njsbf new jersey state bar foundation logo a 501c3 non profit organization

Informed Citizens

are Better Citizens

Medal of Honor Award

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s Medal of Honor Award is given annually to lawyers and law-related professionals, as well as lay people, who best exemplify either or both of the following criteria:

  • significant contribution to the advancement or improvement of the justice system or the betterment of the legal profession in New Jersey
  • professional excellence as demonstrated by accomplishments in the law; or service to the profession and the community during their careers.
Mark your Calendar

2024 Medal of Honor Celebration
Tuesday, Sept. 24 ~ 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Park Chateau, East Brunswick

Retired Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter F. Bariso Jr., who now has a vibrant private practice at Chasan Lamparello Mallon & Cappuzzo PC, has made it a hallmark of his career to educating and sharing his knowledge and insights with those in the legal community, as well as thousands of school students. His work has helped develop strong, ethical, and confident young lawyers, as well as encourage an interest in the legal system among generations of New Jersey students. 

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. He has been an instructor for NJICLE’s civil law segment of the skills and methods course for newly admitted attorneys. In 2015, Judge Bariso was the recipient of the NJICLE Alfred C. Clapp Award for Excellence in Continuing Legal Education.

Currently, he is of counsel at the Secaucus firm, where 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. He led the firm’s Litigation Department for 10 years, focusing his practice on defense litigation issues related to automobile, aviation, commercial insurance, and products liability. Judge Bariso was an attorney for a school board for two decades. He is frequently appointed as a special master by the Superior Court of New Jersey and worked as a court-approved mediator in complex and substantial civil matters. He was certified by the Supreme Court as a Civil Trial Attorney.

Appointed to the bench in 2005 by then-acting-Gov. Richard J. Codey, Judge 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.

Judge Bariso was a member of the Judiciary’s Conference of Assignment Judges, as well as the Judicial Council. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Expedited Civil Actions where he served as the Pre-Trial Subcommittee Chair. Judge Bariso is a former member of the Supreme Court Special Committee on Peremptory Challenges and Jury Voir Dire where he served as chair of the Civil Subcommittee. He is also a former member of the Supreme Court Civil Practice Committee.

Judge Bariso served as the chair of the Conference of Civil Presiding Judges and Conference of Assignment Judges. He previously chaired both the Supreme Court Arbitration Advisory Committee and the Hudson County Advisory Committee on Minority Concerns. Judge Bariso is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the Hudson County Bar Association, and the Essex County Bar Association.

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 is known for her dedication to the law, community, and volunteerism. She has conquered many barriers to equality during her career and is recognized as a trailblazer for women of color in the law.

She was the first African American woman to attain partner status at any major law firm in New Jersey. A partner at Kaufman Dolowich LLP, she focuses 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.

Walker has been the first woman or first woman of color to lead many legal organizations as a volunteer. Her accomplishments are many. She was the first person of color and the first woman to chair New Jersey’s delegation of the American Bar Association’s Nominating Committee of its House of Delegates. She was the first African American female President of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey and of the National Conference of Bar Presidents. She was the first New Jersey attorney appointed as chair of the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary. She was the first African American president of the New Jersey State Bar Association and the first African American appointed as chair of the NJSBA’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee. Most recently, Walker was appointed chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession. She is the second African American woman to hold this post.

She also previously served as a member of the New Jersey State Ethics Commission. The Commission is responsible for ensuring that state employees adhere to ethics rules. She was appointed to this Commission by former New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

She has had numerous trials in state and federal courts and has argued many cases before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, New Jersey Supreme Court, and U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third and Seventh Circuits. Additionally, she is a certified arbitrator and mediator for the U. S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.

“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 play an essential role and the Foundation’s mission of fostering an increased awareness, appreciation and knowledge of the law and the legal system which 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, whose dedication to the ideals of the Foundation is unmatched.”

Past Medal of Honor Recipients

1988—Vincent J. Apruzzese, Esq.
1988—Matthias D. Dileo, Esq.
1989—Hon. Richard J. Hughes
1990—Hon. Stanley S. Brotman
1991—Daniel L. Golden, Esq.
1991—Joseph M. Nolan, Esq.
1992—Fred W. Friendly
1992—Melville D. Miller Jr., Esq.
1993—Hon. John F. Gerry
1993—James O’Brien
1994—Dean Ronald J. Riccio
1994—Miriam L. Murphy
1995—Hon. John J. Gibbons
1995—Lois A. Winnberg
1996—Hon. Samuel G. DeSimone
1996—Paulette Brown, Esq.
1997—Murray L. Cole, Esq.
1997—Walter N. Read, Esq.
1998—James Youngelson, Esq.
1998—Alan I. Gould, Esq.
1999—Hon. Joseph L. Rodriguez
1999—Thomas F. Campion, Esq.
2000—Hon. Marilyn Loftus
2000—James McCloskey



2001—Hon. Marie Garibaldi
2001—Raymond R. Trombadore, Esq.
2002—Raymond A. Brown, Esq.
2002—Joseph H. Kenney, Esq.
2002—Nancy Erika Smith, Esq.*
2002—Raymond A. Noble, Esq.*
2003—Justice James H. Coleman Jr.
2003—Saul A. Wolfe, Esq.
2004—Hon. Sylvia Pressler
2004—William John Kane, Esq.
2005—Hon. Anne E. Thompson
2005—Joel A. Leyner, Esq.
2006—Hon. Martin L. Haines
2006—Professor Paula A. Franzese
2007—Hon. Daniel J. O’Hern
2007—Thomas R. Curtin, Esq.
2008—Hon. William A. Dreier
2008—Hon. Stewart G. Pollack
2009—William S. Greenberg, Esq.
2009—David E. Johnson Jr., Esq.
2010—Hon. James R. Zazzali
2010—Hon. Renee J. Weeks
2011—Hon. L. Anthony Gibson
2011—Cynthia M. Jacob, Esq.
2012—Hon. John E. Wallace Jr.
2012—David H. Dugan III, Esq.
2013—Richard J. Badolato, Esq.
2013—Michael R. Griffinger, Esq.
2014—Hon. Helen E. Hoens
2014—Raymond S. Londa, Esq.
2015—Hon. Edwin H. Stern
2015—Hon. Lawrence M. Lawson
2016—Hon. Peter G. Verniero
2016—Wayne J. Positan
2017—Hon. Marie White Bell
2017—Joseph P. LaSala, Esq
2018—Hon. Linda R. Feinberg, AJSC (Ret.)
2018—Justin P. Walder, Esq.
2019—Ralph J. Lamparello, Esq.
2019—Shirley Berger Whitenack, Esq.
2020—Susan A. Feeney, Esq.
2020—Hon. John E. Keefe Sr. (Ret.)
2021—Lynn Fontaine Newsome, Esq.
2022—Raymond M. Brown, Esq.
2022—Hon. Jaynee LaVecchia (Ret.)
2023—Justice Barry T. Albin (Ret.)
2023—Lawrence S. Lustberg, Esq.


*In recognition of the generous contributions of the legal community on behalf of the victims of 9/11.