Criminal Trial Practice Award – New Brunswick, New Jersey
Jack Venturi, Esq.
Jack Venturi graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BS from the University of Connecticut in 1972 and JD from New York University School of Law in 1975. Having been admitted as an attorney in New Jersey on December 2, 1975, Jack recently celebrated his 40th anniversary as an attorney. He began his long and distinguished career by representing indigent individuals accused of crimes as an Assistant Deputy Public Defender in Union County. In 1979, he was hired as an Associate at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer, PA in Woodbridge where he worked exclusively for the criminal defense practice department. In 1982, Jack opened his own office in New Brunswick where he has been practicing as a criminal defense attorney for the past 33 years.
Over the course of his career, Jack has successfully represented clients in thousands of cases including a number of high profile cases that have substantially impacted the practice of law in the criminal justice system. By way of example, in 1997, Jack represented Michael Behn who was accused of a murder that allegedly took place in South River. As a result of Jack’s efforts at the trial level, that conviction was overturned in 2005 by the Appellate Division which held that the trial court incorrectly allowed the prosecutors to introduce Comparative Bullet Lead Analysis evidence through the FBI which the Appellate Division ruled as junk science that falsely matches bullet fragments. Not long after, the FBI, having used CBLA since the 80’s in over 2500 cases, agreed that it was junk science and announced that they would stop using it in all cases.
In 2009, Jack was named Lawyer of the Year by the New Jersey Law Journal for using OPRA to pursue discovery that was initially denied by a trial court in a criminal case. By way of another example, just this past year in In Re A.B., the Appellate Division ruled that it is reversible error to deny a defendant the right to investigate a crime scene based on Jack’s tireless efforts to represent his client zealously and conduct a thorough investigation at the trial level. These are just a few examples of Jack’s body of work and how his professionalism has affected the practice of criminal law for the better by not only upholding individuals’ State and Federal Constitutional rights, but defining them through the practice of law.
Jack is regularly listed among the top 100 trial lawyers in New Jersey by the National Trial Lawyers Association, has been listed in the Top Ten Leaders of Criminal Defense Law from 2005 to present, has been listed in Super Lawyers of New Jersey from 2007 to present, has been Board Certified as Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and Strathmore’s Who’s Who named him “Professional of the Year” in the criminal law practice area in 2007. Recently, Jack has been informally ranked the “number one” criminal defense attorney by the Middlesex County Correctional Facility inmate population. Recognizing his experience and accomplishments, professional organizations frequently call upon Jack to speak and teach about a vast array of criminal law topics.
Jack is always called upon by colleagues, both defense attorneys and prosecutors, to discuss legal issues and learn from his experience and insight. He is constantly giving advice to members of the criminal justice community including public defenders and private defense attorneys in Middlesex and surrounding counties. His leadership in the area of criminal law, his significant contributions to the legal community, and his reputation for personal and professional integrity are undeniable.
By: Jonathan Cowles
Middlesex County Bar Association/Foundation