Rumored Morale Problems Plague the Cranford Municipal Building
Within a short period of time Cranford employees have quit. A few examples:
Zoning Officer
Township Engineer
Downtown Business & Economic Development Director
Police Chief
Assistant Zoning Officer
Township Clerk
Tax Collector


The Westfield Leader and the Times of Scotch Plains-Fanwood
June 15, 2000
Specially Written for The Westfield Leader and The Times

WESTFIELD — Her appointment as a judge to the Superior Court of New Jersey is a dream come true for Lisa F. Chrystal.

On May 31, the 43-year-oldWestfield resident took her oath of office in the same Union County Courthouse she visited as a child with her father, who argued his own cases there as a real estate businessman.“I’ve always been impressed by the fact that the courts are open to all, not just those represented by counsel,” Judge Chrystal stated in a telephone interview from her new courtroom. The new jurist believes a judgeship is the place in the judicial system where she can really help people.

“A judge has the ability to touch the lives of those who appear in the courtroom every day,” she said.

Her nomination to Superior Court by Governor Christine Todd Whitman was confirmed in March 2000. The governor’s nomination was based on a recommendation from State Senators Donald DiFrancesco and Raymond Lesniak.

Ms. Chrystal’s career as an attorney was launched in 1982 when she was admitted to the bar following her graduation, cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law. She then joined the Essex County law firm of Braff Harris Sukoken for whom she handled civil litigation cases. She later joined the Westfield firm of Woehling & Freedman, where she practiced general litigation that included consumer and employment cases.

At the same time, she worked as a part-time Assistant Union County Counsel (1988-1991).

Ms. Chrystal launched her own practice in 1996, opening an office in Cranford and later, one in Scotch Plains. The new judge has been assigned to Family Part within the county court system. While matters heard by Judge Chrystal will focus primarily on domestic violence matters, Family Part also includes custody and support concerns.

An orientation period will allow the new judge to become acclimated to her new responsibilities on the bench. For the time being, she is hearing cases in the company of other judges. She spends her evenings pouring over the abundance of resource materials provided to her as a new jurist by the administrative court officer in Trenton.

What part of her new job poses the greatest challenge? “To be sure that each litigant, each case, each witness, and ach matter that comes before me, no matter how large or how small, is the most important matter at that time,” she

The judge wants litigants who come before her to feel they have been treated fairly. She wants to ensure they understand how the legal system operates “so they respect the system and the ruling that the judiciary puts into effect.”

A product of the Union Township public school system, Ms. Chrystal said, “I am looking forward to serving the county where I grew up.” Ms. Chrystal and her husband, Peter Herzberg, an attorney with the Morristown firm
of Pitney, Hardin, Kipp & Szuch, have three children: a son Benjamin, and twin daughters, Ilana and Arielle.

Backed by a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University, Ms. Chrystal served as an adjunct assistant legal writing instructor for four years at Seton Hall Law School. She is a Trustee of the Union County Bar Association, Chair of the Elder Law Committee as well as a member of Union County Women Lawyers. She is an associate member of the New Jersey Association of Health Care Facilities and Chair of the Northern New Jersey Hadassah Lawyer’s Council.