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 of the Philharmonic of Southern New Jersey
- Founder, Moorestown Youth Softball Association, Inc.
- 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; Burlington County Bar Association; Camden County Bar Association; former Trustee of Camden County Bar Association (1995-1997) and Co-Chair of Debtor-Creditor Relations and Family Law Committees
- 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/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
- Chair Supreme Court Committee on Family Practice
- 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
- Member, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (1997-2006)
Articles and Presentations
- “I thought we settled this!” — Enforceable and unenforceable settlement agreements for NJICLE Family Law Symposium on January 24, 2019
- “Proving the Best Interests of the Child” American Academy Matrimonial Lawyers Annual Conference April 28, 2018
- “Carving A Path Toward Final Resolution Using Mediation or Arbitration” New Jersey Lawyer (June, 2018); and
- “An Attorney’s Guide to Bolstering a Trial Record Against Appeal” New Jersey Lawyer (February, 2018).
- Presentation, 6th Annual Estate Litigation Seminar- ‘The Intersection of Estate and Family Law” (May 2018)
- “Ethics Dilemmas Involving Social Media”– BCBA CLE Fest (2018)
- “Advanced Appellate Advocacy”- BCBA CLE Fest (2018)
- Article, “Choose Civility,” The Barrister, Camden County Bar Association (October 2014)
- NJSBA Annual Meeting 2019- “Hot Tips on Equitable Distribution” and “Appalling Arbitration Awards”
- Featured speaker at the Family Law Symposium 2018 – “Key Provisions in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Every Family Lawyer Should Know” and “Presumptive 50-50 Custody: Does it Meet the Best Interest of the Child?”
- NJICLE “Getting to the Finish Line: Settlement of Difficult Family Law Cases.” November 19, 2018, August 10, 2018
- NJICLE “Alimony Issues” November 19, 2018; August 10, 2018
- NJICLE “Alimony: Is there a Duty to Mitigate” NJSBA Annual Meeting May 16, 2018
- NJICLE “New Tax Code Impacts Family Law.” NJSBA Annual Meeting May 16, 2018
- CCBA “Best Practices in Mediation-Lessons from the Masters” May 14, 2018
- AAML Annual Conference- “Relocation After Bisbing v. Bisbing” April 18, 2018
- “The Truth About Lying,” Thomas S. Forkin Family Law American Inn of Court
- Contributing author to original New Jersey Bankruptcy Manual
- Rutgers School of Law, Camden
- New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education
- NJ Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
- New Jersey State Bar Association
- The New Jersey Association for Justice, Family Law Section
- Burlington County Bar Association, Debtor-Creditor Relations and Family Law Committee
- Camden County Bar Association, Tax; Debtor-Creditor Relations; Family Law; and Young Lawyers Committees
- Joint Camden/Burlington County Family Law Committees Conference
Awards And Recognition
- NJSBA 2019 Serpentelli Award, recognizing lifelong and extraordinary contributions to the development of family law in the state of New Jersey.
- NJICLE 2018-2019 Distinguished Service Award
- Joseph M. Nardi Award (2009) conferred by the Thomas S, Forkin American Inn of Court
- 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)