Ted Gary Mitchell
Office Hours
by appointment
Rutgers Law School
S.I. Newhouse Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 877-1265
  • Biography
  • Publications
  • Courses Taught
  • Expertise

T. Gary Mitchell, Esquire, is a Deputy Public Defender in the Appellate Section of the Office of Parental Representation (OPR), a section of the New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, where he handles appeals in the Appellate Division and before the Supreme Court of New Jersey, representing parents charged with child neglect or abuse or facing termination of parental rights. From 2004-2012 he served as OPR’s first Director of Litigation.

Previously he was a partner in regional and national law firms concentrating his practice on litigation and employment law, an enforcement attorney for federal government banking agencies, director of the New Jersey Office of Inmate Advocacy in the Depatment of the Public Advocate, and a criminal defense attorney with the Public Defender handling matters before trial and appellate courts.

Since 2003, he also has been an adjunct faculty member at Rutgers Law School-Newark, teaching Criminal Procedure, Institutional Reform Litigation and Inmate Advocacy. He has served on the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Children in Court Improvement Committee and Family Practice Committee, and as the Public Defender’s designee on the New Jersey Domestic Violence Fatality and Near-Fatality Review Board.

Mr. Mitchell began his legal career as a criminal defense lawyer with the New Jersey Public Defender. He graduated in 1980 from Rutgers-Newark School of Law where he was Articles Editor and Administrative Editor of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter and in 1975 from Livingston College, Rutgers University.

He is admitted to the practice of law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, several federal district and circuit courts, and the United States Supreme Court.


Selected Publications, Papers and Presentations:

“A Survey of 2013 Child Welfare Caselaw,” at NJSBA Convention, Atlantic City, NJ, May 15, 2013, and OPR Continuing Legal Education seminar, Trenton, NJ, October 17, 2013.

“Making Law Work For Domestic Violence Survivors: Defining the Proper Scope of Protective Orders, Defeating Malicious Prosecution Claims and Saving a Home in Bankruptcy,” 33 Women’s Rights Law Rpt. 401 (2012).

“Inspecting the DYFS Case File: Trial & Appellate Strategies to Find and Use Exculpatory Material in a World Without a Brady Requirement,” and “Case Law Updates 2011-2012,” at OPR Continuing Legal Education Seminar, June 2012 and September 2012.

“Shaping the Law: Trend Lines During OPR’s First Six Years,” and “Holding DYFS to Its Burden In Cases of Unexplained Injury: The Prima Facie Case, Its Elements and How to Defeat It,” at OPR CLE Seminars, 2011.

“The Developing Law: 2005 to 2010,” and “A Roundtable on DYFS Experts and Defense Experts: Types, Timing, Numbers, Necessity and Expense,” at OPR Continuing Legal Education Seminar, September 2010.

“An Overview of D.Y.F.S. v. G.M.,” Presentation to members of the New Jersey judiciary at the Judicial College, Administrative Office of the Courts, November 24, 2009

“Parental Representation in New Jersey,” Seminar Materials, NJICLE, New Brunswick, NJ, March 2007.

"From Runyon to Rubin: New Jersey's Ban on Contract Discrimination," New Jersey Lawyer, July 14, 2003.

“Preventing Harassment in the Workplace: A Training Program for Public Sector Managers,” March 18, 2003, Center for Management Development, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey

“Preventing Harassment in the Workplace: Training Human Resources Personnel,” Presentation at Center for Management Development, Rutgers University, March 2002, New Brunswick, New Jersey

“Staffing Alternatives in the New Millennium: Trends and Issues in the Legal Relationship Between Employers and Their Workers,” Fall 2001, Presentation at Employer Round Table, New York, N.Y., and Princeton, N.J.

"Book Review: The Supreme Court by William H. Rehnquist," New Jersey Lawyer Magazine, August 2001.

“Minimizing Regulatory Fines & Litigation: Steps to Reduce Employer Liability in LTC & Assisted Living Facilities,” The Center for Health Care Education, Edison, NJ, November 8, 2001 and April 12, 2001

“Whistle-blower Laws: Protecting Conscientious Employees or Troublemakers and Snitches,” The Gerontology Institute of New Jersey, November 14, 2000.

“Minimizing Regulatory Fines & Litigation: Liability Exposure for Whistle-blowing Claims in LTC and Assisted Living Facilities,” The Center for Health Care Education, South Plainfield, NJ, September 28, 2000

“When to Call the Expert in Employment Discrimination Cases,” Annual Conference, Eastern Economic Association, Culver City, Virginia, March 25, 2000

“From Red-light Districts to Grand Theft on the Information Superhighway: Issues For Schools in the Digital Age,” Presentation Before Electronic Media Association of New Jersey, Parsippany, NJ, October 22, 1998.

Keynote Presentation, “Liabilities For Education Professionals in the Digital Age,” at New Jersey Educational Computing Cooperative, Conference on Internet Liability, at Kean University, September 18, 1998.

“Flexibility Returns to Compensation Practices: Employers Can Pay Overtime Without Sacrificing Exempt Status,” 151 New Jersey Law Journal 1228 (S-20), March 23, 1998.

“Privacy, Technology and the Workplace: Employer Responsibilities and Employee Rights,” presented at Lorman Education Seminar on Employee Discharge and Documentation, Princeton, January 1996, 1997 and 1998.

“Banning Spam and Other Scams: The Fight over the Electronic Mailbox,” Hill Wallack Quarterly, Winter 1998.

“Speed Bumps, Potholes, and Stalking on the Information Superhighway: New Liabilities Facing School Libraries in the Digital Age,” presented at NJ School Development Council, New Brunswick, NJ, December 4, 1997.

“Electronic Mail in the Workplace: Privacy Protections Take Shape,” Hill Wallack Quarterly, Fall 1995.

“Kindergarten Gender Stereotypes,” Virginia Issues & Answers, Winter 1995.

“Women Standing for Women: The Early Political Career of Mary T. Nor­ton,” in A New Jersey Anthology, (ed., M. Lurie, N.J. Historical Society, 1994)

“The Victim is the Only One Without Representation,” Op-Ed Page, The Home News (Aug. 16, 1994).

“New Directions for Sex Discrimination Litigation in New Jersey: The New Jersey Supreme Court Unearths a State Constitutional Prohibition Against Sex Discrimina­tion,” 103 New Jersey Law Journal 531 (June 12, 1979).

“Sex as a Bona-Fide Occupational Qualification: Title VII's Evolving Enigma, Related Litigation Problems, and the Judicial Vision of Womanhood after Dothard v. Rawlinson,” 5 Women’s Rights Law Rpt. 107-164 (1979).

“Women Standing for Women: The Early Political Career of Mary T. Nor­ton,” 96 N.J. History 27-45 (1978).

“Complacency in the Face of Patriarchy,” WIN Magazine, Jan. 22, 1976, reprinted in For Men Against Sexism: A Book of Readings (ed., Snodgrass, Times Change Press, 1977), p. 83-97.

Selected Cases:

G.S. & K.S. v. D.C.P.P., 447 N.J.Super. 539 (App. Div. 2016) Counsel for co-defendants seeking to be represented by staff public defenders, with court holding that the law does not prohibit or even presumptively disfavor staff attorneys working from same office to separately defend parents in child welfare cases.

D.C.F. v. E.D.-O., 223 N.J. 166 (2015). Counsel for OPR as amicus curiae successfully arguing that agency and intermediate appellate court erred in holding state law was violated when a mother left a child unattended in a car because “categorical” rules are contrary to the requirement for particularized evidence in child welfare cases.

D.Y.F.S. v. Y.N., 220 N.J. 165 (2014). Co-counsel in Supreme Court for mother in successful appeal holding that effects on newborn of woman’s methadone use during pregnancy under care of doctor, without more, is insufficient as proof of child abuse or neglect under N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b).

D.Y.F.S. v. J.G., 217 N.J. 527 (2014). Counsel for formerly incarcerated father in decision affirming trial court denial of termination of parental rights, reversing intermediate appellate court, and holding state failed to establish legal grounds to terminate a parent-child relationship by clear and convincing evidence based on father’s incarceration from time daughter was six months old to his release from prison five years later.

D.Y.F.S. v. I.S., 214 N.J. 8 (2013). Counsel for mother in Supreme Court in appeal successfully arguing that state cannot use abuse and neglect statutes to take custody of child with needs a parent cannot meet, though court held state could still take custody of child needing residential placement based on a “best interests” determination.

Anthony v. Garrity, __ Md. __ (cert. granted Oct. 19, 2012, appeal dism. May 2, 2013). Pro-bono appellate counsel for witness sued for malicious prosecution for calling police when man subject to Domestic Violence Protective Order came to protected residence but was unsuccessfully prosecuted by state for violation of Order.

D.Y.F.S. v. A.L., 213 N.J. 1 (2013). Co-counsel in Supreme Court for mother in successful appeal holding that drug use during pregnancy and test results showing cocaine in newborn baby's system, without more, is insufficient as proof of child abuse or neglect under N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b).

Dept. of Children & Families. v. K.A., 208 N.J. 355 (2011), op. below 413 N.J.Super. 504 (App. Div. 2010). Counsel for OPR as amicus curiae supporting decision reversing finding of child abuse against mother, and holding that striking child was not abuse or excessive corporal punishment where incident was isolated, aberrant, arose out of stress, and did not cause significant harm to child. Court dismissed State appeal after oral argument.

Dept. of Children & Families. v. T.B., 207 N.J. 294 (2011), rev’g A-4519-08 (App. Div. May 17, 2010). Counsel for OPR as amicus curiae in successful argument that mother did not neglect child or fail to exercise a minimum degree of care under N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.21(c)(4)(b) when she left 4-year-old alone on belief grandmother was home.

D.Y.F.S. v. L.L., 201 N.J. 210 (2010). Counsel for mother seeking to vacate a Kinship Legal Guardianship, setting 2-part test that parental incapacity must be remedied and termination of KLG is in child’s best interests, based on (1) nature and quality of parent-child relationship, (2) future relationship anticipated between child and guardian, (3) preservation of sibling relationships, (4) practical impact on child’s daily life, and (5) child’s wishes.

D.Y.F.S. v. G.M., 198 N.J. 382 (2009). Counsel for mother from whom DYFS removed children, holding mother was entitled to dispositional hearing under N.J.S.A. 9:6-8.50 to determine if children could safely return to her.

D.Y.F.S. v. A.C. (N.J. Ch. Div. 2001). In pro bono case, successfully represented single mother to obtain dismissal of neglect and abuse complaint arising from young children being left home alone while mother was at work; obtained pre-hearing return of children to mother after emergency placement by DYFS; obtained PTI disposition in related criminal prosecution leading to dismissal of second degree charge of child endangerment.

Burlington County Bd. of Social Services v. Extall (N.J. Law Div. 1999). Successfully defended aged, disabled indigent client to prevent government seizure of $40,000 to recoup payments to health care providers during period of Medicaid ineligibility. Asserted defense and counterclaim that client was without fault for agency’s erroneous eligibility determination and claim that improper payments to providers were made recklessly based on misinformation from third party and flawed agency investigation. Settled case on basis that wrongfully created indebtedness without notice to client or opportunity to be heard violated state constitutional due process rights.

FDIC v. Minella, (S.D. N.Y. 1999). Prosecuted legal malpractice litigation for federal banking agency against former attorney for failed Savings and Loan Association recovering $700,000 in settlement.

Weiss and Pinto v. Harkers Hollow, et al. Docket No. WRN-C-16027-96 (N.J. Ch. Div. 1998). Successfully defended corporation and directors in shareholder derivative action challenging corporate purchase and financing of real estate. Obtained interim order requiring plaintiff minority shareholders to post security of $120,000, summary judgment on all claims, and award of $250,000 for attorney fees and costs to defend frivolous claims.

FDIC v. Bandura, et al. (D.N.J. 1994-1997). Successfully represented FDIC in complex litigation arising out of failed Savings & Loan on claims of breach of fiduciary duty and negligence by directors and officers; negligence and malpractice by related professionals, including two law firms, several appraisal firms and a loan broker; and fraud by major borrowers. Recovered approximately $9 million for FDIC, favorably resolving numerous highly contested issues, including enforcement of $3.5 million settlement agreement with Pennsylvania law firm.

Subbe-Hirt v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 94 F.3d 111 (3rd Cir. 1996).   Successfully argued appeal affirming NASD dismissal of discrimination claim; on remand, framed strategy to compel arbitration and obtained dismissal by NASD panel.

Office of Thrift Supervision v. Barbieri, et als.. (D.Conn. 1992) Led successful investigation and administrative prosecution of numerous directors, officers, borrowers and attorneys of failed savings and loan association on various claims of fraud, self-dealing and mismanagement in matter of first impression under FIRREA.

Essex County Jail Inmates v. Amato, 726 F.Supp. 539 (D.N.J. 1989) (obtained $3.4 million fine against defendants for violation of consent order establishing population limits and services for operation of jail, with funds to be used to benefit plaintiff class in civil rights litigation, including establishment of bail fund)

Camden County Jail Inmates v. Fox, 123 F.R.D. 490 (D.N.J. 1988) (obtained $1 million fine against defendants for violation of court order establishing population limits at county jail).

Monmouth County Correctional Institutional Inmates v. Lanzaro, 834 F.2d 326 (3d Cir. 1987) (affirming preliminary injunction requiring county jail to provide abortion services); 717 F.Supp. 268 (D.N.J. 1989) (order requiring remedies for jail overcrowding); 695 F.Supp. 759 (D.N.J. 1988) (order requiring equal access to jail programs for female inmates and adoption of classification system in holding areas); 643 F.Supp. 1217 (D.N.J. 1986) (preliminary injunction in favor of pregnant inmates in need of counseling, access to, and funding for abortion); 595 F.Supp. 1417 (D.N.J. 1984) (finding jail conditions unconstitutional and ordering remedial plan).

Zeltner v. Dept. of Corrections, 201 N.J.Super. 195 (App. Div. 1985) (established that inmates who lost 365 days or more of commutation time credits had right to a contested case hearing in front of an administrative law judge).

Union County Jail Inmates v. Scanlon, 537 F.Supp. 993 (D.N.J. 1982) (obtained order finding jail conditions unconstitutional), aff’d in part and rev’d in part, 713 F.2d 984 (3rd Cir. 1983) (order removing inmates due to overcrowding improper because jail's remedial scheme did not deprive inmates of minimal civilized measure of shelter); reh’g den. 718 F.2d 1247 (3rd Cir. 1983)(6-4)(Gibbons, J. dissenting), cert. den’d 465 U.S. 1102 (1984).

Doe v. D.Y.F.S., 89 N.J. 284 (1982) (won reversal that juvenile raped while in DYFS shelter was not a prisoner for purposes of bar to tort actions against pubic entities), rev’g 178 N.J.Super. 499 (App. Div. 1981).

Savad v. Dept. of Corrections, 178 N.J.Super. 386 (App. Div. 1981) (established right to work and good behavior credits as part of resentencing under new Criminal Code for inmates convicted as repetitive and compulsive sex offenders based on showing of disparity for equivalent or congruent offenses and of good cause for resentencing).

Courses Taught
  • Criminal Procedure: Investigations 2
  • Appellate Advocacy
  • Civil Rights
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Family Law