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A Celebration of Life service was held March 12 at Liberty House in Jersey City for Joel Leyner, 88. He passed away Feb. 12 at his home in Venice, Fla. He was born in 1931 in Jersey City. Joel had a passionate love for justice, the law, ethics, and music. He was an accomplished clarinetist and supported himself through college and law school with his own band, playing in both New York City and New Jersey. After graduation from Rutgers Law School in 1955, Joel co-founded, with Raymond Chasan, the law firm of Chasan Leyner in Jersey City in 1957. Joel was certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. He was recognized as a preeminent trial attorney in New Jersey because of his exceptional knowledge and trial skills. Joel served the Bar, the profession and the community in every manner imaginable and received nearly every honor and position of trust the legal profession offered. Joel was admitted to practice in New Jersey, New York, and the United States Supreme Court. He was a Fellow of The American Bar Foundation; Diplomate of the American Board of Trial Advocates; on the Board of Trustees of the Association of the Federal Bar of the State of New Jersey; the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey State Bar Association serving on eight separate committees. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Hudson County Bar Association. He was a Master and first President of the Hudson Inn of Court. Joel was appointed to the New Jersey State Commission on Professionalism in the Law (one of only 5 members appointed); and several Supreme Court appointments to important committees. Throughout Joel’s career, he received many awards. Among those were the Trial Bar Award, Trial Attorneys of New Jersey. In 2006, a new elite category of litigation attorneys entitled “Bet-the-Company” was established designating only 140 lawyers nationwide and only seven lawyers in New Jersey to receive this designation. Joel was one of the seven. With this distinction, Joel is now listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” under three separate categories: Bet-the-Company Litigation; Commercial Litigation; and Personal Injury Litigation. In addition, during his career, Joel was appointed as a special discovery master, special fiscal agent, special hearing officer as well as a mediator in complex commercial and tort cases in over 100 matters in Hudson, Bergen, Essex, Union, and Passaic counties. Arguably, the four most dear to his heart were: the “Bet-The-Company” designation; the Medal of Honor; the Hudson Inn of Court; and his long association in several capacities with the Haven Savings Bank in Hoboken. Finally, in addition to his legal acumen, Joel was a kind and generous human being. Joel was predeceased by his parents, Rose and Samuel Leyner and his brother, J. Richard Leyner. He is survived by his loving wife of 33 years, Marilyn Bennett Leyner; two children, Mark (Mercedes) Leyner, an author, and Chase (Herb Alicandri) Leyner, a theater director; four granddaughters, Gaby Leyner, Samantha, Francesa, and Olivia Alicandri; two stepchildren, Jason Bennett and Paisley Bennett Switzer and her three children, Jackson, Zoe, and Branson. Services arranged by the National Cremation Society, Sarasota, Fla.

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