Meet This Month's LAWYER OF ATLANTIC COUNTY #LOAC
Meet the Newest LAWYER OF ATLANTIC COUNTY #LOAC
Jerry Steiner, Esq.
Steiner Law Office, P.C., Pleasantville, NJ October 19, 2018
By: Jessica Rodio, Esq., Capehart Scatchard, P.A.
On October 19, 2018, I had the pleasure of interviewing our current Atlantic County Bar Association President, Jerry Steiner. Jerry has focused his career on personal injury, traffic court, criminal defense and, mainly, municipal court practice. A member of the Atlantic County Bar Association since 1980, Jerry has served our local community through his public and charitable work. Jerry’s never wavering passion and enthusiasm towards our profession and community have made him an enjoyable and influential member of the local bar.
Thank you, Jerry, for sharing your experiences and advice with young lawyers and readers of the #LOAC!
When did you first become a resident of Atlantic County?
I’ve been a resident of Atlantic County full time since 1976. My wife and I were both used to being summer residents in Ventnor, and shortly after we got married we had an opportunity to stay down here for the winter.
What made you first want to become involved in the ACBA?
It was in the 90’s sometime, and the business of law had been good to me. My practice was growing, I was experiencing success, and I enjoyed representing people. I felt that being a Trustee was an opportunity to give back to the community, as well as the legal community, through functions and seminars.
What has been your most enjoyable experience with the ACBA?
My most enjoyable experience has been having a chance to chair dinners and seminars. I took it upon myself to try and bring respect to the municipal court bar and to educate members of the bar that were interested in municipal court. I put together about half a dozen seminars utilizing experts, other attorneys, and learned scholars in the field.
What are your goals as this year’s ACBA president?
The goal that we set in the beginning of the year was to attach our name and efforts to this horrible war that has affected our society in Atlantic County, as well as the United States as a whole – the opiate war. We are losing so many people, and particularly young people are being destroyed by opiate addiction. I want to let Atlantic County citizens and organizations know that the Atlantic County Bar Association supports their efforts to stop this crisis. We are there to support with our name and our money, and we have already involved ourselves with different organizations that help people touched by the epidemic. I think it is appropriate to give our money back to the community, to those who need it, and to causes that are important.
What case or challenge have you faced that helped shape the kind of lawyer you wanted to become?
Jury trials were a great confidence builder, but I would say that over the last 15-20 years it was having the opportunity to practice in my field as a public servant. My work as a prosecutor for the Cities of Ventnor and Wildwood was extremely important in furthering my thoughts and the direction I was going. Over the last eighteen years, I’ve had the privilege of working for municipalities as a public defender. I really like my public defender work, and when I have the chance to put the same effort into a public defender case as I would into a private case, it’s gratifying, and that’s another chance to give back to the community.
If you could give advice to your young-lawyer-self, knowing what you know now, what would you say?
I think I would tell myself that it is important to be well-rounded, not just in your job, but in extra-curricular activities. It is important to be involved in continuing legal education, the bar association, and your community. I think as attorneys we have a responsibility to be leaders. It is narrow to think that there is no time to be involved outside of your nine-to-five job. That is the message I would give to myself, to always step back and take the time to be involved outside of just your job.
If you went back in time and didn’t become a lawyer, what would you be?
If I didn’t become a lawyer? Oh, I would have been a Hall of Fame quarterback and Super Bowl winner. I would have been Joe Montana! Or, second-choice, I would have been Michael Crawford in Phantom of the Opera.
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Lawyers of Atlantic County
was created in 2015 by the Atlantic County Bar Association Young Lawyers Division