The Meyner Legacy – Then And Now

Robert and HelenNew Jersey Governor Robert B. Meyner began a law practice over 60 years ago that is still going strong today. It is known as Meyner and Landis LLP and has had its offices in Newark since 1962.

Before founding Meyner and Landis, Bob Meyner was a popular two-term Governor of New Jersey from 1954 to 1962, defeating Malcolm Forbes for his second term. Governor Meyner was the first Democrat to be elected governor of New Jersey since 1940.

Despite Republican majorities in both houses of the legislature in his first term, Meyner succeeded in enacting many of his legislative proposals. During his tenure as Governor, he unearthed corruption in state government, tripled state aid to education, modernized state departments, established the Green Acres Open Space Program, completed the New Jersey Turnpike and created the Delaware River Basin Compact.

Governor Meyner was known for his commitment to open government and equal opportunity. Appealing directly to the citizens of New Jersey was central to his legislative success, Meyner hosted weekly television and radio programs and held frequent press conferences. In his first year of office, Meyner averaged 50 speeches a month.

He often hosted dignitaries at the Governor’s Morven quarters including Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Nelson A. Rockefeller. For a time, Meyner was considered as the 1960 Democratic candidate for the presidency.

Governor Meyner’s wife, Helen Stevenson Meyner (a cousin of Adlai E. Stevenson), served as a member of Congress for the 13 th District in New Jersey (1975 to 1979). A native of Easton, PA, Governor Meyner and his wife were active with Lafayette College where the Governor graduated in 1930 with a degree in Government and Law. He and his wife endowed the Meyner Center for the Study of State and Federal Government at the College. Governor Meyner died in 1990 at age 81, but not before spending considerable time and effort building his law practice. Partner, Edwin C. Landis, Jr. was with him since their founding of the firm in 1962.

According to Ed Landis, who also worked with Meyner in the Governor’s office, Governor Meyner would ask Judges he appointed to let him know who were the best lawyers who appeared before them. He would then “cherry pick” these men and women from that select group to staff key administration positions as well as the judiciary. The Governor found that by surrounding himself in the state government with skillful and clever attorneys that he was able to get things done more effectively. He continued to use his keen eye for legal talent to develop the Newark law firm he founded upon completion of his term as Governor in 1962.

During the 1970s Meyner was able to fill his firm with young, talented lawyers who form the nucleus of today’s firm. Those same lawyers have since guided the firm to its current position as one of the preeminent law firms in the state.

U.S. News-Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” now lists the firm as one of the best law firms in the country, and a number of attorneys have been selected for inclusion as NJ Super Lawyers® in their respective fields, including Creditor Rights, Immigration, and Environmental Law. Best Lawyers® has designated the Firm for the areas of  Corporate, Environmental, and Immigration Law. The Firm is also AV Preeminent® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

The commitment to public service that Governor Meyner made so many years ago continues as its attorneys participate in several not-for-profit endeavors. The Firm also strives to create an environment that encourages all its partners, associates, and support staff, to give back to the community that has allowed Meyner and Landis to thrive for over 60 years.