The Firm

The Honorable James H. Coleman, Jr. Honored with New Jersey Law Journal's Lifetime Achievement Award

4/26/2016 | News

It is with great pride that Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C. (Porzio) announces that The Honorable James H. Coleman, Jr., Associate Justice, New Jersey Supreme Court (Ret) and Of Counsel to the firm, has been named a recipient of the New Jersey Law Journal (NJLJ) 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award. This prestigious award recognizes those who have helped to shape the law in New Jersey.

During a lifelong quest for justice, Justice Coleman's contributions to the cause of racial and social justice are immeasurable. Born in 1933 in segregated Lawrenceville, Virginia, Justice Coleman overcame great odds to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree from Virginia State College and his Juris Doctor from Howard University School of Law. In 1978 he was appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court,  Law Division and in 1981, the Appellate Division. In 1994 he was sworn in as the first African-American New Jersey Supreme Court Justice.

Justice Coleman has authored numerous opinions that helped to break down the barriers of segregation. In State of New Jersey v. Gilmore, he authored the Appellate Division opinion which struck down the indiscriminate exclusion of racial minorities from serving on juries. He also authored the Supreme Court decision which concluded that a special jury charge regarding the unreliability of cross-racial identification was required in cases that involved cross-racial eyewitness identification.

Among the most recent of his numerous honors, Justice Coleman was recognized by Best Lawyers in America as the 2015 Newark Best Lawyers Arbitration Lawyer of the Year, and was nominated to the New Jersey Hall of Fame. He is the inaugural recipient of the Governor Kean Award for Commitment to People in Poverty, and the 2014 recipient of the Justice Thurgood Marshall Award of Excellence. He is also a recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Association Medal of Honor.

Justice Coleman will be honored by NJLJ during their Professional Excellence Awards dinner on June 15, 2016 at the Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, New Jersey.

Coleman Jr., James