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Dawn Attwood

Member of the Firm

Background

Ms. Attwood’s practice concentrates primarily on complex civil litigation on behalf of both public and private sector clients, with special emphasis on public entity and insurance defense, as well as employment and commercial litigation. She has extensive experience, at the trial and appellate levels, representing private insurance companies, joint insurance funds, the State of New Jersey, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, New Jersey Transit, a number of County Prosecutor’s Offices and municipalities in personal injury, civil rights and employment actions.  With respect to insurance defense, Ms. Attwood has extensive experience handling dram shop, premises liability, automotive liability and coverage matters.  Ms. Attwood also served as the Public Defender for the Borough of Emerson for four years. She has also represented a number of private clients with respect to bar admissions, and conducts continuing legal education seminars on the Tort Claims Act.

Prior to joining Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, Ms. Attwood was a partner at DeCotiis, Fitzpatrick & Cole, LLP. Before that, Ms. Attwood spent five years with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, where she defended the State in tort, contractual and employment litigation matters and tried several civil jury matters involving the New Jersey Tort Claims Act, the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the Federal Employer’s Liability Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.  As co-counsel, she assisted in the successful prosecution of a Municipal Court judge in a trial before a specially appointed three-judge panel, affirmed on appeal to the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Ms. Attwood is a Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated Lawyer.  While in law school, Ms. Attwood was a recipient of American Jurisprudence Awards in Administrative Law, Insurance and Torts.  She was also a member of the Honor Chapter of the Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity.

Representative Matters

  • Successfully appealed and obtained reversal of $7.6 million jury verdict in premises liability action.
  • Obtained defense verdict on behalf of cleaning company against claims for contractual defense and indemnification asserted by the property owner.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of municipality where employee’s estate sued under the wrongful death exception to the Workers Compensation Act following fatal accident. The trial court’s decision was affirmed on appeal.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of county prosecutor’s office, individual prosecutors and investigators, in a federal civil rights matter brought by the mother of an abused child, who had been arrested for tampering with the child victim witness in an effort to hinder the prosecution and protect the child molester, who was ultimately convicted. Summary judgment was affirmed on appeal to the Third Circuit.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of public authority in fatal motor vehicle accident, based on Tort Claims Act immunities.
  • Successfully obtained summary judgment on behalf of City and its police officers in civil rights action involving false arrest and malicious prosecution claims

Reported Decisions

Mandal v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, 430 N.J. Super. 287 (App. Div.), petition for certif. denied (2013)

Mann v. Heil Packer, 2010 WL 98883 (App. Div. 2010)

Hyatt v. County of Passaic, 340 Fed. Appx. (3rd Cir. 2009)

Professional/Civic Activities

New Jersey State Bar Association
Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey

Bar Admissions

New Jersey
New York
United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

Education

B.A., Fordham University, magna cum laude, 1990
J.D., Widener University School of Law, cum laude, 1994