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New Jersey Basic CLE Marathon 2020

Speaker(s): Brandon D. Minde, Catherine Romania, Dana A. Bennett, David R. Spevack, Gregory G. Diebold, Hon. Travis L. Francis, A.J.S.C. (Ret.), Matthew L. Holden, Michael R. Yellin, Robin C. Bogan, William D. Wilson
Recorded on: Oct. 20, 2020
PLI Program #: 276938

Gregory Diebold is the Director of Litigation at Northeast New Jersey Legal Services. He is a former adjunct professor at Seton Hall University Law School, where he graduated in 1974, and served as President of the Hudson County Bar Association.

Gregory specializes in housing related matters and appellate practice. He has been lead counsel in over 30 reported cases, including having argued before the United States Supreme Court in Cohen v. De La Cruz, 523 U.S. (1998).

In addition to lecturing for P.L.I., Gregory has taught continuing education seminars for Rutgers University and the New Jersey State Bar Association in Landlord-Tenant and Foreclosure practice. In 2006, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Continuing Education by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education. He has served on a number of New Jersey Supreme Court committees dealing with housing related issues, and on the District Ethics Committee for Hudson County.

Travis L. Francis joined the Firm as Of Counsel after serving for 25 years as a Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, and as the Assignment Judge of Middlesex County. He is a member of Riker Danzig’s Alternative Dispute Resolution, Commercial Litigation and Insurance Groups. His practice focuses on complex discovery issues, general equity, complex commercial litigation, complex construction litigation and insurance coverage.

Prior to his appointment as Assignment Judge in 2007, Judge Francis was the Presiding Judge of the Chancery General Equity Court, where he tried complex commercial cases, forfeitures, shareholder oppression actions, orders to show cause and specific performance actions.

After his appointment to the bench in 1992, Judge Francis was initially assigned to the Criminal Division and two years later assigned to the Family Division where he served as the Vicinage Juvenile Court Judge for two years. Following that, he was assigned to the Civil Division where he tried all types of civil cases including but not limited to personal injury, discrimination, medical malpractice, complex construction litigation, product liability and insurance coverage cases.

Judge Francis served on numerous Supreme Court Committees including Minority Concerns, Juvenile Justice and the Family, Supreme Court Bench-Bar-Media,Civil Practice, the Capital Punishment Advisory Committee and the special Committee on Preemptory Challenges and Jury Voir Dire. Judge Francis served as Chair of the Conference of Wiretap Judges.

Judge Francis was recognized by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation in 2009 with its Outstanding Volunteer Service Award.

Judge Francis is an adjunct professor at the Rutgers University School of Law in Newark, and has presided over moot court competitions for several schools. He has been a lecturer for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education and a guest lecturer at the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University.

Prior to serving on the bench, Judge Francis worked for the Public Advocate and was a trial attorney at Prudential Insurance Company and a Senior Trial Attorney for Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company.

In 2019, Judge Francis was honored as a “Diverse Attorney of the Year” by the New Jersey Law Journal.

Brandon D. Minde is a Partner with DH&D.  He focuses on federal and state criminal defense, complex litigation, business disputes, and government regulatory matters. 

Mr. Minde was selected as one of the 2016 NJBIZ Forty Under 40, honoring men and women under the age of 40 who have made headlines in their field and share a commitment to business growth, professional excellence and the community. In 2015, he was named a New Leader of the Bar by the New Jersey Law Journal, a designation given to only 50 lawyers in New Jersey.  He was also named a Rising Star by New Jersey Super Lawyers magazine in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.  Super Lawyers gives this designation to less than 2.5 percent of New Jersey attorneys recognized as the top up-and-coming attorneys under 40 years old.

Mr. Minde runs DH&D’s criminal defense practice.  Earlier in his career, he served as an Essex County Assistant Prosecutor in the Corruption Unit, where he managed investigations and conducted prosecutions of corruption, fraud, government misconduct, and other white-collar crimes.  He received training in economic crimes and financial investigations from the National White Collar Crime Center and cyber-crime and computer forensics from the National Computer Forensics Institute.  He was appointed as a Special Deputy NJ Attorney General to lead a joint investigation into election fraud through absentee ballots which culminated in several convictions.  He also served in the Adult Trial Section, where he represented the state in proceedings for all criminal offenses pre- and post-indictment, including grand jury proceedings, and conducted jury trials.  He is an appointed member of the Criminal Justice Act (CJA) Panel for the District of NJ, where he represents individuals in criminal actions in federal court.

Mr. Minde served as Executive Director of the State of NJ Government Records Council, the agency that adjudicates complaints filed under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA).  He served as Assistant Counsel to Governor Christie from December 2010- March 2013, providing advice and counsel to the Governor and the Chief Counsel to the Governor on legislative, legal, regulatory, and policy initiatives.

Mr. Minde began his legal career at McCarter & English in the Securities Litigation, Government Relations and White-Collar Defense Group, conducting a wide range of civil and criminal trial practice involving general litigation, investigations and disputes.

Mr. Minde is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York. He received his J.D. from George Washington University Law School, and B.A. from Muhlenberg College.

Catherine Romania is a member of the New Jersey and New York Bars. Ms. Romania received her B.S. in accounting magna cum laude from Bucknell University, graduated cum laude from St. John's University School of Law and graduated from New York University School of Law with a Masters in Taxation. Ms. Romania is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). She is currently serving on the District XA Ethics Committee of the New Jersey Supreme Court and was past Chair of the District X Fee Arbitration Committee. She is also an officer on the Board of the Estate Planning Council of Northern New Jersey, volunteers as a New Jersey Superior Court Approved Mediator for family, civil, probate and general equity matters, and is a member of and accredited by the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators as a business and commercial mediator. Ms. Romania has lectured for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education as well as other organizations, has authored numerous articles including “Addressing Alimony Under Premarital Agreements Signed Before 2019”, "For Love, Money and the Exemption", and "Disinheriting a Child". Ms. Romania practices in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, guardianship, elder law, business and tax matters.

Dana A. Bennett is a partner at Bennett & Wyatt, LLC with offices in Red Bank and Lakewood.  She devotes her practice to estate planning, probate and estate administration, estate and gift tax matters, income tax planning for trusts and estates and charitable planning.

Ms. Bennett is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York.  She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and Vice-Chair of the Board of Consultors of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.  She is also a current trustee and former chair of the Monmouth County Bar Association’s Probate and Administration Committee and is a member of the American and New York Bar Associations.  Ms. Bennett is also a member and former President of the Estate and Financial Planning Council of Central New Jersey. 

Ms. Bennett received her B.A., cum laude, from Villanova University, her J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law and her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law.

David R. Spevack, a New Jersey trial lawyer, focuses on litigation, cases involving employment law and workers’ compensation laws. He has successfully argued motions for medical and temporary benefits, won trials and written successful appeals. He has studied at Oxford University in the United Kingdom, the University of Leiden in the Netherlands and the University of Extremadura in Spain.

David also traveled extensively through India, China, Morocco, Western Europe and South-East Asia. His travels have brought him an understanding and an appreciation of different cultures. David R. Spevack graduated from Rutgers Law School and is licensed to practice law in New Jersey, New York and the United States District Court.

David speaks Spanish fluently. He has served as the Municipal Prosecutor in various municipalities over the past 10 years. David has a special interest in assisting state and local police officers with any legal needs.

David also serves on the New Jersey Association of Justice (NJAJ) Board of Governors, as a trustee for the Middlesex County Bar Foundation and is appointed to the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Automobile Litigation and No-Fault Special Committees.

Matthew L. Holden, the founding member of Holden Legal Group, LLC, has over a decade of experience in successfully meeting the legal needs of businesses, entrepreneurs, and high net worth individuals in the New York and New Jersey tri-state area and beyond. His practice includes managing all legal aspects of complex real estate matters as well as providing legal counsel and representation to a wide variety of businesses across industries in transactional, entertainment and media, and risk-avoidance matters, working with startups, emerging companies, and Fortune 500 companies alike. In founding Holden Legal Group, LLC, Mr. Holden’s mission is to bring world-class legal representation to businesses and individuals with boutique pricing and personalized client service.

Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Holden practiced corporate and securities law at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, after earning his law degree from the University of Miami School of Law, where he was a member of the Real Estate and Trust Law Society. Mr. Holden left Skadden to join Ospraie Management, LLC, the investment manager for the Ospraie Funds, as in-house counsel where he worked on general corporate, hedge fund, and securities and real estate related matters. Prior to earning his law degree, Mr. Holden obtained extensive finance experience while working in investment banking for Lehman Brothers Inc.

Mr. Holden serves as a board member of Temple Emanu-El in Closter, New Jersey and is president of the board of directors of the Sea Farm North Homeowners Association, Inc. in Bridgehampton, New York where he and his wife own a second residence. Mr. Holden is an avid tennis player and golfer and enjoys spending his free time with his wife and two daughters.

Robin C. Bogan is a partner at the law firm of Pallarino & Bogan, L.L.P., in Morristown, New Jersey. She has devoted her practice to family law and related matters for over twenty years. As an experienced trial attorney, she is known for her thorough preparation, quick-thinking on cross-examination, and creative and clear presentation of difficult material.  Ms. Bogan is sensitive to the needs of her clients and in many cases she reaches an amicable resolution of family law disputes through artful negotiation and mediation.

Ms. Bogan is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Law Attorney. She is also actively involved in the legal community. She is a Past President for the Morris County Bar Association and a Past President of the Morris County Bar Foundation.  She serves as Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee for the Family Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association that reviews New Jersey legislation impacting family law issues.  Ms. Bogan volunteers as an Early Settlement Panelist for the Superior Court in Morris County. She is a barrister for the American Inns of Court. She served as an investigator for the Ethics Committee for Morris and Sussex counties from 2006 – 2009.

Ms. Bogan received the 2013 Professional Lawyer of the Year Award for Morris County from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law.  For New Jersey Monthly Magazine, she received the recognition of her peers by being nominated as a “Super Lawyer” for 2012 – 2020 and as a “Super Lawyer – Rising Star” for 2006 through 2011.  For 2015 – 2020, Ms. Bogan was listed in the Top 50 women attorneys in New Jersey.  For 2017-2020, Ms. Bogan was listed in the Top 100 attorneys in New Jersey.

Ms. Bogan has lectured on family law issues for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, Practising Law Institute, the Barry Croland Family Law Inn of Court, and for the Morris County Bar Association. Her articles on family law issues have appeared in several professional publications.

Ms. Bogan received her J.D. in June 1996 from Seton Hall University School of Law.  She received her B.A. degree from the University of Richmond in May 1993. She served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Thomas H. Dilts, the Presiding Judge of the Family Part of the Superior Court of New Jersey in Somerset County from 1996 to 1997.

William (Bill) Wilson is a partner with the law firm of Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass.  Since 1998, he has been responsible for running the Firm's New Jersey office.  Bill’s practice focuses primarily on the handling of first-party and third-party insurance and reinsurance coverage disputes.  In addition, he regularly handles commercial contract disputes, and products liability, employer liability, premises liability, and general tort claims.

Bill has over twenty-five years of experience, and has litigated cases in state and federal courts in New Jersey and throughout the United States.  He  is admitted to the New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Pennsylvania bars, the United States Supreme Court, and a number of other federal courts.

He is a frequent lecturer and has published a number of articles on insurance issues and general litigation topics.  He is a co-author of New Jersey Insurance Coverage Litigation - 2015: A Practitioner’s Guide, which is published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, a division of the New Jersey State Bar Association.  Bill also is the author of and is a former Adjunct Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, where he taught New York Practice.

A litigator by trade and a partner at Cole Schotz P.C., Michael R. Yellin has an expansive commercial practice throughout New York and New Jersey.  Mike’s clients appreciate his broad experience and the way in which he applies that experience to guide them in maximizing opportunities while minimizing expense and exposure. As a result, Mike’s clients turn to him as a counselor and problem solver both inside and outside of the courtroom. 

An avid Mets fan since childhood, Mike learned the importance of resiliency at an early age. Mike also values supporting the community around him including, for example, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees for Habitat for Humanity of Bergen County since 2016. He is also Treasurer of the Muhlenberg College Alumni Board and was formerly a member of the District VC Ethics Committee.

Mike is also proud of his recognition by Martindale-Hubbell with an AV Preeminent rating, by New Jersey Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star", and by the New Jersey Law Journal as one of its “New Leaders of the Bar.” 

Mike earned his B.A., cum laude, from Muhlenberg College and his J.D., cum laude, from Seton Hall Law School. During law school, Mike interned for the Hon. Jose L. Linares, U.S. District Judge, and the Hon. Patty Shwartz, then-U.S. Magistrate Judge (now a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit).