Mary Frances Palisano is a tenacious advocate and trusted legal advisor, Ms. Palisano understands how stressful it is for a client to be accused of a crime or for a family whose child has a legal issue. Ms. Palisano is an experienced litigator who focuses her practice on criminal defense, juvenile proceedings, school discipline matters, and special education.
Ms. Palisano appreciates what is at stake not only for her clients, but for their families, too, and she has a deep-rooted commitment to working diligently to determine the most effective strategies and appropriate goals in each client’s unique situation.
Ms. Palisano began her legal career handling criminal cases in the trial division of the Legal Aid Society and has been practicing in the area of criminal defense for nearly 20 years. She is a vigorous protector of her clients’ rights, and her clients benefit from her unique, out-of-the-box thinking that comes only from experience.
Ms. Palisano’s criminal defense practice includes counseling clients in all phases of criminal proceedings and quasi-criminal matters, including state charges, federal crimes, juvenile proceedings, internal investigations, and municipal court matters.
In the area of child advocacy, Ms. Palisano advocates for children with special needs so that they can obtain the education they need and have a right to receive, providing legal advice related to Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and accommodations, attending meetings with the child study teams, enforcing and revising IEPs, obtaining 504 plans, and handling mediation and due process hearings, among other services.
With the right strategies and negotiation, many special education cases can be settled through conferences or mediation, but if needed, Ms. Palisano vigorously defends the rights of her clients through litigation. Ms. Palisano also provides representation when children are threatened with disciplinary action or are victims of students’ behavior.
- Pace University School of Law (J.D.)
- University of Hartford (B.A.)
- State of New Jersey
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
- United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
- Supreme Court (NJ) Committee on Model Criminal Jury Charges, 2011-2013, 2013-2015, 2015-2017 terms
- Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey
- Trustee (2017, 2018)
- Co-Chair, Legislative Committee (2015, 2016)
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- Chair, Criminal Law Section
- Continuing Legal Education Advisory Committee
- Pro Bono Committee
- School Law Committee
- Editorial Board, New Jersey Lawyer Magazine
- Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
- New Jersey Women Lawyers Association
- Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey
- National Association of Women Lawyers
- Planning Committee member and Co-Chair, Annual Meeting Program Book Committee (2012, 2013)
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