Since becoming a quadriplegic as a result of a spinal cord injury in 1982, Mr. Kopelson has concentrated his law practice on cases involving disability rights.

Attorney Edward A. Kopelson Biography

disability attorney Edward KopelsonEdward A. Kopelson graduated Rutgers Law School in 1972, and has been engaged for essentially all of the time since in public interest litigation. While in law school he worked at Essex County Legal Services, and for two years after graduation he was an attorney at Somerset County Legal Services. For the following seven years Mr. Kopelson was as an Assistant Deputy Public Advocate with New Jersey’s government-funded public interest law firm. In February of 1982, he was injured while in South America—a cervical fracture of the spinal cord—and spent most of that year at N.Y. University’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitative Medicine. In 1983, Mr. Kopelson became Litigation Counsel at the Community Health Law Project, and for the last 22 years has been working in private practice primarily representing victims of discrimination.

Several lawsuits filed by Mr. Kopelson resulted in officially published State court decisions, including Barone v. Dept. of Human Services, 107 NJ 335 (1987); Franek v. Tomahawk Lake Resort, 333 NJ Super 206, 754 A.2d 1237 (App. Div. 2000), certif. denied 166 NJ 606 (2000); Granziel v. City of Plainfield, 279 NJ Super 104 (App. Div. 1995); G.B. v. State Health Benefits Commission, 222 NJ Super 83 (App. Div. 1988).

Mr. Kopelson also filed several federal court cases which resulted in published decisions, including Pascuiti v. New York Yankees, 108 F. Supp. 2d 258 (S.D. NY 2000); Harris v. Public Service Electric & Gas Co., 2007 WL 275983 (D. NJ 2007); Disabled in Action of Metropolitan NY v. Trump Intern. Hotel & Tower, 2003 WL 1751785 (S.D. NY 2003); Sunners v. PaineWebber, 1994 WL 496555 (D. NJ 1994). In addition, an article he presented at the President's Committee on Mental Retardation, “State Law, Judicial Review and The Rights of People with Disabilities” is published in the book “Legal Rights of Citizens with Mental Retardation” (University Press of America 1988).

Since 1996 Mr. Kopelson has served, initially by appointment of then Governor Whitman, as a member of the New Jersey Commission on Civil Rights. He has also served as a member of the Community Health Law Project Board of Directors for nearly 20 years; a member of Middlesex County Legal Services Board of Directors for six years; a member of the NJ Supreme Court Ethics Committee; a member of the Board of Directors of NJ chapter of the National Employment Lawyers Association; and a member of the Essex County Bar Association Committee on Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Mr. Kopelson has been licensed in the following jurisdictions:
1972 – State of New Jersey
1972 – U.S. District Court for New Jersey
1977 – United States Supreme Court
1980 – State of New York
1990 – U.S. District Court for Southern District of New York
1990 – U.S. District Court for Eastern District of New York

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