Hilary Brunell specializes in criminal appellate advocacy and currently serves as public defender in the Belleville Municipal Court. She earned her law degree at George Washington University in 1979. Following graduation, she clerked for the Honorable John F. Crane of the New Jersey Appellate Division and then joined the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in Newark, New Jersey. In 1983, she became the Deputy Director of the Appellate Section, resigning her full-time position two years later to raise a family. In 1998, she returned full-time to the position of Deputy First Assistant Prosecutor and in 1999 she was named Executive Assistant Prosecutor.
As part of the Prosecutor’s Executive Staff, Ms. Brunell maintained an active appellate and trial case load, she supervised the Appellate, Forfeiture, and Pre-Trial Intervention Units; and the Police Legal Advisor and the Essex Municipal Prosecutors. She was also responsible for the Continuing Legal Education of a staff of over 140 attorneys.
After retiring in 2010 from the Prosecutor’s Office, Ms. Brunell became of counsel to the law firm of Nuzzi and Mason, LLC. She remained of counsel after the firm reorganized as Mason Thompson, LLC, in October of 2016. Ms. Brunell is also very active in attorney education and regularly lectures at certified NJCLE programs for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and the Essex and Morris County Bar Associations. She serves as appointed counsel in Belleville Municipal Court and she is a member of the Supreme Court Criminal Practice Committee.
Ms. Brunell has authored the following publications:
Crawford v. Washington, The Chronicle (Essex County Bar Association 2004)
How Appealing is Your Case: Eight Considerations that May Influence a Decision to Appeal, The Appellate Prosecutor (Prosecution Services, LLC 2005).
New Jersey State Bar Association
Supreme Court Criminal Practice Committee
Public Defender, Township of Belleville
State of New Jersey
State of District of Columbia
United States Supreme Court
George Washington University School of Law, J.D., 1978
Syracuse University, Maxwell School, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum laude, 1975