CJ Griffin, The Stein Public Interest Center Photo

CJ Griffin

Partner & Director of the Stein Public Interest Center

Overview

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 has extensive experience 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 nearly 20 times, and worked on nearly 60 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 2021, 2020, 2019, 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, number 7 on Insider NJ's 2022 Insider Out 100 LGBTQ Power List, one of the “20 New Jerseyans to Watch in 2020” by the Star Ledger, a 2019 “Litigation Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal, number 12 on InsiderNJ's 2022 "Insider 100: Cannabis Power List," and as a finalist for the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2018 Attorney of the Year Award. CJ was awarded the 2022 Hon. Lawrence A. Whipple Memorial Award by the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, the 2021 Partners in Justice Award by Partners for Women and Justice, and earned a Professional Achievement Award from the Young Lawyers Division of the New Jersey State Bar Association in 2017.

Experience

Representative Matters

Recognition

Honors & Recognitions

  • Named #16 on InsiderNJ's 2023 "Insider Out 100 LGBTQ Power List"
  • Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, Honorable Lawrence A. Whipple Memorial Award, 2022

  • Named #7 on InsiderNJ's 2022 "Insider Out 100 LGBTQ Power List" and named in the top 10 on Insider NJ's 2021 "Insider Out 100 LGBTQ Power List"
  • Named #12 on InsiderNJ's 2022 “Insider 100: Cannabis Power List”
  • Partners for Women and Justice, “Partner in Justice Award,” 2021
  • New Jersey Law Journal, Attorney of the Year Finalist, 2020
  • Star Ledger, “20 New Jerseyans to Watch in 2020”
  • National Law Journal, “2019 Litigation Trailblazer”
  • Senator Loretta Weinberg’s “Women’s Power List", 2019-2021, 2023
  • InsiderNJ, “Insider 100: Cannabis Power List,” 2021 & 2019
  • Databird’s Research Journal, “250 Cannabis Law Experts” List, 2018
  • InsiderNJ, “Insider 100 LGBT Power” List, 2018-2020
  • New Jersey Bar Association, Young Lawyer’s Division--Professional Achievement Award, 2017
  • New Jersey Law Journal, Attorney of the Year Finalist, 2018 & 2020
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of Best Lawyers in America, 2024
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers, 2020-2023
  • Selected for inclusion in the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2013-2019

The Best Lawyers list is issued by Woodward/White, Inc. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://www.bestlawyers.com/About/MethodologyBasic.aspx.

The Super Lawyers list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.

The New Jersey Rising Star list is issued by Thomson Reuters. A description of the selection methodology can be found at http://www.superlawyers.com/about/selection_process.html.

The Insider 100: Cannabis Power List is issued by Insider NJ. A description of the selection methodology can be found at https://www.insidernj.com/2021-insider-cannabis-power/.

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

News & Insights

News

Blog Posts

Associations

Community & Professional

  • ACLU-NJ, Board of Trustees, Vice President (2016-Present)
  • New Jersey State Bar Association, 2009-Present
    • Media Law Committee, Co-Chair, 2018-current
    • LGBT Rights Section, Chair, 2015; Member, current
    • Bylaws & Resolutions Committee, 2018-current
    • Amicus Committee, 2018-current
  • Association of Criminal Lawyers of New Jersey, 2020-present
    • Police Accountability Committee, 2020-Present
  • New Jersey Law Journal’s Young Lawyers Advisory Board, Former Member

Important Cases

  • State v. Gomes, __ N.J. __ (2023)

  • State v. Canfield, 252 N.J. 497 (2023)

  • State v. A.M., 252 N.J. 432 (2023)

  • ACLU of N.J. v. County Prosecutor’s Ass’n of N.J., __ N.J. Super. __ (App. Div. 2023)

  • State v. Ramirez, 252 N.J. 277 (2022)

  • State v. Bailey, 251 N.J. 101 (2022)

  • State v. Thompson, 250 N.J. 556 (2022)

  • State v. Bell, 250 N.J. 519 (2022)

  • Acoli v. N.J. State Parole Board, 250 N.J. 431 (2022)

  • State v. O.D.A.-C., 250 N.J. 408 (2022)

  • State v. Sims, 250 N.J. 189 (2022)

  • Rivera v. Union County Prosecutor’s Office, 250 N.J. 124 (2022)

  • Libertarians for Transparent Gov’t v. Cumberland County, 250 N.J. 46 (2022)

  • State v. Francisco, 471 N.J. Super. 386 (App. Div. 2022)

  • State v. Gonzalez, 249 N.J. 612 (2022)

  • State v. Ryan, 249 N.J. 581 (2022)

  • State v. Nyema, 249 N.J. 509 (2022)

  • State v. Comer, 249 N.J. 359 (2022)

  • State v. Caronna, 469 N.J. Super. 462 (App. Div. 2021)

  • C.R. v. M.T., 248 N.J. 428 (2021)

  • Bozzi v. City of Jersey City, 248 N.J. 274 (2021)

  • State v. Carter, 247 N.J. 488 (2021)

  • State v. Andujar, 247 N.J. 275 (2021)

  • In re Attorney Gen. Law Enf't Directive Nos. 2020-5 & 2020-6, 246 N.J. 462 (2021)

  • Gannett Satellite Info. Network, LLC v. Twp. of Neptune, 467 N.J. Super. 385 (App. Div. 2021)

  • State v. Lopez-Carrera, 245 N.J. 596 (2021)

  • State v. Garcia, 245 N.J. 412 (2021)

  • In re Atty Gen. Law Enf't Directive Nos. 2020-5 & 2020-6, 465 N.J. Super. 111 (App. Div. 2020)

  • Fraternal Order of Police, Newark Lodge No. 12 v. City of Newark, 244 N.J 75 (2020)

  • State v. Courtney, 243 N.J. 77 (2020)

  • State v. Greene, 242 N.J. 530 (2020)

  • Friedman v. Martinez, 242 N.J. 449 (2020)

  • State v. J.V., 242 N.J. 432 (2020)

  • State v. Trinidad, 241 N.J. 425 (2020)

  • Wild v. Carriage Funeral Holdings Inc., 241 N.J. 285 (2020)

  • State v. Shaw, 241 N.J. 223 (2020)

  • Digital First Media v. Ewing Twp., 462 N.J. Super. 389 (App. Div. 2020)

  • L.R. v. Camden City Pub. Sch. Dist., 238 N.J. 547 (2019)

  • Correa v. Grossi, 458 N.J. Super. 571 (App. Div. 2019)

  • Piscitelli v. City of Garfield Zoning Bd., 237 N.J. 333 (2019)

  • Paff v. Ocean Cnty. Prosecutor's Office, 235 N.J. 1 (2018)

  • Kean Federation of Teachers v. Morel, 233 N.J. 566 (2018)

  • Brennan v. Bergen Cnty. Prosecutor’s Office, 233 N.J. 330 (2018)

  • Scheeler v. Atl. Cnty. Mun. Joint Ins. Fund, 454 N.J. Super. 621 (App. Div. 2018)

  • Petro-Lubricant Testing Labs, Inc. v. Asher Adelman, 233 N.J. 236 (2018)

  • Libertarians for Transp. Gov’t v. Gov’t Records Council, 453 N.J. Super. 83 (App. Div. 2018)

  • Wronko v. N.J.S.P.C.A., 453 N.J. Super. 73 (App. Div. 2018)

  • In re New Jersey Firemen’s Ass’n, 230 N.J. 258 (2017)

  • N. Jersey Media Group Inc. v. Office of Gov., 451 N.J. Super. 282 (App. Div. 2017)

  • N. Jersey Media Group Inc. v. Twp. of Lyndhurst, 229 N.J. 541 (2017)

  • State v. Bacome, 228 N.J. 94 (2017)

  • Gilleran v. Twp. of Bloomfield, 227 N.J. 159 (2016)

  • N. Jersey Media Group Inc. v. Twp. of Lyndhurst, 441 N.J. Super. 70 (App. Div. 2015)

  • Gilleran v. Twp. of Bloomfield, 440 N.J. Super. 490 (App. Div.  2015)

  • State v. Tate, 220 N.J. 393 (2015)

  • Turner v. Twp. of Irvington, 430 N.J. Super. 274 (App. Div. 2013)

  • Headen v. Jersey City Bd. of Educ., 212 N.J. 437 (2012)

  • Wilson ex rel. Manzano v. City of Jersey City, 209 N.J. 558 (2012)

Clerkships

  • Judicial Law Clerk to Ariel A. Rodriguez, P.J.A.D. (2009-2010)

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Education

B.S., SUNY-Empire State College, 2005

J.D., Rutgers University School of Law, 2009

Jump to Page

By using this site, you agree to our updated Privacy Policy and our Terms of Use