy of Collaborative Professions and The Mid-Jersey Collaborative Law Alliance.


Robert has been a court-approved matrimonial mediator since 2003 and devotes a significant portion of his practice to mediation. He has mediated hundreds of private and court appointed mediations and has also served as an arbitrator in numerous family law matters. He is renowned for his skills as a mediator and his ability to facilitate settlements in difficult and complex matters by crafting creative solutions and employing a practical and result-oriented approach toward dispute resolution.


In practice, Robert is known as a fair and reasonable adversary who prides himself on the quality of his work product and his attention to detail. He is dedicated to helping clients resolve their matters successfully and to working in tandem with his fellow attorneys to achieve this goal.


Robert is a Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association. He is also a member of the County Bar Associations of Middlesex and Somerset Counties where he donates his time as an Early Settlement Panelist. He is a former member of The Supreme Court of New Jersey District VIII Ethics Committee, The Middlesex County Assignment Judges Family Lawyers Committee and The Women Helping Women Family Law Legal Clinic.


Robert was the inaugural recipient of the Martin S. Goldin Family Law Award which is awarded annually for outstanding achievement by a family law attorney who had been practicing less than 15 years. As the recipient of the 2019 Edward Schoifet Family Law Award, Robert is the second attorney to receive both prestigious awards in Middlesex County. He and his wife Katherine have been happily married for 25 years. They are the proud parents of 3 children, Eden, Jade and Ivy.


The previous recipients of the Edward Schoifet Award were David M. Wildstein (2006), John P. Paone, Jr. (2007), Manny Gerstein (2008), Jean M. Ramatowski (2009), Leonard R. Busch (2010), Evelyn M. Hartmann (2011), Charles F. Vuotto, Jr. (2012), William G. Brigiani (2013), Robert E. Goldstein (2014), Russell H. Gale (2015), Ellen F. Schwartz (2016), Deborah A. Rose (2017), and Cheryl M. Spilka (2018).

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