NEWARK, September 21, 2022 – The New Jersey State Bar Foundation (NJSBF) bestowed its 2022 Medal of Honor, its most prestigious award, on retired New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Jaynee LaVecchia (ret.), now a partner with McCarter & English, at a ceremony on Sept. 20. Justice LaVecchia stands as one of the most consequential justices in modern history, sitting longer than any woman on the state Supreme Court and, as a result, leaving a lasting legacy on New Jersey jurisprudence through more than 240 opinions she authored during her time on the Court.
“The Foundation’s Medal of Honor recognizes professional excellence, leadership, commitment, and service to the public and legal community. Justice LaVecchia exemplifies all these qualities,” said Kathleen N. Fennelly, president of the NJSBF. “We congratulate Justice LaVecchia and applaud her outstanding contributions to the legal profession and to the advancement and improvement of the justice system in New Jersey.”
“I am thrilled to be chosen to receive the New Jersey State Bar Foundation’s Medal of Honor,” said Justice LaVecchia. “I have spent the majority of my legal career in various forms of public service, including 21 years on the state’s highest court. To have my service as a lawyer recognized by the Foundation — an organization dedicated to promoting pride in the law, our legal system, and public service — is a tremendous honor. It is humbling to receive this wonderful tribute for work that I was privileged to do and for which the service itself was an honor. I thank the Foundation for recognizing and including me in the company of the great lawyers of our Bar who have received this award.”
In her private practice, Justice LaVecchia draws upon her many years of judicial experience and understanding of New Jersey’s state agencies and regulatory landscape to help clients resolve complicated legal matters and her extensive knowledge and experience with the appellate process informs trial strategy for the most complex cases.
Before her nomination to the Supreme Court, Justice LaVecchia served as the New Jersey Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, overseeing thousands of insurance companies, banks, and credit unions. Prior to that, she held various leadership positions, including deputy chief counsel in the Office of Counsel to Governor Thomas H. Kean, chief administrative law judge in New Jersey’s Office of Administrative Law, and director of the Division of Law within the Department of Law and Public Safety.
Justice LaVecchia has received numerous awards and honors. She is a member of the Rutgers University Hall of Distinguished Alumni and recipient of the New Jersey Women of Achievement Award and the Rutgers Law School Distinguished Alumni Award. She is also an elected member of the American Law Institute and a Fellow of the American Bar Association.