Jeffrey R. Merlino


Jeffrey Merlino joined Methfessel & Werbel in 2024.  Prior to joining M&W, Jeff was one of the founding Partners in a boutique New Jersey education law firm.

Jeff has been successfully representing boards of education since 1998.  He concentrates his practice in a number of areas including school law, municipal law, special education law, insurance defense, employment discrimination and labor, collective bargaining/negotiations, personal injury, family legal issues, construction, and real estate. He regularly represents clients in Open Public Meetings, municipal court, grievance arbitrations, mediations and fact-finding hearings, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission, the Office of Administrative Law, the New Jersey Appellate Division, the New Jersey Superior Court, the New Jersey Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals, and state and federal courts in New York.

Jeff’s expertise in representing public employers in labor and collective bargaining differentiates him from others. He provides cost effective and economical assistance, either as consultant or spokesperson, in all areas of bargaining, including the construction of salary guides and scattergrams. His collaborative approach results in mutual understanding and identification of the pertinent issues and fosters achievements through a “win-win” model of negotiations.

Jeff has experience consulting with administrators, human resource officers, and operations managers. He has represented public employers in disciplinary hearings, arbitrations, and administrative review hearings. He provides legal review on policy construction and design. He is experienced in public works projects.

Jeff is routinely sought after to speak on relevant legal issues concerning public entities, including providing advice and guidance on the impacts of ever-changing education laws. His personal interest in the clients’ success and his ability to interact professionally and efficiently is a winning formula.

Jeff recently completed a term as a school board trustee for the Franklin Lakes Board of Education where he was on the personnel, operations, and policy committees.   He is a certified Mediator in the State of New Jersey. Jeff has served as a Trustee for the New Jersey Association of School Attorneys.  For 2016, Jeff received a Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell as Distinguished- High Ethical Standards.

Jeff began his legal career as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Edward Kirby, J.S.C. (Ret.), in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division (Essex Vicinage), and thereafter as an attorney at a mid-sized general practice firm where he was a Shareholder and member of the Education Law Group.