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Domestic Violence Proceedings in New Jersey: Criminal and Family Court Perspectives

Produced on July 30, 2019

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Course Information

Time 78 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

New Jersey’s Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (“PDVA”) is one of the most expansive domestic violence statutes in the nation. The PDVA expanded the judicial system’s response to domestic violence by establishing the family court restraining order process. Family court restraining orders offer a parallel proceeding for victims of domestic violence to seek reliefs, which supplement the protections offered to victims by the criminal court proceedings against their abusers.

Practitioners in this area must be well-versed in both the family and criminal court implications of domestic violence proceedings. This program, presented by Shari Lee Genser of Seiden Family Law, LLC and Georgina Giordano Pallitto of Pallitto Law, LLC, will introduce attorneys to the criminal and family court perspectives on domestic violence.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Define domestic violence according to the New Jersey Prevention of Domestic Violence Act
  2. Distinguish between the criminal and family court actions arising out of domestic violence incidents in New Jersey
  3. Offer practical advice to clients at any stage of these proceedings

Credit Information

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Faculty

Shari Lee Genser

Seiden Family Law

Shari Lee Genser joined Seiden Family Law, LLC in January 2017 and has worked exclusively in the area of family law since her graduation from law school.  Shari graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2011 where she was presented with the National Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Law Student Award.  She received her B.A. in Jurisprudence from Montclair State University in 2008 where she graduated magna cum laude and was named an Edward J. Bloustein Distinguished Scholar.

Shari served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Nancy Sivilli, J.S.C. of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, County of Essex from 2011 to 2012.  Thereafter, she was awarded funding as an Equal Justice Works Fellow to develop a teen dating violence prevention project at Essex-Newark Legal Services.  During her two year fellowship, Shari provided advocacy to victims of domestic violence in all areas of family law and performed extensive community outreach in the area of teen dating violence.  At the conclusion of her fellowship, Shari worked as a Staff Attorney in the Family Law Unit of Essex-Newark Legal Services where she continued to serve the community by providing representation in family law matters. 

Shari has presented seminars on domestic violence in high school, college, and law school classrooms, as well as various community organizations.  Shari has presented for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education at the Hot Tips in Family Law Seminar in November 2017 on the topic of domestic violence restraining orders, at the Hot Tips in Family Law Seminar in November 2018 on the topic of equitable distribution, and at the 2019 Real Estate Conference on the intersection of family law and real estate transactions.

Shari transitioned from the non-profit sector into private practice in 2015, working for a boutique matrimonial firm in Morristown prior to joining Seiden Family Law, LLC.  Since moving into private practice, Shari has continued to serve the community by volunteering with the Women’s Center Legal Clinic at the County College of Morris, Volunteer Lawyers for Justice and Partners for Women and Justice.  Shari serves as an Early Settlement Panelist in the Essex County Superior Court of New Jersey.  She is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Essex County Bar Association, Union County Bar Association, and she is a past member of the Barry I. Croland Family Law American Inns of Court.  Shari presently serves on the Young Lawyers Subcommittee of the New Jersey State Bar Association Family Law Section, and she is an active member of both the Young Lawyers Section and the Family Law Committee of the Essex County Bar Association.



Georgina Giordano Pallitto is a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.  She began Pallitto Law, LLC in 2016.  Ms. Pallitto has been appointed as the Assistant Municipal Prosecutor for East Hanover Township since 2016.  She is the current Secretary of the Morris County Municipal Prosecutors Association.  In addition, she serves as a trustee of the New Jersey State Municipal Prosecutors Association since 2018.  She is a member of the New Jersey State Bar Association, Hudson County Bar Association, Essex County Bar Association, and President of the North Hudson Lawyers' Club.     

Ms. Pallitto also currently serves as Assistant County Counsel for the County of Hudson, assigned to Meadowview Psychiatric Hospital in Secaucus.  In her current position with the hospital, Ms. Pallitto represents the County in civil commitment and disciplinary hearings.  

Prior to this, Ms. Pallitto was an Assistant Prosecutor in Hudson County upon completing her clerkship with the Honorable Michael A. Petrolle, J.S.C. in the Essex County Criminal Division.  She was an adjunct professor in the Political Science Department at New Jersey City University from 2014-2017.  

 Ms. Pallitto obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a minor in Italian Studies from the University of California at San Diego in 2006.  After spending a year interning for Senator Robert Menendez in Washington, D.C., she returned to New Jersey to attend Seton Hall University School Law in Newark.