Picture of Center for Law and Justice

The C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court was founded in 1990 to further civility and excellence in the practice of law in New Jersey in both the state and federal courts. The Inn’s core focus is on criminal and related civil practice in both the federal and state court systems, although many of its programs involve issues of broader appeal to the bar.

The Inn brings together highly experienced and distinguished justices, judges, trial attorneys, members of the bar, and select Rutgers Law School students to enhance their skills and focus on emerging and important issues facing the bar and bench. Inn membership gives you an association with some of the finest practitioners and jurists in your community. Meetings are designed to promote social interaction, professional relationships, and camaraderie in a setting of education and skills development, while earning continuing legal education credits.   

Sponsored by Rutgers Law School, the Inn plans to host five or six meetings for the 2023-2024 Inn year. Multiple factors will be considered before finalizing the format for each meeting, which will be either all in-person or all virtual. The Inn’s programs qualify for continuing legal education credit hours. Some may include ethics, diversity, or cybersecurity credits, in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Complete a membership form for the 2023-2024 Inn season and select the appropriate membership category link to pay your dues by credit card or mail a check payable to "Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey." 
New member's form: go.rutgers.edu/HeckelNew2324
Returning member's form: go.rutgers.edu/HeckelRenew2324
Associate - 3 years or less of legal experience $100
Associate (Government/Public Sector) $ 75
Barrister - 4 or more years but less than 15 years of legal experience $175
Barrister (Government/Public Sector) $100
Master of the Bench - 15 or more years of legal experience $250
Master of the Bench (Government/Public Sector) $135

Members of the C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court are enrolled as members of the national American Inns of Court, if enrolled and paid by November 1, 2023.

For more information about the Inn, contact IPE@law.rutgers.edu or 973-353-5928.

Program Resources
  • Meeting Schedule
  • Leadership
  • Past Program Highlights
  • Continuing Legal Education (CLE)
  • Contact Information
Meeting Schedule

Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 7:40 p.m.

September 20, 2023

Law Enforcement on Trial: Balancing Justice in Cases of Alleged Police Misconduct

This panel discussion explored the intricacies of trials and investigations involving those who have been sworn to protect and serve, and multifaceted issues surrounding the prosecution and defense of police officers and other members of law enforcement facing criminal charges. The panel also explored the critical role of internal affairs and administrative investigations in ensuring transparency and accountability within our justice system.

  • Rahul Agarwal, Deputy Chief Counsel, NYC Office of the Chief Counsel to the Mayor and City Hall, and former Acting Principal Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey
  • Catherine M. Elston, C. Elston & Associates, LLC
  • Anthony J. Iacullo, Iacullo, Martino & Reinitz
  • Brian Sinclair, Senior Assistant Prosecutor, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Moderator: Ryan Magee, Partner, McCarter & English, LLP, and President, Heckel Inn of Court

November 15, 2023 (in-person)

Defending and Prosecuting High-Profile Cases: Strategic Challenges and Ethical Considerations
This panel discussion explores the strategic challenges and ethical considerations involved in defending and prosecuting high profile cases. The panelists are private attorneys with deep experience handling high-profile clients and cases; a public relations professional who helps firms navigate the strategic challenges; and a public affairs officer who handles media relations on a daily basis for the US Attorney’s Office. 

Panelists and Moderators

  • Kevin Israel, Esq., Public Relations and Crisis Management, Kessler PR Group 
  • Amy Luria, Esq., Critchley, Kinum & Luria, LLC 
  • Matthew Reilly, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Attorney’s Office 
  • Lee Vartan, Esq., CSG Law 
  • Moderator: Tim Anderson, Managing Partner, Tim Anderson Law, LLC, and past-president, Heckel Inn of Court
  • Moderator: Sabrina Comizzoli, Senior Appellate Counsel, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, and immediate past-president, Heckel Inn of Court

December 6 or 13, 2023) (tentative, remote)

February 21, 2024 (tentative)

March 20, 2024 (tentative)

April 17, 2024 (tentative)


Officers and Executive Committee



Vice President


Immediate Past President and Counselor



  • Tisha Adams, Esq. | Law Offices of Tisha Adams, LLC
  • Donna J. Dorgan | New Jersey Office of the Attorney General - Division of Law
  • Kayla E. Rowe, Esq. | Rowe Law
  • Christopher F. Schellhorn, Esq. | Morris County Prosecutor's Office

Advisory Committee

Past Program Highlights

Speakers' information is at the time of the program. Prior to March 4, 2020, all programs were in-person. 

2022-2023 Meetings

October 12, 2022 (hybrid)
Proffer Sessions: Techniques, Strategies, and Ethical Issues Involving Multiple Representation
The panelists discussed and explored the mechanics, strategies and best practices affecting client proffers with federal and state prosecuting offices from both the perspective of defense counsel and prosecutors. The discussion also explored strategic and ethical issues that arise from counsel’s representation of multiple witnesses in investigations in which proffers are sought and the interplay with joint defense agreements among parties to such investigations.


  • Lee Cortes, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • K. Anthony Thomas, Interim Federal Public Defender, Office of the Federal Public Defender
  • Caroline A. Oliveira, Deputy Attorney General, NJ Office of the Attorney General


  • Jeffrey D. Smith, Partner, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP
  • Aidan P. O’Connor, Partner, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C

November 16, 2022 (hybrid)

Reimagining Juvenile Justice

This program discussed the juvenile justice system. Too often, the justice system fails to recognize the developmental needs of the youth population and treats emerging adults in almost the same manner as older, fully mature adults. New Jersey is different and has emerged as a national leader in safely reducing the number of juveniles detained by juvenile justice system. 


  • Timothy K. Chatten, First Assistant Prosecutor, Camden County
  • William Rodriguez, Clinical Instructor, Youth Justice & Advocacy Program, Boston University Wheelock College of Education & Human Development
  • Alicia Hubbard, Assistant Deputy Public Defender, State of New Jersey Office of the Public Defender, Appellate Division
  • Rosy Arroyo, Camden County Youth Service Commission Administrator
  • Laura Cohen, Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law, Justice Virginia Long Scholar, Director, Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic, Rutgers Law School


  • Patricia A. Legge, Esq., LMSW, Executive Director, Volunteer UP Legal Clinic

January 25, 2023 (virtual)

NJ OPRA and Federal FOIA: Transparency, Confidentiality, and the Public Trust

Participants learned about the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA), the Federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), crafting and processing information requests, public policy reasons behind encouraging transparency, exceptions, and related current events.


  • Thomas J. Cafferty, Director, Commercial & Criminal Litigation Group, Gibbons P.C.
  • CJ Griffin, Partner & Director of the Stein Public Interest Center, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C.
  • Thomas H. Prol, Member, Sills Cummis & Gross P.C.
  • Kristin L. Vassallo, Deputy Chief, Civil Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey


  • Sabrina G. Comizzoli, Senior Appellate Counsel, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • Ryan M. Magee, Partner, Riker Danzig LLP

March 16, 2023 (hybrid)

Ethical Dilemmas and Cybersecurity in Law Practice

Using hypotheticals, this program examined ethical dilemmas and cybersecurity  – common and uncommon – arising in law practice. 


  • David M. Eskew, Partner, Abell Eskew Landau LLP
  • John M. Fietkiewicz, Senior Counsel, Arnold & Porter

May 10, 2023 (hybrid)

A Round Table Discussion About Firearms Law and Policy

This program provided an overview of NJ and NY firearms law and insights about the NJ firearms permit process, discussed the Second Amendment and the right to possess and carry firearms, and weighed in on the effect firearms restrictions have on public health and safety. Topics also included the work of New Jersey’s Statewide Affirmative Firearms Enforcement Office and the Center for Gun Violence Solutions at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University. 


  • Jeremy Ershow, Deputy Director, Statewide Affirmative Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Office, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General
  • Tom Osadnik, Assistant Prosecutor, Civil Section, Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office 
  • Tim Carey, Law and Policy Advisor, Center for Gun Violence Solutions, Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Daniel L. Schmutter, Member, Hartman & Winnicki, P.C.


  • Tisha Adams, Law Offices of Tisha Adams
  • Ryan M. Magee, McCarter & English, LLP

2021-2022 Meetings

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 (virtual)
Implicit Bias and Jury Selection: The Impact of State v. Andujar
The panelists discussed issues related to the Supreme Court of New Jersey’s recent State v. Andujar opinion and issues of implicit bias and jury selection.

  • Karen Thompson | Senior Staff Attorney  ACLU-NJ
  • Joseph J. Russo | Assistant Public Defender | Appellate Deputy Public Defender | Office of the Public Defender | State of New Jersey
  • Raymond M. Brown | Partner | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden
  • Laura Cohen | Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law | Justice Virginia Long Scholar | Director, Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic | Director, Center on Criminal Justice, Youth, Rights, and Race
  • Aidan P. O’Connor (moderator) | Partner | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 (virtual)
Immigration Criminal Crossover: Avoiding Unforeseen Pitfalls
Hear from "crimmigration" experts on the intersection of criminal and immigration law and the potential collateral consequences for non-U.S. citizen criminal defendants. Learn to identify the relevant issues and avoid the many unforeseen pitfalls. This is helpful information to know, whether you are defense counsel, prosecution, or the court.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022  (virtual)
Criminal Sentencing Roundtable: Advocacy, Theory, and Practice in New Jersey Federal and State Courts
This program brought together perspectives from federal and state court judges, prosecutors, and criminal defense attorneys to discuss common issues in sentencing practice and advocacy. The roundtable discussion covered topics such as plea agreement restrictions, pre-sentence investigation reports, sentencing memoranda, and effective approaches to courtroom advocacy. 

  • Honorable Zahid N. Quraishi, U.S.D.J. | Judge, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey | Trenton, New Jersey
  • Honorable Marybel Mercado-Ramirez, J.S.C. | Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey | Passaic County, Criminal Division
  • AUSA Ray Mateo | U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • Danielle Corcione | Member, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC
  • Jason Foy | Partner, Foy & Seplowitz LLC
  • David Calviello | Trial Chief, Senior Assistant Prosecutor (Ret.) | Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Ryan Magee | Partner | Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP | Moderator

Wednesday, March 16, 2022  (virtual)
Test Your Ethics: How Well Do You Know the Rules of Professional Conduct?
Heckel Inn of Court masters of the bench and Advisory Commttee members led this engaging, interactive meeting using hypothetical problems and a video. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022 (virtual)
State and Federal Law Enforcement Priorities Under the New Leadership and Trials in the Age of COVID
This program featured two panel discussions. In the first, high-level representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office spoke about priorities, policies, and procedures under the current administrations. In the second, an experienced panel of federal and state prosecutors and defense attorneys offered real-life, practical insights into trying cases (both in-person and virtually) during COVID. Attendees heard about selecting juries, prepping, and calling witnesses, jury addresses, and trying cases over Zoom in both criminal and civil cases over the past two years. 


Panel 1: State and Federal Law Enforcement Priorities

  • Vikas Khanna, First Assistant U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • Jennifer Davenport, First Assistant Attorney General, Division of Criminal Justice, Office of the New Jersey Attorney General

Panel 2: Trials in the Age of COVID

  • Desiree Grace, Deputy Chief, Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • Kelly Sandler, Assistant Prosecutor, Morris Co. Prosecutor’s Office
  • Stephen Turano, Law Offices of Stephen Turano
  • Sean Mack, Partner, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden
  • Darcy Baboulis-Gyscek, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden

2020-2021 Meetings

October 29, 2020 (virtual)
Remote and Hybrid Trials and Grand Jury Sessions in the Wake of Covid-19
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, New Jersey courts at the federal and state levels have instituted novel procedures for fully remote or hybrid trials and grand juries. This program discussed practical aspects of preparing for and effectively conducting remote or hybrid trials and grand jury proceedings. Our experienced panelists have been instrumental in shaping the way these proceedings occur in federal and state courts in New Jersey, and offered their insights from having personally conducted these virtual proceedings.

  • Demetra Maurice | Senior Assistant Prosecutor | Chief, Major Crimes Unit | Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Timothy P. Malone | Counsel | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden
  • Mary Toscano | Assistant U.S. Attorney | Deputy Chief, Criminal Division | U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • Robert H. Wolff | Partner | Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff, LLP


  • Aidan P. O’Connor | Partner | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden

December 3, 2020 (virtual)
The DNJ's ReNew Reentry Program and the Federal First Step Act:
Helping Incarcerated and Recently Released Inmates Succeed

Key players will provide a deep dive discussion of how the District of New Jersey’s ReNew Reentry Program and federal First Step Act came about, what they entail, and how inmates and recently-released individuals can benefit from these programs. Panelists include United States Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer, who was instrumental in creating and implementing the ReNew Reentry Program in the District of New Jersey, and John Koufos, a nationally-recognized leader in the founding of reentry and second-chance programs, who played a integral role in bringing the First Step Act to fruition.

  • The Hon. Michael A. Hammer | United States Magistrate Judge | District of New Jersey
  • Mary E. Toscano | Deputy Chief, Criminal Division | U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey
  • John Koufos | National Director of Reentry Initiatives at Right on Crime, and Executive Direct of Safe Streets & Second Chances | Washington, DC


  • Ryan M. Magee | Associate | Riker Danzig | Morristown, NJ
  • Tim Anderson | Tim Anderson Law, LLC | Red Bank, NJ

January 21, 2021 (virtual)
The Annual Checkup: Healthcare Issues in 2020 and Where We're Headed in 2021

This program started with an explanation of the basic structure of health care fraud enforcement in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, as well as parallel investigations between them. The panelists will then shared how to navigate criminal and civil penalties, federal and state investigations, lessons learned from major cases of 2020, and where enforcement federal and state enforcement trends are headed in 2021.

  • David M. Eskew | Partner | Abell Eskew Landau LLP (moderator)
  • Nicholas P. Grippo | Deputy Chief, Criminal Division | U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • Lee M. Cortes | Chief, Health Care Fraud Unit | U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • Lara J. Fogel | Chief, Government & Healthcare Fraud, New Jersey Division of Law | Office of the New Jersey Attorney General
  • Jane H. Yoon | Partner | Paul Hastings
  • Kendra E. Pannitti | Partner | Frier Levitt

March 11, 2021 (virtual)
Ethics of Witness Preparation and Trial Testimony
This program discussed the ethical considerations or preparing a witness and trial testimony. Perspectives from the prosecutors and defense counsel in both criminal and civil arenas, as well as the judicial perspective, were shared.

  • Hon. Lisa Miralles Walsh, J.S.C. | Criminal Division, Union County Vicinage
  • Kevin P. Barry | Law Offices of Kevin P. Barry, LLC
  • William G. Neafsey | Essex County Prosecutor's Office
  • Joseph A. Reardon III | Leary, Bride, Mergner & Bongiovanni, P.A.
  • Patrick L. Rocco | Fleischman Bonner & Rocco LLP


April 22, 2021 (virtual)
Conviction Review, "Cold Cases," and Investigative Genealogy
This program examined criminal conviction review in light of claims of actual innocence. It explored “cold case” re-investigations and discussed solving cold cases and overturning convictions through the use of DNA and investigative genealogy.


  • Laura Cohen | Distinguished Clinical Professor of Law | Director, Rutgers Criminal and Youth Justice Clinic | Rutgers Law School
  • CeCe Moore | Chief Genetic Genealogist | Parabon NanoLabs, Inc.
  • Carolyn A. Murray | Director, Conviction Review Unit | Office of Public Integrity and Accountability | New Jersey Office of the Attorney General


  • Sabrina Comizzoli | Senior Appellate Counsel | U.S. Attorney's Office, D.N.J.
  • Christopher Schellhorn | Assistant Prosecutor, Major Crimes Unit | Morris County Prosecutor's Office

2019-2020 Meetings

March 4, 2020 | Rutgers Law School | Newark
Perspectives on Effective Jury Selection

This program topic was effective jury selection from the perspectives of the defense and the prosecution. After the speakers' presentations, discussion continued in pupillage groups led by the speakers and Inn masters. 

Mary Ciancimino, Deputy Public Defender, Office of the Public Defender, Hudson County Office
David M. Eskew, Partner, Abell Eskew Landau LLP, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney
Jim Sonageri, Sonageri & Fallon, LLC, and Inn Master of the Bench

January 29, 2020 
Current Trends and Best Practices in Federal and State Appellate Courts

This  panel discussion was on current trends and best practices in federal and state appellate court, including significant recent or pending cases, and some practical oral argument and brief-writing pointers. The panel included perspectives from prosecutors and defense counsel on federal and state matters.

Louise Arkel, Assistant Federal Public Defender, Federal Public Defender's Office, District of New Jersey
Mark E. Coyne, Chief, Appeals Division, U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey
Kayla Rowe, Deputy Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs, New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers, and past Deputy Attorney General, Appellate Burueau, Division of Criminal Justice, New Jersey's Office of the Attorney General
Mark H. Friedman worked for the Appellate Section of Office of the Public Defender of New Jersey for over 40 years.
Tim Anderson, Tim Anderson Law, LLC
Aidan P. O'Connor, Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C

November 20, 2019

Crime Victims' Rights
The panel discussed crime victims’ rights at all stages of the criminal justice process at both the state and federal level, including the privacy rights of victims, victims’ input in and access to prosecutorial decision making, and some of the emotional, psychological, and financial aspects of victimization.

The panelists were Shirley Estreicher, the victim/witness coordinator for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey, Pamela McCauley, the victim/witness coordinator for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, and Richard Pompelio, Esq., a crime victims’ rights advocate and founder of the New Jersey Crime Victims’ Law Center. Heckel Inn members Sabrina Comizzoli and Ryan Magee moderated the discussion. 

September 25, 2019

Plea Negotiation: An Art, a Science, or Both?
Heckel Inn masters Aidan O'Connor, Chris Schellhorn, and Jeff Smith introduced the topic of negotiating a plea, whether on behalf of the government, a corporate defendant, or an individual defendant. Afterwards, the particpants broke into small groups to discuss and explore various ethical and practical considerations in effectively advocating for a client’s interests while maintaining credibility and civility with your adversary.

2018-2019 Meetings

October 25, 2018

Cannabis Law in the Garden State: Into the Weeds for Attorneys
This program provided an overview of the current status of medical cannabis in New Jersey. The speakers discussed proposed legislation to expand medical cannabis and adult use cannabis. The robust dialogue among speakers and participants raised many important policy and ethical issues facing lawyers and others in the industry.

Sean Mack | Partner | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C.
Amol Sinha | Executive Director | American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey
Christina Strong | Outside Counsel | Compassionate Care Foundation

November 29, 2018 
New Jersey Expungement Reform
As of October 1, 2018, new expungement laws have drastically changed New Jersey’s expungement procedures.  This lecture identified those changes to the law and provide practical advice on navigating the expungement process.

Speaker:  Vered Adoni | Assistant Prosecutor | Bergen County Prosecutor's Office
Introduced by: Ryan M. Magee | Attorney | Riker Danzig | Barrister of the Heckel Inn

January 17, 2019  
The Digital Fourth Amendment: Emerging Issues and Challenges
This panel discussion discussed how the Fourth Amendment can protect privacy rights in the digital age. The speakers addressed recent shifts in Supreme Court doctrine through the lens of four emerging topics: (1) the use of “Stingrays” for cell phone surveillance; (2) digital searches and seizures of electronic devices; (3) account searches and the “third-party doctrine”; and (4) government hacking. The program will provide a short introduction to each issue, teach lawyers to identify them in their cases, and suggest key Fourth Amendment arguments for challenging them in court.

Michael Price | Senior Litigation Counsel | Fourth Amendment Center | National Association of  Criminal Defense Lawyers
Matthew S. Adams | Partner | Fox Rothschild LLP
David MalfitanoAssistant Prosecutor | Bergen County Prosecutor's Office
Aidan P. O'Connor | Partner | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C.
Counsellor and Master of the Bench  | C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court

May 9, 2019  
Ethical Issues in Corporate Government Investigations
Using hypothetical fact patterns, this program explored ethical issues that can arise during the course of government investigations and prosecutions of corporations from the vantage point of all attorneys involved in the process - defense counsel, prosecutors, and in-house counsel. 

Honorable Patty Shwartz
Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

Stacy Ludwig
Director | Professional Responsibility Advisory Office | U.S. Department of Justice

Charles Centinaro
Director | Office of Attorney Ethics | Supreme Court of New Jersey

John Fietkiewicz
Senior Counsel | Arnold & Porter

2017-2018 Meetings

September 14, 2017 

The first meeting was a panel discussion of challenging ethical issues that face criminal practitioners. The speakers were the Honorable Walter Timpone, Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court; the Honorable Alberto Rivas, the Assignment Judge for Middlesex County; the Honorable John P. McDonald, J.S.C., Family Division for Somerset County; John M. Fietkiewicz, Counsel to the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey; and Jeffrey D. Smith, president of the Inn and partner at DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP.

October 26, 2017

Tim Anderson, Vice President of the Inn, moderated a program called, “Persuasive Legal Writing: Tips from Specialists.” The panel included Sabrina Comizzoli, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney, USAO, District of New Jersey; Karina Fuentes, Research & Writing Attorney, FPD’s Office, District of New Jersey; and Jeffrey Mandel, The Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Mandel LLC, author of the Gann publication New Jersey Appellate Practice, who taught an intensive appellate legal writing class at Rutgers Law for 16 years. The panelists provided ways to improve the effectiveness of your legal writing -- everything from briefs, memos, and motions, to legal letters and even emails.

November 30, 2017 

New York Yankees’ great Yogi Berra is perhaps best remembered for his famous expressions. . . many of which made seemingly no sense.  This program examined what we learned during the first year of New Jersey’s Criminal Justice Reforms through the use of such expressions, because as Yogi himself once said: “You can observe a lot by just watching.”

Chris Schellhorn, a barrister of the Heckel Inn and assistant prosecutor for the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, organized the program; the Honorable Regina Caulfield, a judge in the criminal division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, shared her judicial persepective; and Brian J. Neary, a criminal defense attorney and adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School, offered his perspective. 

January 31, 2018 

Heckel Inn Master of the Bench, Aidan O'Connor from Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., moderated a panel that included Mary Toscano, Chief of the Organized Crime/Gangs Unit at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, Eric Breslin from Duane Morris LLP, Michael McGowan from Stroz Friedberg, Barbara Rudd, a private investigator, and Melissa Derr from Critical Defence. 

April 18, 2018 

The Honorable Martin G. Cronin, a judge for the Essex County criminal division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chris Schellhorn, an assistant prosecutor for the Morris County Prosecutor's Office, and a barrister of the Heckel Inn, Judith B. Fallon, the deputy public defender for Passaic County, and president of the ACDL-NJ, and Ryan Magee, an associate of Riker Danzig and the Heckel Inn, and former assistant prosecutor, discussed detention hearings in light of New Jersey's bail reform overhaul, followed by small group mock detention hearings led by the speakers and Inn masters Tim Anderson, Bill Neafsey, Zahid Quraishi, Sam Moulthrop, and Jeff Smith. This was a practical approach to preparing for detention motions, arguments to make (and not make) at the motion, and potential benefits of detention (i.e. speedy trial). 


Andrew L. Rossner, a master of the Heckel Inn and associate dean for professional and skills education at Rutgers Law School, share best practices and techniques for effective and persuasive closing arguments.

Application of Evidentiary Principles to Electronic and Other Tangible Evidence (May 22, 2017)

This program provided an overview of the Federal Rules of Evidence as they apply to the admission of business records and electronic evidence like social media. The speakers were Heckel Inn Masters of the Bench John M. Fietkiewicz, Counsel to the U.S. Attorney, and Jim Sonageri, of Sonageri & Fallon.

Following the overview, we the pupillage groups practiced and discussed the practical application of the evidentiary principles. The speakers along with Tim Anderson, Samuel P. Moulthrop, Aidan P. O'Connor, James A. Plaisted and Zahid N. Quraishi guided the pupillage groups. 

Participants' Feedback:

  1. This was fantastic. I would love to do the full 3 hour course.
  2. Good lecture. Enjoyed the clinic. Love the written material.

Understanding and Navigating the Federal Sentencing Minefield (March 23, 2017)

The program provided an overview of the background and basic structure and rules of the United States Sentencing Guidelines and address the application of the Guidelines to situations common to federal practitioners. A number of applications of the Guidelines wukk be addressed in connection with financial and tax crimes and drug offenses, among others, through case studies and practice tips.


  • Tim Anderson | Law Offices of Timothy R. Anderson, LLC | Master of the Inn
  • Jacob T. Elberg | Assistant U.S. Attorney and Chief of the Health Care and Government Fraud Unit | U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey
  • Aidan P. O’Connor | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden | Master of the Inn
  • Jeffrey D. Smith | DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP | Master of the Inn

Participants' Feedback:

  1. Panel was excellent!
  2. Very qualified panel; excellent presentation.

Criminal Justice Bail Reform: It's NOW (January 26, 2017)

New Jersey’s comprehensive criminal justice reform is now in effect. This program addressed questions such as: How is bail reform actually working? How long will clients be held before you can engineer a bail hearing? What can you to do expedite it? How do you escape detention for your client and achieve release?


  • Honorable Regina Caulfield | Judge | Superior Court of New Jersey, Criminal Division
  • Brian J. Neary | The Law Offices of Brian J. Neary, New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • Christopher F. Schellhorn | Assistant Prosecutor, Major Crimes Unit/Arson-Environmental Unit | Morris County Prosecutor’s Office

Participants' Feedback:

  1. Great presentation especially considering that the new bail system is just being implemented.
  2. Confusing subject matter made simple!
  3. The topic, speaker and materials provided surpassed my expectations.
  4. Glad to have speakers who ask questions to audience in between rather than after. Good to have both prosecutor view and defense view. Very knowledgeable speakers. Left with very clear understanding on a topic I had little to no information about prior to this CLE.

Ethical Dilemmas in Criminal Practice (December 1, 2016)
This fast paced ethics program focused on real ethical issues that confront criminal law practitioners through the use of hypothetical fact patterns based upon recent ethics cases. 

  • Andrew L. Rossner | Master of the Bench of the Inn | Associate Dean for Professional and Skills Education | Practice Professor of Law | Director, Rutgers Institute for Professional Education | Rutgers Law School

Participants' Feedback:

  1. Interesting and engaging discussion that kept the audience involved. Good use of hypotheticals.
  2. Best ethics CLE I’ve be to! Very interesting and informative.
  3. Always great!
  4. Excellent, stimulating discussion.

The Art and Science of Jury Selection (October 27, 2016)

This program discussed using social science analytical tools to evaluate potential jurors and using voir dire and juror profiling during selection.  Howard Schlesinger, an experienced jury consultant, gave a presentation with perspectives offered by a prosecutor and defense attorneys. We thank our speakers:

  • Paul B. Brickfield, a criminal defense attorney and principal of Brickfield & Donahue in River Edge, New Jersey
  • Christopher Schellhorn, Jr. is a Barrister of the Inn, and assistant prosecutor with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Howard G. Schlesinger is a trial and jury consultant and principal of Schlesinger Trial & Jury Consulting, LLC , as well as an attorney and principla of Schlesinger Associates
  • James L. Sonageri is a Master of the Bench of the Inn, and principal of Sonageri & Fallon, LLC in Hackensack, New Jersey

Participants' Feedback:

  1. The inclusion of sample materials and NJ statutes/rules in the program materials is very useful.
  2. Always great.

The Art of the Appeal: What to Do and What to Avoid (September 28, 2016)
The esteemed panel of sitting and retired judges and justices addressed practice before the Appellate Division and Third Circuit. Attendees had the benefit of hearing the judicial perspective on what to do and what to avoid when handling appeals.
We thank our speakers:

  • The Honorable Joseph A. Greenaway, Jr. | Judge | U.S. Court of Appeals | Third Circuit
  • The Honorable Anne W. Patterson | Associate Justice | Supreme Court of New Jersey
  • The Honorable Gary S. Stein | Special Counsel | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C.
  • Retired Associate Justice | Supreme Court of New Jersey
  • The Honorable James R. Zazzali | Of Counsel | Gibbons P.C. | Retired Chief Justice | Supreme Court of New Jersey | Retired Attorney General | State of New Jersey
  • The Honorable Marianne Espinosa | Judge | Appellate Division | Superior Court of New Jersey
  • James A. Plaisted (moderator) | Member | Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C.

Partcipants' Feedback:

  1. This was an outstanding presentation – full of exceptional materials and great speakers.
  2. Excellent panel.
  3. Excellent program! Really fantastic panel! Thank you!
  4. I especially enjoyed the “behind the scenes” insights of the panel.
  5. Always great!
  6. Very useful and informative.
  7. Great panel of distinguished judges!

Corporate Internal Investigations: Nuts, Bolts and Special Problems, including the Attorney-Client Privilege  (September 27, 2012)
Hon. Paul J. Fishman, United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Russell C. Deyo, retired Vice President, Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel of Johnson & Johnson; Carlos F. Ortiz, Partner, LeClair Ryan; Jacqueline C. Wolff, Partner, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; James A. Plaisted (moderator), Partner, Walder, Hayden & Brogan, P.A.

Joint Defense Issues: Privileges, Agreements, and Practical & Ethical Problems  (January 18, 2012)
Hon. Roberto A. Rivera-Soto, Partner at Ballard Spahr, L.L.P., former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice; Hon. Paul J. Fishman, United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey; Justin P. Walder, Partner, Walder, Hayden & Brogan, P.A.; Samuel P. Moulthrop, Partner, Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP; James A. Plaisted (moderator), Partner, Walder, Hayden & Brogan, P.A.

Handling Parallel Criminal & Civil Investigations: Navigating the Waters in the Wake of Citigroup  (May 16, 2012)
John Farmer, Jr., Dean and Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law-Newark; Michael Martinez, Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey; Jeffrey D. Smith, Partner, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick & Cole, LLP; John Michael Vazquez, Partner, Critchley, Kinum & Vazquez, LLC

Practical Considerations in Sentencing Advocacy (May 18, 2013)
Stacy Biancamano, Arleo, Donahue & Biancamano; Honorable Stanley R. Chesler, Judge, United States District Court; Honorable Martin G. Cronin, Judge, Superior Court of New Jersey; Rachael Honig, Esq., Counsel to the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey; Samuel P. Moulthrop, Partner, Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP; Howard Zuckerman, Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Essex County Prosecutor's Office

Handling the Media in Cases with Notoriety: A Lawyer's Guide (October 28, 2014)
Hon. Glenn J. Berman, Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis LLP; Joseph A. Hayden Jr., Walder Hayden P.A.; Kevin R. Gardner, Connell Foley LLP; Charles J. Sciarra, Sciarra & Catrambone, LLC; Mark Di Ionno, Columnist, The Star-Ledger

E-Discovery Issues in Federal Criminal Practice (March 12, 2014)
Hon. Patty Shwartz, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals; Hon. Jose L. Linares, District Judge, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey; John M. Fietkiewicz, Counsel to the U.S. Attorney, U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey; Lorraine Gauli-Rufo, former federal public defender and criminal defense attorney; Samuel P. Moulthrop, Partner, Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti LLP

An Evening with My Cousin Vinny: Trial Techniques from a Master! (June 26, 2013)
Hon. Paul J. Fishman, United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey

Policing Corruption Investigations and Prosecutions: Does the Remedy Fit the Harm (October 26, 2011)
Michael Critchley, Sr., founder of Critchley, Kinum & Vazquez, LLC; John Farmer, Jr., Dean and Professor of Law, Rutgers School of Law-Newark; Joseph Hayden, Founding Partner of Walder, Hayden & Brogan, P.A.; Ralph Marra, Senior Vice President of the N.J. Sports and Exposition Authority; Josh Margolin, investigative reporter, New York Post; Ted Sherman, investigative reporter, The Star-Ledger

Continuing Legal Education (CLE)

Rutgers Institute for Professional Education is the approved New Jersey and Pennsylvania continuing legal education provider for Rutgers Law School and the C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court. Approved CLE programs also qualify for New York CLE credit pursuant to the New York Approved Jurisdiction policy.

Heckel Inn members, Rutgers Law alumni, and all attorneys are welcome and encouraged to take the high-quality, engaging, and affordable CLE programs offered by the Institute for Professional Education at Rutgers Law School at both Camden and Newark throughout the year. 

For a list and details of Rutgers CLE programs, visit rutgerscle.com, email IPE@law.rutgers.edu, or call 973-353-5928.

Contact Information

C. Willard Heckel Inn of Court
Rutgers Law School
Center for Law and Justice
123 Washington Street, Newark, NJ 07102
973-353-5928  | IPE@law.rutgers.edu

Picture of C. Willard Heckel
C. Willard Heckel

About C. Willard Heckel

C. Willard Heckel joined the faculty of Rutgers Law School in 1946. He was its dean from 1963 to 1970, and served as acting dean in 1973 and 1974. Dean Heckel taught, among other things, Constitutional Law and had a keen interest in mentoring students and improving the legal system.

During the 1960's. Heckel served as president of the United Community Corporation, the umbrella organization that funneled federal funds into the Johnson anti-poverty campaign. This corporation played a key role during the period before, during and after the riots, helping to empower the people of Newark to take over the city government from a corrupt regime. In addition, Heckel initiated the process of forming the Newark Legal Services Project, the pioneer legal services project in New Jersey.

Heckel, who was born in Bloomfield, New Jersey, earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College, a master's degree from Columbia University, and a law degree from Rutgers.