Deborah Gnatt is Of Counsel in the firm’s New Jersey office specializing in employment law. Prior to entering civil practice, Ms. Gnatt spent three decades working as Senior Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey. She was responsible for the defense of state agencies, high-level administrators, judges and court officials in all phases of labor and employment litigation, including sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, retaliation, employment-related torts, and contractual violations.
Ms. Gnatt’s extensive and diverse history defending employment matters makes her a huge asset to both the firm and our clients. Ms. Gnatt’s experience also includes the representation of the New Jersey Division of State Police and Department of Corrections in litigation of civil rights violation claims, including use of excessive force and other constitutional claims. Ms. Gnatt also worked at the Office of the Attorney General, Office of Workplace Policy and Administration where she was responsible for the interpretation, application and enforcement of the State Anti-Discrimination Policy for the Department of Law and Public Safety. She also handled investigations of internal complaints, made recommendations to the Attorney General, conducted mandatory Department-wide training of employees and executive level supervisors pursuant to the State Anti-Discrimination Policy and Procedures and anti-discrimination laws, including the NJLAD and Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Ms. Gnatt has a heightened awareness of how employment issues can impact a business’ public image, reputation and bottom line. Ms. Gnatt’s extensive background in public agency defense and administrative proceedings exposed her to a diverse range of employment matters and equipped her with the experience and skills to handle various issues that private employers may face.
Ms. Gnatt has a resolution-minded approach when handling matters stemming from her time serving as Court Approved Civil Arbitrator and Mediator, where she conducted court-referred arbitration and mediation hearings, including hearing testimony, making determinations of law and fact and adjudications in arbitrations, and negotiating structured settlements in mediations. This mindset has served her well as she is constantly strategizing ways to get matters resolved to the ultimate satisfaction of her clients.
Presently, Ms. Gnatt is an elected member of the Pennington Borough Council. She also serves as Chairperson of the Personnel Committee and is appointed member of the Pennington Borough Planning Board and the Economic Development
Areas of Practice
- Labor and Employment Law
- Commercial and Business Litigation
- Juris Doctor, Rutgers University School of Law
- Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Douglass College – Rutgers University
- New Jersey
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
- State Certified Trainer of Sexual Harassment Trainers for the State of New Jersey
Past Employment Positions
- Of Counsel, Backes and Backes, Pennington, New Jersey
- Senior Deputy Attorney General, State of New Jersey, Division of Law
- Deputy Attorney General, Division of Criminal Justice, State of New Jersey
- Attorney, Clark, Gertler & Hanna, Manasquan, New Jersey