Honors and Awards

Blank Rome’s Stephen M. Orlofsky Named 2020 New Jersey Trailblazer by New Jersey Law Journal

Blank Rome is pleased to announce that Judge Stephen M. Orlofsky, Partner and Chair of the Firm’s Princeton office, was named a 2020 New Jersey Trailblazer by the New Jersey Law Journal, which honors New Jersey professionals who are thought leaders and innovators serving as “agents of change” on the practice, policy, and technological advancements of their respective practices and sectors.

At Blank Rome, Judge Orlofsky leads the Firm’s appellate practice and concentrates his practice in the areas of complex litigation and alternative dispute resolution. He counsels clients throughout the United States in federal and state civil and criminal courts, both at the appellate and trial level. He has experience litigating, arbitrating, mediating, and serving as a special master in a wide variety of matters. He previously served as a U.S. District Judge for the District of New Jersey (1996–2003) and as a U.S. Magistrate Judge for the District of New Jersey (1976–1980). Throughout his successful career, he has received numerous accolades from leading surveys, including Chambers USA and Super Lawyers, as well as bar associations and Martindale-Hubbell.

To view Judge Orlofsky’s 2020 Trailblazer honoree profile, please click here. A full copy is provided below.


Stephen M. Orlofsky

PIONEER SPIRIT. Having spent 12 years on the federal bench as a U.S. magistrate judge and district court judge, served as a bar leader for clients at the trial and appellate levels in complex litigation matters, Stephen Orlofsky has influenced New Jersey and federal law through a multifaceted lens of experience. “I decided to become a lawyer at a young age because I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people.”

TRAILS BLAZED. Joking that appellate judges “wait for the smoke to clear and the battle to end and then they come down the hill and shoot the wounded,” Orlofsky, a sought-after appellate lawyer, often finds himself in the line of fire. Among his victories are two consequential cases that he argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court. One involved a lawsuit against a restaurant chain for omitting drink prices from their menu. Orlofsky successfully appealed the trial court’s class certification and obtained an important ruling that clarified the circumstances and types of cases warranting class action certification. The other case reinforced a provision of the state Tort Claims Act that shields municipalities from liability for failure to enforce the law; a decision that “protects public entities from countless lawsuits, and thereby saves taxpayer money.”

FUTURE EXPLORATIONS. In addition to his robust appellate practice, Orlofsky manages Blank Rome’s Princeton office, has active ADR and pro bono practices, and continues to litigate—for now, all via Zoom or telephone conference. Although he doesn’t know when he’ll be able to enter a courtroom again, let alone argue in front of a jury, he is proud of building a career that has allowed him to work on cases that have “established principles of law that were important not just to the parties but to the public.”

— As published in the New Jersey Law Journal.