Catherine Weiss Partner

Roseland
T 973.597.2438 | F 973.597.2439



Chair, Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest
Chair, Pro Bono Committee

As chair of the Lowenstein Center for the Public Interest Catherine Weiss spearheads the firm's pro bono program. Just as the firm has an unwavering commitment to engaging in meaningful pro bono work, Catherine's legal career has been dedicated to serving the public. A lifelong public interest lawyer, Catherine has served as the Director of the Division of Public Interest Advocacy in the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, as Deputy Director of the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, and as Director of the Reproductive Freedom Project in the national office of the ACLU.

Catherine is charged with ongoing implementation of the Center's mission to perform work of the highest quality in a manner that maximizes results for pro bono clients and causes. Her role involves selecting and managing the Center's pro bono matters, a task for which Catherine is well-suited as a result of her broad experience in management-level positions in nonprofits. Under her leadership, the Center has built strong relationships with local and national public interest and legal services organizations, and the firm has developed extensive experience in several areas of pro bono practice, including immigration, education and housing.

Catherine also maintains a substantive practice as a litigator. She approaches matters with an appellate lawyer's eye toward constructing challenges to unjust laws or policies and winning decisions that reform the law. In addition to leading pro bono teams in impact litigation, she manages and participates in signature initiatives through which the firm provides individual representation, on an ongoing basis, to children in immigration proceedings; victims of persecution in asylum proceedings; survivors of domestic violence in seeking orders of protection; veterans in disability hearings; low-income individuals in bankruptcy proceedings; indigent criminal defendants in appealing their convictions; and nonprofit organizations seeking counsel and assistance in corporate and governance matters.

Representative Engagements

Ran a hotline for the national Election Protection effort in 2012 to respond to questions from voters in New Jersey, South Carolina and West Virginia. Trained and supervised more than 100 volunteers. Worked closely with New Jersey election officials to ensure effective emergency accommodations for voters displaced by the hurricane that struck days before the election.
Represented legal New Jersey residents of Latino descent in a federal constitutional challenge to nonconsensual, warrantless, predawn raids of their homes by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of its "Operation Return To Sender." Withstood repeated motions to dismiss and defended an interlocutory appeal on qualified immunity in the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ultimately settled on terms favorable for the clients.
Represented a wide range of national religious organizations in an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court arguing that crisis-level overcrowding in the California prisons had resulted in inhumane, degrading and unconstitutional conditions. Helped to persuade the Court to affirm an order to reduce overcrowding.
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Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, "Restoring Foreclosed Properties to the Market," Best of the 2013 PBI Annual Conference Series:  Marketplace of Ideas - Transactional Pro Bono Projects Webinar, April 25, 2013

Publications

States Provide Model for Handling Controversial Class Action Awards
The National Law Journal, November 25, 2013
Catherine Weiss, Michael Hahn
Expecting the Unexpected: Election Planning for Emergencies
Lawyers' Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, October 29, 2013
Catherine Weiss, Christine Boyle, Manali Joglekar, Meg Slachetka

Press Mentions

In Law360, Lowenstein Sandler is highlighted for winning a ruling from the state Supreme Court that will increase pro bono assistance for low-income people filing for bankruptcy. Catherine Weiss comments on the court’s decision approving the pro bono bankruptcy clinic run by Volunteer Lawyers for Justice in conjunction with the firm and the legal department at Merck. , Law360 , August 15, 2014
In Law360 and the New Jersey Law JournalCatherine Weiss and Lowenstein Sandler commented on a New Jersey Supreme Court decision approving a pro bono bankruptcy clinic run by Volunteer Lawyers for Justice, in conjunction with the firm and the legal department at Merck. The Court holds that the Rules of Professional Conduct pertaining to conflicts of interest pose no barrier to a lawyer’s pro bono representation of low-income debtors in no-asset Chapter 7 bankruptcies even if their firms represent creditors of those debtors in unrelated matters. , Law360; New Jersey Law Journal , July 2, 2014; July 11, 2014
Catherine Weiss is mentioned in the New Jersey Law Journal and The Pro Bono Wire in connection with the firm’s representation of Volunteer Lawyers for Justice in an appeal to the New Jersey Supreme Court seeking a legal ethics opinion to lower perceived hurdles to participation in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy clinic for low-income debtors. , New Jersey Law Journal; The Pro Bono Wire , April 1, 2014
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Events

November 12, 2014
Lowenstein Sandler and Volunteer Lawyers for Justice's Pro Bono CLE Seminar


Related Areas

Litigation

Education


Yale Law School ( J.D. , 1987 )
Yale University ( M.A. , 1984 ) , National Science Foundation Fellowship
Princeton University ( A.B. , 1981 ) , Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude

Bar Admissions


New York
New Jersey
District of Columbia

Court Admissions


U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey

Affiliations


  • Huber Foundation, Board Member
  • Partners for Women and Justice, Board Member