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Melanie Szuba Appleby

Real Estate | Land Use | Public Law School Law | Mediation
Melanie Appleby

“Expertise, preparedness and open communication with the client
are the cornerstones of excellent legal representation”

I have been fortunate to have a legal career which has provided me with unique opportunities and diverse experiences in law, government and the judiciary. When seeking a lawyer, a client needs to know that their lawyer not only has legal expertise, but is someone who understands and appreciates real life problems and practicalities. My experiences allow me to give that type of representation. As your attorney, your problem will become my problem. I will commit my energies and skills to resolving your legal issues, at the high level clients expect from CLDDS.

Armed with a degree in biochemistry and a few years of working in a chemistry lab under my belt, I entered Rutgers Law School. Upon earning my law degree, I was fortunate enough to be the law clerk for the Honorable James M. Havey, P.J.A.D., one of New Jersey’s most esteemed jurists. After a stint in insurance defense, I joined Gilmore and Monahan, P.A., as a local government attorney. As Airport Counsel to the Atlantic City International Airport, an entity within the South Jersey Transportation Authority, I was responsible for independently negotiating leases with vendors and tenants, as well as negotiating the design build contract for the parking garage at the airport. In addition, I represented numerous local government entities, serving as Municipal Attorney for Stafford Township, Little Egg Harbor Township, Jackson Township and Lavallette Borough. When both Jackson Township and Toms River Township needed to overhaul their municipal codes, I crafted the recodifications, including land use and zoning ordinances, for adoption by the respective governing bodies. After reaching the requisite level of experience and passing exacting standards, I earned a Diplomate in New Jersey Municipal Law and the designation of Fellow from the International Municipal Lawyers Association.

In 2007, I fulfilled a lifelong dream of public service when I became the first woman elected in Toms River as a Council Member-At-Large in the newly formed Mayor-Council form of government. My service was recognized when I received the Governor Whitman Excellence in Public Service designation. In 2011, my public service continued at a different level, when I was appointed to serve as a Superior Court Judge in Ocean County. After serving as a Judge for over five years, in the Chancery Division, Family Part as well as in the Criminal Division, I have returned to private practice, committed to applying the diverse knowledge and experience I have garnered, to best serve clients at CLDDS.


  • Rutgers, the State University (Douglass College), B.A. in Biochemistry and Biology, with High Honors 1986
  • Rutgers School of Law, Camden, J.D., 1994

Admitted to Bar:

  • 1994 – New Jersey, U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

Experience: Law Office of Stephen E. Gertler, Associate, 1995-1997; Gilmore & Monahan, 1997-2010; Municipal Attorney for Lavallette, Little Egg Harbor, Stafford, Jackson; Special Counsel for Brick Twp., Dover (now Toms River); Airport Attorney for Atlantic City International Airport (SJTA);Councilmember at-large, Toms River Twp., 2008-2011; Law Office of Melanie Donohue Appleby, LLC, 2011; Township Attorney for Little Egg Harbor; Special Counsel for Jackson; Property Maintenance Board Attorney/Special Counsel for Brick Twp.;Superior Court Judge, Ocean Vicinage, 2011-2016

Civic and Professional Organizations: Ocean County Bar Association; New Jersey Bar Association; New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators; Shore Builders Association of Central New Jersey; Toms River Kiwanis; Instructor for New Jersey Planning Officials, which provides initial and on-going training to municipal planning board and zoning board of adjustment members

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