Melanie Szuba Appleby, Esq. graduated from Douglass College, Rutgers – the State University with a B.A. in her double majors, Biochemistry and Biology, with high honors. She worked as a laboratory technician at Cornell Medical College in Manhattan and at a generic pharmaceutical company as a chemist, before returning to school to earn her J.D. at Rutgers Camden. Ms. Appleby commuted from Ocean County to Camden to attend law school, coming home to care for her then-2 year old son and newborn daughter. Ms. Appleby earned the American Jurisprudence Awards for highest grade in Products Liability, Business Organizations and Moot Court and was on the Dean’s List. She also participated in the Advanced Labor Law Moot Court Competition at New York Law School, and earned honors as one of the top oral arguments.
Upon graduation from law school, Ms. Appleby accepted a judicial clerkship with the Honorable James M. Havey, P.J.A.D. As an appellate clerk, Ms. Appleby gained additional skills in writing, researching and legal citation from one of the New Jersey’s most esteemed jurists.
At the completion of the clerkship, Ms. Appleby joined the Law Offices of Stephen Gertler, practicing insurance defense. Ms. Appleby jokingly kept a “pin map” of the number of counties in which she appeared (17) for motions, arbitrations, trial calls, depositions and other litigation matters.
In 1998, Ms. Appleby joined Gilmore and Monahan, P.A. as a local government attorney. She represented numerous local and state government entities, including Atlantic City International Airport, South Jersey Transportation Authority, Stafford Township, Little Egg Harbor, Lavallette Borough, Brick Township, Toms River Township, and Jackson Township, independently negotiating with vendors and tenants and crafting complex government contracts and commercial leases. She crafted the entire administrative codes upon change in form of government in Toms River Township and Jackson, including land use and zoning ordinances. Ms. Appleby earned several achievements while at the firm, earning a Diplomate in New Jersey Municipal Law and the designation of Fellow from the International Municipal Lawyers Association.
Ms. Appleby fulfilled a lifelong dream of public service when she ran for elected office in 2007. She was the first woman elected in Toms River as a Council Member-At-Large in the newly formed Mayor-Council form of government. Ms. Appleby is proud that she kept her campaign promises and was instrumental in the adoption of an anti-nepotism ordinance in the township. She rewrote the entire Toms River Municipal Code in recodification with Municipal Clerk, saving $100,000 in legal fees to Township, and was the impetus for the development of a new, user-friendly website for use by the public. She was recognized in 2008 with the honor of receiving the Governor Whitman Excellence in Public Service designation.
In 2011, after a brief foray as a solo practitioner, Ms. Appleby continued her public service in a different vein, when she was appointed to serve as a Superior Court Judge. She served in the Chancery Division, Family Part in the Ocean Vicinage and presided over numerous litigation matters, motions and trials, including, but not limited to, divorce, post-judgment, pendent lite motions, non-dissolution matters, custody determinations, domestic violence restraining orders, termination of parental rights, juvenile delinquency, criminal arraignments, pleas and sentencings and evidential motions. She wrote numerous unpublished opinions while in the Family Part, being named several times in affirmed opinions by the Appellate Division.
Ms. Appleby left the judiciary in 2016 to return to private practice as an advocate for the very type of litigants she saw before her on the bench. She also completed an intensive Divorce Mediation training and received a certificate from the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators. She joined Cores & Associates in 2017 to practice family law and lend her particular perspective to clients, and help them with the issues facing their families. She is a member of the Ocean County Bar Association and the New Jersey Bar Association. Ms. Appleby is licensed to practice in the Federal District Court of New Jersey and the state courts of New Jersey.
Ms. Appleby resides in Ocean County and enjoys her proximity to the ocean and the bay. In her spare time, she may be paddleboarding, sailing or biking on the barrier islands. She is an avid spinner, as well. On a bad weather day, she will be perusing the New York Times Cooking App to try out a new recipe, and to share her meal with her neighbors.