Recognizing Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP partner Jonathan I. Epstein for an outstanding legal career, the American Jewish Committee of Central New Jersey presented him with the Judge Learned Hand Award Dec. 15 at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.  Dechert LLP partner Ezra D. Rosenberg also received the award.

The award is given annually to an outstanding leader in the legal profession who exemplifies the high principles for which Judge Hand was known. The event attracted more than 200 people and was co-chaired by Drinker Biddle Counsel Deborah T. Poritz, the former Chief Justice of New Jersey.

Other co-chairs included: Marina Corodemus, a former N.J. mass tort judge and managing partner of Corodemus & Corodemus; David E. Politziner, Partner-in-Charge, Litigation Services Group, EisnerAmper; John A. Sakson, Co-Managing Shareholder, Stark & Stark; Armen Shahinan, Member, Wolff & Samson, P.C.; Barton J. Winokur, Immediate Past Chairman & CEO, Dechert LLP.

Calling him a “lawyer’s lawyer,” Poritz introduced Epstein at the event and presented him with his award.

“He is a master at his craft, an advocate and a gifted litigator, and a practical problem solver, able to see through to the issues that matter in each case,” Poritz said at the ceremony.  “Most important, he is a man of integrity whom we respect and trust.”

Epstein, a managing partner of Drinker Biddle and the Regional Partner in Charge of the firm’s Princeton office, focuses his practice on real estate development and commercial litigation.  He has dedicated much time to New Jersey’s legal community throughout his career, serving as president of the Mercer County Bar Association and a member of the New Jersey Supreme Court’s District VII Ethics Committee. Epstein began his career as a poverty lawyer at the Legal Aid Society of Mercer County. 

The AJC established the Judge Learned Hand Award in memory of Judge Hand, a senior judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1924 to 1951 who was widely admired among American jurists.  Judge Hand rendered decisions in over 2,000 cases and was particularly noted for his extensive range, especially on cases of constitutional rights.