Lawrence M. Lawson

Overview

LAWRENCE M. LAWSON received his undergraduate degree from Bowie State University and his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.  He also attended Norwich University Military College.  After law school, Judge Lawson served as Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas L. Yaccarino, J.S.C.

Judge Lawson engaged in private practice for several years, during which time he served as the Municipal Prosecutor, City of Asbury Park from 1981 to 1986, and Mayor of Neptune Township from 1984 to 1986.

He was appointed as a Superior Court Judge of Monmouth County in 1987 and was assigned to the Civil Division. Shortly thereafter, in March he was assigned to the Criminal Division and in September of that year he was designated as the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. In 1990, Judge Lawson returned to the Civil Division as a trial judge until 1992 when he again returned to the Criminal Division. He served as a trial judge in that division until April of 1993 when he was appointed as the first African American judge to become the Assignment Judge of the Monmouth Vicinage and of the State of New Jersey. He remained as Assignment Judge until he retired on September 1, 2014.

Judge Lawson also serves on the Board of Trustees for Monmouth Medical Center, along with serving on its Medical Executive Committee, Credentials Committee and Surgery Chair Search Committee. Other appointments include the Special Committee on Attorney Ethics and Admissions, the Monmouth Bar Association Courthouse Facilities Committee, Senator Cory Booker’s Judicial Selection Committee, and the New Jersey State Bar Association Blue Ribbon Commission on Unmet Legal Needs.

Judge Lawson is a recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation Medal of Honor which is the highest award presented by the Foundation, and also received the New Jersey State Bar Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration. He is also a recipient of the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2016 Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement award, the Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Continuing Legal Education from ICLE, the Garden State Bar Association Roger M. Yancey award for Outstanding Achievement as a Jurist, the NAACP of Greater Long Branch President’s Achievement Award and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Man of the Year award.

Judge Lawson is Chair of the Firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee and he focuses his practice on Mediation and Arbitration matters.

  • Roger M. Yancey Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Jurist from the Garden State Bar Association
    • Two time recipient
  • Pioneer of Justice, Monmouth Vicinage
  • Asbury Park/Neptune NAACP Hall of Fame
  • Recognition of Years of Standing for Freedom and Fighting for the Future
  • Monmouth Boy's and Girl's Club Hall of Fame
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity - Man of the Year
  • Neptune Township Board of Education Hall of Fame
  • Distinguished Service Award - NJ ICLE
  • NJSBA Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration
  • New Jersey State Bar Foundation, Medal of Honor, 2015
  • The Greater Long Branch Chapter of the NAACP, President's Achievement Award, 2015
  • New Jersey Law Journal's Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016
  • 2017 Bowie State University National Alumni Association Leadership Award
  • Monmouth County Democratic Black Caucus, 2017  Honoring the Dream—Community Service Award

REPORTED DECISIONS:

Reported Decisions where Judge Lawson was Counsel:

  • Cuccurullo v. Meskin, 204 N.J. Super. 386 (Law Div. 1985) overruled by Gerzsenyi v. Richardson, 211 N.J. Super. 213 (App. Div. 1986)
    • Auto arb. de novo motion
  • Petition of Battle, 190 N.J. Super. 232 (App. Div. 1983) aff'd as modified, 96 N.J. 63 (1984)
    • Election law
  • Borough of Belmar v. Buckley, 187 N.J. Super. 107 (App. Div. 1982)
    • Indecent exposure municipal ordinance violation
  • Matter of Bennett, 180 N.J. Super. 406 (Ch. Div. 1981)
    • Incompetency

 Judge Lawson's reported decisions as a Judge:

  • Bd. of Fire Comm'rs, Fire Dist. No. 1, Twp. of Millstone v. Cascella, 326 N.J. Super. 142 (Law Div. 1998) aff'd sub nom., 326 N.J. Super. 83 (App. Div. 1999)
    • Condemnation
  • State v. Bram, 246 N.J. Super. 200 (Law Div. 1990)
    • Criminal
  • In re N.N., 407 N.J. Super. 30 (Law Div. 2009)
    • Megan’s Law
  • Stewart v. Planning Bd. of Twp. of Manalapan, 334 N.J. Super. 123 (Law Div. 1999)
    • PW
  • Benjamin R. Harvey Co. v. Bd. of Educ., Spring Lake Heights Sch. Dist., 358 N.J. Super. 383, (Law Div. 2002)
    • OSC Public Bidding
  • Eltrym Euneva, LLC v. Keansburg Planning Bd. of Adjustment, 407 N.J. Super. 432 (Law Div. 2008)
    • PW
  • In re Monday Grand Jury Panel of Monmouth Cnty. Vicinage 9, 405 N.J. Super. 88 (Law Div. 2008)
    • Grand Jury 

Overview

LAWRENCE M. LAWSON received his undergraduate degree from Bowie State University and his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.  He also attended Norwich University Military College.  After law school, Judge Lawson served as Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Thomas L. Yaccarino, J.S.C.

Judge Lawson engaged in private practice for several years, during which time he served as the Municipal Prosecutor, City of Asbury Park from 1981 to 1986, and Mayor of Neptune Township from 1984 to 1986.

He was appointed as a Superior Court Judge of Monmouth County in 1987 and was assigned to the Civil Division. Shortly thereafter, in March he was assigned to the Criminal Division and in September of that year he was designated as the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division. In 1990, Judge Lawson returned to the Civil Division as a trial judge until 1992 when he again returned to the Criminal Division. He served as a trial judge in that division until April of 1993 when he was appointed as the first African American judge to become the Assignment Judge of the Monmouth Vicinage and of the State of New Jersey. He remained as Assignment Judge until he retired on September 1, 2014.

Judge Lawson also serves on the Board of Trustees for Monmouth Medical Center, along with serving on its Medical Executive Committee, Credentials Committee and Surgery Chair Search Committee. Other appointments include the Special Committee on Attorney Ethics and Admissions, the Monmouth Bar Association Courthouse Facilities Committee, Senator Cory Booker’s Judicial Selection Committee, and the New Jersey State Bar Association Blue Ribbon Commission on Unmet Legal Needs.

Judge Lawson is a recipient of the New Jersey State Bar Foundation Medal of Honor which is the highest award presented by the Foundation, and also received the New Jersey State Bar Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration. He is also a recipient of the New Jersey Law Journal’s 2016 Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement award, the Distinguished Service Award for Excellence in Continuing Legal Education from ICLE, the Garden State Bar Association Roger M. Yancey award for Outstanding Achievement as a Jurist, the NAACP of Greater Long Branch President’s Achievement Award and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Man of the Year award.

Judge Lawson is Chair of the Firm's Diversity & Inclusion Committee and he focuses his practice on Mediation and Arbitration matters.

  • Roger M. Yancey Award for Outstanding Achievement as a Jurist from the Garden State Bar Association
    • Two time recipient
  • Pioneer of Justice, Monmouth Vicinage
  • Asbury Park/Neptune NAACP Hall of Fame
  • Recognition of Years of Standing for Freedom and Fighting for the Future
  • Monmouth Boy's and Girl's Club Hall of Fame
  • Omega Psi Phi Fraternity - Man of the Year
  • Neptune Township Board of Education Hall of Fame
  • Distinguished Service Award - NJ ICLE
  • NJSBA Arthur T. Vanderbilt Award for Excellence in Judicial Administration
  • New Jersey State Bar Foundation, Medal of Honor, 2015
  • The Greater Long Branch Chapter of the NAACP, President's Achievement Award, 2015
  • New Jersey Law Journal's Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016
  • 2017 Bowie State University National Alumni Association Leadership Award
  • Monmouth County Democratic Black Caucus, 2017  Honoring the Dream—Community Service Award

REPORTED DECISIONS:

Reported Decisions where Judge Lawson was Counsel:

  • Cuccurullo v. Meskin, 204 N.J. Super. 386 (Law Div. 1985) overruled by Gerzsenyi v. Richardson, 211 N.J. Super. 213 (App. Div. 1986)
    • Auto arb. de novo motion
  • Petition of Battle, 190 N.J. Super. 232 (App. Div. 1983) aff'd as modified, 96 N.J. 63 (1984)
    • Election law
  • Borough of Belmar v. Buckley, 187 N.J. Super. 107 (App. Div. 1982)
    • Indecent exposure municipal ordinance violation
  • Matter of Bennett, 180 N.J. Super. 406 (Ch. Div. 1981)
    • Incompetency

 Judge Lawson's reported decisions as a Judge:

  • Bd. of Fire Comm'rs, Fire Dist. No. 1, Twp. of Millstone v. Cascella, 326 N.J. Super. 142 (Law Div. 1998) aff'd sub nom., 326 N.J. Super. 83 (App. Div. 1999)
    • Condemnation
  • State v. Bram, 246 N.J. Super. 200 (Law Div. 1990)
    • Criminal
  • In re N.N., 407 N.J. Super. 30 (Law Div. 2009)
    • Megan’s Law
  • Stewart v. Planning Bd. of Twp. of Manalapan, 334 N.J. Super. 123 (Law Div. 1999)
    • PW
  • Benjamin R. Harvey Co. v. Bd. of Educ., Spring Lake Heights Sch. Dist., 358 N.J. Super. 383, (Law Div. 2002)
    • OSC Public Bidding
  • Eltrym Euneva, LLC v. Keansburg Planning Bd. of Adjustment, 407 N.J. Super. 432 (Law Div. 2008)
    • PW
  • In re Monday Grand Jury Panel of Monmouth Cnty. Vicinage 9, 405 N.J. Super. 88 (Law Div. 2008)
    • Grand Jury 

Education

Catholic University Of America, Columbus School of Law (J.D. 1972)
Bowie State University (B.A. 1969)

Admissions

State of New Jersey
Supreme Court of the United States
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
U.S. Court of Appeals, 3rd Circuit

Memberships

Former Chair and Member, Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Employee Outside Activities
Former Chair, Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Libraries
Member, Supreme Court Committee on Minority Concerns
Former Chair and Vice Chair, Supreme Court Criminal Practice Committee
Former Member, Supreme Court Sentencing Committee
Former Member, Supreme Court Committee on Judicial Information Systems Policy
Former Statewide Coordinator, appointed by the Chief Justice, Megan's Law
Former Vice Chair, Judiciary Budget and Planning Committee
Former Member, Judicial Reappointment Process Committee
Member, Monmouth Bar Association
Member, Special Committee on Attorney Ethics and Admissions
Member, Supreme Court Committee on Evidence
Member, Supreme Court Joint Committee on Criminal Justice
Garden State Bar Association
Former Member, Supreme Court Subcommittee on Standards, Revision Part III of the Criminal Practice Rules of Court
Member, Supreme Court Standards for Comprehensive Enforcement Program Committee
American Bar Association
The Community Advisory Board of the Two River Community Bank
New Jersey State Bar Association
Member, New Jersey State Bar Association Commission on Unmet Legal Needs
Member, McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter Diversity Committee
Member and Trustee, Retired Judges Association of New Jersey
Member, Senator Cory Booker’s Judicial Appointment Committee
Panel Member, United States District Court of New Jersey Panel of Mediators
Fellow, American Bar Foundation
Member, Monmouth Medical Center, Barnabas Health Board of Trustees
Member, Monmouth Medical Center, Barnabas Health Community Action Committee
Member, Monmouth Medical Center, Barnabas Health Medical Credentials Committee
Member, Monmouth Medical Center, Barnabas Health Medical Executive Committee
Member, New Jersey State Bar Association, Blue Ribbon Commission on Unmet Legal Needs
Member, Monmouth County Bar Association Courthouse Facilities Committee
Monmouth County Democratic Black American Caucus