We are pleased to announce that the Middlesex County Bar Association has selected Edward Kole to receive of the 2017 Robert Cirafesi Chancery Practice Award and Joseph Russell, Jr. to receive of the 2017 Young Lawyers Award. The awards were presented to Mr. Kole and Mr. Russell on March 22nd during the association's 12th Annual Practice Area Awards Dinner.
The Robert Cirafesi Chancery Practice Award recognizes Mr. Kole for his exceptional contributions to the legal profession spanning his nearly 30 year career. Mr. Kole exemplifies the principles by which Robert Cirafesi practiced law, including: careful and detailed client representation; endeavors to resolve issues on a fair and reasonable basis both before and after litigation; promotion of respect and courtesy for the bench and fellow members of the Bar; and care for the highest standards of integrity and professionalism.
Edward Kole chairs the Commercial Litigation department at Wilentz and focuses his practice in complex corporate and commercial litigation. He is an accomplished business litigator and trial lawyer, having handled commercial disputes on behalf of public and private companies in New Jersey and across the nation. In addition to the relationships he forges and maintains with each of his individual business clients, Mr. Kole is well known and regarded among the New Jersey state and federal judiciary as a result of his experience in the courtroom and his leadership positions within the Federal and New Jersey Bar Associations.
The Young Lawyer Award recognizes Mr. Russell for his commitment and devotion to his community. He has dedicated substantial time and energy to raising money and awareness for LADACIN Network — Lifetime Assistance for Developmental and Challenging Individual Needs. Mr. Russell founded and organizes an annual Polar Bear Plunge for LADACIN and since 2009, has raised $800,000.00 for the network. In addition to his substantial involvement with LADACIN Network, Mr. Russell also serves on the Board for the Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus.
Joseph Russell, Jr. is the chair of the Matrimonial department at Wilentz, where he maintains a full service family law practice. His diverse client base demonstrates the depth of his practice from business owners to celebrities. Mr. Russell regularly appears in the Family Part, possessing a comprehensive knowledge of the courts and close relations with opposing counsel. In addition to having been appointed to serve on the Family Law Executive Committee to the New Jersey State Bar Association, Mr. Russell also serves on those committees in Ocean and Monmouth Counties, as well as an Early Settlement Panelist in Monmouth and Middlesex Counties. Mr. Russell is also certified as a R. 1:40 Qualified Mediator, where he conducts both private and court appointed mediations.