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Wayne J. Positan Esq. to Receive Foundation's Highest Honor

The New Jersey State Bar Foundation's highest award-the prestigious Medal of Honor-will be conferred on Wayne J. Positan, Esq., managing director of Lum, Drasco & Positan, LLC, Roseland, NJ. The award, given each year to those who have made exemplary contributions to improving the justice system and enhancing New Jersey's legal legacy, will be presented at the Foundation's Annual Medal of Honor Awards Dinner Reception on Monday, September 12, at The Palace at Somerset Park in Somerset. His co-recipient is Justice Peter G. Verniero (ret.) of Sills Cummis & Gross P.C., which is sponsoring the celebratory dinner.

"The great tradition of charitable work by the New Jersey State Bar Foundation on behalf of our profession and society is an essential cornerstone of what we do as lawyers," said Positan. "When I look at the list of prior Medal of Honor recipients, and recognize their achievements, I am truly humbled and proud to be invited to join them."

Mr. Positan has been practicing law for more than four decades. He has been Managing Director of Lum, Drasco & Positan, LLC since 1990, and Chair of its Labor, Employment and Government Group since 1984. A recognized attorney in the areas of labor and employment law, commercial litigation, appellate practice and alternative dispute resolution matters, he is perennially listed in virtually every major "best" list including Best Lawyers in America, New Jersey Super Lawyers Top 100 (Top 10 2007-2010, #2 in 2007, 2009), Chambers USA's America's Leading Business Lawyers (Top Tier Employment Defense Attorneys since inception), New York Magazine "Best Lawyers in the Metropolitan New York Area," and NJ Monthly Magazine "Top Lawyers"; as well as International Who's Who of Management Labour and Employment Lawyers, Who's Who in American Law, Who's Who in America, and Who's Who in Mediation and Arbitration. He received the Essex County Bar Association Saiber Professional Achievement Award and its "Stars of Essex" Award. He received a Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the New Jersey Commission on Professionalism twice. He has received the Humanitarian and Achievement Award of the Columbian Foundation and now chairs its Board of Trustees.

He is a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, The College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, Litigation Counsel of America, the New Jersey Academy of Management Lawyers, the Boston University College of Arts & Sciences Collegium of Distinguished Alumni, and the American Bar Foundation; is a member of the Executive Committee of the NJ Fellows of the American Bar; and serves as Co-Chair of Fellows of the ABA Section of Litigation. He is a New Jersey Court-Approved Mediator, Federal Court Mediator, and Essex County Chancery Mediator.

He has been involved in a variety of high-profile cases representing companies, governmental entities and officials. Additionally, he has been involved in many appellate decisions that shaped the development of employment law in New Jersey.

Mr. Positan has a long history of involvement with the American Bar Association, including serving as the New Jersey State Delegate to the ABA House of Delegates, serving on the ABA Board of Governors and its Executive Committees, chairing the Coordinating Council of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility and the ABA Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice. The report and recommendations of that commission have now been adopted by forty-five states.

A former president of the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA), he also served on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and was heavily involved in the Foundation's Capital Campaign to make much-needed structural and technical improvements to the New Jersey Law Center. During his term as NJSBA president, he initiated the Pipeline Task Force to encourage minority students in grade and high schools to become lawyers and judges; the Task Force on Disaster Planning, to assist lawyers and the legal system to respond to disasters; and involved the NJSBA in the Military Assistance Program to assist returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. As president, he also served with the Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee.

Paulette Brown, Esq., a Foundation trustee and the president of the ABA through August 2016, explained the reason for her nomination of Positan for the Medal of Honor: "It is because of all he has done to enhance the legal profession and the manner in which he has done it.... Wayne exemplifies all that is great about our profession." Foundation President Lynn Fontaine Newsome Esq. lauded the nomination: "Wayne J. Positan's career is characterized by the highest standard of professionalism and service to the public and the bar. As a long-time colleague and friend, I am pleased to salute his achievements with the Bar Foundation's highest award, the Medal of Honor."

Mr. Positan has lectured on over one hundred programs on labor and employment issues, litigation, legal ethics, and the profession ranging from being the organizer/moderator of the NJICLE Annual Labor Law Forum for over twenty years to lecturing at the NJ Judicial College and addressing the Conference of Chief Justices on issues concerning multijurisdictional practice. He is an NJICLE Alfred Clapp Laureate for Excellence in Continuing Legal Education and a recipient of its Distinguished Service Award as well as the 2015 Excellence in Leadership Award of The Peter W. Rodino, Jr. Society of the Seton Hall School of Law. A prolific writer, he has been the Editor-in-Chief of the NJ ICLE book New Jersey Labor and Employment Law since its first edition in 1995 as well as the author of numerous articles on labor and employment in a variety of respected professional publications.

He currently serves as President of the Boston University Alumni Association and previously served on the Board of Trustees of Montclair State University. His dedication to the greater community is further reflected in his work on behalf of the Columbian Foundation, the American Hungarian Foundation, the Newark YM&WCA and other worthy organizations. Mr. Positan is a graduate of Boston University with a B.A. in Government, magna cum laude, and obtained his J.D. from the New York University School of Law.

The Foundation's Annual Medal of Honor Awards Reception begins at 6 p.m. on Monday, September 12, and is open to everyone. For more information, please contact Florence Nathan at the Bar Foundation at 732-937-7518, [email protected]; or mail a check for $175 per person made payable to the New Jersey State Bar Foundation, to the New Jersey State Bar Foundation Medal of Honor Awards Dinner, One Constitution Square, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1520, no later than August 31. To place a congratulatory message to Mr. Positan in the program journal, please contact Cynthia Pellegrino at [email protected] or 732-937-7507.