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New Jersey Basic CLE Marathon 2021

Speaker(s): Adam M. Grenker, Brandon D. Minde, Dana A. Bennett, David R. Spevack, Francis M. Womack, Frank E. Tournour, Gregory G. Diebold, Hon. Travis L. Francis, A.J.S.C. (Ret.), Matthew L. Holden, Michael R. Yellin, Parag Patel, Paula A. Menar, Sapana Shah, Tara S. Sinha, Thomas H. Prol, Thomas J. Major
Recorded on: Mar. 18, 2021
PLI Program #: 304748

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.

Francis “Mac” Womack was a founding member of Field Womack & Kawczynski. Mr. Womack has made presentations on occupational and asbestos/pulmonary defense strategies at insurance and legal defense meetings throughout the country. In addition to traditional civil tort defense and workers’ compensation, Mr. Womack has litigated numerous cases under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, the Non-Appropriated Funds Instrumentalities Act, and the Defense Base Act. In October of 2015 Mac Womack opened his own law office, Law Office of Francis M. Womack, where he continues to practice the same types of law. 

For the last several years Mac Womack has served as the Municipal Prosecutor in various Middlesex County townships including: Woodbridge, Sayreville, Edison, Piscataway, and Carteret, New Jersey.  On January 1st, 2019 Mac Womack was appointed as the Director of Law for the City of South Amboy, New Jersey.

Mac Womack serves on the Salvation Army Advisory Board in New Brunswick, the PRAB (Puerto Rican Action Board) Board of Trustees, and on the Chamberlain University Board of Trustees.

Mac Womack was elected to the North Brunswick Council in 2000. In 2003 Mac Womack was elected to his first mayoral term; in 2008 Mac Womack was elected to serve his second mayoral term; in 2011 Mac Womack was elected to serve his third mayoral term; in 2015 Mac Womack was elected to serve his fourth mayoral term; and in 2018 Mac Womack was elected to serve his fifth mayoral term which runs till December 31, 2022. Mac Womack was inducted into the New Jersey Mayors’ Hall of Fame in 2014. 


New Jersey Superior Court Civil Defense, New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, (special expertise in pulmonary and occupational claims), Administrative Law, Non-Appropriated Funds Instrumentalities Act, Defense Base Act, Municipal Law, Municipal Prosecutor: Borough of Sayreville, Borough of Carteret, and Township of Woodbridge


University of Baltimore School of Law (J.D., 1984)

University of South Alabama (B.A., 1978)


New Jersey, District of Columbia, United States District Court of Appeals for Third Circuit, United States District Court of Appeals for Second Circuit


New Jersey Bar Association, American Bar Association

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.

Adam Grenker focuses his practice in the areas of:

  • Sophisticated estate planning
  • Estate and trust administration
  • Federal estate, gift and income taxation
  • Living trusts
  • Tax matters of nonprofit organizations and charitable planning
  • Business succession planning

Adam is the Administrative Chair of the firm’s Taxation & Wealth Planning Department.  A frequent author and lecturer, Adam has contributed to numerous articles on tax law and is a co-author of the Fourth Edition of Estate Planning Strategist, a treatise published by the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education.  In addition, he lectures throughout New Jersey and New York to public and private organizations on topics related to estate planning and administration.


  • University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., 1998)
  • University of Virginia (B.S., 1995)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association (Board of Consultors of the Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section)
  • Estate Planning Council of Northern New Jersey
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Coastal and Northern New Jersey – Governance Board
  • Soft Bones, Inc. – The US Hypophosphatasia Foundation – Board of Trustees

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.

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.

Frank E. Tournour, Esq., heads a firm in East Brunswick, New Jersey devoted to the practice of Family Law.  Frank graduated from Lafayette College in 1988 with a B.A. degree in Government and Law, and Temple University School of Law with a J.D. in 1991. Frank is certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as a Matrimonial Attorney. He is a panelist with the Middlesex County Early Settlement Program, a member of the Middlesex County Assignment Judge’s Family Law Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Middlesex County Family Bar. He is a former member of the State Bar Family Law Executive Committee. He is certified as a family court economic mediator in Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset Counties. He was also a panel chair of the District VIII Ethics Committee. He has been named a Superlawyer* in Family Law in New Jersey by Superlawyer Magazine from 2007 to 2021, and was winner of the Martin S. Goldin award and Edward Schoifet award for excellence in family law by the Middlesex County Bar Family Law Section. He has lectured at the Boardwalk Seminar in Atlantic City and The Justice Virginia Long Inn of Courts regarding marital torts, and ICLE seminars regarding domestic violence and matrimonial law. Frank was the first attorney to try a Tevis count before a jury in Middlesex County, obtaining a $400,000 jury verdict for his client, and also had one of the largest palimony awards in Middlesex County, a $637,000 judgment for his client.

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.

Parag P. Patel, Esq., is a tax attorney with the Patel Law Offices in Clark, New Jersey. Mr. Patel’s concentrates in tax, trust and estate planning.

Mr. Patel is a Board Certified Tax Lawyer, Board Certified Estate Planning Law Specialist, Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, and frequent speaker on legal issues affecting tax, foreign asset planning, and estate planning.  Mr. Patel is a New Jersey Super Lawyer by New Jersey Magazine for tax and estate planning. Mr. Patel has also received an AV rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rating System, which is the highest professional rating possible among lawyers. Mr. Patel is the 2019-20 Chairman of the Tax Law Committee of American Bar Association’s GP Solo and Small Firm Division. Mr. Patel is a graduate of Georgetown (J.D.) and New York University (LL.M tax) law schools.  Mr. Patel is a member of the New Jersey State, New York State, Florida, Middlesex County, and American Bar Associations.  Mr. Patel has offices in New Jersey, New York, and Florida.

Paula Menar is the senior partner at Menar & Menar, Attorneys at Law, a boutique law firm that specializes in issues of Family Law and Wills & Estates.

She has also served in the Ethics Committee and Fee Arbitration Committees for the VIII district. Presently, she is regularly appointed by the court as a Guardian Ad Litem and Parenting Coordinator.

She has been recognized by her colleagues and been the recipient of the Martin Goldin Award for Family Law in 2011.  This is an award that is given to a well-regarded Family Law practitioner by his/her peers.

Paula is also a frequent Continued Legal Education lecturer.  She also volunteers to educate the public on issues of domestic violence through several organizations and programs in Central New Jersey.

Sapana Shah is an attorney with a solo practice in Jersey City, New Jersey and is Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Jersey City. She has a general practice focusing on real estate matters. 

Ms. Shah received her law degree from Albany Law School - Union University. Upon graduation from law school she served as a New Jersey Superior Court law clerk to the Honorable Jessica R. Mayer, J.S.C., in Middlesex County. Upon completion of her clerkship, she began practicing as a commercial litigator. Thereafter, she joined the Staff Counsel office of American International Group, Inc. (AIG) as an Associate Trial Attorney and Lynch Law Firm as a Trial Attorney. Ms. Shah has served on the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts, Arbitration Advisory Committee, and Ethics Committee for District VI. Ms. Shah is committed to public service. She is a Former President of the Asian Pacific American Lawyers Association of New Jersey. In April of 2011, she was elected to the Board of Education in Edison, New Jersey. Thereafter, in 2013, she was elected to be Councilwoman for Edison, New Jersey.  During her tenure, she served as Vice President of the Council. She graduated from Rutgers College, Rutgers University with a degree in Economics. Prior to obtaining her law degree, Ms. Shah worked at Johnson & Johnson and Dun & Bradstreet Corporation as a Financial Analyst. She is licensed to practice in New Jersey, New York, and D.C.

Tara S. Sinha is a Partner of Witman Stadtmauer, P.A., in Florham Park, New Jersey.  She concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning and administration, estate and probate litigation, and federal and state taxation. 

Ms. Sinha is admitted to practice in the States of New Jersey and New York, as well as the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  She is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”) and serves on the Board of Consultors of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.  Ms. Sinha is a member of the Estate Planning Council of Northern New Jersey as well as the New Jersey and Morris County Bar Associations.  Ms. Sinha has been published in the New Jersey Law Journal and has also lectured for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New York City Bar, and other organizations.

Ms. Sinha received her B.S. in Administration of Justice from Rutgers College and her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law - Newark, where she was the Senior Articles Editor of the Women?s Rights Law Reporter and a Teaching Assistant for the Legal Research and Writing program. She was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Walter R. Barisonek, J.S.C.

Thomas H. Prol practices environmental, land use and redevelopment law with Sills Cummis & Gross, P.C. He is admitted in New Jersey and New York and before numerous federal courts. Mr. Prol is a member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates, a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, a Life Fellow of the National Conference of Bar Presidents and a Past President of the New Jersey State Bar Association (“NJSBA”), servings as NJSBA’s first openly gay leader in 2016-2017. Holding both a law degree and a Master’s Degree in Public Health, in March 2020, the NJSBA called him back to service to oversee its Pandemic Task Force, fashioning a strategic roadmap to address the impact on the legal profession caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis and concurrent social and political upheaval.

Throughout his legal career, Mr. Prol has been a vocal advocate on issues of equity and access to justice. He was an advocate for, and successfully argued the defense of both the New Jersey Criminal Justice Reform Act and the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Act. As a founding and current executive committee member of New Jersey’s largest LGBTQ education and advocacy organization, Garden State Equality, Mr. Prol has championed marriage equality and gender & sexuality civil rights for almost two decades. He previously served as vice chair of the National Lesbian and Gay Law Association (now the National LGBT Bar Association) and a director of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York.

Mr. Prol is a monthly columnist in the New Jersey Law Journal, an ALM Media publication, and has appeared and has authored/co-authored numerous briefs over the past decade before the New Jersey Supreme and Superior Courts, New Jersey Council on Local Mandates and the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals. He is a frequent lecturer for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, teaches a New Jersey practice and ethics course for Practising Law Institute, and is an expert in parliamentary procedure.

Mr. Prol is an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University School of Law, and previously taught legal writing and appellate advocacy at New York Law School. He is General Counsel to the Municipal Clerks’ Association of New Jersey, special environmental counsel to the County of Sussex and its municipal utilities authority, and also served as Associate General Counsel and Agency Chief Contracting Officer for New York City’s Department of Consumer Affairs. Prior to practicing law, Mr. Prol was an environmental scientist and enforcement officer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and served two years as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps in Nepal. Mr. Prol has also held externships with the U.S. Attorney’s Office (E.D.N.Y.), the New York City Commission on Human Rights, CNN and The Carter Presidential Center.

Thomas Major is a dynamic attorney dedicated to representing clients across a range of practice areas. He maintains practices in real estate law and landlord representation -- counseling clients in the multi-family and investment property industry. His advocacy is backed by extensive experience in all phases of litigation including the appellate level. With his skills as a first chair trial attorney, Mr. Major’s advocacy is marked by clarity and efficiency. His clients rely on his pragmatic and return-driven advice to protect and enhance their success.

Mr. Major is also an invited speaker and faculty on real estate and landlord-tenant subjects. These courses include:


  • Rampersaud v. Hollingsworth,  456 N.J.Super. 502, 195 A.3d 841 (2018). Representation of Plaintiff-Landlord in a precedential ruling which expands the rights of a landlord to evict a tenant for damage to rental property.
  • Ravi vs. DeRay & Noble, HUD-L-4665-16 (2016). Judgment, after trial, in client’s favor on contested prescriptive easement and adverse possession claims.
  • 845 Bergen Avenue v. Yang t/a Marcel Cleaners, A-1234-13T1 (2013).  Prevailed on appeal in a commercial tenancy matter involving a tenant’s breach of lease for violations of local laws.

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).