N.J. Bar Foundation awards prestigious Medal of Honor to Lustberg, Albin

Lawrence Lustberg, co-chair of the Gibbons P.C. White Collar & Investigations Group, and retired state Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin of Lowenstein Sandler LLP, recently received the highest honor from the New Jersey State Bar Foundation: the Medal of Honor.

The NJSBF annually awards its Medal of Honor to professionals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of the justice system or the betterment of the legal profession in New Jersey, and who have attained professional excellence in the law or service to the profession and the community.

The awards were presented at the foundation’s annual awards dinner Tuesday at the Park Chateau in East Brunswick.

Lustburg, a longtime director of the Gibbons Fellowship, said he was touched to receive the award.

“I feel so honored to be a recipient of the Bar Foundation Medal of Honor, particularly alongside my longtime friend and a giant of the legal community, Justice Barry Albin,” he said. “I am grateful not only for the award, but even more so for the opportunity that the profession, including the Bar Association, has provided me to work on some of the greatest issues of our time, from racial equality to criminal justice reform and beyond.”

Indeed, throughout his career, Lustberg has argued groundbreaking cases before federal and state courts up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and he is well known and highly regarded for his extensive criminal defense, public interest and pro bono work.

Lustberg is a recognized authority in constitutional and criminal law and procedure, responsible for many seminal federal and state court decisions in a broad range of cases. After serving a pivotal role in the historic 2013 overturning of New Jersey’s ban on same-sex marriage, Lustberg was named the state’s “Lawyer of the Year” by the New Jersey Law Journal, which also presented him with one of its first Lifetime Achievement Awards in 2016.

He is the former president of both the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey and Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, each of which has awarded him its highest honor — the William J. Brennan Jr. Award and Hon. Lawrence A. Whipple Memorial Award, respectively.

Albin, who turned 70 on July 7 — triggering a mandatory retirement — served on the court for just under 20 years and was seen as its most progressive member. He was the only justice with experience as a public defender and civil rights lawyer.

As a Supreme Court justice, Albin authored more than 400 opinions, including more than 230 majority opinions, more than 130 dissents and dozens of concurrences. His judicial body of work spans the wide spectrum of the law. He has written opinions in the fields of criminal law and the rights of the accused; constitutional law and the rights of same-sex couples; civil rights; contract, family, insurance, employment discrimination, municipal government, tax and election law; products liability, mass toxic torts as well as medical and legal malpractice; and more.

Gibbons Managing Director Peter Torcicollo said Lustberg is a model of excellence.

“As a lawyer, husband, father, grandfather, mentor, friend, role model and leader, Larry has continually demonstrated the qualities and attributes worthy of his receiving the Medal of Honor,” he said. “All of us at the firm congratulate him on this honor.”

Executive Chairperson Patrick Dunican agreed.

“Larry’s work on behalf of clients and his contributions to public interest law inspire all of us here at Gibbons, and we are extremely proud to see Larry recognized for his efforts,” he said.