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Oral History Project
The Oral History Project is a joint initiative of the Burlington County Superior Court and the Burlington County Bar Association that began in 2006. An oral history or living history is the practice or tradition of passing organizational and historical information on to future generations by word of mouth or storytelling. These histories often contain information not available in any other format and are enriched with human feelings and personal accounts of local events.
The project is on-going and routinely sets interviews of senior members of the bench, bar and former court staff so their experiences are not lost. All interviews are recorded, transcribed and full videos are made. All materials originating from this project are stored at the Burlington County Bar Association, as well as the county library and local historical societies.
We will be featuring these Oral Histories on our website, with a new interview to be uploaded each month, so everyone has the opportunity to watch them.
For a complete list of the judges and attorneys interviewed as part of this project you may contact the Bar Association or Oral History Coordinator Jude Del Preore (609-518-2510).
The Honorable John A. Sweeney, A.J.S.C., Retired Former Assignment Judge and BCBA President, Judge Sweeney’s career spans over 40 years in all three branches of our state government. Listen to Judge Sweeney recount his days growing up and raising a family in Florence, NJ and the early days of his career in Burlington County. Judge Sweeney reflects on the Burlington County Bar Association and practice of law and the camaraderie amongst its members, as well as his opportunity to see judges from a perspective that many do not have the chance to see.
Erwin D. Appell, Esquire In this special interview, Jeffrey Apell interviews his father, Erwin D. Apell. Listen to Mr. Apell recount how it all started at his mother’s kitchen table and how he built his practice into the firm it is today. Mr. Apell recounts his most interesting cases over the years and gives his view on the biggest change to the practice of law since he was admitted in 1962, as well as what he has enjoyed most out of the practice of law.
Francis J. Hartman A past president of the Burlington County Bar Association (1975) Francis J. Hartman is still practicing today after over 50 years at the Bar of New Jersey. A well-known attorney throughout the state, Hartman has tried at least one case in every county in New Jersey as well as one municipal case in every municipal court in Burlington County. Here, Hartman recounts what it was like starting out in Burlington County and practicing in a place where everybody knows your name and some of his most memorable cases.
Barry T. Parker A Mount Holly native, Barry Parker was instrumental in the expansion of Parker McCay & Criscuolo from a local county law office to one of South Jersey’s largest law firms. In this interview, Mr. Parker reflects on the uniqueness of the Burlington County Bar Association, his time as secretary of the Bar Association, his time in public office, and what lawyers impressed him along the way.
Hon. Victor Friedman Now retired, Hon. Victor Friedman is a former president of the Burlington County Bar Association and has been a member for over 50 years. He practiced law for 18 years until his appointment to the bench in 1978, where he remained for 22 years. Hear Judge Friedman discuss the changes that occurred during his 40 year career and how they affected the practice of law and administration of justice.
Kenneth E. Smith, Esq. Kenneth E. Smith was admitted to practice in 1963 and continues to practice today. Watch as Ken recounts stories of his over 50 years of practicing law, including his relationships with some of Burlington County’s finest, and what he thinks makes a good lawyer.
Harold B. Wells, III Former Burlington County Assignment Judge Harold B. Wells, III, is interviewed by longtime friend and former associate, John Lee Madden, Esq. Here, Judge Wells shares some words of wisdom for new members of the Bench and Bar, as well as stories of his most memorable cases and experiences in his over 40 year career.
Anthony Gerike, Esq. Anthony Gerike is partner in the firm of Gerike and Gerike, where he practices with his son, Paul. In this very special oral history interview, Anthony’s son, Paul, interviews his father about his experiences as a lawyer in Burlington County in the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and beyond. Anthony also provides insight into what he feels the legal profession has become since he started out in 1962.
Louis A. Smith Louis A. Smith is President and Managing Partner of Smith, Magram, Berenato, Michaud & Colonna, P.C. He has been practicing in Burlington City, NJ since 1965 and is a former member of the Burlington County Bar Association Board of Trustees. Hear Lou reflect on his experiences practicing law in Burlington County for nearly 50 years.
Hon. Marvin E. Schlosser (Ret.)
The Honorable Marvin E. Schlosser is a former president of the Burlington County Bar Association (1982-83) and has been admitted to the Bar of the State of New Jersey since 1966. Judge Schlosser retired from the Bench in 2005 and currently serves as a recall judge in Burlington County Superior Court. Listen to Judge Schlosser reflect on his experiences as an attorney and judge in Burlington County.
John Madden, Esq
An active member of the Burlington County Bar Association for many years, John Madden practiced law for 40 years until his retirement in 2007. He was a previous municipal court judge and was previously mayor of Mount Holly. John reflects back on his 40 year career with stories and anecdotes of the Bench and Bar in Burlington County.