The Hon. Rosemary Gambardella Scholarship Competition


Education is at the very core of our Chapter’s mission and we have worked hard to establish several sponsorship programs to educate and prepare the next generation of leaders interested in the restructuring industry. New this year is the Inaugural Hon. Rosemary Gambardella Scholarship Competition, created as part of a case study competition, and we are excited to share some details with you.

The competition has been named in honor of Judge Rosemary Gambardella, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey. Rosemary Gambardella was sworn in as a United States Bankruptcy Judge on May 3, 1985, becoming the first woman to serve on the Bankruptcy Court in the District of New Jersey. A native of Newark, Judge Gambardella attended Rutgers University where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and obtained a bachelor of arts degree in history in 1976. After receiving her law degree from Rutgers Law School-Newark in 1979, Judge Gambardella served as law clerk to Chief Bankruptcy Judge Vincent J. Commisa from 1979 to 1980. From 1980 to 1985, she was senior staff counsel to Hugh M. Leonard, then United States Trustee for the Districts of New Jersey and Delaware. Judge Gambardella served as Chief Judge of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey from August 12, 1998 to August 11, 2005. She is a member of the Lawyers Advisory Committee of the Bankruptcy Court for the District of New Jersey, a member and former President of the New Jersey Bankruptcy Inn of Court and a member of the Bankruptcy Committee of the Third Circuit Task Force on Equal Treatment in the Courts – Gender Commission. In addition, she is a member of the National Association of Women Judges, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Turnaround Management Association and former member of the Bankruptcy Judges Advisory Group for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts. Judge Gambardella was the Bankruptcy Judge representative to the Judicial Conference of the United States (2009-2011) and is a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy. Judge Gambardella was the recipient of the Rutgers School of Law – Newark Distinguished Alumni Award in 2012, the New York Institute of Credit Women’s Division Judge Cecelia H. Goetz Award, the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award in 2013 and the Conrad B. Duberstein Memorial Award in 2015.


A total of $5,000 in scholarship money will be awarded on November 17th to students in Professor Chrystin Ondersma’s Fall 2016 bankruptcy law section at Rutgers Law School in Newark. The competition has started and participating students are issue spotting in a hypothetical case prepared by several of NJTMA’s NextGen and NOW Committee members. They will also be asked to brief an issue presented in the hypothetical case. Participants are divided into two groups: a debtor/trustee side and a creditor side.


NJTMA Board members will score the written submissions and select the top scoring papers (two from each side) to participate in the final round. During the final round on November 17th, finalists will engage in a mock oral argument on their position.  Judge Gambardella will presidet over the final round.  The winner and runner up of each oral argument will share in the scholarship.


NJTMA members, along with students from Rutgers Law School and the Business School, are invited to watch the final round and attend a free networking reception which will follow. Registration will open soon.


Meet the Hon. Rosemary Gambardella Scholarship Competition Committee:


Co-Chair, Sydney J. Darling, Esq.Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP

Co-Chair/Director, Nicholas B. Jalowski, Cambridge Financial Services LLC

Co-Chair/Director, Stephen B. Ravin, Esq., Saul Ewing LLP

Treasurer, Steven F. AgranMorrisAnderson

Director, Dipesh Patel, Esq., Saul Ewing LLP

Nicole Brown, Esq., Lowenstein Sandler LLP

Christopher M Hemrick, Esq.Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP