History  of the Justice Morris Pashman Inn of CourtAE 2016 Bronze web badge

The Justice Morris Pashman American Inn of Court was founded as one of the first Inns of Court in New Jersey. It was created by a group of dedicated Judges and attorneys for the purpose of teaching and mentoring young lawyers in the skills of trial advocacy, civility, professionalism and ethics. In October of 1989, the first President of The Justice Morris Pashman American Inn of Court, Honorable Andrew P. Napolitano, brought together a distinguished array of jurists and lawyers including Honorable Donald W. deCordova, Honorable Kevin M. O'Halloran, Honorable Arthur Troast, Roger W. Breslin, Albert Burstein, Bernard Chasan, Albert L. Cohn, Frank J. Cuccio and Victor Harwood, III. That distinguished group met and set in motion that energy and dedication necessary to create the Inn. The Coordinating Committee worked tirelessly for several months and in September of 1990 the first session of the Justice Morris Pashman American Inn of Court met with a group of approximately 35 Masters and Barristers and 35 pupils.

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The Pashman Inn uses as a teaching guide an actual civil case that was tried by one of its members. A case syllabus is established and assignments provided to the students covering all phases of trial advocacy. The syllabus includes factual intake information, pleadings, interrogatories, depositions, expert reports and other pertinent data. At the monthly general sessions, Masters and Barristers and guest speakers lecture and/or demonstrate all phases of trial advocacy, ethics, professionalism and Appellate practice. The students are assigned to present various aspects of a trial at monthly pupilage sessions under the watchful eye of Masters and Barristers.

The Inn meets once a month for ten months in a general session and once a month in smaller pupilage sessions during a two-year term. The lecture and demonstration period is approximately one and one half hours followed by a dinner at which time there is considerable interaction between the pupils, Masters and Barristers. It was the intent of the founders that the cocktail reception and dinner would enable the young lawyers to interact informally on a one to one basis with the Judges and senior attorneys. At the pupilage sessions the students have the opportunity to present various phases of their developing skills in trial advocacy under the watchful eye of the Masters and Barristers. The students will perform opening and closing arguments, deposition examination of lay and expert witnesses, motions, and direct and cross-examination of witnesses under Mock Trial situations based upon the case being used for the two-year session. A graduation ceremony is held at the conclusion of the term at which time a Supreme Court Justice or Federal Judge addresses the group.

The Justice Morris Pashman American Inn of Court currently operates under our current Inn President, Hon. Rachelle L. Harz, J.S.C., Bergen County, Secretary Treasurer, Thomas J. Herten, Esq. The officers and other Coordinating Committee members are responsible for overseeing the operation of the Inn. The Committee members handle various phases of Inn organization including development of a calendar and determination as to the nature of the lectures and demonstrations as well as final approval of the case syllabus. Currently, general sessions and pupilage meetings are conducted at the Bergen County Court House followed by a cocktail reception and dinner.

Our current membership consists of approximately 35 Masters and Barristers and 35 pupils who continue to work together during a two-year term meeting in general sessions ten times each year and in smaller pupilage sessions for approximately the same number of meetings. An example of the dedication of its members and their enthusiasm for the Inn is the length of time of their service. That dedication and enthusiasm, however, has kept the Inn filled with new Masters and Barristers, many coming from the ranks of former students.

About Justice Morris Pashman

Justice Morris Pashman

Associate Justice Morris Pashman was born in Passaic on Sept. 27, 1912. He was graduated from Passaic High School, New York University, University of Michigan and New Jersey Law School (Rutgers University), where he received his LL.B. in 1935. He was admitted to the New Jersey Bar as an attorney in 1936 and became a counsellor at law in 1939. He clerked for and was associated in the office of former Supreme Court Justice James F. Minturn. He served as police judge of the City Of Passaic from 1946 to 1948 and then became magistrate of the Municipal Court from 1948 to the date of his resignation in January 1951, when he became a candidate for public office.

In May 1951, he was elected mayor of Passaic, an office he filled until May 1955. He was re-elected commissioner of the City Of Passaic and became the director of revenue and finance from 1955 to 1959. After his re-election in 1959, he resigned and was appointed as judge of the Passaic County Court on July 1, 1959. On Dec. 1, 1961, he was appointed judge of the Superior Court by former Gov. Robert B. Meyner. He was reappointed to the Superior Court by Gov. Richard J. Hughes in May 1968.

He was serving as assignment judge in Bergen County when Gov. William T. Cahill appointed him to the Supreme Court. He was sworn as associate justice on June 17, 1973 and served until his retirement on Sept. 26, 1982. Justice Pashman died on Oct. 3, 1999 at the age of 87. He and his wife Terna had two children.

Justice Pashman was a member of the King's Bench (Rutgers) ; Passaic County, New Jersey State and American Bar Associations. He served as president of Passaic County Bar Association in 1955.

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