The Honorable Marie E. Lihotz joined Archer as Of Counsel after serving twenty years as a member of the New Jersey Judiciary, including more than eleven years in the Appellate Division. Judge Lihotz concentrates her practice in resolving legal disputes through mediation and arbitration, including family, business, estate, employment as well as appellate arbitration matters. She is a member of the American Arbitration Association Commercial and Employment Roster of Arbitrators, an approved Rule 4:21A arbitrator and Rule 1:40 civil mediator. Further, Judge Lihotz consults on trial and appellate presentations.
Judge Lihotz was originally appointed to the Tax Court of New Jersey by Governor Christine Todd Whitman. During her judicial career, she served as Presiding Judge of the Family Part, Burlington Vicinage and, as one of the Appellate Division’s senior judges, as the Presiding Judge of Part B. During her tenure in the Appellate Division, Judge Lihotz authored more than 120 published opinions.
Judge Lihotz led the Supreme Court’s Family Practice Committee as the second Chair, succeeding the Honorable Eugene Serpentelli. She served as Chair of the Judicial Education Committee for the Conference of Family Part Presiding Judges. She was a member and instructor of the Supreme Court Judicial Education Committee; Co-Chair of the Sub-Committee for the New Family Judge’s Judges’ Orientation; a member of the Internet Technology Committee and E-filing subcommittee; Chair of the Appellate Division’s Technology Committee, and a member of the Supreme Court’s Committee on Public Access to Court Records.
Judge Lihotz is past president and a founding member of the Thomas S. Forkin Family Law American Inn of Court. During her term as president, the Inn was first recognized by the National AIC in the Circle of Excellence and later achieving the Platinum Level of excellence in the requisite core competencies.
In private practice prior to joining the judiciary, Judge Lihotz focused on commercial and family law litigation, as well as corporate, tax, estate planning and administration, and bankruptcy matters. Her firm, Pluese & Lihotz, PA, represented both national and family businesses in various trial and corporate matters. She served as a commercial arbitrator and a bankruptcy mediator.
As an attorney and a judge, Judge Lihotz has always participated in legal education. In addition to lecturing for NJICLE, various bar associations, the Administrative Office of the Courts, and the Judiciary, she participated as an adjunct lecturer for Rutgers University Law School, Camden.
Judge Lihotz earned her J.D. from Villanova University School of Law and an L.L.M. (taxation) from New York University School of Law. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Delaware.
Professional and Community Involvement
- Member of AAA’s Roster of Arbitrators
- Trustee, Burlington County Bar Association, 2017-present
- Vice President of Board of Directors, Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey
- Past President and Founding Member, Thomas S. Forkin Family Law American Inn of Court
- Member, Justice Marie L. Garibaldi ADR American Inn of Court
- Member, NJSBA Family Law Executive Committee (FLEC) (2018-2019)
- Member, NJSBA Judicial Administration Committee (2018-2019)
- Member, New Jersey State Bar Association
- Member, Burlington County Bar Association, Co-Chair of Professionalism Committee, Member of Diversity Leadership Committee
- Member, Camden County Bar Association, Co-Chair of Debtor-Creditor Relations and Family Law Committees, Former Trustee (1995-1997)
- Chair, Supreme Court Committee on Family Practice
- Member/Instructor, Supreme Court Judicial Education Committee and Co-Chair of the New Judges’ Orientation Subcommittee
- Chair Judicial Education Committee of the Conference of Family Presiding Judges
- Member, Supreme Court Internet Technology Committee and E-filing Subcommittee
- Member, Supreme Court Public Access to Court Records Committee and Supreme Court Public Access Working Group
- Member, Supreme Court Committee on Women in the Courts
- Organizer, Rutgers Pro Bono Domestic Violence Clinic, Rutgers Law School, Camden, NJ (1996)
- Original Volunteer, Rutgers Pro Bono Bankruptcy Clinic, Rutgers Law School, Camden
- Pro Bono Consultant for Members of N.J. Women’s Opportunity Center (1988-1996)
- Member, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (1997-2006)
- Founder, Moorestown Youth Softball Association, Inc.
Awards and Recognition
- NJSBA Serpentelli Award (2019)
- NJICLE Distinguished Service Award (2019)
- Joseph M. Nardi Award conferred by the Thomas S, Forkin American Inn of Court (2009)
- Outstanding Service to Rutgers Pro Bono Domestic Violence Clinic, Rutgers Law School, Camden, NJ (1998)
- Partners in Change Award, Women’s Opportunity Center (1996)
- Burlington County Woman of the Year/Law (1996)
- Named a “Top Lawyer” by SJ Magazine in Family Mediation (2019)
Articles and Presentations
- Video: Television appearance as a guest on RVNTV “Justice For All” discussing Judiciary decision making (June 11, 2020)
- Hot Tips on Equitable Distribution, NJSBA Annual Meeting (2019)
- Appalling Arbitration Awards, NJSBA Annual Meeting (2019)
- Getting to the Finish Line: Settlement of Difficult Family Law Cases, NJICLE (November and August 2018)
- Alimony Issues, NJICLE (November and August 2018)
- Key Provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Every Family Lawyer Should Know, Family Law Symposium (2018)
- Presumptive 50-50 Custody: Does it Meet the Best Interest of the Child?, Family Law Symposium (2018)
- Alimony: Is there a Duty to Mitigate, NJSBA Annual Meeting (May 2018)
- New Tax Code Impacts Family Law, NJSBA Annual Meeting (May 2018)
- The Intersection of Estate and Family Law, 6th Annual Estate Litigation Seminar (May 2018)
- Best Practices in Mediation-Lessons from the Masters, CCBA (May 2018)
- Proving the Best Interests of the Child, American Academy Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Conference (April 2018)
- Relocation After Bisbing v. Bisbing, AAML Annual Conference (April 2018)
- Ethics Dilemmas Involving Social Media, BCBA CLE Fest (2018)
- Advanced Appellate Advocacy, BCBA CLE Fest (2018)
- The Truth About Lying, Thomas S. Forkin Family Law American Inn of Court
- It’s Not too Late to Settle: Meet CASP, New Jersey Law Journal (March 2020)
- Appellate Answers: Do the Judges Really Write All These Opinions?, New Jersey Law Journal (January 2020)
- Opinion Publication, New Jersey Law Journal (December 2019)
- Panel of Two Judges vs. Panel of Three Judges, New Jersey Law Journal (December 2019)
- Appellate Answers on Motion Practice, New Jersey Law Journal (November 2019)
- ‘Should I Be Worried If …‘, New Jersey Law Journal (September 2019)
- The Comma That Can Change the Law: Three Cheers for the Oxford Comma, New Jersey Lawyer (August 2019)
- I thought we settled this! — Enforceable and Unenforceable Settlement Agreements, NJICLE Family Law Symposium (January 2019)
- Carving A Path Toward Final Resolution Using Mediation or Arbitration, New Jersey Lawyer (June 2018)
- Choose Civility, The Barrister, Camden County Bar Association (October 2014)
- An Attorney’s Guide to Bolstering a Trial Record Against Appeal, New Jersey Lawyer (February, 2018)
- Chapter Co-Author, Representing Debtors in Chapter 7 Cases, New Jersey Bankruptcy Manual, New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (1996)