Newark, New Jersey, October 11, 2018 – The New Jersey Commission on Professionalism presented the Daniel J. O’Hern Award to Walsh’s Richard J. Badolato at its annual luncheon at the Pines Manor in Edison, New Jersey. The O’Hern award is presented to an attorney who is a well-respected member of the legal community and exhibits integrity, competence, high ethical standards, care achievement and service to the bar and community.
“The common denominator to all of Rich’s work, and to Rich himself, is expressed by one word – joy. Rich brings joy to whatever he undertakes.”
Rich was praised as a “lion at the bar” by the Commission’s Chair, Paula Franzese, Peter W. Rodino Professor of Law at Seton Hall University. Walsh’s Peter J. Pizzi provided introductory remarks regarding Rich, commenting that, for over 41 years, “Rich has served in leadership roles in county, state and national bar and industry organizations. Over that span of time, thousands upon thousands of lawyers practicing in this State – and a similar number of client representatives with business before our courts – have encountered Rich and have experienced the professionalism and enthusiasm with which he undertakes tasks and matters assigned to him, always achieving to the maximum extent possible the goal of his client or the target of the organization he is serving. High points in Rich’s career are too numerous to mention, but certainly for me it must include Rich’s service as President of the New Jersey State Bar Association in 2002, and his tenure as the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance from 2015 to 2018.” Pizzi concluded: “The common denominator to all of Rich’s work, and to Rich himself, is expressed by one word – joy. Rich brings joy to whatever he undertakes.”
In accepting the award, Rich spoke humbly: “This award is special to me, first: because it was voted on by my peers, and second: because Justice O’Hern was a personal friend, who I very much admired. While I am no Dan O’Hern, for me to receive an award that bears his name is beyond what I deserve. For all of us to be honored for what we should do as Lawyers: Treating each other, the bench, our Court personnel and our clients with respect, civility and professionalism is mind-boggling. After all, all we are doing is what is expected of us.”
“This award is special to me, first: because it was voted on by my peers, and second: because Justice O’Hern was a personal friend, who I very much admired.”
Present with Rich were his wife Betty and many members of Rich’s family, including his daughter Tracey Badolato and his sister, Carole Moore. Hon. Karen Cassidy, Superior Court of New Jersey, Assignment Judge, Union County, a protégé of Rich joined Walsh lawyers at Rich’s table. Honoring Rich by their presence included former colleagues of Rich at the Department of Banking and Insurance, including Steve Kerner (Assistant Commissioner), Peter Hartt (Director of Insurance), Kristine Maurer (Assistant Director of Insurance), and Aileen Eagan (Rich’s former Chief of Staff and currently Manager, Credentials).
In her letter nominating Badolato, Liza M. Walsh, the managing partner of Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP, lauded Rich’s “unimpeachable character, indefatigable commitment to professionalism, and storied legal career marked by service not only to his clients but also the legal profession and the executive and judicial branches of the government of the state of New Jersey.”
The New Jersey Commission on Professionalism in the Law is a cooperative effort of the New Jersey State Bar Association, the state and federal Judiciary, and New Jersey’s three law schools. The initiative’s goal is to highlight the values that have historically made the practice of law a distinguished profession, and instill public respect for judges and the justice system.
For more information about Rich Badolato’s Insurance and Regulatory practice at Walsh, please contact him at (973) 757-1016 or at [email protected].