CJ Griffin serves as director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden and is a partner at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden. CJ has earned a reputation in New Jersey as one of the leading attorneys representing media companies, nonprofit organizations, and citizens in Open Public Records Act (OPRA) litigation. Several of CJ’s cases have resulted in landmark decisions from the New Jersey Supreme Court and Appellate Division, including North Jersey Media Group Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst, Scheeler v. Atlantic County Joint Municipal Insurance Fund, and Wronko v. New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
CJ has built a considerable appellate practice, appeared before the New Jersey Supreme Court eight times, and worked on more than 20 public interest cases that resulted in reported decisions. CJ serves on the Amicus Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association and regularly appears before the appellate courts as amicus curiae on a variety of legal issues. In 2017 and 2018, the New Jersey Law Journal named the firm New Jersey’s Appellate Litigation Department of the Year, including for its work in the OPRA field.
Before joining Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, CJ was a law clerk to the Honorable Ariel A. Rodriguez, presiding judge of the Appellate Division. During law school, CJ was a research editor for the Rutgers Law Review. Before law school, CJ worked in nonprofit management in several social justice organizations, including the National Housing Institute, Identity House of New York City, and Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice.
CJ is vice president of the Board of Trustees of the ACLU of New Jersey and performs significant pro bono work on a variety of civil rights issues. CJ has served as chair of the LGBT Rights Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association, member of the New Jersey Law Journal’s Young Lawyer Advisory Board, and member of the Essex County LGBTQ Advisory Board.
CJ has earned numerous accolades and awards, including being named a finalist for Attorney of the Year by the New Jersey Law Journal Professional Excellence Awards 2020, one of the “20 New Jerseyans to Watch in 2020” by the Star Ledger, a 2019 “Litigation Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal, to InsiderNJ’sCannabis Power List, and as a finalist for the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2018 Attorney of the Year Award. CJ earned a Professional Achievement Award from the Young Lawyers Division of the New Jersey State Bar Association in 2017 and is listed as a New Jersey Rising Star for the 2013-2019 editions of Super Lawyers. In 2012, CJ was named one of New Jersey Law Journal’s “New Leaders of the Bar” (formerly “40 Under 40”).