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David A. Parker and Warren W. Wilentz To Receive James J. McLaughlin Award from Civil Trial Bar Section

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—The Civil Trial Bar Section will present its prestigious James J. McLaughlin Awards to two emeritus members of the New Jersey State Bar Association on Sept. 29. David A. Parker and Warren W. Wilentz will be honored at the Hyatt Regency in New Brunswick when the section recognizes their colleagues with this award for demonstrating civility, legal competence and professionalism in the practice of civil trial law.

To register to attend the event, visit and select Meetings Calendar, or contact the Meetings Department at 732-249-5000.

David A. Parker

Known for treating lawyers with courtesy and respect while always doing a professional job for his client, David Parker trained the lawyers who came into the firm of Parker McCay.

“David would not sacrifice his sense of fair dealing and professional ethics and he trained new lawyers at the firm from the late 60s and on for 10 or more years according to that work ethic,” says Timothy E. Annin of Annin & Baxter, LLC in Mount Holly. “Like his father who founded the firm, David is a gentleman and all of those things that can be said about civil lawyers acting civilly and not sacrificing professionalism to win a case.”

Yves Veenstra is an attorney who Parker took under his wing when he started with Parker McCay. Veenstra speaks of Parker’s reputation as a man with no hidden agenda and how a negative word has never been spoken by anyone about him, even third-hand.

“He was my rabbi, my guru,” says Veenstra. “He did that for a number of young people who came to this firm.”

Understanding that the rules do not go far enough, Parker would teach young lawyers the many facets and realities of trial practice.

“They never tell you how many times you need to check and recheck things, how many people and how many times you have to call, and David went all the way teaching those things,” he said.

Veenstra adds that at the end of the trial, Parker ended up being friends with the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

“I’ve even seen plaintiffs themselves go and shake his hand and wish him good luck, after they had lost.”

Annin summed up these qualities on behalf of the award’s namesake, “David is the same kind of guy as Jimmy McLaughlin who also would never compromise his ethics to make a point.”

Parker is of counsel to Parker McCay in Marlton where he concentrates his practice in major commercial litigation, professional and product liability, environmental torts and coverage actions.

Parker has been a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association for 41 years. He served as vice chair of the NJSBA’s Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee.

A past president of the New Jersey Defense Association, Parker is the 1987 recipient of the Trial Bar Award from the Trial Attorneys of New Jersey where he also served as an officer. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the Federation of Insurance and Corporate Counsel, all of which are peer review, elected positions. He is also a member of the International Association of Insurance Counsel and Defense Research Institute, Inc.

A member of the American Bar Association and Burlington County Bar Association, Parker frequently lectures for the New Jersey Medical and Hospital Associations, the Institute for Continuing Legal Education, the New Jersey State Bar Association, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy and the American Association of Hospital Risk Managers. He is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.

Warren W. Wilentz

Colleagues speak of Warren Wilentz fondly as a great, courteous adversary who is loved by many, and who has a special place in his heart for helping young lawyers.

“He imbued the young attorneys in his office with this very professional attitude of courtesy toward the other side and a depth of concern,” says retired judge Douglas T. Hague of Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer in Woodbridge.

“He particularly dealt fondly as equals with young lawyers just starting their practice, and he mentored me as well as many others,” adds Morris Brown of the Wilentz firm.

From the time Brown started, the firm grew from nine to over one hundred lawyers practicing in Woodbridge, Eatontown, New York and Philadelphia.

Wilentz has an extensive background in both civil and criminal law. He is a former prosecutor and county attorney for Middlesex County and always engaged in a very active practice.

“He was an outstanding criminal lawyer, known as one of the best in the state,” says Brown. “And on the civil side, he also had a reputation as one of the finest trial lawyers in New Jersey.”

With all of his success in trial practice, however, Wilentz is best known for his integrity and always treating everyone with dignity.

“The greatest thing about Warren is that he taught us early on never to take advantage of an adversary,” says Hague.

According to Brown, “There were no kings or princes and he treated all lawyers, adversaries and colleagues as friends and equals.”

Wilentz has been a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association for 53 years. A past chair of the Woodbridge Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and a trustee of the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey, he served as a trustee and chairman of the Middlesex County Legal Services Corporation and as president of the Middlesex County Bar Association.

He is also a member of the American Bar Association, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA) and ATLA-NJ. Wilentz is chair of the Woodbridge Economic Development Association and former general counsel of the New Jersey Highway Authority (Garden State Parkway).

Wilentz is a shareholder with Wilentz Goldman & Spitzer in Woodbridge. His practice areas include condemnation law, civil rights, criminal law, administrative law and negligence.

The New Jersey State Bar Association, incorporated in 1899, is dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers and the public, to reforming and improving the legal system and to aiding in the administration of justice.