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Informed Citizens

are Better Citizens

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation will award the 2024 Medal of Honor to Assignment Judge Peter F. Bariso (Ret.) and Karol Corbin Walker, Esq. The Foundation’s prestigious award, given annually to lawyers, law-related professionals, and lay people, recognizes professional excellence, service to the legal community and commitment to the people of New Jersey.

“It is a great pleasure to recognize this year’s recipients,” said NJSBF Charlie Stoia, Esq., who also serves as chair of the Foundation’s Medal of Honor Committee. “Both honorees have made a difference through their dedication to the legal profession, their leadership in volunteering and in educating young lawyers. Their contributions have served the people of New Jersey well.”

Assignment Judge Peter F. Bariso (Ret.) educates and shares his knowledge of law and the legal system to help develop strong, ethical, and confident young lawyers. He frequently lectures on civil litigation issues for the Judiciary, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Hudson County Bar Association, and the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. Currently counsel at Chasan Lamparello Mallon and Cappuzo, he draws on 16 years of judicial experience as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge and more than two decades as an attorney in consulting on complex litigation matters affecting both private and public sector clients. Appointed to the bench in 2005 by Governor Richard J. Codey, Bariso served as the Presiding Judge of the Civil Division from 2006 to 2012. He became Assignment Judge of the Hudson Vicinage in 2012, giving him judicial responsibility for all trial courts in the county, including the Superior Court and all municipal courts.

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation plays a critical role in our society in fostering an understanding and appreciation for civics and the role the law plays in our daily lives. It provides important, nonpartisan information to students that helps them understand how the law affects their lives, helps teachers and educators make our schools more welcoming places, and provides members of the public with guidance they need to navigate legal issues. As a judge, I saw first-hand how vital it is for those resources to be available. The Foundation is a force for good. I am humbled and honored to receive this award and deeply grateful to be a small part of that legacy in New Jersey. Even more, to be honored alongside Karol Corbin Walker – a trailblazer who has stood for the highest ideals of professionalism – only makes it more special.

Karol Corbin Walker, Esq., is a partner at Kaufman Dolowich LLP focusing her law practice on commercial litigation, business and transactional litigation, labor and employment, toxic tort, and product liability matters. Her clients have included many Fortune 500 corporations, publicly and privately – held corporations, financial institutions, entertainers, and insurance companies. She is Peer Reviewed AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

With her dedication to the law, community, and volunteerism, Ms. Walker has conquered many barriers to equality during her career. In August 2020, she became the first person of color and first woman ever, to serve as Chair of New Jersey’s delegation of the American Bar Association’s Nominating Committee of its House of Delegates. In June 2015, she was elected the first African American President of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey. In 2012, Ms. Walker became the first African American female President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. In 2003, she was the first African American President elected to the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) in its then 105-year history. Ms. Walker took her oath of office before a record-breaking, standing-room-only number of attendees. In 1995, she became the first African American woman to attain Partner status at any major New Jersey law firm.

“I am humbled to receive the 2024 New Jersey State Bar Foundation Medal of Honor. The cornerstone of democracy is embedded in our justice system. As lawyers we plan an essential role and the Foundation’s mission of fostering an increased awareness, appreciation and knowledge of the law and the legal system is vital to our society. I am blessed to be an ambassador in advancing those goals – along with being awarded the platinum standard of professionalism. It is a true honor. This celebration is made even more special by the recognition of Assignment Judge Peter F. Bariso, Jr., who dedication to the ideals of the Foundation is unmatched.”

Medal of Honor Award Celebration – September 24
An award celebration will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at the Park Chateau Garden Estate in East Brunswick. Tickets for the event are on sale now. Sponsorships are available. Proceeds from the event help fund the Foundation’s scholarship program for 2nd and 3rd year law students in New Jersey. More at moh.njsbf.org